One of the things I was really excited about doing on our ‘big trip’ was our vacation within the vacation to Germany. 4 Days, 3 nights in Germany by ourselves.
In the past couple of days we have been to Buchenwald Concentration camp, Castle Church in Wittenberg, the Berlin Wall, and Wartburg Castle, to name a few.
I have fallen in love with driving again, the big wide open roads, the speed, the ability to get places quickly, and just so much fun.
When you drive in New Zealand, you drive a car that says it can go 180 Kmph on the clock, but you are restricted by the law. In Germany, the law is taken away; it is like the car gets to do what it was designed to. I found that our rental car speeds up to 140 kmph without trying- it is almost like it doesn’t want to go slower than that, but it is sure happier to go faster. I am certain that the top speed of the car we rented is 178kmph. Yet from the video above, you can see, it still appeared I was driving like a granny.
The major inspiration for going to Germany in the first place was the fact it is the 500 year anniversary of Martin Luther starting the reformation in Wittenberg. Amanda grew up Lutheran, and while she never asked to go to Wittenberg, I am really pleased we have been able to make this part of our trip.
Our trip to Wittenberg included worshiping in the Castle Church where Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five theses too. The English spoken service was traditional, with a couple of choirs performing. The pastor from Virgina was light-hearted, but as he tried to joke about the German choir members during the sermon, none of them were laughing (well except for me). He ironically wasn’t preaching to the choir in this situation; boy, a German choir, a pretty hard crowd for a wannabe comic.
We also hit St. Mary’s Church, which Martin Luther was the minister at. As we walked around the town centre, Martin Luther’s face was on everything, including the beermat in the bierhaus which we were obligated to go to.
Since we were in the area anyway, we went to Buchenwald Concentration camp, and it was an awesome learning experience for the kids. It was a cold miserable morning when we walked around which seemed quite appropriate. It is also the campground that Dietrich Bonhoeffer was held for a while. We also toured around Berlin, which was certainly much more fascinating for the parents than the kids, but sometimes you have to do something for yourselves. Having watched the Berlin Wall being pulled down in my youth, it was very moving walking around the remains of the structure.
Our final tourist destination was Wartburg Castle, where Martin Luther spent much time translating the Bible into German.
For me, I will probably remember Germany for the fun of driving and the worship service in Wittenberg. In the former, I enabled our car to live out its purpose. In the latter, we got to acknowledge and pay respects to the man who lived out his own.