Fred and Doreen's European Adventure

Fred and Doreen’s European Adventure, Part 1
Sept 2, 2011
We arrived at Frankfurt Airport early this morning after a long overnight flight from Detroit. We whizzed through Customs and headed to Hertz for our rental car. With no one ahead of us, we quickly got our papers and headed for the garage to pick up our Volkswagen Golf. Then our troubles began. We first had trouble opening the hatchback door to load our luggage. After a while, Doreen magically opened it and we got loaded up. Next we tried to get in to the front seat but since the seats were way up, we could not enter the car, After trying every conceivable knob, we got help from a stranger who eventually found a lever under the seat and we were able finally to move the seats back and get in. Next came the Navigation System which defied every attempt we made to enter a destination address. At least it was in English; some others had one in Spanish and they were waiting for assistance. We finally got the address keyed in and headed out into Frankfurt with our stick shift Volkswagen. Since I had not driven a stick shift since the 80’s, I had considerable problems. We also had map quest directions, which proved futile and relied completely on the GPS System. The sound was hardly audible and we immediately took a wrong turn and headed back to the airport. After circling several times we got on our way but frequently made wrong turns not being able to hear the GPS voice or just took wrong exits. I also stalled the car at least twice. In addition, we found ourselves frequently going 130 KM per hour and having German drivers zip by us since many sections on the autobahn have no speed limit After driving what seemed like an eternity, we got on the correct highway and reached our destination , my friend’s house in Gondershausen. He said we made good time and got there when he expected.

We were treated later to a home made dinner (which they served at noon) of reger schnittzle and spaetzle and red cabbage. It was real German food. My friend Jim was a fraternity brother of mine and settled in Germany after a career in the Air Force. His wife Christal is a German national and is proud of her cooking skills.

Later in the day, we drove to an old castle ruin in St. Goar and then took a ferry boat across the Rhine and then drove to Koblenz, where the Mosel river meets the Rhine. We walked to the AltStadt (Old Town) area, and had some German beer and appetizers. Most people we ran in to spoke English except some Austrians sitting next to us who were asking me about the Tea Party since I told them I was American.. I don’t think they really understood English so my friend conversed with them in German. We left early and crashed when we got back to Gondershausen, not having had sleep for two days.
Fred and Doreen Braeseker

Fred and Doreen’s European Adventure, Part 2
Sept 3, 2011
We are still at Jim and Christal’s. Jim went out early to get rolls at the local bakery which is his daily routine. We enjoyed the rolls with a variety of sliced meats and cheese as well as butter, honey, jelly, and freshly brewed coffee, European style. We then found out that it was Jim’s birthday and they would be celebrating with a special meal and his daughter Monika and granddaughter Sophie would join us. Christal cooked the meal which included rouladen (beef rolled up and cooked in mushroom gravy), gernnoodles (a potato dumpling of some sort, with gravy), and white asparagus.

After dinner, we sang Happy Birthday to Jim and enjoyed a 3-layer German cake with custard and oranges baked by Monika.

Later in the afternoon, we walked down the streets of Gonderhausen and then into the woods to a small chapel built by local townspeople who were grateful that their prayers were answered. We walked by the church and rectory which no longer housed a priest but had been turned into a restaurant. After returning home, we decided to go to the rectory for early evening snacks. We chose to sit in the garden behind the rectory and had flammekuchen which is a German style white pizza with oinions and of course enjoyed a German beer. The evening was cool and the garden was a perfect setting to enjoy the German atmosphere..
Fred and Doreen Braeseker

Fred and Doreen’s European Adventure, Part 3
Sunny in Trier. Raining in Krakow.

