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Kiel on Day Two of the Trip

Reading German road signs, menus, etc is making me silly happy. It is fun to recognize a word in the middle and figure out the rest. Sometimes the word I recognize is in the middle of a sentence, other times it is in the middle of a word. It is like the world around me is filled with clever word puzzles and the only clues I have are decades old education I have to dredge from memory. (and google. Sometimes I google.) It has been interesting to travel with Howard here in Germany where I have familiarity with the local language and he doesn’t. When we’re in a romance based country (All the prior international travel has been to places where he was more expert than I was.) He’s asking questions and I’m surprised at how many I’m able to answer. I carry a fair amount of remembered vocabulary, more than I’d expected. On the other hand, I’m afraid I have now taught Howard enough German that he has wortrauchenfruede (Word smushing joy.)

As usual, it is a comfort to me when I open up my computer to discover that my usual internet haunts are the same whether I’m accessing them from Utah or Germany. However even online little things come to my attention. This morning I was on facebook and noticed that the little notification globe looked different somehow. Then I realized that the globe is centering Germany rather than the US. And it made me happy, because of course it does that.

A similar moment came when I heard the sound of emergency vehicles outside my window and they had the siren sound which I’ve heard before in movies, but which isn’t the same siren used in the states. I hear the noise and a piece of my brain laughs at me because I’m surprised to hear that sound outside of a movie.

The flight from Paris was uneventful. I even got a glimpse of the Eiffel tower. I promise that in the middle of this photo, lost in the haze is a tiny Eiffel tower. I was able to see it, but my camera has insufficent resolution to differentiate the haze.

It was a tiny, terrible view of so significant a landmark, but it made me so happy to get to glimpse the structure at all. I didn’t think I would get to.

On the shuttle bus from Hamburg to Kiel I had ninety minutes to watch out the window while German landscape passed by. I’ve seen forests and fields in the US, but not usually in so close proximity. Old growth forest surrounded most of the fields and the forest itself has a different feel than the forests I’ve been in on either East or West coast of the US. I realized that I was staring at the forest that was the origin of many European fairytales. The forests I saw made sense out of those tales of deep, magical woods full of peril. I spent some time thinking about how landscape changes the cultures that grow up in them. I didn’t have brain to get much further than that thought though. Jet lag muddled most of the thoughts.

Related note: staff meetings when all the staff are jet lagged become rambly and amusing affairs.

Our hotel is lovely. I have a view of the port outside my window.

Tomorrow morning my ship will dock there and I’ll get on board. Today is full of jet lag recovery and pre-cruise organization and orientation. The students have already begun to gather.

3 comments to Kiel on Day Two of the Trip

  • Martin Bonner

    Actually most German forest is farmed just like mid-West cornfields (except the cycle is a bit longer). There is no *untouched* forest left in Germany (although some of it is now nature reserves [Naturschutzgebiet]). There’s a bit left in Poland – but their right-wing government is planning to rip it all up 🙁

  • Martin Bonner

    Oh, und Herzlich Willkommen in Deutschland!

  • The forests may be cultivated, but they are still ancient and magical and full of wonder. The trees have long roots and long memories, and they are growing in a place that has been woodland longer than my home country has been a nation. 🙂

    I’m having so much fun following your adventures on this trip. Please, keep posting!