Flying out on one of the 1st early morning flights, leaving San Diego International Airport, better known as Lindbergh Field, towards Frankfurt, Germany (with a short stop in Philadelphia). Philadelphia is not bad location for a layover, splitting the total time spent in an airplane seat almost exactly in half.

Once arrived in Frankfurt, my journey continued by car, driving 120 miles north to Kassel, a city in central Germany, with a population of about 200,000. Kassel (then called Chasella) was first mentioned in 913 AD, marking a bridge for crossing the Fulda river.


Kassel’s signature landmark, the Hercules (built in the years 1701 to 1717), is a copper statue depicting the ancient Greek demigod Heracles. The statue is located at the top of a Pyramid, which stands on top of the Octagon. The total height of the monument is about 230 feet, the height of Hercules alone is 27 feet.
Hercules Monument

Hercules Monument

After spending so many years in beautiful Southern California, we don’t realize anymore, how green some regions are and also how rainy the weather can be. During my short trip, Kassel saw as much rain on a single day, as we have here in Ramona all year. All the rain and an unusually mild winter led to a spectacular lush green vegetation.



A short drive, Kassel and vicinity


I didn’t travel all the distance just for the impressive greenery, but for birthday LXXV. Here are some informal snapshot, I casually took of our folks.

Worldcup 2014

On my last day in Germany, the German soccer team won the Worldcup. I have never seen so many German flags and painted faces, a truly amazing expression of support for “die Mannschaft”.
And of course there was rain too, on my last day, looking out of the hotel room, across Rhein-Main Airport, back in Frankfurt.