May 2003

Revised 08 August 2004
Photos & Text © 2003 by Len Schwer

Jim Gran & I traveld to Mannheim, Germany, 2-10 May 2003. We were joined by our friend Howard Levine and his wife Linda. We visited the nearby towns of Heidelberg, Weinheim & Worms.

I returned to German, 20-25 May 2003, to attend a conference in the city of Ulm, which is on the Danube River.

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  This was my second visit to Mannheim, my first visit was in 1989 to attend the same defense related conference; the 1989 visit was also my first visit to Europe. Things have changed a lot since 1989. Then our Germany hosts picked us up at Frankfurt Airport took us by bus to the conference site. Now. American are more worldly, and most Europeans speak better English than the kid at McDonalds that takes your burger order! My good friend Jim Gran & I traveled by train from Frankfurt Airport to Mannheim and then taxied to Hotel Wartburg, which was a nice hotel in a Middle eastern ethnic area of Mannheim.
  Mannheim is generally described as a ‘working man town’ in most tour book about Germany, and while this is true, it’s lack of tourist attractions can be a big plus for those looking for a more ‘authentic’ German experience. Because of the lack of tourism in Mannheim, you may find fewer local who are willing to speak English, but on the other hand almost none of the local have been jaded by over exposure to Americans and their rather odd habits.
  The centerpiece of the city is the large water tower, surrounding gardens, and beautiful water fountain.
  Jim and I met our mutual friend Howard “Howie” Levine, and his lovely wife Linda, and did most of our exploring of Mannheim with Howie & Linda.
Jim when we arrived in Germany (DSCN0723.jpg) Jim when we left Germany(DSCN0810.jpg) DSCN0725.jpg
Single bed (DSCN0728.jpg) Spacious work area (DSCN0729.jpg) Typical European bathroom (DSCN0730.jpg)
Distant tree framed view of Water Tower (DSCN0726).jpg Passing Wedding (DSCN0727.jpg) Ubahn study (DSCN0600Gran.jpg)
Water Tower (DSCN0738.jpg) Wasser Trm (DSCN0739.jpg) Water Tower still functions (DSCN0740.jpg)
Water Tower fountain (DSCN0743.jpg) Fountain night lights (DSCN0775.jpg) What is in those pockets? (DSCN0776.jpg)
High end hotels in background (DSCN0741.jpg) Tulips were just about over (DSCN0742.jpg) Church tower near Water Tower (DSCN0745.jpg)
Linda & Howie Levine (DSCN0791.jpg) 'Howie Comes' (Is Here) (DSCN0790.jpg) Sign says 'Putz' (DSCN0648Gran.jpg)

Luisen Park
  Luisen Park is a great place to spend sometime walking about. The grounds are beautiful and we were lucky to visit during the height of the rhodendrum season; a bit too early for the flowers of summer. There are many walking paths, a restaurant, and a pleasant boat ride in the lagoon.
  Adjacent to Luisen Park just happened to be a touring exhibit of the Terra Cotta Soldiers from Xian China. This would have been a most interesting exhibit, but having seen the REAL soldiers in Xian, this traveling display of replicas was a only a minor diversion.
Park entrance and traveling trio (DSCN0789.jpg)
DSCN0781.jpg DSCN0782.jpg DSCN0786.jpg
DSCN0784.jpg DSCN0785.jpg DSCN0787.jpg
Communication Tower (DSCN0642Gran.jpg) The Levine's (DSCN0783.jpg) Gran had been away from home too long? (DSCN0788.jpg_
Faux Terra Cotta Soliders (DSCN0780.jpg_ DSCN0779.jpg DSCN0639Gran.jpg

  Jim & I took the train back to Frankfurt so that I could view the Vermeer painting “The Geographer” in the Staedel Museum. Unfortunately the painting was on loan to a nearby museum at Kassel. But it was a beautiful day in Frankfurt and we enjoyed walking about the old city center and along Main River that joins the Rhine River at Frankfurt.
Frankfurt Main Train Station (DSCN0731.jpg) Odd 'half' building outside train station (DSCN0732.jpg) Full Cylinder Building near Main River (DSCN0735.jpg)
View of Main River (not Rhine) (DSCN0733.jpg) Stadt Museum (DSCN0736.jpg_ Small tourist area and tourist (DSCN0737.jpg_

