Hello USA

Monday morning we left our apartment in Würselen at 8:15 in the morning. We arrived in Dave and Ellen’s house in Arvada about 22 hours at 10:15 in the evening, after a long trip of taxi, fast train (200 miles per hour), walking a mile in Frankfurt airport, a one hour flight to Zürich Switzerland, more walking and a short train, a 10.5 hour flight to Denver, more walking, customs (contrary to advice previously given to Clare, they do not allow you to bring sealed meats like sausage into the USA 🙂 ), and a 45 minute drive from the Denver airport to Arvada. When we arrived, Clare and I headed straight to bed. Meg headed straight to the hot tub. Meg and Spencer are really great travelers.

Soule-Reeves visit

Our friends the Soule-Reeves visited us recently. We had a great time showing them around Aachen and Würselen. Highlights included:

  • biking to the Burg Wilhelmstein in Bardenberg
  • Ice cream taste testing at Peppone and Casal in Würselen
  • Another bike trip to a different castle in Stolberg
  • A trip to the thermal baths in Aachen
  • Eating pancakes with the scouts in a 400 year old city gate (Ponttor)
  • Standing in 3 countries at once at the 3-country point and labyrinth
  • Scaling the Indemann sculpture to peek into a gigantic strip mine


Happy Solstice

We took a long weekend to the beach in Belgium. The part of Germany we live in has several long weekends about 2 months after Easter, and we have been busy with summer fun. Europeans are not really in summer mode yet, as they really seem to reserve that for July and August. Everyone seems to be enjoying the longer days and warmer weather.

Anyway, happy solstice from my family to yours ?

Camping at the Akropolis

No, not the Akropolis in Greece, the one in Aachen! it is on the Lousberg, a big hill in the middle of the city. Apparently the columns known as the Akropolis used to be part of a restaurant which was destroyed in WWII, and they decided to leave the columns as ruins. It was really beautiful and peaceful there. You can not tell that you are in the middle of a city at all.

Meg’s scout troop celebrated its 5 year anniversary recently, and I was fortunate enough to be able to join in on the festivities, and even stay the night, which was a treat, since usually the parents are not invited on campouts with the scouts in Germany. The last time I was camping with the scouts in Germany was about 20 years ago, with my guest brother Emmi. Not much has changed it seems. They still have great big tents called Kohte (from native american “Dakota”), and Jurte ( English Yurt). The tents are canvas and built in modular sections which you button together. This design means you can button  several together to form a really big tent. They had Jurte together for the main gathering tent, which included a stage for the kids to perform skits and songs, and a firepit, around which we sang songs until 3 in the morning (well, Meg and I went to bed around 11, but many stayed up later).

I am really proud of Meg for being such a great scout, and thankful I got to share the experience with her.

Liver cheese

Contains neither liver nor cheese

I introduced the family to Leberkäse (liver cheese) some time ago. Sometimes it is also known as Fleischkäse (meat cheese). I think there are some variants which actually contain some liver, but most don’t. There is also a variant called Pizzaleberkäse which contains little bits of cheese, but the standard doesn’t contain cheese. I think it is called cheese because of the texture. It has sort of a bologna like texture, as it is ground up very fine, and then pressed together. At any rate, it is tasty. Spencer’s favorite mid-morning snack at school is now a Fleischkäsebrötchen (roll with liver cheese).

One year in Germany

On the 29th we will have been in Germany for exactly one year. We decided to celebrate with a few of our friends today. It was our first party in Germany, and it went quite well. The kids were very helpful in preparing. Clare got a whole flat of strawberries at the local farm stand. They were a big hit.