Sept 4, 2011
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Actually our day today was pretty much that way. Jim and Christal suggested that we visit Trier, the site of ancient Roman ruins. We naturally agreed and set out in the morning. It was a fairly long trip and was very close to the border of Luxemburg. The ruins we visited were 2000 years old and we were fortunate to arrive when they were having a Roman Festival. There were a variety of displays and events recreating Roman practices. They had demos of making coins the ancient Roman way, they had swords and other weapons displayed, and people dressed in the garb of the old Romans, There were also many people dressed as Roman gladiators. We talked to one of them who surprised us when he and his fellow gladiators were all Englishmen and not Germans. We asked one of them if he new of the battle near the end of the Roman Empire where the Romans were tricked and led into a forest and all 10,000 were slaughtered. He said yes and that his group actually appeared in such an event that was filmed by National Geographic and is to be shown on Nat. Geo next year. We took his picture and we told him we would look for him in the TV show. He laughed and said to look for the soldier with the scowl on his face.

Afterwards, we drove to the old city center. To enter, we walked through the Black Wall which was an ancient ruin. We had our normal mid-day dinner there at one of the outdoor cafes. As time was getting on, we decided to head for Frankfurt Hahn Airport which we would be flying out of to Poland. We arrived early as usual and got through their security which was lax to non-existent. We went to our gate and the the monitor showed the flight number and scheduled time but there was no attendant at the gate. We sat there for hours and it was not until the flight was already 30 minutes late that there was an announcement over the loud speaker that the flight was delayed and we would simply have to wait. After waiting another hour or so, they announced a plane would be arriving from Holland and we would leave at 9:15. We finally left at 9:30, over 2 hours after the original flight time.

We arrived at Rzeszow, Poland at 11:30 PM and fortunately, the Hertz employee waited for us to come to pick up our rental car, even though they were actually closed. He also led us to our hotel. Upon arriving, we did not know where to park since there were several Palacial looking buildings. We parked near the entrance and walked to one building but that was a wedding hall and a Polish Wedding was being celebrated there. We finally walked to the building near the back and into what was the hotel lobby. They had our reservation and we signed in and then they directed us to stay in the building back near the entrance. We struggled back there with our suitcases and then had to climb up some rickety stairs, down an unlighted hall and guess at the room we were in. We finally found it and went inside. The room was old, quaint, with old Polish décor. The toilet leaked on to the floor, the TV was black and white with 2 stations in Polish. We did enjoy the dubbed in movie with Robert De Niro speaking Polish. We had no air conditioning so left the windows open and then we were greeted with loud Rap music coming from the young people who stayed after the wedding singing along to the music. They got louder as time went on and we had another sleepless night.
Fred and Doreen Braeseker

Fred and Doreen’s European Adventure, Part 4
Sept 5, 2011
We met our guide and translator Irec Thomas after breakfast at the hotel dining room. We drove to the village of Swilcza. We stopped at the Church and could not get in. Irec found the rectory and the priest invited us into his office. He retrieved an ancient record book with yellow, tattered, and torn pages. The priest, Irek and myself looked for any records of my maternal grandmother, Mary Worosz. I shortly found her birth record in this book. I recorded the information and Fred took a photo of this page. The rectory did not have a copy machine. I was excited to actually see and touch the pages of this old book of records. I could actually feel my heart beating. We tried to find other records in this book but none could be found. The priest was very helpful. We walked to the location of the original church that burnt to the ground. We also walked through the cemetery looking for names that were familiar. We found Zduns, Tralas, Batog. Also found my Doctors family name. We then went toTrzebownisko, the local town that had records. I found my maternal grandfather’s, Josef Tomaka’s, birth record. They were very helpful but had limited records. They photo copied his birth record for me.

We tried several times by phone and stopped by the church in Laka but we had no luck. Fred kept saying the priest was in Vegas.

We had lunch at Pierogi World. They had 26 varieties of Pierogi’s-more than Howard Johnson had of ice cream. We did not care for them but smiled as if we enjoyed them since Irek chose this restaurant.

We went to Lancut Castle in Rzeszow but it was closed.

After finishing the research of the day, the second highlight was Fred’s driving a stick shift car. Irek was kind enough to advise Fred on Polish driver rules of the road.