  Heidelberg is probably close to the top of most list of quaint Germany towns. On the Necker River, Heidelberg offers a beautiful setting with well preserved old German architecture including the world famous Heidelberg Castle (Schloss). You will not regret spending a day, or more, walking the streets of Heidelberg and exploring its many treasures.
  This was my third visit to Heidelberg. The first back in 1989 on my inital trip to Europe, and the second in the Spring of 2002 during the European River Cruise I took with Ms Becky & her parents.
Looking up at the castle (DSCN0751.jpg) Tram to castle (DSCN0620Gran.jpg)
Court yard in castle (DSCN0627Gran.jpg) Close up of traveling trio (DSCN0628Gran.jpg)
Linda & Howie (DSCN0630Gran.jpg_ Len (DSCN0625Gran.jpg) Jim (DSCN0626Gran.jpg)
Views along the Necker River (DSCN0759.jpg) Views along the Necker River (DSCN0761.jpg) Views along the Necker River (DSCN0762.jpg)
Barge aft (DSCN0618Gran.jpg) Barge bow (DSCN0617Gran.jpg) Typical landscape (DSCN0632Gran.jpg)
Main cathedral & police (DSCN0614Gran.jpg) Typical street scene (DSCN0746.jpg) Typical street scene (DSCN0753.jpg)
Nut & Nut Cracker (DSCN0750.jpg) Howie (DSCN0752.jpg)
Old Bridge entrance (DSCN0633Gran.jpg) Looking for earings at 'Schmuck' (DSCN0634Gran.jpg) Oldest Hotel in Heidelberg (DSCN0749.jpg)

  A tour of Weinheim was included as part o the conference banquet. The part we toured has some very narrow winding streets that were typical in Medieval times. Our banquet dinner was on top of a hill that over looked the city and the adjoining valley.
Map of Schloss Park (DSCN0764.jpg) Clock tower near city hall (DSCN0766.jpg) Jim & our nice tour guide creekside (DSCN0767.jpg)
Typical street scene (DSCN0769.jpg) Fancy coat-of-arms (DSCN0770.jpg) Cafe area (DSCN0771.jpg)
City Hall (DSCN0772.jpg) Chestnut tree (pink) in bloom (DSCN0773.jpg) View overlooking Weinheim (DSCN0774.jpg_

  Howie talked us into a train trip to nearby Worms to see the beautiful cathedral. The stained glass windows were spectacular. We also visited the Jewish cemetery in Worms which is the oldest Jewish cemetery in all of Europe.
Howie studying train schedule (DSCN0650Gran.jpg) Map of Worms (DSCN0797.jpg) Model of cathedral inside the church (DSCN0807.jpg)
Side entrance (DSCN0651Gran.jpg) Main alter (DSCN0654Gran.jpg) Statue of Luther (DSCN0808.jpg)
Stained glass is spectular (DSCN0799.jpg) Pictures do not capture the light & color (DSCN0804.jpg) Sorry I don't know the stories represented (DSCN0805.jpg)
Refurbishment on western end (DSCN0795.jpg) Famous Bishop/Cardinal? (DSCN0794.jpg) Oldest Jewish Cemetry in Europe (DSCN0657Gran.jpg)

Ulm, Germany
  I travel to Ulm, Germany, a quaint small town on the Danube River, to attend the 4th European LS-DYNA Conference. I flew non-stop from San Francisco to Frankfurt on the same United Airlines flights (flight numbers) that Jim Gran & I flew only a two weeks earlier.
  After arriving in Frankfurt I hot-footed it down to the train station as I only had minutes before the train departed for Ulm. As I was running down the stairs toward the train, the conductor (a nice lady) spotted me and gestured to ask if I was heading for the train where she was standing with all but her door closed. I did my best to indicate an affirmative gesture, with both hands loaded with luggage, and she held the train for another minute while I boarded. I met two colleagues on the train who were also traveling to Ulm and we chatted a bit to pass the time.
  Ulm’s claims to fame include it’s Gothic cathedral with the highest steeple in the world of at 161m, and it is the birthplace of Albert Einstein.
Spacious double bed (DSCN0836.jpg) Nice work area with TV (DSCN0837.jpg) Up scale bathroom (DSCN0838.jpg)
Danube view out of my room (DSCN0842.jpg) Hot air ballon descent (DSCN0849.jpg) Cathedral entrance (DSCN0847.jpg)
Tallest spire in Europe (DSCN0843.jpg) Ulm Cathedral (DSCN0845.jpg) Cathedral (DSCN0846.jpg)

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Photos & Text © 2003 by Len Schwer