Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bitburg and two cities in Luxembourg

Well, what would a vacation be without a trip to the hospital? I've already done 10 days of antibiotics for my right ear in Germany, but after 4 days off drugs it's thumping and hurting again. The original plan was for me to walk up to the ER that's a block from here while Jim returned to Bitburg. He wanted to look at a couple of things again, and I was not that excited about going. But, no. The convenient ER does not have anyone on staff who can look at an ear. One must go to the other hospital for an ear guy. It was really weird, the ENT was in his office. One by one they would drag the patients out of their rooms (these are surgical patients) and in to his office. One old gentleman had to be rescued mid-walk with a wheelchair. Sitting out in the hall waiting, we could plainly hear him moaning and retching. It had a bad movie feel to it. After two hours it was my turn in the office. There's no sink. I don't know how the doctor was washing his hands between patients; and no, he was not wearing gloves. There was blood on his pants and the floor. Some of doctor blogs I read are very high on the German system of medicine, for example, this one, but I am not convinced with my sample of one. I do have yet another ear infection, and was able to obtain augmentin and cipro ear drops. Drugs were 54 euro which is less than they would be in the US.

So, then it was on to Bitburg. This is the Zulu Alert shelter, during the Cold War there were 4 fighters that were always ready to take off within 5 minutes of being notified. Their mission was air defense, if there had been an incursion into Western airspace by Warsaw Pact aircraft the airplanes in here would have been launched to intercept the intruders. Like all buildings on abandoned military bases, it is very forlorn now, peeling paint and letters missing from the front.

It was still early so we headed into Luxembourg. We had to stop and buy a map. Something was going on downtown and they were closing streets for it. We walked around a bit and decided to get out of Dodge. This is the exterior of their Notre Dame.

Here is the inside.

We headed out to Echternach, Luxembourg. It was a very pretty drive along a river. During WWII, Jim's Dad came through here with Patton. It looks much better now than it did. Here is a really big building.

They were having some sort of festival. We could not detect a theme, other than mass eating, drinking and music. It was very crowded, lot's of people standing around chatting and enjoying the day. We should do things like this in the US. It was fun to watch.

Ecternach is right across a tiny river from Germany. It's pretty cool that it's possible to zip from country to country without stopping.
Well, this may be the last post from Germany. Tomorrow we drive to an airport hotel in Frankfurt. I don't know if we'll do anything scenic, or just crash and burn in the hotel. We're tired. Twenty four days of foraging for food, navigating, and sight seeing have pretty much worn us slick. It's been fun, but I need a nap.

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