We went to our next hotel…and rested. We were very tired from walking from churches and cemataries. It was an exhausting day especially for Fred who was in charge of the driving.

After a short rest we went to Rynek (city center) in Rzeszow. It is the Old Market Place and we had Turkish food. There were very many young people in town. It was good to see them enjoying themselves but again we were the oldest.

We had a good night rest for our next day!!!

PS I was surprised how large the homes were in Laka.
Fred and Doreen Braeseker

Fred and Doreen’s European Adventure, Part 5
Sept 6, 2011
We had breakfast in the hotel. Irec met us at 8; 15 am. Fred was waiting anxiously to get his hands on the steering wheel. We took a tour of Lancut castle near Rzeszow. It was very ornate but interesting. Now why wasn’t that my ancestry. It was owned by the richest family of Poland.

Fred drove to Radamy-Wielki. It was a very long ride. It is the county seat of the Midura & Smaitacz families (my fraternal grandparents.) My Dad always talked about having a brother John in Poland. Well, I found a record of him. It had his birth record, marriage record and death record. They copied them for me. I noticed something very unusual.. I also saw that Aniela Smiatacz Midura was recorded as a mother of a child named Fransica and the father was Valentine Weglanz. This birth was three months after the birth of John. This will take some research when I come home. (Ceil this is our next project) We tried several times to meet with the priest where Aniela belonged but the priest was not there. He was with the other priest in Vegas. We walked through the cemetery looking for names that were familiar to me. This church was in Ruda, Poland. The homes in this city were fairly new with a lot of new construction of homes.

We drove to Rydzow where my grandfather Marcin Midura was from. The two cities are next to each other. We drove through a beautiful forest. We went to the church of Rydzow. Irec called the rectory and the priest invited us in. I found my grandfather’s birth record. Again the record books were old. It was a thrill. The priest showed us a picture of the priest that signed his birth record. Father (In and Out) ushered us out of the rectory very quickly. We took a few photo ops and proceeded to the cemetery. We only found one Midura. The cemetery had only current generations.

We left the area and drove to Tarnow, Poland. Irek found a hotel for us. The area was sponsoring Polonia to perform and all of the hotel rooms were booked for this event.

We ate in Tarnow. We said good bye to Irec. He made our trip very enjoyable. He knew English and Polish. He taught us the road signs, ordered food for us. He knocked on rectory doors, called the rectories, and found other sources of records. He also keyed in GPS destinations for us. We would have been lost without him. We both enjoyed him and I think he enjoyed us.

Tomorrow we leave for Krakow
Fred and Doreen Braeseker

Fred and Doreen’s European Adventure, Parts 6,7, and 8
September 10, 2011
Since much of what has transpired in the last few day relates to flying or driving, we have consolidated. three days into one journal. We left Tarnow, Poland via rental car headed for Krackow, Poland. We had no schedule to keep so we were in no hurry to arrive there. It was a good thing since we got lost several times even with the help of a GPS system but quickly found our way. We arrived in Krackow around 1:00 PM finding it to be a very bustling town with lots of traffic and many people on the streets. We found our hotel, the Francuski, and registered. We let the attendant park our car in there garage and decided not to try to drive at all but just explore by walking. We first walked into the old market square in the Rynek or City Center. We heard the famous trumpeter of Krakow on our way. We returned to the hotel as rain began to fall and had afternoon tea and Polish pastries. Later that evening, we returned to the square for dinner of, would you believe, Kentucky Fried Chicken-Kentucky Menu. It was pretty good. We did some shopping and went back to the hotel for the evening.

