March 26-31, 2014
Ah, the plans of mice and men. It always looks good and simple on paper, but the reality is never that simple. With the plans that we had for the days following our time at Lanae’s school, it made “sense to fly in and out of Dortmund, Germany. Looking at the map, approximate travel times etc, train schedules etc, it all looked good. So we booked the tickets. Then when it came time to really plan the train, it was a little to tight of a connection to be comfortable. Three of them, in fact. Arrive at a station, and 5 minutes later we were supposed to be on another train heading to the next connection. Those who travel with me know that trains are my story-makers, and this time around we didn’t want to have stories. So we booked a rental car. Thus the autobahn adventure….driving an average of 160 – 170 kms (99-105 mph) and we weren’t in the fast lane. The fast lane made us look like a tractor hauling a wagon of fruit down a country road to a nearby village.
Of course, once we arrived in Germany by the time we got our luggage, got the car, got some food the afternoon had already gone. And we still had a long drive. And of course, it began to rain – which isn’t a problem if you are on a familiar highway going familiar speeds. Which wasn’t the case for us. Unfamiliar highway going a bit over any speed we are used to with cars doing well over what we are used to flashing by in the dark. Would be fun if you all aren’t tired and your nerves aren’t tight already due to life and circumstances from the past while.
So we ended up stopping the night in a little German town at a quaint little hotel up in the hills a few kms off the freeway (praise the Lord for internet search capabilities!). The next day, up early and down the road with the sun shining and everyone feeling much better.
We spent a few days at Friedrichshafen, Germany where Bodenseehof Bible College is located. It was a great time getting to know a few of Lanae’s friends and seeing her world. Many of the students are from North America, which was a blessing for Lanae as it gave her an opportunity to get to know kids from her passport culture when they too felt out of culture.
We then headed north to stay a few days at the home of friends of Lanae & Alicia’s (people they had met over the Christmas break while in Germany), to relax, go for walks over the hill to the nearby village and just enjoy our time together as a family. That time passed all too quickly, and then we were heading back to the airport to catch our flight to Kiev. Lanae spent a week hiking with friends from the school – they did 140 kms over the 5 days – and then got a plane back to Kiev also. That was an answer to prayer, as we didn’t know if the situation in Ukraine would be stable enough for her to come in and then leave again 10 days later.
More photos of our Germany trip are in this album