Thursday, June 2, 2011

Germany - Day 1 Part I - Our Arrival and Altenburg

This is the first in a series of posts covering our trip to Germany from May 5 to May 25, 2011. The visit was primarily to visit friends and family and to attend a Confirmation Ceremony for Sigrid's nephew.

What you will not see posted are the flashy picture post card photos that you always see on the travel brocures for Germany. Our photos will reflect day-to-day living in Germany even though we do travel to some touristy sites. The tourist places we visit are more likely the sites that Germans go to rather than international visitors.

We started flying at 11:00 am on May 5, but didn't arrive in Dusseldorf until nearly 8:00 am on May 6th. We came to Dusseldorf first to visit our friends, Gisela and Georg. We spent the first week with them at their home in Leverkusen which is just outside of Dusseldorf. We met Gisela and Georg on top of a mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park while we were there visiting my family in May 2010. We have traded e-mails, phone calls, and Skyped together many times since then and were invited to visit them when they found that we were coming to Germany to visit Sigrid's family. We had a great time with them and they showed us all around the surrounding part of Germany. How lucky we are to have such great friends.

After settling in for a short time at their home, we were out and about sightseeing in the beautiful park area of Altenburg. Hey....once you have been up for 24 hours, you might as well keep going for 36 hours. The jet lag will get you either way. We were met first by a heron on a small pond as we walked from the parking lot.

Sigrid and Gisela.

Georg points out features of Altenburg on the map.

Altenburg was the seat of the Dukes of Ernestine until the 1800's but its history goes back much farther to at least 900 when the Slavic people built the town. The park is now government owned.

A poppy ready to bloom.

The Cathedral of Altenburg. Construction began in 1259.

Many churches don't allow photos inside, but we were lucky here. I love to photo old cathedrals.

The countryside was beautiful. Part II at Scholss Burg is up next.

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