The next day, we decided to go to a ski resort area south of Krakow called Zakapone. Since there was no regular tours of any type, we hired a private taxi who drove us in style in his Mercedes. Doreen finally felt like Polish royalty. He dropped us off for several hours and we toured the town which has a quaint old style architecture with a lot of wooden construction. However, the town was loaded with kiosks where vendors sold souvenirs and a lot of junk. We were disappointed that these detracted from what was a very nice town otherwise. We had a traditional Polish lunch at a rustic restaurant which we enjoyed very much. We again encountered rain and made our way back to our taxi for the ride back to Krackow. Later in the evening, we walked back to the old square where we went to a restaurant recommended by our driver but found it to be too conventional and would up at another Polish style restaurant. We were seated at a table near the door and it happened to be right next to the area where the entertainers performed. The cello player kept bumping her bow into my knee since she was right next to me. She really wasn’t very good but the keyboard player was good and that made them enjoyable. The food was good however. We left at a break in the music and walked around the square and again heard the trumpeter and the church bells. Again we had rain and headed back to the hotel.

The following day, we left the Francuski Hotel and headed from Krackow to Rzeszow airport in our little Renault Clio with our less than trusty GPS system. The trip took longer than we expected, about 4 ½ hours, and sure enough, it made us take several wrong turns. We had plenty of time before our flight however, and had lunch at the airport. We left on time and actually arrived a little early on our RyanAir flight. The day was sunny, the flight was good and when we landed, many people clapped and cheered. We think it was because people cheer if the plane actually arrives on time since they always tout the fact that they have the best on time arrival of any airline. Upon arriving at Frankfurt Hahn airport, we picked up our rental car. Unfortunately, just as we were ready to pick up the car, it began to pour. After waiting for some time, we headed to the car. This time, our GPS was in Spanish and we could not get it into English. We had help with this as well as entering our destination into the GPS. We then headed out toward Holzminden which was 400 KM away hoping to get there by 11:00. It was about 7:00 PM when we started our trip. We made one wrong turn but the GPS got us back on track and we headed northeast on what turned out to be a number of different autobahns. We had one major delay due to road construction that cost us at least a half hour but other than that we made good time. However, it was foggy and rained most of the time and we never could figure how to adjust the settings for a/c, defrost, temperature, etc. Also, on most places there was no speed limit and you could drive as fast as you wanted. I found that most people were passing me but I was able to pass a few oversized trucks. As I gained a little confidence at driving 90 mph, I did pass up some of the slower drivers. Doreen claimed I was driving ‘white knuckled’ and she was saying the rosary the whole trip. We arrived in Holzminden around 11:00 PM and the GPS was pointing us to the wrong address for the hotel. We fortunately found a young lady actually out riding her bike at that time and she directed us to the hotel. Since the hotel was locked at this hour of the night, we retrieved our key from the mail box, and inserted the key in a slot in the concrete wall, turned it, and the door swung open. To our amazement. The note said we were to be in Room 6 on the first floor but with help from some other late arriving guests, found our room on the second floor instead. More on this later.
Fred and Doreen Braeseker

Fred and Doreen’s European Adventure, Parts 9, 10,11, and 12
September 12, 2011
The Rosenhof Hotel was like an old bed and breakfast. Our room was quite large and the bathroom was huge. The rooms were very clean with an antique look. The beds were very comfortable. Everything was well made and maintained perfectly. We had to register for our room since we got in late the previous night and then had a buffet breakfast in their garden room which was not the traditional European buffet. The food was more American. We drove to downtown Holzminden and walked around the city center where a farmers market was going on. We got some restaurant tips from locals and then headed back to the hotel. The homes we saw along the way were very large and of traditional German architecture. Later in the afternoon we went to visit my genealogy researcher, Irmgard Meise, and and her daughter, Angelika, and son-in-law Norbert. We enjoyed two different cakes. One was baked by Norbert and was blackberry filled with whipped cream frosting and sprinkled with pistachios. It was a thing of beauty and delicious. The other was a more traditional German torte which was also very good. We discussed some genealogy issues and then took a ride to several ancestral villages. Of most interest was the town of Deensen where my 5th great grandfather, Conrad Broseker was married and died. We visited the current church, St. Nicolai, which is the 4th one on the same site and was built in 1856. Conrad was married in the second church when it was a Catholic church. It is now a Lutheran church. The inside of the sacristy was all white and they cleaned it and noticed that paintings began to appear so they restored this artwork to its original appearance. The original church was built in 1509.The land that the church was built on was given to the town by a wealthy nobleman named Von Campe The baptismal stone in the current church was made in 1603 and was put in the river by the towns people after the 3rd church was destroyed by fire to preserve it. It was there for 50 years and then retrieved and put into the current church when it was built. Engraved on the baptismal stone is the name Grote which is also the name of some of my ancestors who lived in Deensen and, also happens to be the maiden name of my genealogy researcher Irmgard, so we may be related in some way.

