Soap Box Race in Oberursel

The yearly soap box racing (German: Seifenkistenrennen) took place on 13th September, 2014 in the Strackgasse (Altstadt).

The children could train as of 3pm and their race started at 4pm. We were there in the earlier part of the afternoon and just walked through the area, while vendors and helpers were still setting up for the event. The adults had their chance to race as of 7pm.

Here are a few impressions.

soap box race in Oberursel

soap box race in Oberursel

When the tractor and the hay wagon park in front of the church.

hay wagon

Others use a town information sign to park their bicycle.

bicycle

Farewell to Schweinfurt U.S. Military

This is for all the U.S. troops who had been stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany or had passed through it on their tour.

For a trip down memory lane, watch this clip Abschied der US-Armee aus Schweinfurt (U.S. Army farewell from Schweinfurt).

 

Frankfurt Airport Carry-on Baggage Restrictions and Now you Need to Buy a Plastic Bag

Last week, we traveled from Frankfurt via Paris via Birmingham to Nottingham. This took 11 hours. We could have made it to China within the same time.

We all know the guidelines for carry-on restrictions, such as the limit of 4 liquid or gel-like items in your toiletry/medical bag. Unfortunately, my personal care items exceeded that; I had overlooked the tooth paste.

In the past, if that were the case, passengers were usually handed a one-quart, zip-top plastic bag and we stuffed our more than four items in it for a closer inspection at the security check point.

Not anymore. On 29 April 2014, my son and I checked into two different lines at the security checkpoint. He went through quickly, whereas I had to have my toiletry bag checked, was informed of one too many gel-like items. New: instead of being given a bag, I was told to pack up again and buy a bag. As simple as that. “Where can I buy a bag?”, “Over there.” came the very enthusiastic answer. I don’t blame them either. Security screeners, working in a very noisy and strenuous environment and dealing with nervous and/or tired passengers, only make € 6,85 an hour at the Frankfurt Airport. That is before taxes. Some of them are married with children.

After I repacked, gathered my belongings, and put on my boots again, I went to look for this over there machine. By then, I had to rely on this very useful female trait of asking someone for help. I was taken to  the machine. It is the size of a cigarette machine and facing the wrong way. Wrong  in the sense that out-coming passengers can’t see it.

After a very short period of relief,  I noticed I didn’t have the right change. The machine takes only 50cent and 1euro coins. Of course, I had everything else in my purse, but not the required change.

Back to the friendly staff, who helps direct passengers. One of them was able to make change for my two euro coin, so I could buy this darn safetybag packet.

carry-on zip-top plastic bag at Frankfurt Airport

carry-on zip-top plastic bags for sale at Frankfurt Airport

For the readers who wonder why I kept it in carry-on. I was booked on a flight without check-in baggage.

My son was starting to get a bit worried, because I was gone for at least an extra 20 minutes. And he did not know I had to go off to buy this plastic bag. Well, I guess the airport is either trying to cash in on this gold mine OR reduce our carbon footprint by making passengers more mindful.

I will definitely remember this next time. Both bags from the little yellow packet are in my toiletry bag now.

Fact: Always keep a plastic bag (16.2 cm X 24.2 cm or 6.38″ X 9.53″) with you. Running off to make this purchase and separating from your clueless fellow travelers does not improve your travel mood at 6:30am. “Mama, wo warst du denn die ganze Zeit…?”

 

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.)

U.S. Military Schweinfurt in September 2013

My husband, a former lieutenant with the 1-10/5-41 FA stationed in Schweinfurt in the late 80s, gave us a little tour as we were passing by in the car. The post looked deserted.

East gate of Ledward Barracks, along Franz-Schubert-Str. (now exit only)

backgate Ledward Barracks

Ledward Barracks, along Franz-Schubert-Str., looking into empty track park… formerly used by 1-10/5-41 Field Artillery, 3rd Infantry Div.

backgate fence Ledward Barracks

Ledward Barracks, along Franz-Schubert-Str.

backgate road Ledward Barracks

MP station, Ledward Barracks, located on Franz-Schubert-Str.

Marshall Office Ledward Barracks

Another view of the MP station

MP Parking only Ledward Barracks

 

Corner of Franz-Schubert-Str. and Niederwerrnerstrasse

Litfaßsäule

Ledward Barracks, south fence, along Niederwerrnerstr.

Front of Ledward Barracks

Ledward Barracks, closed south gate (right side) along Niederwerrnerstr.

Ledward Barracks front gate

Ledward Barracks, still open south gate (left side), along Niederwerrnerstr.

Gate at Ledward Barracks with taxi

More sources:

* Google map: http://goo.gl/maps/vv5T2

* Third Reich in Ruins: http://www.thirdreichruins.com/schweinfurt7.htm

* Conn Barracks: http://mihalko-family.com/Conn%20Barracks.htm

* The 2014 Closure of USAG Schweinfurt: http://www.schweinfurt.army.mil/closure2014/index.htm