Saturday, May 18, 2024

Bis Später, Freiburg

And right as we were about to leave, the sun came out in Freiburg again.  That’s some kind of curse we carry with us, isn’t it?

Greetings from a Holiday Inn right outside of Frankfurt’s airport, where we’re awaiting our flight home tomorrow by, among other things, staring at all the planes coming in for a landing–

It’s kind of interesting what they’re doing in this immediate area.  They're trying to put together a little village, much like Roissy-en-France, outside of Paris, where people awaiting flights can relax and not be surrounded by impersonal buildings.  For instance, there’s a park across the street, a go-kart track next door–

And a couple of restaurants and shops within a hundred meters or so.  A lot of it is still under construction, but I can see what they’re trying to do.

And it’s a good thing.

We woke up one final time in Freiburg today, and after four straight days of rain and cloudy conditions weren’t surprised in the least to find things looked like this–

After all, for the third time in a row, just as we’re about to leave after a rainy & cloudy visit, Freiburg reclaims its title as “Germany’s Sunniest City”.  I know I’ve joked in here quite a bit about us owing the citizens of Freiburg an apology; after the past four days, I’m really standing behind it.

(As, by the way, may be the people from Freiburg.  Late last night we heard some “booms” off in the distance, and ended up watching a fireworks display from our hotel window.  Given the lack of evidence to the contrary, we’re thinking the citizens of Freiburg were celebrating our imminent departure so they could get their nice weather back.)


Before we left we took one last stroll over to the Muenster Markt, which, like Marquette’s market, grows quite a bit when it’s held on Saturday–

Some of the new stalls included flower vendors–

And a French fry stand that even Alice Cooper might get behind–

Another thing that Freiburg has is Solperstiene–

Solperstiene, or “stumbling stones”, is something that a lot of major German cities do.  The stones are laid in the sidewalk outside of homes & businesses owned in the 1930 & 40s by Jewish people.  The stones tell the names of the people who lived there, what date they were arrested by the Nazis, and what their eventual fate was.  Sadly, most of them were killed in concentration camps.  This is done because Germany, more than any other country, realizes that if you don't remember your history you’re condemned to repeat it.  They know that once you start persecuting people because they look differently than you or worship differently from you or love differently than you, evil things can happen.

Germany knows exactly what horrors can occur when “the other” is targeted, and they want to make sure it never happens again.  It’s a lesson that the rest of the world should take to heart.

After a few more wistful glances behind us–

We said “bis später” (see you later) to Freiburg.  I’ll miss this place.  I mean, I won’t miss the cigarette smoke I mentioned a few days ago, but I’ll miss the vibrancy, the beauty, and the history.  It’s a cool city, which is why I really AM sorry we curse it each and every time we visit.

Now it’s all over but the airline hustle back home.  We wake at 5 am here in Frankfurt (11 pm Saturday night in Marquette) and spend (hopefully just) 22 hours going to Charlotte, then to Chicago, then back home.  I will put another one of these up tomorrow; after all, with 22 hours to kill, I have to do SOMETHING, right?  So you’ll get a few stories, a bunch of pictures, and things I haven’t even mentioned that happened during a very busy trip.


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