Much of the information was provided by a church volunteer name Anga who happened to be in the church when we visited. We later drove past the area where Conrad lived and worked as a wheel maker. His house is no longer there but there are other house on the site currently. We also visited the little village of Schorborn where one of my ancestors was born. The town had a glass industry until the end of the 1800’s.

The next day turned out to be my best day with regard to genealogy. After breakfast at the Rosenhof, we walked around the neighborhood to enjoy the old German architecture and then at 11:30, went back to Irmgard’s for a mid day meal. Angelika and Norbert cooked the meal in their apartment which happened to be wiener schnitzel and potato salad which were both delicious.For dessert, they served ice cream surrounded with a variety of berries and topped with chocolate and custard. We then set out for a tour of the remaining villages. In the village of Hellental where my grandfather was born, we went to visit the little museum. It so happened that the village was having an event to publicize the museum, so when we went inside, one of the women began telling us about the village history. The village was founded in 1745 and was built by glassmakers. The industry relied heavily on the forest for wood to heat the ovens to make the glass. But as the source of wood became insufficient for the glass makers, they left Hellental. It did retain its forest industry however since many of the workers chose to stay in Hellental as forestry workers, I told the woman that my grandfather and his brother were born here and she asked what their last name was. I told her the name and she said we could aske a man named Zeitz if he was familiar with my ancestral name and he said yes. He then proceeded to show me a book written by a Dr. Weber about the area to see if there was any record of my ancestral name which was ‘Broseker'. Sure enough, it was not only listed but there were many Brosekers, some I was aware of and others I was not. The most amazing thing for me was the record showing my grandfather’s family with his mother, father, brother, and three additional children that I had never been aware of. Irmgard was not aware of them either. There was no photocopy equipment there for me to copy the pages but we were given permission by Dr. Weber, who just happened to be there, to take photographs of the pages. We talked to him a little and he also gave us some additional website information. It was pointed out that there might be or at one time a Broseker lived on the top of the hill. We drove up part way but had no idea where to look so continued to other towns. In addition, we visited the villages of Braak, Escherhausen, Heinade Merxhausen, and the town of Stadtoldendorf. In the latter, we went inside the church since the pastor of the church was a relative of Irmgard and Angelika. We toured the church which happened to be the one where my 3rd great grandfather Johann Christian Friedrich Broseker married Antoinette Louise Friederike Muller. Johann happen to be the son of Ludewig Broseker and Catharine Marie Allerkamp, and was born out of wedlock. Ludewig was a bad boy but he testified to the church that he was the father. We finished our tour of the ‘Weser Bergland’, the German name for the area where the villages were located. We returned to Holzminden and said our ‘auf wiedersehns’ to Norbert, Angelika, and Irmgard as the rains began and headed for Hannover.

