Friday, August 23, 2013

Ellen Comes to Deustcehland!

So sorry to have kept you all waiting but I am having trouble with uploading recent photos and have been waiting to post them. I am giving in an updating you without them!

Tuesday August 16th at 8:48am THE brave Ellen Pursell landed in Zurich and was immediately launched into the land of the unknown. Although she spent 3 weeks on a treacherous bike trip through Germany in '79 and endured a choir tour or two with a group of 50 ridiculous kids a few years ago, those experiences are nothing like the thrill and adventure of everyday life here in Europe. 210 kmph on the German and Swiss autobahns  straight out of the airport chute can be a bit unnerving. Little did she know that SHE would be one of those drivers!! (insert picture here..)

The first few days we spent getting her past the jet lag. Saturday we went to Colmar, France with our faithful Alexander Adolf, who graciously loaned us his 6 foot 8in. frame as a personal bodyguard and translator while we shopped, ate, and walked into old churches. Saturday evening mom and I went to the Baths in Badenweiller.. mind you, these are European baths.  We were not quite as prepare as we intended. The spa and "Bath" experience in the States is a bit different than here! We had the pleasure of locking ourselves into our changing rooms, not bringing our own towels because everyone knows that when you are getting a spa treatment they at least give you those right? NEIN. Our locker rooms- well everyone's locker rooms, are "co-ed" if you will. As for the relaxing afternoon... well, being in an old Roman-Irish bath was nice.
**Remember this if you ever decide to have a European bath or spa experience.**

Sunday: we had an amazing service at the church. It was so nice to have mom there and for her to meet everyone that I have been investing in and who has equally invested into me these past few months. That afternoon we were invited by m friend Nejeeha from language school to have an Asian feast in her home, as her sister and children had come to town to visit.  We ended up talking around their dinner table for almost three hours about religion, politics, and history! I loved it, especially meeting Nejeeha's husband, who is very much German and knows a ton about historical matters.  Their family is Muslim and it is so good to be reminded that my world can become very small when I do not engage with the world around me. I pray that our time together was fruitful! "Nudge", as Nejeeha likes to be called, her husband is Klaus and he offered to take all of us girls up to a beautiful hiking spot called the Giersnest. Nudge, her sister Eda, and my mom and I had a wonderful time. Poor Klaus!

MONDAY! Our road trip began! Neuschwanstein, Bavaria and King Ludwig's castles, a stay in the foggy glorious mountains in the beautiful town of Fussen; Dachau and driving through Munich; Two nights in Vienna; and tonight is our second night in Salzburg, Austria. We have had the amazing privilege of catching the end of the Salzburg Festival and seeing two world famous pianists play the past two evenings here. I must be close to heaven, surrounded by mountains, a hundred other cultures, and music... and being here with mom. She has been amazing. I would be more detailed but she is actually in bed and was gracious enough to sit with me through a 2 and a half hour piano concert that BEGAN at 9pm. Yes, and I would say that 75 percent of the rather large crowd were senior adults, decked out in downs, tuxes, and traditional German attire. I could not believe they were still up!

I think I have found my place, come into my element, and may never come back. Love you all, details later with the pics!