I’m fast approaching two months since I kissed my wife and kids goodbye. That means a couple of things: I’m almost half-way through with this mission and I don’t have a lot more time to get out and see things in Germany. Ever since I got to Germany Laura has encouraged me to get out as much possible and I’ve been trying to do that when our busy training schedule allows.
Last weekend myself and a group from my unit had planned to go to Munich for an overnight trip. Literally twelve hours before we were planning to leave there was a mass shooting in Munich and all travel to the city was cancelled by our brigade due to security concerns. Thankfully, the hotel we’d reserved cancelled our reservations without any issue. In hopes of salvaging the weekend we decided to make an overnight trip to Nurnberg instead.
I’m glad we decided not to give up on our intention to travel because it was a memorable trip. It’s hard to describe visiting an old European city like Nurnberg. Sure, you’ve seen pictures and countless movies with European settings but to actually walk the streets and sit in the street side cafes in the shadows of cathedrals that have existed for centuries is something that simply has to be experienced (caveat – The cathedrals I saw in Nurnberg were heavily damaged in WWII and subsequently rebuilt but that does not take away from their beauty or the fact that they were deemed important enough to rebuild even after being so badly damaged).
One of the highlights for me was getting up early on Sunday morning to walk the streets. The only people up were the street sweepers and I. Then I went to a bakery that was the first place that opened and enjoyed a pastry and coffee. After that, I attended a service at one of the Lutheran churches near the hotel. Despite the service being in German and my not knowing any German, it was still a wonderful experience. The most powerful moment came at the end of the service at the conclusion of the pastoral prayers as the congregation joined in a recitation of The Lord’s Prayer. Even though I didn’t know the German, I recognized the familiar cadence and joined in English. That’s something I will never forget.
I’l leave you with some pictures from the weekend.