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2011: GrossGlockner To Hungary...

2011 - Poor Knights  
We fly into Paris - have a four hour layover, then onto Munich, where a shuttle has been arranged to take us to D&G's home. We arrived "Paris Time" at 8: A.M, really 8:00 AM for us. We find souvenirs for R&E. However, we couldn't find any Fingerhats, (thimbles).

We land in Munich and our shuttle takes us to Bavaria. It was a very good reunion, as we have not been together since November 2009.

The next day, Dirk and Anthony were busy making arrangements for the blue Mercedes, which had been sold to Helmut. We would have homemade "suppen" (soup) and poor knight, (french toast). It is called that because when the knights came back empty-handed, with no victory, it was said to them "Poor Knights."

That night we went to Gretel's Steakhouse for dinner and met more of Dirk's friends and children. One told Dirk in German, "ah if he only new English, he could have conversed with me". Oh Schnitzel! After three red wines I went to bed, I was done.
77 Mercedes  
Tuesday, May 17th. We left to to pick up the 77 Mercedes from customs. Dirk's driving reminded us of "Frantic Frank." We gained possession of the Mercedes and went home.

Gretel and I went to shop in Rosenheim - found Battista some Leiderhosen and a shirt, the girls some slipper shoes, Little Val, a maternity top, Slippers for Jen and myself. Still need to find a gift for Katrina. Jen will like the Hungarian table runner...

Helmut arrived, and am having a wonderful time. - Gretel ask if I am ok. I am having thoughts of my father "Little Dickie Marsh." Helmut is a widower and has many health problems. He walks with a cane and has a recent pacemaker implanted. We had pear Schnapps and went to bed for a long day tomorrow.
Mariastein" (Mary's Stone)  
Wednesday, May 18th. We took a scenic route, passing through Kufstein and Pendling Mountain. I immediately ask Dirk and Gretel to sing the song I love about Kufstein and they did!

We arrive at Fischerstub'n Reintalersee. It is lovely restaurant on the banks of a lake who's waters were very blue and green. We are seated on a roof top which has many tables and umbrellas and the view was marvelous! I tried fish that was caught right from the lake and it was delicious.

Dieter is of Italian descent. The conversation came up about his American cars and car garage. (Anthony had sent him material for the seat of his 1962 baby blue Imperial convertible). I ask him if he would let me drive his Red Buick that I would let him drive my Pink Imperial. He seemed to like the challenge.

On our way back we stopped at "Mariastein" (Mary's Stone). A beautiful church / castle built into a huge rock directly above the road. It is one of the most beautiful sights my eyes had ever seen. There are many winding stairways to reach the sanctuary. It was well worth the climb. The rooms along the way up were unbelievable. Once in the beautiful sanctuary, I lit four candles in memory of Mom, Dad, Theresa and Grandma Bea. 
All Things American  
Dieter's granddaughter climbed the stairway from the road to tell us that Dieters Imperial was making a funny noise and he had pulled off the side of the road. Anthony walked back down with her. He deduced it was a universal joint. He said it was ok to drive home and rode back with Dieter and his family.

Dieter has a two story garage / museum that is devoted to all things American. We had a lovely time there.
Lake Chimsee - Herrenchiemsee  
May, 19. Today we visited King Ludwig's castle on Lake Chimsee - Herrenchiemsee. He was the king of Bavaria, who became King at the age of 18, after his father's passing. He also built several other castles including NeuSchwanstein, (Cinderella's Castle).

We arrived to the island via boat after about 10 minutes. We then all road a horse carriage to the castle. We were also fortunate, as our driver spoke English and had done an internship in Chicago. When I asked him what was his favorite memory about America, without hesitation, he said New York City. He had found out that America's is just not Burgers & Coca-Cola.

The castle was unbelievable. It was patterned after "Versailles" in Paris in honor of the Bourbon Kings; Louse XIV, XV and XVI, (his grandfather's Godfather). Amazing are the smallest details, in ceilings, walls, window work - the chandeliers are beautiful beyond belief. One is a kind of porcelain - King Ludwing had the mold destroy afterward. Many things are trimmed in gold - mirrors everywhere, secret doors and spiral staircases. The King loved modern inventions and use them as much as possible his creations.

It was very educational and interesting and for my first European Castle- Supa! We then went a mountain top restaurant with a birdseye view; Berggasthof Weingarten.  
1956 Red Buick  
Friday, May 20th. Dieter arrived in his 1956 Red Buick Convertible for cake and coffee. Patrons at Gretels Steakhouse went wild and took many photos! He and his wife brought gifts for Eva and Rae. Their generosity is beyond belief. After coffee and cake, he had Anthony drive is Buick as I sat in the backseat taking video and photos. I happened to have my white scarf and sunglasses which were helpful.

When we got back to Dirk and Gretels, he asked me if I wanted to drive. Dirk and Anthony had said "Nein". However, he would not have it and wanted me to drive! Anthony sat in the back seat and away we went. When he got back, he told Dirk that I'm a better driver then Anthony! We all had much laughter. That evening we had schnitzel, asparagus and salad. We ended it with a small glass of schnopps and we went to bed for the next day.
Coal Mining Museum  
Saturday, May 21. We all went to a Mercedes's tour. Anthony and I drove the 1959 Imperial. After a few tour stops, we eventfully arrived at a Coal Mining Museum. We were there for many hours. During this time we met one of our group. He had suffered a stroke two years earlier and said he had to sell several cars - only having now eight. He said he had taken up gardening. He was a very intelligent man and we enjoyed speaking to him.

