The volcanic ash cloud stayed away from our path, and British Airways cabin crews showed no sign of striking on Tuesday. Both of our flights ran on time. Heathrow was its usual pain, but aside from that, and my forgetting the gifts I bought there (for the Schmid family of Fellbach) in the overhead bin of the Stuttgart flight, all went well yesterday. We have arrived in Germany.
We are staying at the Alte Kelter Hotel and Restaurant on Kelterweg in Fellbach, where we are only three houses down from Dietmar's and Sabine's home. The Schmids have been wonderful to us, as always. Ferdi and Max are now 13 and 17, and could not be finer young gentlemen. We spent the days partly in frustration as we tried to add Euros to our Romanian cell phone accounts, only to learn that we could not buy a 15-Euro Vodaphone card in Germany and apply it to our Romanian phones. At the Vodaphone store, a fine young attendant named Robin recommended I buy a German SIM card, but the damned thing would not work in my Nokia bought from Vodaphone at the Polus Center in Cluj. Robin returned my money, and finally, we accepted an old Nokia as a loaner from Max to take with us for emergency use.
On the brighter side, Alex and I had lunch today at the Schmid's favorite "asparagus place." It was a farm where fresh asparagus is both grown and served, and it is very popular here, judging from the size of the lunch crowd that filled the entire restaurant, including the tent that extended its dining room space. It was great food, and good to again meet Sabine's mom, Frau Merz.
Speaking of eating, the food at the Alte Kelter is very good. Shirl especially likes their dessert of chocolate and vanilla mousses, accompaned with assorted chopped fruits, mandarin oranges, and topped with a strawberry sauce and whipped cream. Shirl has ordered this dessert two nights in a row.
Tomorrow morning, after breakfast here at the hotel with Max, we shall head for the Alps.