I returned from my two week trip to Germany last Saturday night. It was a very good trip. I received what I consider to be the best professional training (non-college) that I have ever had. I will put some pictures up later, I am still trying to organize everything, I just wanted to make a few quick notes about the trip.
As always, I flew into Frankfurt and arrived at about 0600 their time. The flight from Detroit was only 7.5 hours, we must have had a good tailwind. Nothing has changed much in the Frankfurt airport in the 10 years since I have been there last. There seems to be continuous construction there. The airport is still confusing from the point of arrivals. Departures are no problem, but picking people up there has always been tough because it is hard to find which secured area they will emerge from. People are still allowed to smoke everywhere there. I had a cold and a sore throat when I went there, and the smoke was brutal. The airport is still crowded as hell with very few places for people to meet up, wait, etc. One nice note, they do have a Starbucks in terminal 1 now.
I met up with a few of my colleagues around 1000. We had to wait until 1530 for more of our colleagues to arrive. We ended up getting out of the airport around 1600 and starting our trip to Aachen. It was a long drive due to the limited velocity of the small tour bus we were on, additionaly there was an accident on the autobahn that turned it into a parking lot for about an hour. We arrived in Aachen around 2100. My colleagues went out for supper, I went to bed, I was too tired to function. We spent 2 days in Aachen at the technical university. Aachen is an old industrial town. It was very nice.
After 2 days in Aachen, we got back on the bus and drove to Hamburg. We spent 3 days at the University of the German Armed Forces. The university is a place where veterans can study free of charge. It really pisses me off that the US does not have some federal (not state) equivalent of this. The university was very nice. It was small, but the architecture was very cool. Lots of glass and metal, very clean lines. This place was very clean and organized, exactly what I would expect from a group of military veterans. This university would be an excellent place to study.
We spent several nights and Saturday touring Hamburg. I had never went to Hamburg when I was stationed in Germany. It is a very nice town, very clean. There is a lot to see and do there.
After 4 days in Hamburg, we got back on the bus and drove all the way to the Southern border town of Offenburg. I had been near Offenburg before when I was stationed in Germany. Offenburg is a very nice town, and the entire area surrounding it is very nice. It is at the base of the black forest. We spent a week in Offenburg. We went to several local restaurants and one in Strassbourg France. They were all pretty decent.
I left Frankfurt Saturday morning at 0730 and arrived in Detroit at 1200. I had a 6 hour wait for my flight to Moline, which turned in to about a 7.5 hour wait due to the neverending delays. I really need to move to the Chicago area, someplace close to Ohare so that I don’t have this happen so much. I got home around 2200 Saturday night.
The trip back to Germany was nice. I will say some more about it soon.