I have been in Germany for five days now and it has been a whirlwind of activity and getting to know this area of central Germany in what is known as the Rhineland. To list things here briefly, Monday we visited the stone quarry (see previous post). Tuesday we roamed around Darmsdadt, Wednesday to Frankfurt and Thursday to the reconstructed, and with somee relics and finds, Roman fort at Saalsburg.
When we fisrt set out for Saalsburg, I did not realize it was going to be such a complete reconstruction. But you definitely left with an idea of what life was like at what would have been an outpost of the Roman Empire in the early 200s A.D. The limes was set up, you could get an idea of the stone structures that would have kept the fort safe and well-guarded, the village/s that would ahve sprung up outside the fort. Inside were various rooms set up as mini-museums with many of the actual archeological finds at the site -- tools, weapons, coins, household items, dishware, and more. I also liked the virtual display where lifesized drawings were set up around the room depicting different scenes of life, incuding the public toilets.
Wednesday was a visit to Frankfurt. We went to the top of the Main Tower for a 55-story high view of the city and could look out to see the main railroad terminal, the arts district, the river and more. We walked and walked and walked. Walked through the old plaza or Rumer where City Hall is located, walked to a wonderful Italian restaurant named Armonia where spaghetti was served from inside a scraped out wheel of Parmesan cheese. We walked some more and visited the memorial to Frankfurt's Jewish residents; the cemetery that was destroyed by the Nazis but exists now to honor those who died. Some of the old tombstones are still there and a wall has been reconstructed around the old cemetery with 12.000 small plaques to remember individually those who died with their birthdates, and when and where they died. They are flat on top so people can place small stones in remembrance as is the Jewish custom.
We also visited the museum next door about life in the Jewish ghetto that existed in the 1600-1800s. Foundations of five of the original buildings are there and again you walk away with a sense of how real people lived.
This trip was done in tandem with Heidi and Juan. Heidi is another former colleague from the San Juan Star. She and Juan have stayed in touch all these years. We picked her up at the train station in Darmstadt Tuesday. We spent a bit of time in Daarmstadt beforehand in teh arts district near the Russian Orthodox chufrch and around the grounds of a museum that has a whimscal sculpture of a man walking across the ledge of the roof at its highest point. I do have photos.
Then pick up Heidi and back home for a cookout and a wonderful dinner and lots of good conversation and wine.