Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Crampton's return to the homeland
On Friday, October 9th, we caught the train to Pisa and hopped on a plane to Frankfurt, Germany. Because Ryanair usually flies into cities near the city listed, we arrived at Frankfurt Hahn airport and took a bus to Frankfurt, 1.5 hours away. But wait! There's more! We took a train from Frankfurt to Kassel! Phew. A lot of traveling you might say...

When we arrived to Kassel, it was evening, so we explored the modern city center - Kassel produced tanks during the war, therefore was a regular target for bombings. The next morning, we woke up and headed to the Herkules Monument (right, unfortunately under construction). Upon arriving, we marveled at the fog-filled valley (left) leading to the Schloss Wilhelmshohe (palace) and town below.

After exploring the area around the monument and taking in the beautiful views from above, we made our way down the hill through the paths in the forest. We were joined by our new companion - a cat (right) who followed us for a few hours whom we named "Herkules" (despite the fact that it was a female feline). It was a great time to reflect and enjoy the changing colors of fall (left), which was in full effect in Germany (it was around 80F in Florence when we left).

Part way to the bottom, we came to the picturesque Lowenburg Castle (below) - perhaps because it was a "fake" castle built in the 18th century made to look partially ruined. Regardless, we enjoyed the history lesson from the nice, but slightly akward, young man who gave us a tour through the rooms.

Finally reaching the bottom of the hill, we arrived at the Schloss Wilhelmhohe to a scene that looked strangely similar to scenes from Iowa State's central campus (Lake LaVerne, Alumni Hall, Curtiss Hall?)...

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