In approximately February 1992 I took my 13 yr old son, Joe, with me to Germany to visit my s-i-l and niece; my brother had been deployed to the Gulf War and was in Iraq at that time. Here is a picture of Joe on the plane – doesn’t he look studious? I think that was probably the only time he ever opened a book in the entire 2-3 wk. period.
We flew from Baltimore on Icelandic Air, and touched down in Reykjavik, Iceland early in the morning. I had arranged that we would stay overnight and tour the city, and leave for Luxembourg the next morning. I booked a package deal that included the hotel plus a guided tour of the city, dinner, breakfast the following morning and transportation to the airport. Here are some scenes from the guided tour. The very modern structure is a museum dedicated to the artist-designer of the building:
Iceland is volcanic and the hot water is geothermal. Here is a picture of one of the many swimming pools in Reykjavik and you can see the steam rising from the pool, although you fortunately can’t notice the sulphuric aroma. The shower at the hotel was blazingly hot as well.
Our hotel room was sparse and very plain looking, but also very comfortable. Both Joe and I agreed the down comforters were worth their weight in gold. The next day I looked at several shops to buy one, but the cost was too much for a humble single mom!
(Don’t I look like a poodle with my curly perm!)
We had breakfast the next morning and went to wait for our shuttle to the airport. We were informed that the plane was cancelled, and we would be booked on the evening flight. Well that was a bummer, but I decided we would explore the city on foot. The temperature was around 30F which wouldn’t be so bad, except it is too close to the sea to be comfortable and felt much colder. We trod around through snowy streets, stopped to look at interesting things, Joe grumbled a bit as the day wore on, and we finally found a mall – not anything like a big American mall, but a mall nonetheless. In it was a Pizza Hut, and I think it cost me $18 for a big slab of pizza which I gave to Joe. (I would have choked on an $18 slice of pizza back in 1992). A 13 yr old boy is impossible to fill up!
It was finally time to go to the airport and board our flight to Luxembourg. The problem was that we missed the train connection to Mannheim, Germany, as well as the following connection to Karlsruhe. Iceland Air arranged for us to be shuttled in a van to Mannheim, and we caught a bus to Karlsruhe, arriving very late in the evening. We were left at the banhof – the train station. In halting German I asked the only other person in the station how I could get to the US Army post. She turned away and wouldn’t even talk to me. Lucky for us there were several taxis outside, and God bless taxi drivers everywhere, they understood my German and then began speaking to me in excellent English. One of them offered to take us to the Army post, but left us at the guard station. I’m not sure how we managed it, but my s-i-l was expecting us and was out walking around hoping to spot us or find news from the guards.
In my many travels I have learned to be flexible and to just take things as they come – they always work out in the end. I will continue another time with what I can remember of that trip, plus some more pictures from my first trip to Germany when I went to Prague.
The photos being from 1992 and scanned on an old model scanner, haven’t turned out very well and I apologize for the quality. However, I think you can get an idea of what I am trying to convey.