We came to Germany a week ago and are already heading home tomorrow. As usual, we've taken way too many photos and I find it difficult to only post a few, so we'll see how many different posts it takes to cover just this one week! This one will just be our trip TO Germany and the first day. :-)
We got up at 3:45 a.m. and Jörn took six of us to the airport, then drove home and parked the car, and our friend Ken then drove Jörn, Jacob, and our luggage to the airport.
Sunrise over the Mediterranean as we took off from Larnaka--having missed it both Easter Sundays, I was glad to see it that morning.
Elisabeth slept most of the flight to Vienna and woke up cheerful, and then marched through the airport singing "Doe, a Deer". I wondered if anyone thought we'd been on the "Sound of Music" tour in Salzburg...
We made our flight just in time--the children had just sat down when I took this photo, and then while I was putting the camera away, the flight started boarding.
In Düsseldorf we were pleased that our luggage had not made it, because there was another flight from Vienna only an hour or so later, and then our luggage would be delivered. Yay! As we filed the report (with a VERY nice lady who didn't get at all weird about the fact that we have more than 1.3 children, which was quite a cool welcome to Germany), we joked that we'd better hurry up or our luggage might catch up with us and we'd have to take it after all.
We took the "Sky Train" (that is what the hanging monorail in the Düsseldorf airport is called) to the long-distance train station, enjoying all the green out the window.
Then we took a train to Wesel, had lunch at a little mostly take-away Italian place (we took up over half the chairs in the restaurant), then took a train to Hamminkeln and walked the less-than-a-minute to the Globe Europe headquarters where we were staying for most of our time in Germany. There's a gorgeous magnolia right in front:
It was great being here so early and the weather was extremely cooperative. The children played outside for hours, but the only photo I took was this one, of Helen on a "Laufrad". (I don't know what they're called in English, or even if they exist in English! It's a bicycle without pedals, which is helpful for learning balance and just plain fun. The family living upstairs has two little boys who just a week before we came both learned to ride regular bicycles, so they were happy to lend us this Laufrad for Helen and Katie to take turns with.)
About an hour after we arrived, our luggage was delivered: four suitcases (one of them only containing three more empty ones) and three car seats. Three suitcases easily contained everything we needed for the week, the others were for taking back to Germany some of our things that have been stored in friends' attic for the last three years, as well as the books from amazon.de and photos from kodakgallery.de that we'd ordered and had delivered here.