Our hotel in Hannover was the Mecure Hannover Mitte. It was the nicest hotel we stayed in. The room was large, clean, and modern and everything worked. We did not stay long there, however, and headed out at 8:30 AM to meet Pastor Ahlers. I previously communicated with him via e-mail and had made arrangements to meet him. He is the current pastor of the church in Hannover where my grandfather’s brother was married. It was St. Marien-Kirche zu Hannover Hainholz. We discussed the type of information I was searching for with regard to my genealogy. Afterwards he took us on a tour of the church. The Chor (which was either the altar or chapel) was built in approximately 1400. Other milestones included the figures of Mary and St. John in 1520, the baptismal stone made in 1637, and the construction of the current church in 1825-1828. Part of it had to be rebuilt due to damage during World War II. After our meeting with Pastor Ahlers, we went to the State Archives. After extreme difficulty in finding the place, we finally met with a woman there and found that they have no records of any type related to ancestry. We thanked her for her time and left. We next went to the Archives of the City of Hannover. I was looking for records of my ancestors in Hannover since they supposedly moved out of the rural villages to Hannover. The person who greeted us said the first step was to pour through the huge books they had for each year from approximately 1890-1910 to find a reference to my family name. Each appeared to have lists by occupation which basically were undecipherable plus an alphabetic list by name. Doreen and I both reviewed the books and found nothing. The gentlemen helping us did some searching on his own and also found nothing. He then made some other suggestions for searching; one of them we planned to do anyhow but the others did not look promising. We left the facility and got to the car to find that we had a parking ticket even though the person at the City Archives told me it was ok to park on the street. We decided to pay the ticket right away to avoid any problem with our rental car when we turned it in. We went to the address listed on the ticket and I got in line not being sure if I was in the right place. A young man behind me heard me talking to a woman who was also in line and took it upon himself to find the right place to pay the ticket and walked me up to the correct location where I paid it. On the way back down, he told me that the company he worked for had recently bought the Morton Salt Company and that he had traveled to Chicago where they were headquartered. He also had traveled elsewhere in the U.S. I tried to give him a tip for helping me but he refused. He truly was a nice person. Our next stop was at the Kirchenbucamt Hannover where records from 1874 and prior are kept. Unfortunately, they could not accommodate us since all of their work areas were taken so I made a reservation to stop by there on our way back from Bremen. We then headed for the city of Bremen
Fred and Doreen Braeseker

Fred and Doreen’s European Adventure, Part 13
September 13, 2011
Today was a more relaxing day than usual but we still had quite a bit of driving to do. We started the morning with breakfast in the hotel. During breakfast, we talked to a young man who we had also talked to in the hotel lobby the previous night. At that time, he told us he lived in Holzminden so we explained we just came from there and had spent several days with my German researcher. I believe I mentioned the street she lived on. In any event, the young man had talked to his wife overnight about this and apparently she happens to be friends with my researcher Irmgard and Angelika and Norbert since she knew Angelika from the kindergarten she worked at. Small world.

We decided to drive on early to the furthest outpost on our trip, the city of Bremerhaven. This is where my grandfather as well as several of Doreen’s grandparents emigrated from to the United States. The port was beautiful with spectacular buildings surrounding it. While we did not see any ocean going passenger ships, we did see a large sail boat from Poland. It appeared to be a training boat of some sort and we saw some individuals in uniform and some others who appeared to be deck heads. We think it was sponsored by a Polish university. We took quite a few pictures here and then headed for the the German Emigration Museum. Our main goal was to see if they had any emigration records on our ancestors. We did the tour through the museum which depicted the lives of individuals going through the emigration process. It was quite good and we expected at the end to have access to the records. However, we were in for a disappointment. Thye had and their database was only from the 1920s forward. We then decided to try to find the office of the ticket agent my grandfather used. I was not sure if it was in Bremen or Bremerhaven. We searched first in Bremerhaven and found a Kindergarten at the address I was looking for. We then gassed up the car and headed back to Bremen. We spent some time in Bremen looking for the ticket agent office there and found several possible locations that could have been the right spot but do not know for sure. We stopped and had lunch in a little snack shop that was part of the local ALDI supermarket. The food was not so good but the desserts we had were really good. We then headed back towards Hannover where we plan to do further research at another archive. We avoided the major highway this time knowing it was under construction and instead took a route that went through a lot of small towns and villages that were quite enjoyable to see. We checked into the Ibis Hotel when we got back to Hannover. We decided to walk to dinner that evening but after walking for about half an hour and not finding it, we came back to the hotel and had dinner there. We turned in at a reasonable time and of course were tired from the day’s activities.
Fred and Doreen Braeseker

