Monday, July 28, 2008

To Germany and beyond!

Our first stop after Salzburg was up north in Bayern to visit Lukas' friend Robin who then took us to Neuschwanstein, the gorgeous Cinderella Castle outside of Munich, Germany. We had a nice little hike up the mountain (reminding me yet again how very out of shape I am!) and were very well rewarded with a stunning view of the castle, valley and lake below from a VERY windy and Japanese tourist packed bridge! It was a great last outing as we said goodbye to our home area for the past 10 months.

After visiting Robin we continued our long drive to Lukas’ parents house farther west into Germany. Lukas had fun driving super fast on the Autobahn (silly German’s and their lack of speedlimits!) and I was content to hide in the passenger seat. Ok… its not like I even noticed we were going over 100mph but still :-p After not much sleep we got up on Saturday and prepared for a going-away party to which his sister, brother-in-law, and several friends came to. It was a great bbq with good food, good friends, and a very good time. It was hard saying goodbye to everyone after the BBQ as they all headed home but fortunately on Sunday, the following day, we had the chance to get together with Jana and Daniel to watch the final game of the European Championship, Germany –vs- Spain. Sadly Germany did not see us off with a victory but it was a good game and a great evening afterwards chatting with Daniel and Jana so I guess we cannot complain so much. There is always next time!

We spent lots of quality time with his parents and grandma for almost a week which was definitely a nice break after all of the packing, school, leaving stress of Salzburg. Lukas and I made a 30 mile roundtrip bike ride to the zoo in Karlsruhe, Germany which was a lot of fun, especially for this animal crazed kid, hehe.

We also took a day trip with Lukas' parents to Speyer where there was a really cool 1000+ year old Cathedral.

It was nice getting to see all of Lukas’ family and friends before we left for the USA, especially considering that we do not know when we will be back again to visit. We had some drama at the airport including a clueless worker, an equally clueless yet more stubborn supervisor, 6 VERY over packed suitcases but in the end (after LOTS of prayers!) it all worked out and we got checked in without the impending financial burden we had been expecting (seriously, we were soooo incredibly blessed!). Lukas’ parents saw us off at the security check with some hugs and tears and after a few hours we arrived safely in Dublin, got through customs and got Lukas registered as a permanent resident, wooo hoo! After a long and not very restful intercontinental flight we arrived in Philadelphia to my happily waiting mother and started a new chapter in our lives.

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