Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Here is a quick picture of my cute little German-made bicycle! It's great. I ride it everywhere. During the week, we rarely start the car. I go grocery shopping (which I do often as everyone buys fresh things almost daily), to visit friends, to lunch at restaurants and just cruising around town for fun. There is more bicycle parking here than car parking. The lots at the stores and workplaces look like seas of cycles.
The "Pegasus" has 7 gears and has brakes on the handlebars ...but you can pedal backwards to stop too. That's just like my bike did when I was a kid!
You see everyone on bicycles. I've been surprised at the older people on them. I saw a woman the other day that had to be in her upper 80's (at least) pedaling down the road with her purchases in her basket. Since the people here seem to like flowers so much, you often see ladies riding around with their baskets overflowing with them to take home for their tables or window sills.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
I never thought I would enjoy a foreign country. I was happy in my own little world in the Chattanooga area and there is nothing outside that could add to my joy of living. Having said that....I have to eat my own words. Here is a perfect example. You will see areas of beautiful flowers from time to time with a sign like this. You can pull up to these gardens and cut your own flowers and deposit the money as you leave. All of this is on the honor system!! No thugs going around destroying the hard work that somebody has put into the plots of land. It is a refreshing site. Also, I feel totally safe walking the streets at night. I found that it is almost impossible to purchase a gun. Crime is almost nothing!! Burghausen is a small slice of heaven!! I wish other people could experience this feeling and take it back to the states with them. What an improvement in the quality of life everybody could have.
Here is Billy with the "grocery getter" at the store about a half mile away from our house. It is called "Kaufland". "Kauf" is German for buy. This is one of the few stores that is pretty similar to an American shopping experience....it is a big box store a bit like Target or Kmart. You have to put a Euro in the shopping cart to get one and ALL the wheels swivel...so you can move sideways with it. Here's something interesting: They don't take credit cards or checks. They only take cash or a local debit card. That got me in trouble one day. I had 75 Euros of merchandise and only about 50 in cash! No one spoke English and it was crazy. The checkout girl shouted out a call for someone who spoke English and a man stepped out of the gawlking crowd and helped me! I guess they'll always remember me as the unprepared American...its a small town. But they were very nice...Bavarians are generally very friendly.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
We are right on the Austrian border and if you cross over the Salzach River and look back toward Burghausen, you have an incredible view. The castle of Burghausen (our little city) is the longest castle in Europe. It is a "conglomeration" of buildings that stretch for about a mile across the hilltop above the Alstadt (old town) below.
We have not been able to leave Germany and travel into Austria and other countries for the last 2.5 weeks because the government has had our passports to update our immigration status. So, we were anxious to get out and about a bit tonight. After receiving our passports this afternoon, we had dinner in a little outdoor cafe in Duttendorf, Austria...and this was our view:
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
This is a blog about an American couple coming to Germany to live and work for about a year. Billy is here working for Wacker Chemie AG that is starting a new plant in Cleveland, TN near Chattanooga. I (his wife) am here with him to help make a home during our short stay and to enjoy the sites, sounds and everyday life in a small Bavarian town.
IT IS DAY 20 OF OUR STAY IN BURGHAUSEN!
After arriving in Munich on Luftansia airlines on July 28, 2011, we were shuttled by taxi eastward through several small villages of southern Germany. It took about about an hour and a half to reach our new home. The overnight flight From Charlotte, NC was incredible and we had been able to rest a bit before dealing with the 6 hour time advance. We were greeted curbside by a local woman named Claudia as we came into town. Claudia is our lifesaver! She was born and grew up in Burghausen and knows the town...& Germany like the back of her hand. We'd be lost without her.
This is our home in Germany on Piracher Strasse (Street)! In the picture you see three houses? Ours apartment is where you see the 2nd floor windows of the middle house. The window facing the street is our living room window. I'm sitting at that window as I write this entry....There is a beautiful view of the neighborhood from that window as well as the Burghausen countyside.
This is what I see as I look out my open window each morning. I took this picture a few days ago when it was cloudy, but this morning it is bright, sunny and about 68 degrees or so. Notice the pedestrian and bike lane on our street? Wow, this is wonderful. We can bike everywhere here without getting mowed down!
Almost all of the houses here have the red tile roofs and are white stucco. Gardens with beautiful flowers and shrubs are the norm. Window boxes thrive and look very lush in this cooler climate.
Since I had to wait so long to start this blog, I'm really not sure where to start. There's been SO many new and amazing things that have happened in the last 3+ weeks. I guess I'll just start off and go...I'll try not to ramble too much, but the main things I want to talk about are the everyday occurences here that feel unique to my American sensibilities.
Feel free to email me with questions about our experience here...