a compendium of musings and rants from Alison Beightol, who is old enough to know better.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Home sweet home...for now
So my husband and I recently got back from our trip to Germany and Poland and it was a typical Beightol Baker trip overseas. Some one got sick and ended up under a foreign country's medical care. It just isn't a trip without that happening. Even on our honeymoon in Germany I ended up in a Berlin ER.
Our trips are always...adventurous.
The trip over was okay. We had to fly economy so there was that. We try to fly business class but this time it didn't happen. Which was fine because we stayed at the absolutely AMAZING Hotel Adlon Kempinski in Berlin.
The Adlon was almost the best part of the trip. I've been to Berlin before but never like this. Anyway, we had a great time in Berlin. Visited some historical sites that we had never seen. I'd say they were sites that very few visit. LOL. And some that everyone should visit, like the German resistance memorial. It was great minus the anxiety attack I had at the train station over how high up it was.I have a crippling fear of heights and I very nearly freaked out and shut down because the station was 4 floors high AND WIDE OPEN INSIDE but I didn't. After a few days, we headed to Krakow Poland. Now we had never been to Poland before but we should have known that it wouldn't go as planned when the GPS in the car wouldn't recognize Krakow but instead Crakow. Also, just so you know, Poland really doesn't have any highways. So the GPS routed us down every goat path, back road and twisty, windy road they could. SO whatever should have been like a 4 hour trip per Google Maps, was an 8 hour trek. At least we got to see some BEAUTIFUL countryside and castles along the way. Ok, so we get to Crakow at like midnight (we expected the trip to end around 9) and we had only been able to find Mc Donalds to eat. We don't speak Polish and the Poles don't speak English except in the big city so Mickey D's had a picture menu and we knew what stuff was.
Anyway, so my husband Scott when we get to the hotel starts feeling bad. He looks rough but I figured it was it was fatigue from driving. By the next morning he looks dead. Or right before dead. He's running a fever, having GI issues(big time) and can hardly move. We are supposed to go on a six hour tour of Auschwitz in a few hours but I didn't think that was happening. I went and got breakfast and he slept, expecting some miraculous cure in a nap. When I came back, I had to take him to the ER. Only in Poland there is no ER. Well there is but not like we know. So we take a cab to the hospital and they send us to some doctor to evaluate him to see if he needs an ER. It reminded me of a doctor's office south of the border. Trust me, it was nothing like I have ever worked in or been to. Anyway, the poor doctor evaluated Scott and gave him the choice about going to the ER. I had seen enough and opted to do a fluid challenge for Scott using bottled water. Never have I ever wished for Gatorade so much and I am bringing Gatorade powder with us next time. And the doctor gave him some prescriptions, which we waited in line for 30 minutes at the drug store and got his 4 prescriptions that he left in the cab back to the hotel. So no Auschwitz and we are off to our next location, Warsaw. Of course it took twice as long to get there and we had to order room service when we finally ate. However we did discover a new soup that we are in love with, Zurek, which is a sour rye soup. It looks like this.
The next day we got in the car(groan) and went to the Treblinka concentration camp memorial. This was a very moving experience and I felt a lot of random spirits.(I'm sensitive to spirits. I always have been so it makes traveling interesting. I felt several people at the resistance memorial and Plotzensee Prison) I felt someone who was shot in the head, someone who was shot in the chest and a few people I got the sensation of being suffocated and not being able to breathe. This was an extermination camp so it figures. After visiting here and paying our respects, we headed to Wolf's Lair in the north.
Traveling along I noticed the road signs in Poland are more entertaining than America or anywhere. This was my favorite.
I never figured out what it meant. Did mean people danced in front of cars or were there ongoing games of Deathrace 2000? But we made it to Wolf's Lair where our accomodations were...spartan. There was no heat(it was in the 40s) and the blankets we had were so thin they were probably left over from the war. Which would make sense because we were staying in former German soldier's barracks. Yes, we take those kinds of trips. But the plus side was we were right on the the old bunker headquarters. We walked among the ruins and stopped at the sight of the attempted assassination site of Hitler.
Meanwhile through all of this, Scott is sick and I am cranky because I have been missing meals because he doesn't want to eat. But we both have brave faces on and haven't killed each other. After leaving the Wolf's Lair, we headed back to Berlin. I have never been so happy to be back in Germany!! After a long day of driving we arrive at our hotel for the last night. I'll just say it was no Hotel Adlon but it was better than the barracks we slept in the previous night. However there was no dinner for me to eat and we didn't eat lunch. So I was ticked. But it worked out because we got an upgrade on our return trip home to business. The next morning in the business class lounge I ate like two breakfasts and drank a gallon of orange juice. And while I was happy to be going home to our daughter, I was sad to be leaving Germany again. But I know I'll be back. You can take the girl out of Germany but not the Germany out of her!