Saturday, September 17, 2005

Moving to the Country Inn...

Moving to the Country…

Saturday morning arrived and we needed to pack up and get ready to change lodging to a little place in the countryside on the way to the church and reception hall. What a hassle!

The previous evening we almost had a blowup with Tasha over this… A little background will help. After the informal reception that was sponsored by the Hungarian contingent on Friday afternoon, I rode back to Kassel with Rudi. Grace, Heather and Tasha went with AnaMarie to see the church and the reception hall. It had started to rain and Tasha took them on a route that coursed through the rural countryside. They encountered slow-moving farm machinery and it was a miserable time, according to Grace. The reception hall had not yet been decorated and Grace thought it looked depressing. (Fortunately, it was to be transformed into a very warm, attractive locale by the next afternoon).

Then it was on to the church. This was an incredible sight, according to Grace. The altar and tabernacle was from about the fifteenth century. A statue of Mary from the twelfth century graced one of the columns near the altar. The church as amazing; it had been rebuilt in the thirteenth century and the graveyard in back traced the history of the local nobility through the years; it even included one gypsy grave that was the source of much town pride…

This church was initially a Catholic Church built in the twelfth century. When the Reformation swept through this part of Germany, it became a Lutheran Church in the 1500’s. It was an awesome sight for those of us with a US mindset that an ‘old’ church is one that was built in the latter 1800’s or early to middle 1900’s! The antiquity and grandeur of a village church with this amount of beauty was amazing.

The only problem, this church was extremely out of the way. Even out of the way from the lodge where most of the guests would be housed! The village’s roads were very narrow and winding, with little space to pass when filled with parked cars. This would probably see more traffic in the next 24 hours than it had for weeks. This made Grace very uncomfortable, even if Grace were not driving. The whole village was isolated in the rolling farmlands.

The reception hall was even more isolated than the church. Located in the middle of a stand of trees on the hilltop, it was accessible only by a dirt road. (Remember, it was raining on Friday; that road would not handle the traffic that the guests would cause… Thank goodness Tasha was providing shuttle bus transportation between the lodge and the reception hall for most guests.) When they arrived at the hall, the windows were still boarded up and the whole place looked deserted!

The logistics of moving the luggage out to the country for one evening was onerous. We suggested that we just stay in Kassel, but Tasha threatened to leave us out of the Sunday morning breakfast for the group if we did that, which we were not happy about. But we didn’t want to force Rudi to drive us back, especially after he would have had several drinks at the reception. So we implemented a different plan.

Consequently, the thought of leaving the comfort of the Mövenpick and moving to an unknown country inn was not appealing, especially since we had to pack everything up. The previous night we had had a ‘lively’ discussion with Tasha about staying at the Mövenpick and just driving back from the reception. She had a fit… We would probably have to make two trips even with the little station wagon; we proceeded with plan ‘B’ and it all worked out. We averted a total meltdown by moving to plan ‘B’, leaving the suitcases at the Mövenpick and taking only what we needed to the inn where Tasha had made arrangements for us. This seemed to solve the immediate problem.

After we got the suitcases packed and downstairs, we checked the two big ones and waited for Rudi to pick up us… Rudi was great! He picked us up about 1 p.m. and we loaded the car up with the walker and smaller bags (too many small bags, at that). We proceeded to the country.

Rudi followed a route that avoided the hectic farm vehicular traffic that Grace had encountered the previous afternoon. When we got to the inn, it was quaint and wonderful. Instead of being housed in an apartment across the street from the main inn, we were able to get a small suite in the main building. They had an elevator and it included a buffet breakfast. The price was right and Rudi moved our stuff into the room. We then adjourned to the restaurant for a late lunch. It was great…

[We do appreciate Tasha’s concern with our housing for the reception. She selected an apartment since she thought that the kitchen would allow us to prepare meals in accordance with my dietary needs more easily. However, having an apartment for only one night would not permit us time to do any cooking, especially since we didn’t have any condiments! So much for good intensions.]

The room at the inn was incredible… It was on the second floor (three floors up) and the walls and floor were knotty pine finished with a natural stain; it would be cozy if not fancy. It would be more than adequate since we would be sleeping in it for about six hours and be gone again. Once we returned from the reception (which ended up being about 1 a.m.), we slept soundly.

More on the ‘Morning After’ in the next posting…


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