Saturday, February 16, 2008

Leaving CV part 2

Since we knew we would be in Germany for 3 years we tried to do and see as much as possible knowing we would never have this amount of leisure time in Europe again.

On Walts afternoons off we would tour the vineyards wine tasting along the Rhine, Mosel and Nahe Rivers. The art of wine tasting includes holding your glass up to the light to check the color and clarity, smelling the bouquet and taking a small sip to savor the essence of the wine. Between different wines a piece of bread is eaten to clean the palate. Wine tasting was not rushed. Walt soon developed an ability to select exceptional wines, his Commanding General had a standing order of one case each time we went.

On the weekends there frequently seemed to be a 'fest' at one of the villages, such as beerfests, winefests, Oktoberfest, cheesefests, we even went to a pretzelfest. All of the 'fests' had parades and the locals would be in costume. There would be much drinking and eating and sometimes fireworks.

If we didn't have any thing planned on a Sunday afternoon we would join the locals at one of the castles for kucken and kaffee. The Germans would walk up to the castle, the castles were always on top of the hill, some times the hike would be as far as 5 miles.

On a weekend we might drive to Luxemburg, a beautiful Grand Duchy, a large American military cemetery is located here. Awe inspiring! Or we might drive down the Romantic Road, 180 miles of some of the most beautiful 14 century medieval towns with walls and towers intact. My favorite of all was Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The story we were told was that during WWII the town was surrounded by US forces but they didnt fire upon it because the army
commanders mother thought Rothenburg was the most beautiful place in Germany. After a while the people surrendered and the town remained intact.

On a 3 day pass we would go to Paris or skiing in the Alps. Our favorite skiing areas were around Berchtesgarden and Garmish Partenkirchen. These resorts had many beautiful old hotels some had been built by the Nazis but most had been confiscated for the SS. After the war the US military confiscated them for our military. We could stay there for very little money and best of all they each had nurserys.

In Paris we would do all the tourist things including the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo or the paintings of Monet, Renoir, Corot, Cezanne etc. We sometimes ate lunch or dinner, with all the lights of Paris below us at the restaurant atop the Eiffel Tower. Because of the weight the restaurant was later removed. Twenty five years later, I was helping our daughter, Lynne, move to New Orleans where she would attend Tulane Medical School, and discovered a New Orleans entrepeneur had purchased the restaurant. It is now open in the Garden District. Small world!

We tried to see and do as much as we could including the Parisian night life. On our first trip we went to the Folies Bergere but quite frankly after you have seen one bare breast you have seen them all. I thought it was boring and wanted to leave at the intermission but Walt couldn't relate to that and insisted he was not bored at all! I am sure all of the males reading this probably would have agreed with him.

More later.


Gary White said...

Thanks for the great memories, Nancy. I well remember Rothenburg and the day I spent walking all over the town, including around the walkway around the outer walls.

Yes, we males seem to be programmed to enjoy bare breasts--aren't you glad??

wayne woodruff said...

Nancy, I thoroughly enjoy reading about your time and travels in Germany/Europe. The Armored Division that was stationed in our base at Crailsheim use to travel to Baumholder for some kind of training or exercises, but I never knew exactly where that was until today when I looked you up on the Google map.
Crailsheim was 44 km. from Rothenburg, so many a Sunday we would drive up there to enjoy the old walled town. I understand that now it is so crowded with tourists that it is difficult to enjoy. We all were lucky to have been there before the tour companies found the place.
Also, we were practically on the Romantic Road, so the drives to Dinkelsbuhl and on south were another frequent week-end jaunt.
One question: Why were you in Germany for three years if you were not career??

Nancy Goode Schmid said...

Wayne, Walt made a deal with his commander that we would get a months leave to go to Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece across the Adriatic Sea to the boot of Italy then north, he would stay an extra 6 months. I think he knew he had 6 more years at Mayo with no rest in sight.

wayne woodruff said...

Someday, when I get old, I would like to make another visit back to the places in Germany that meant so much to us. When I get old.

DFCox said...

Nancy, you are an excellent narrater/scribe. Yes, we medical officers did have some plush duty in Europe. I too bargained for an extra year on active duty and got a month long driving trip thru Scandinavia and the "Land of the Midnight Sun" plus a years duty at Orly Airport in Paris as my premium. That was one of the best bargains I ever made.
Yes I did get to the Folie Bergere, more than once. It was too expensive (even in those days) to make it a regular haunt. I do not remember I ever considered leaving at the intermission. Once I was there with a couple of other young lieutenants and we saw Arthur Godfrey sitting in the front tier with some friends. At intermission we trooped over there to meet him and get an autograph. He was most gracias and started to introduce us to his friend. He said "this is Curt--" and at that point the friend stopped him so he just said "this is a friend"
When we went back to our seats we realized the friend was Four Star General Curtis LeMay, the commander of the Strategic Air Command and one of the big players of the cold war.

Phil Foust said...

LeMay was my commander and those of us in SAC were proud of our organization. LeMay was a racing fan and organized a sports car race using the runways of our Air Force Base.

One of the lessons of life was imparted by Godfrey on one of his radio shows. The subject was friendship and his take was that you would be quite fortunate if at the end of your life you could count one or two 'true' friends. For some reason, I have always remembered his comment and at the time scoffed a bit at his assertion. Certainly, though you might not always be able to determine 'true friendship' the negative circumstances of life make it quite apparent who they aren't.

Having yet to see a bare breast I can only imagine the thrill of such a sight. It is difficult to imagine being so worldly as to be bored by such a perceived delight.

DFCox said...

Oh such a sheltered life you lead Phil !!