Of course, since we were so close I had to go visit a few old haunts. I lived in Germany for sixth grade through my first year of university (in Munich) - our first apartment was in Gladbach, the second was at Speicher Government Leased Housing, the whole time I went to school in Bitburg.
(We also lived in Ramstein while I was in kindergarten through fourth grade, but I only forced my family to reminisce with me over the Speicher-Gladbch-Bitburg time).
So here are the photos. It's amazing how things change over time. Everything always looks bigger and brighter in your memory. Time has a way of peeling paint, over-growing bushes, and miniaturizing things.
Here's my high school:
Here's the Speicher apartment - we were the ones on the bottom of the fourplex.
This was the Spar market. All three aisles of it were jam-packed with just about e wry thing that you could think of. And of course you could buy the best candy - scooping it out of the glass containers. It's empty now.
The center marketplace with the fountain - the water was just as dirty as ever!
This was new, an Imbiss stand. But it was perfect timing for our lunch!
After an insane amount of of pommes, bratwurst, and schnitzel sandwiches, we were quite stuffed and drove onto our next location.
And here is the Gladbach apartment - we were the attic apartment. Next door (left side in this view) was a farm, more exactly it was the stables for the cows.
The cows would leave the barn in the morning and walk up the street to the fields. In the evening they would walk back down to their home. Most days there was a rather pungent smell coming from the area around the stables. But it was the highlight of the day to watch the cows go past. Would you believe that the stables are now apartments? It changes the whole feel of everything.
And this is the town playground/soccer field/festival field. The May Pole is standing in the same position as always - the playground equipment is a little newer.
The kids were amazing and humored me through all the driving and just pointing at things. Not one complaint! It has been quite an amazing experience to share all of this with them.