Busy but short week. I am playing catch up with my all of my favorite blogs and still posting my after action reports from last week's road trip.
Previously, I noted that I like to get out and explore the countryside. German cities are unique and have character. Frankfurt and Hanau are large, older cities with sizeable populations. They both have lots of interesting sights to see, areas to visit, but I prefer the smaller towns outside of those area. Small villages with unique flavor and interesting sights that aren't in any tourbook. Each town seems to have something unique characteristic or historical site. Hanau-Steinheim (where I initally stayed) has a fortress that surrounded the main town It has three old towers and the fortress walls are still standing. I spent time exploring the old town trying to discover the history behind the fortress. Lots of narrow cobble stone streets and small cafes and biergartens.
I finish up my business early and took an extra few days to revisit our old post south of Stuttgart which was about 3 hours southeast of Frankfurt. Drove through the wine region along the Rhine river through towns like Bad Durkheim, Forst, Deidesheim, Konigsbach, all with rolling hills, vineyards, and the occasional castle/schloss. Finally migrated my way over to Böblingen/Stuttgart after a slight (3 hour) delay on the autobahn. Wound up finding a small Gasthaus in Böblingen just down the hill from our old base. The post (Panzer Kaserne) is still there and still active with US troops. Given the hightened security status, I did not try to cajole my way onto the base using the old retired captain, used to live here 25 years ago, ex-Army schtick. Figured it wouldn't buy much traction with the new guys, so I spent most of my time exploring the old town of Böblingen where we lived for almost 5 years. The town hasn't changed all that much over the past 25 years. I was lucky to have stumbled into a festival going on downtown that took up most of the old town area. Able to enjoy a few beers, some brats, and music with a lot of local townfolk.
Left Böblingen early Saturday to head back to Frankfurt/Weisbaden. Took in some small towns along the way, did a volksmarch, toured the old Heidelberg Castle, explored the market of Weisbaden. Wrapped up my adventures with another volksmarch early Sunday before heading out to the airport to catch my flight home. Along the way, I toured a number of small towns, cities with really interesting sights/architecture.