EUROPEAN VACATION DAY 12 :: GELNHAUSEN, GERMANY ::
, we boarded an early morning flight to Frankfurt. After picking up our car from the airport, we experienced our first drive on Germany's famous autobahns. The dash on the Benz displayed 155 kph (about 96 mph), but we were still being passed. Fahrvergnügen!
Our first stop was in the charming medieval town of Gelnhausen, where I lived between the ages of four through seven, some of the most formative years of my life. My dad was stationed here between 1980-1983, serving in the Army's 3rd Armored Division
as an M1 Abrams tank mechanic.
We lived in Coleman Village, an American family housing area about a mile from the town. My first childhood memories are from Gelnhausen. I remember my first bike, snowball, bee-sting, school, sister, beer and kiss, along with many, many days of happiness and wonder. I had been yearning to revisit Gelnhausen for most of the 26 years I had been away.
As a toddler, I used to walk with my mom to and from the center of town on a scenic path along a tree-lined river. Downtown Gelnhausen is filled with narrow, cobblestoned streets and colorful timbered buildings, much as I remember it. Every corner is still worthy of a postcard. Flowers in the windows invited us into little shops filled with handcrafted toys, fresh bread and ice cream. I had an incredible time retracing the footsteps of my cherished childhood, and sharing that experience with Kristie.
Next stop: The Rhine
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