Monday, August 17, 2009: Hanau Revisited! No spiffy photos in this segment!!!

Hanau Revisited! No spiffy photos in this segment!!!

We left our little lair in Bayerisch Eisenstein at 7:00 this morning – we checked out with super hostess Margaret doing our best to leave nothing and to make it tidy so not to have a bad reputation! Hanau is 5 hours from B. Eisenstein so we got on the autobahn and commenced with the race! Len kept up with everyone by going 85-90 mph so not to be run over. We stopped at a Rastplatz (rest stop like on a turnpike) for a major shock. In all my combined 8 years living in Germany I have never seen trash laying about….It was hideous – really shocking and I am not kidding. No border town has looked so bad. Len and I have speculated and want to learn more. Our chum told us that the Germans are really fed up and not happy with the Turks (they were very cheap labor in the late 60s-70s) and I suspect there may be parallels in our own country. I mention this because the rest area was a hive of activity with non-Germans. Anyway, I have to sort this out. Point I am trying to make: Clean and tidy Bavaria this wasn’t!

A little background is in order. Two days ago, we were supposed to drive north to see Hanau, where Len and I first came as a married couple in 1971. We were so taken with our little village that we just extended once we learned that there was no way you could get into the post or even near the housing where we lived. Chum, Maureen, was there about 4 weeks ago and she said they were kept very distant by a fence and learned that it was totally inaccessible from a young German guard who was at the closed gate. With that being said, we didn’t expect much; we were more or less off the beaten path aka lost, although we recognized the area due to major construction. After working with Ms. Wonderful GPS Garmin, we made our way to Alt Argonner where we lived in post housing. This same kaserne behind the house was where Len’s company’s maintenance shop was located. He was a young company commander.

And just as Maureen said the area was, boarded up, fenced, and locked! Very disheartening. So we took photos through the fence when we saw two men walking toward us….In my Pigeon German (is that you how spell that kind of German?) I told them we lived there 38 years ago as newly weds….and guess what? They (One Len in front of Co A, 85th Maint Bnwas the property manager and the other represented the Corps of Engineers) went and got the key and let us drive around and take photos and even let us into the old Officers Club where we spent a lot of time with friends we still hold dear! Amazing, isn’t it? They were dear, generous gentlemen who even offered to call Security at Fliegerhorst Kaserne (where I first worked) to let us in but we just let that one go. They explained that the property will be posted for sale through out Europe….so if we ever get back, it will all be gone because of environmental hazard conditions. Our housing was built originally for SS soldiers in WW II….so no OSHA requirements then 🙂

First Apartment After this very sentimental journey, we went down town to see our very first apartment….We arrived in Germany 3 weeks after getting married and we only knew each other 3 weeks when Len left for Germany only to return to get hitched 8 months later! Enough of that. Front Door So it was great to see apartment number 1 and post housing too! The photos will be verrrrrry boring compared to others but will mean a lot to our Hanau friends from yesteryear!

Then went down town to walk around the Markt Platz and see the statue of the Grimm Brothers who were born in Hanau. Had a really bad lunch, really bad. Photo attached. Two sliced boiled eggs sitting in a mayonnaise green sauce (unknown origin) and boiled potatoes. Eeeeeck.

So now we are at the Sheraton airport hotel and will catch flight to Milan tomorrow. Whipped and ready to call it a day. Hope to write more tomorrow but don’t even know if I can post this tonight….no Internet access.

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