Friday, January 2, 2009

Germany Road Trip

We've been meaning to write about this for a while. Actually it was kind of meant as a Christmas present for Al and Laura. We went on a road trip before leaving Germany. We managed to get a rental car from Duesseldorf, and after figuring out the GPS and the roads, we were on our way. First destination: Rodenhausen.
There's a reason you can't find out anything about Rodenhausen on the internet. It because it's actually now officially a part of Lohra. Rodenhausen is the town in which Jacob's great- great- great- some more great grandfather was born. He later became a Hessian soldier and moved to America. We wanted to see what it looked like.
It was a beautiful drive about 2 hours away from Heiligenhaus. We found it almost by happenstance by seeing a road sign called Rodenhausen. This place was tiny. Not more than 100 or 200 people lived there. Our first stop was a cemetary, hoping to find Casper Cable's relatives. But all of the graves were pretty new. We met a native of Rodenhausen, who told us that no one of her generation knew anything about the generations before, where they are buried now or anything else. That's a shame. She was very helpful and friendly--I believe we only spoke in German with her--she was surprised we'd come all the way out from America to see this place.

We visited a church that had been around for several hundred years. And we imagined that this is where Casper went to church. It was a cute little town, but so small that the nearest restaurant was miles away.
Here's some videos: (Errr the videos won't post. Maybe later)

We also visited Lohra, which was unquestionably bigger, yet the graveyard here was still relatively new as well.
Visiting this part of the world renewed and refreshed our interest in our ancestors. Note to Jacob's Mom: we would love it if you could send us any pertinent information about Casper Cable and his family that you have learned.
We continued on our road trip to the Frankfurt temple. First we stopped and ate some Iranian food, which I unfortunately did NOT like. Jacob ate his everpresent doener which never fails him. I don't actually remember what it was that I ate, but its flavor would take getting used to. It was the first time I went to a temple outside of the States. It was small but beautiful. We were surprised

to learn there were full-time French speaking missionaries there. Frankfurt is the closest temple for the French, who have no temple. It was special to me to go through the temple in the German language. I have adopted the Germans as another culture, and I even married a man whose heritage is German. Consequently the temple was a beautiful experience for me.
After that we wanted to be on our way along the Romantic Road, but it was already getting dark. We hit a couple spots there, and we'll share the highlights in photos:
Jacob liked this part because we snuck in with a group to go down to... the wine cellar. It turned out to be a wine tasting party, so we left early, but it was cool to see the massive barrels at the bottom of the castle in the basement as large as the castle itself.

Here's a picture of me with the statue in front of it:

We had some Italian gelato in the shape of spaghetti...yum! Sorry about the sideways pic

Rothenburg ob der Tauber was probably the cutest town we'd yet seen. Unfortunately, it was completely dark and everything was closed. We'd had an interesting incident with our GPS... it died. Which is amusing to lose GPS when you are out in the middle of nowhere on the Autobahn in Germany. We were about to buy a new one when someone told us there was a Eurocar just around the corner, open til midnight. So we switched the broken one for a new one. But that took a little while. We also saw the notorious red flash on the Autobahn, which usually means you get a ticket. We've heard nothing so far, so maybe we got lucky.

This town was surrounded by a medieval wall, kind of like San Giminano. We actually got up and walked on top of the wall, and it was fun to pretend we were defending the castle.

We got back super late but all in all it was a very successful road trip.


oh said...

I was surprised, Kalli, when you wanted to study German in HS. "Should do Spanish," I thought since we lived in Texas and much of the world speaks Spanish.
But you did love GERMAN. And to think of all the German experiences since that simple decision years ago is really something.
Jack was impressed by the note about the Hessian soldier. He corrected my pronounciation of Hessian, and then he told me ALL about them.He is learning all about the American Revolution in 8th grade History. He knows it SO well!

The Elledges said...

Kalli Sue- that was an awesomely long post! i love reading about your travels! too bad you couldn't find any ancestral stuff. at least you happened to find the town :) are your ancestors german? i can't remember...

gonancy said...

Jacob--I talked with your dad the other night and he told me about your blog. Congratulations on your marriage! I hope to meet Kalli someday. Alex is coming to Europe for 2 or 3 months in April. I know he'd like to connect with you and Luke while he's there if possible. Great stuff and I look forward to "following" your adventures! Kind regards, Nancy Smith

Patricia said...

I'm so jealous you are in Germany. I have always wanted to go to Germany.

wood0306 said...

Sounds like another fun adventure! Safe travels :)

Erin said...

Hi! I’m the Community Manager of We’re building a website to highlight some of the most interesting places travelers around the world have discovered. We’ve read hundreds of blogs about the Germany, and we think that yours is awesome! We’d love to highlight excerpts from blogs like yours (assuming it’s OK with you of course) and to discuss other ways of tapping into your expertise if you are interested. I’m at
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KConrey said...

This was cool to read! I'm also a direct descendant of Casper Cable/Goebel. I have several other lines that go back to Germany...and almost all of them seem to get lost there.

How cool that you actually got to see the town where he may have lived. He sounds so interesting from everything I've read.

MLM Contact management systems said...

KConrey, I have a video of our trip there if you would like to to see it. Let me know and I can find it for you.

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