Sunday, April 27, 2014

From Buchen to....

If last week was three weeks, I suppose that would make this week four.  How time flies!

I remember when I first started doing this stuff how I would blink and be halfway done with the mission.  The tempo seems to be moving at a steady clip but there’s no real sense of rushing.  I reckon we have merely hit our stride and getting out of Sindelfingen and into Buchen was a pleasant transition.  Some folks on the team moan about not being nearer to a downtown-like area, but overall I think everyone prefers the homey qualities of small towns, especially in the hotels.

We’ve actually lodged the last week at the Löwen Hotel in Hettigenbeuern which is about 7 km from Buchen proper.  Hettigenbeuern is a village nestled in a valley with majestic trees and picturesque farmland running along the hills.  The staff at the hotel consists mainly of a family with a couple other folks.  They’ve been great and tonight I just learned that the cook used to be a cook in the Bavarian Navy.  The food has been delicious each morning and night – for lunch we’d go into town to get sandwiches at a bakery to take with us to the site.

And the site – mein Wort…it was in another forest but this time with no garlic-like plants.  There was practically no underbrush to speak of and I felt as though I was in a cross between the forest in E.T. and the one on Endor in Return of the Jedi. 

A local archaeologist assisted us in our work for a couple days and one day a fellow from the local police precinct helped as well.  He’d regale us with crazy stories about his work; it was quite fascinating.  He reminded us of a more personable version of Steven Seagal, what with his badass ponytail, yet friendly nature.

Buchen itself is a gem of a town.  The original downtown area retains the original medieval layout which consists of twisty cobblestone streets, tall, crowded buildings, all manner of bakeries, shops and such, and a rather old church at the main square with some historical sculptures, statues, and frescoes. 

An interesting part of the square is the contrast between the World War 1 and World War 2 memorials.  The WW1 memorial is a tall, majestic, respectful piece whereas the WW2 is a book of metal pages attached to a stone plinth with the names of the war dead inscribed on each page.

On either side of the town are the main shopping centers; one is a developing outlet mall type area, the other is an established center full of shoe shops, a restaurant, a euro store (their version of the dollar store), and a Kaufland.  I’d equate Kaufland to being the missing link between Wal-Mart and Target in retail evolution. 

Ah, and I nearly forgot – the local media did a story on us again:

And that’s pretty much it.  Monday we’re off to our second-to-last hotel stay before heading home.  It’s been a good experience, but I’ll be glad to get home.

Thanks for reading!

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