Friday, August 1, 2008


Day 143

I don´t know what it is, but I seem to have become a morning person. I was up early despite my long day and sort of late night.

It wasn´t long before I boarded a train to Butzbach. The train was a bit odd. It seemed to go on forever and not stop. It might have all been in my head though. Eventually I did get to my stop, but it kind of caught me off guard.

Butzbach holds a bit of family history for me. My Uncle Bill, who I visited in Montana at the beginning of this blog, was stationed here during the 1970´s. He had told me that it was a cute little town and gave me a few places to check out. What I didn´t realize was how absolutely adorable it would be. It also did not appear to have been heavily bombed, if at all. This was a huge and welcomed change from the other places that I had visited in Germany. Butzbach was also not in my guidebook. At the tourist office they seemed positively shocked and happy to see me. Not only did I get the typical information and map there, but also a cathedral guide, a walking tour, and several postcards. The guy there also helped me find the places that my Uncle had told me about, even the GI bar that has closed since the Americans left.

It was almost a funny feeling to have such a beautiful town to myself. I didn´t hear any English spoken unless it was directed at me, and that was only after people realized that I was confused.

The first thing that I went looking for was the bar my Uncle had mentioned. Unfortunately it had shut down in the early nineties after the Americans had left. However, the sign was still there, so I took a few pictures.

Once that was done I decided to follow the walking tour. This basically pointed out all the oldest and most interesting buildings around town. In a place like this they were all old though and all interesting to me. I loved the Market Square, the buildings were all crooked, and I would be surprised if any of them were reconstructions. I sat there for quite some time just taking it all it. I loved it.

St. Mark´s Church was right up the street from here. Well, this place is so small that everything is right up the street from everything else. The brochure about the church invited me to sit and relax, that just by being here I could connect with the spirits of those that had visited before me. I really liked that. The church had some interesting old statues in paintings. The last time it had been restored was in the 1960´s so I think that I would have looked the same to my Uncle when he visited. For some reason there were four coffins in the crypt. I tried to read the description of them (this wasn´t in my guide), but all I could understand was that they were important, and not why.

I continued my tour, checking out the interesting half timbered buildings. I quite like the one called the Owl House. It was the oldest in town. One of the most interesting things I saw was the Landgrafenschloss. This castle was built over several hundred years beginning in the middle ages. By the 17th century it had become a stately home. In the early 19th century it was turned into army barracks. I´m not really sure when the American army set up here. This is where my Uncle lived and worked when he was in Butzbach. My guide told me that most of the barracks had been torn down and turned into a park. Still, I tried to take pictures of everything to see if he would recognize it. (I later found out that I managed to get the window of the room my Uncle lived in as well as where he had worked.) The Americans left in 1991 and the buildings were converted into offices for local administration.

I had wanted to check out the museum, but it was closed. I thought that was odd, it wasn´t a weekend or a Monday. Instead I grabbed a rather late lunch with a very eccentric looking waitress. She gave me free pudding at the end of my meal though so I should be nice.

When I got back to Frankfurt I tried to take a nap, but there was a snorer and it was impossible. Instead I read a bit with my ear plugs in.

I had noticed the day before that a carnival type thing was being set up in the Market Plaz and along the Main. I decided to go there for dinner. I ended up with some weiswurst and apple wine. While I was eating there was traditional music being played live. When I had updated my journal for a bit I went to check out the rest of the party. There were all sorts of rides and games. I bought myself some cotton candy. I seem to always forget what a massive stomach ache that stuff gives me.

When I headed back to the hostel it was only dusk, around 9 pm. Still, I was propositioned, as I had been warned, a few times. I really thought that I would have been worth more than $75. I don´t want this to sound like it was a really dangerous situation, it wasn´t. It was still mostly light out and I was on a well lit main street. It was just a bit weird.

I didn´t manage to meet anyone at the hostel so after reading for a while I headed too sleep. This didn´t last long though. There was an older woman in my room who had been annoying me earlier. She washed her clothes and put her panties all over the room. She then preceded to wander around wearing only her bed sheet. When she was loud around midnight I asked her to be quiet. She yelled and told me that we were not in my house and that I couldn´t ask her to be quiet. I told her that was the point, we were not in hers either and that she should respect the fact that people are trying to sleep. She must of kept yelling for a good 10 minutes. I stuck my ear plugs back in and ignored her, trying to sleep.

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