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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Book Entry 174: 1986 Our Big Adventure Across the Sea (Part Three)

      Everywhere we went was beautiful.  It was incredibly clean.  No litter or graffiti anywhere!  We visited Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and Italy.  

We even  passed through Liechtenstein, the smallest country in the world.  I think it is about nine miles wide and twenty miles long so we weren’t in it very long!    

         While driving through the mountains of Switzerland we realized the small size of the country made workable land a premium when we saw the efforts made to utilize every inch of dirt space.  I mean every inch!  Vineyards were built by forming man-made plateaus no wider than 2 feet in some spots.
         One of the rooms we had overlooked a train track.  During our one night at that place six very long trains passed by pulling dozens of cars full of coal. 
On the far side of the tracks was a community garden.  Again it showed the scarcity of dirt available.  In the fenced garden were twenty to thirty small raised beds growing vegetables.  From our window we could see the individual beds had labels on them.  We assumed the labels showed ownership.  During the evening and early morning we saw many people come in to the garden.  They would pick a handful of vegetables, throw a weed or two in the waste can, and carefully let themselves out the gate being sure not to drop their prizes.
          It was early in the morning we watched a fellow walk up to the gate.  He slowly looked around before seeming to creep inside.  This fellow, unlike the others, picked items from several of the beds while he constantly checked to see if others were coming.  As he picked the vegetables he would slip them into his coat pockets.  Once out the gate he left the area in a hurry.  We think he was helping himself to vegetables that didn’t belong to him.

        This photo is Larry and me somewhere in the Alps.  Notice the statue on the rocks behind us.  Statues and little prayer centers were at the entry to most of the little towns and most of the driveways to homes. 
          While we were traveling through Italy all of the roofs were red tile.  At the boarder it changed to shingle roofs.  We could actually tell what country we were in by the roof tops. 

         The streets were incredibly narrow, barely enough for the small car we had rented, and yet they were two way streets.
         I’m not sure where we were when we drove on the Autobahn but it was a freeway that seems did not have a speed limit.  I know there had to be a limit but at one point, for a minute, we were going in excess of 90 mph and cars were shooting past us like we were standing still.  The very next evening we saw an article in a newspaper about a wreck on the Autobahn involving more than 200 cars and a handful of deaths. 

       While driving one afternoon we entered a short valley.  It was much like our Yosemite with tall mountains on either side.  In the side of the mountains we could see bunkers.  Jet planes were going in and coming out of the bunkers.  On one side of the road was a short landing strip.  Jet planes were taking off and flying up and down the valley.  They flew directly over us several times.  Within seconds of when we stopped to take this photo two uniformed airmen pulled up beside our car.  They scolded us and told us, not asked us, to put our cameras away and keep moving down the road.

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Thank you for sharing in my life's journey. If you don't leave a comment I have no way of knowing you stopped by. I do hope you enjoy reading of my life as much as I have enjoyed living it! Joyce