Fred and Doreen’s European Adventure, Part 14
September 14, 2011
We got up early and skipped the hotel buffet breakfast and headed for the golden arches where I had a very non-German breakfast of Egg McMuffin with Sausage and coffee. Doreen’s breakfast was a little healthier with fruit, etc. plus coffee We then headed to the archive down the street from McDonald’s called the Kirchenbuchamt which is a registry of church records; at least that’s what I think it is. I was hoping to find any older information they might have on my ancestors which was from 1874 and older We were greeted by Frau Klein who took us to the registration area where we had to pay 9 euros. She then introduced us to one of there staff who explained that we would be working with microfiche. He first gave us some fiche for Holzminden and we could find nothing. He then realized that these were for the city only and not the smaller villages arround Holzminden. I gave him a list of all of the villages I was interested in and mostly, Hellental where my grandfather was born. He said people from there would fall under another town called Hainade where the records were kept. Doreen and I closely reviewed this fiche and could find nothing. We decided we were not going to find anything so we informed him that we did not believe these records contained anything helpful to us. He then asked about our research at the City of Hannover where we tried to get information that covered information from 1874 until the early 1900’s. We explained that we had to review books that contain names of residents but never found my family name in any of the books. He explained that they should have given me a marriage certificate for the marriage of my grandfather’s brother but I had never requested this since I already had the information from the church and did not need a certificate. He gave us his e-mail address if we needed further help in pursing records with the City and we left.

We decided to leave for Frankfurt to drop off the rental car at the airport and then catch a shuttle to our hotel. We did not have an address for the airport but some previous user of the GPS had set ‘Frankfurt am Main’ into the GPS so we thought this would take us there. We took some minor highways trying to avoid the autobahns. We drove through many small towns and villages which were quite beautiful. We stopped for lunch at a rest stop and had a very large lunch that was quite good . It was similar to ones is the US. We drove on towards Frankfurt Airport stopping only for gas. We got closer and closer to Frankfurt and wondered where the airport was. We wound up in the heart of Frankfurt with no airport in sight. The GPS rejected every entry we tried with respect to the Frankfurt Main Airport. Doreen finally thought that we should key in the address of the hotel we were going to which was near the airport. Fortunately, I had the reservation confirmation and it has the hotel address which we keyed in and the GPS took us there. We checked into the hotel and more importantly unloaded our bags at the hotel. The hotel staff gave us directions to the airport which we followed and finally got there and found the Hertz drop-off area. We turned in the car and of course explained that we got a parking ticket which we had paid. We gave them the ticket and receipt and they accepted that and took possession of the car. I was extremely relieved that I did not have to drive anymore. Wer then found the shuttle that took us back to our hotel. Instead of having dinner at the hotel, we went to the supermarket across the street. They had a deli of sorts and I ordered a roll and several cuts of lunch meat to make a sandwich. The lady barely spoke any English but asked what I wanted on it and I said ketchup. She almost had a heart attack since they don’t use ketchup there, I guess. Doreen had a nectarine and a pretzel/croissant. We enjoyed our meal back a the hotel then re-packed and organized everything for our return trip to the U.S. Our European Adventure was coming to an end.

Note : We left the hotel the next morning, caught the shuttle to the airport and found our Terminal and Gate with no problem. We arrived in plenty of time to catch our flight back to the U.S. The flight was 9 hours but it was smooth with nice weather, and we were well fed on the plane, even dessert. Our European Adventure had come to an end.
Fred and Doreen Braeseker


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