Since the museum was about coal mining, Anthony and I found it very interesting as two grandfathers were deep miners, his grandfather was a deep miner and my father was a surface miners. 
Sunday, May 22. We packed the motor home to travel to Grossglockner to Hungary. Along the way we stopped in Zell to look at another Lake. As we ascended Grossglockner we stopped several times to take photos, before we made it to the top. The altitude here is 8600ft!

The owners, Kurt and his wife are the third generation of this family owned restaurant and guest house, which
is the highest in the world. They can only live her from May to October - then down the mountain to their other home. Our dinner there was marvelous - what great video!

We made or descent the next day, stopping at a museum and other scenic spots along the way. When we were going through the village of Heiligen Blut, (Holy Blood of Christ), Dirk exclaimed loudly, Oh, I have no brakes! He immediately pulled off at a picnic stop. As God always provides, next to us was an auto shop. We coasted in and the mechanic went to work. We went to some tourists shops. Anthony found a walking stick with my help. Supa. He had also hurt his right wrist earlier and we kept it to ourselves, not realizing the extent. Dirk the observant, often commenting that Anthony was distant on this trip. Before we departed the mechanic's shop, the mechanic asked where we were from. When Anthony said West Virginia. He said, ah flatlanders.
Guttaring Austria - Gasthof - Hotel - Moser  
Our next stop was "Guttaring Austria - Gasthof - Hotel - Moser. The charming owner made sure we were well taken care of. She brought us special appetizers - meat, butter and spoke English quite well. Dirk also found out that she owns 50 Dirndls and has been in the business for 30 years.

We departed the next day. It doesn't matter, rural or city, there is always a statue with a covering built over it of Christ on the cross. It is always encircled with flowers and the grass is always cut. What reverence!

We spent a little time on the autobahn to make it quicker. We stopped at the "Oldtimer" restaurant, gas station and hotel. The same one we went to in 2008. We arrived at Helmut's, the man who purchased the 77 Mercedes. He had a cookout on his back porch for us. It was all good. Grilled chicken, pork chops, potato salad, green leaf "salat" and coleslaw. Afterwards he suggested we drive into downtown Tihany - to see the church and the shops.
Ladies Choice

Wednesday, May 26. I awoke to a roaring wind that stayed strong even until we got to Budapest. Helmut had a very nice breakfast for all on the table. Helmut's wife has been gone for 5 years now and he is only 67 years old.

He brought out many photos - one in particular - which I took a picture of. It was taken 10 years ago in Bogacs. There was a "Ladies Choice" of partners to dance with. A very homely, scrawny woman chose Dirk and Gretel snapped a picture. Dirk told Helmut in German to please pay the band to stop - instead, he paid the band to keep playing!

(The Mercedes with its American fitted bumper car bumpers is of low value and Helmut always wanted and couldn't afford a vintage car). When we said our thanks and good byes, I heard Helmut say to Dirk - Danka Mein Friend, as they parted on the front porch.

Dancing Jabba  
We reached our favorite Hungarian restaurant before 2:00 P.M. "Dancing Jabba" seemed happy to see us. We had homemade chicken soup and fresh bread , then a huge bowl of Goulash Soup. Before we left, I pinned an American Flag on Jabba's shirt - Anthony made video and photos. We told him we'd see him again later.

Friday May 27. I finally heard the nightingale singing in the wee hours - very lovely. Today, is as all days since arriving in Bogacs, a beautiful, blue sky, day full of sunshine. We left for Eger for the market. Many "schule" children in matching tops appeared on the sidewalks excitedly speaking. The musical sounds of the ice cream truck permeate the air. Anthony and I are transported to our childhood days of memory.

Next, we go to the "Stork Village." We get out and watch and wait for one to come to the nest to relived the other. We especially watch on that had 3 young ones. When the spouse gave the arriving one a what hell the current one then flew off. It was a real site to see.
Wine Cellars  
Dirk drove us by the area the Russians airstrips used to be located. They also had underground hangers. We saw the abandoned military barracks as well. It is said that three Migs could fit side by side - the landing strip was so wide. Next, a stop at Suzie and Willie's - its his birthday - she was especially happy to see me. Dirk brought gifts.

We arrive back home and Jabba arrives around 6:50 P.M with dinner from his family's restaurant. He is convinced to stay and eat with us. Later, Dirk convinced him to go to the wine cellars with us. In my mind, I was afraid that he would get into deep trouble with his father. Later we saw him on his cellphone, (had to be checking in with Father).

Saturday, May 28th. We watched people from the benches across for the thermal spa. A young mother and small daughter walked by. She spoke back and the little one was sweetly singing the whole time. It made me tear-up and think of our three grand babies back in Wild & Wonderful.
Neanderthal Bones
At 4:45 P.M Dirk & Der Tony stopped at a wine cellar and they had sweet wine. They then stopped at a cave where Neanderthal bones of a woman, man, child and dog were found. The later saw the same wedding caravan pass that Gretel and i did - honking and waving. It was a pleasant journey. Gretel and I stop by an Internet Cafe, taking her laptop to show her what to do - she is so excited she is drinking Coca Cola!

Bogen is a town in the district of Staubing-Bogen in Bavaria Germany. It is located between the southern slopes of the Bavarian Forest & Danube River.

Next 2014: Medical Tourism