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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

On to Krakow (or was it Cracow), Poland!

As you faithful readers know, your humble blogger is presently enjoying an extended trip in Europe. Our travel on the path trod in World War II by Shirl's father, Basil Kimball of Westborough, Massachusetts, ended yesterday in Merseburg, Germany, where Basil was on VE Day, 9 May 1945.

What took Basil and his unit in the U.S. Army's VII Corps eleven months to travel has taken us three weeks.  We have seen only a few sites still bearing the scars of bombs and shells, but nevertheless, the trip has been an emotional one.  The scale of the effort necessary to defeat Nazi Germany becomes clear as one visits the battlegrounds, the museums in France and Belgium, and the cemeteries that hold the bodies of the fallen.

But now, the mission accomplished, we have chosen to spend our last week as a threesome (Shirl, son Alex, and I) in exploration of some historic countries and cities in Central Europe.

From Merseburg, we drove here to Krakow, Poland, a 600+ Km sprint across the fertile hills and plains of eastern Germany and western Poland.  The perfect highway and beautiful new bridges of the Polish part of the trip impressed us, as did the number of semi-trailers (TIRs) that we saw in transit.  It is said that the state of an economy can be judged  by its truck traffic.  If that is true, Poland is booming, and all of Western Europe is doing okay.

Last night, Danny Rusu, PSU MBA, who is now working full time in Krakow, met us for a late supper, at which he insisted on being our host.  Gratefully, we have responded by inviting Danny and two of his colleagues to join us for dinner, tonight.

Tomorrow, we plan to visit Prague, Czech Republic, and on Friday, Bratislava, Slovakia.  Then, it will be time to head back to Germany, where I am hoping to see the BMW Museum in Munich, before our return to Fellbach on the 12th.

Klaus has been a faithful workhorse for us all.  When we get him home to Fellbach, I shall give him some attention in the form of an oil change, a radiator flush, and an inspection of the electric fan's sensor and switch.

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