A Good Reason to Stay Home

Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.

– Cesare Pavese -

Springtime in Oberursel

Springtime in Oberursel

Between mid-April and early May this year, we have eight flight tickets for Amsterdam, Birmingham, and Tokyo as well as two train tickets for Poland…

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Maria’s Beer Balcony in Germany

My beer balcony had not been visited for a while. As a matter of fact, the last time I had a friend sitting here was over a month ago.

Imagine my surprise when I stepped on the balcony earlier this week and found this little friend who must have just flown in. Literally, as it left a few marks on the window glass, and landed on my chair. I almost sat down on it at 7:30am. I was still without coffee.

Bird on balcony

No worries. I did not offer my guest any beer. It was early morning anyway.

The sparrow (German: der Spatz) would not have opened its beak for anything. It would not even let go of its loot (a hairball) despite its trembling.

It flew away after some decent rest.

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A Salute to the Schweinfurt Military – Multimedia Archives

Team Schweinfurt presents The History of the Army in Schweinfurt in a slide show.

To keep its history alive, Team Schweinfurt set up this online photograph exhibition, “Salute to Schweinfurt: 1945-2014,” a tribute spanning almost 70 years of the U.S. Army in Schweinfurt. The project is meant to educate future generations and demonstrate the army’s service in Schweinfurt.

Deadline for submitting photos ends today (no April Fools’ joke either), but I’m sure they’d welcome more photo contributions.

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Schweinfurt Military Housing – Askren Manor

Much has been said and written about the closing of Ledward and Conn Barracks in Schweinfurt, one of the largest U.S. American bases in Germany, which is to be completely carried out by 30 September 2014. This post is about Askren Manor, the housing which is supposed to get completely torn down.

Askren Manor is the largest on-post housing area  with 674 stairwell apartments as well as 26 duplexes, all in within walking distance to Ledward Barracks. Other facilities include  the elementary school, commissary, school age services, and the child development center.

We had spent another weekend in Schweinfurt and on our way home again, we were heading towards Niederwerrner Straße, where we stopped for a photo on the side gate. The mesh wire fence has become almost obsolete by now.

mesh wire fence

We are approaching the corner of Niederwerrner Strasse and John-F.-Kennedy-Ring.

Coming from Ledward on  Niederwerrner Strasse

Askren Manors, Schweinfurt

Just passing by some of the buildings on the John-F.-Kennedy-Ring. Too bad we had the Grüne Welle (synchronized traffic lights) and could not slow down, which made some photos a bit blurry.

Askren Manors


Askren Manors

The gate to Askren Manors

Askren Manors

The latest I heard was to turn Askren Manor into a completely new housing development and Ledward Barracks becoming a sister college (i-Campus) to FHWS Würzburg.

More about the i-Campus: http://www.mainpost.de/regional/schweinfurt/Auf-dem-Weg-zum-i-Campus;art742,8036003 in German.

Quoted from the article: Im Herbst sollen die ersten Studenten für den FHWS i-Campus der Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften (FHWS) nach Schweinfurt kommen….”

(Starting with the fall semester 2014, the first 100 students are expected to enroll at the i-Campus University of Applied Sciences in Schweinfurt.)

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Maria’s Beer Balcony in Germany

Spring has come! Actually it has been here for a while, since my hyacinths and daffodils started sprouting in early February and now they are just about to bloom. What a mild winter we’ve had.

My longtime friend Udo contacted me since he was passing through the Frankfurt area and we arranged for a little get-together this past Sunday, which included the notorious “Why don’t you sit on the balcony with me for a photo?” Needless to say, this little tick of mine has attracted quite a few visitors.

I made Krautspudel (a very Franconian dish) for dinner, we caught up with the past few years in which we had little contact, and rekindled our friendship.

beer balcony - Udo

with Udo, originally from the Harz region in Germany

Having friends is so important (next to good health, such as sitting on the balcony in fairly cool weather…).  This one’s for you, Udo.

“Happiness consists in frequent repetition of pleasure”
- Arthur Schopenhauer -

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