Went to visit Alex & Ian in Ripley. Taylor met us there from Cincinnati. We went to a farm to get pumpkins, go on a hay ride, and explore a massive cornfield maze.
After the accident we had dinner with John, Maria, Mike, and Maura. John stopped by this ruin near Ansbach on the way back to Ansbach. It was pretty cool lit up like this at night. Another thing that was notable was when you looked out on the countryside from the hill it was so dark. It was another way that really showed how the countryside is different here than the U.S. In the U.S. there would be houses and buildings scattered throughout the hills, so there would be street and house lights. Here it was just dark countryside in the twilight. Cars driving on the highway below really stood out because there were not that many and all you would see is their headlights moving along on the highway in the distance. It was a nice chill way to end the night after a long day.
We had some fun with the lights and shadows.
Pictures taken with iPhone 6.
Our wonderful day was interrupted by a VW pulling out in front of us as we traveled along the Bavarian country roads. I was looking at my phone when I heard someone say something, so I looked up to see this green VW car in front of us. We were probably going about 80-85 kph (50’ish mph). So it was a serious collision with air bags deploying. Thankfully for modern safety technology as no one was seriously hurt. There was some bruising from seat belt restraint and abrasions from air bags. Tanya was definitely feeling it for a few days afterwards, but no one went to the hospital.
I must say once we knew everybody was ok, my thoughts were of Mike and Maura. They were such great hosts. Driving us all over the German countryside and then a day before we are going to leave we get in this accident that totals their car. On top of that Mike was managing through recent back surgery, so on top of all the travel the accident was not a good thing. Even when no when is seriously hurt and its not your fault these things suck. Having to deal with insurance companies and all the bureaucracy that come with that is such a pain. Mike and Maura didn’t get resolution on their claim for months.
While it was not a good situation, the scene was quite beautiful in other ways. The day was gorgeous with blue sky and scattered clouds. We were on the edge of a small village. Across the highways were farm fields and windmills off in the distance. Right next to where we were waiting was a small field with three horses in it who had come over to the fence to see what was going on. While we waited, a girl in a tractor when by several times going to and from the fields. It made me think of Alex and her new life on the farm in West Virginia. We saw a lot on this day, but I had not expected any of this.
We were still quite some distance from Ansbach and our transportation was down and out. Mike and Maura were able to contact their friends John and Maria to come and get us. We thought at the time someone would have to go with the wrecker, but that was not the case. This meant we had 6 people in a 5 passenger car, which means we could not buckle up. Let me tell you that I was not comfortable on the ride back to Ansbach driving down the highway and autobahn with no seat belt after being in a serious accident.
On the way back we stopped for dinner with John and Maria. They were very nice and the dinner was a pleasant one. Typical German fair in a outdoor courtyard. It was good to relax, enjoy some food and beer, along with some god conversation.
Here we saw an example on the “trust” in German society. Many homes had a table outside with fruit for sale. Nobody tending. They had a price and one is expected to leave the correct amount of money for what they take.
Here we are at what is considered the “money shot” of places to have your picture taken.
A typical scene in the Bavarian countryside. Villages here and there and typical a church steeple in view.
Driving through the countryside among the farms, villages, and woods we saw fox, storks, an eagle, the massive wild rabbits, horses, and cows.
You see these windmills here and there typically in small groups of 3-5 windmills. Much different than the U.S. where you see large windmill farms with numerous windmills in the same general area.