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: http://www.fnweb.de/region/neckar-odenwald/buchen/funde-zeugen-von-den-wirren-des-kriegs-1.1669650
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!