I lived in Germany in the late 1980s and made many business and personal trips while living there and afterward after moving back to the States. I supported the marketing and sales of our products in the northern and southern countries including Benelux, Scandinavia, Italy, and Spain. I spent a lot of personal time visiting southern Germany, Switzerland, and Britain. I got about everywhere else including a visit behind the iron curtain in late 1989 and then immediately after the fall in early 1990. What a time that was!
Germany is unique in how well everything looked and worked when I lived there. I would try and visit someplace new every weekend that I was not elsewhere. Favorite destinations included Fussen (Neuschwanstein Castle), Munich (Octoberfest!), Rothenburg ob der Tauber (walled village), and the Black Forrest (Cuckoo-Clocks!). There were paths everywhere and I spent countless hours walking between small villages around where I lived. It was a wonderful time. My family visited several times
The Alps – Austria and Switzerland
I made a number of trips to the Alps – usually when someone came to visit. The natural beauty together with mankind’s works of thousands of years is truly unique. I rank Switzerland as the most beautiful country I have ever visited.
East Block – Czechoslovakia and Hungary
I went on a bus tour in the Summer of 1989 to what was then Czechoslovakia and Hungary. We mainly visited Prague and Budapest. I found Prague to be particularly beautiful with a good vibe.
Italy and Spain
I spent a lot of time in northern Italy and never got around to seeing the south beside one hurried trip to Rome. I did several trips and saw Venice and the dolomites and the Italian riviera in the east. I was in an old roman colosseum in Verona and got to see the Queen Mother in her British racing green jaguar make an appearance. Quite a treat! One my first trip in 1985 we drove to Monaco over the weekend and walked the Formula 1 race course!
My favorite spots in this area included the village of Kinderdijk in Holland and the ‘Venice of Northern Europe’ at Brugge in Belgium. Amsterdam was pretty interesting too – prostitutes dressed in a nightgown sitting in the front window of their places of business in the red light district – wild! I drove through the tiny country of Luxemburg – I have never seen so many banks in my life 😆.
I tried to visit England whenever I could. I did a couple of car trips including one visiting Scotland and Wales. In the early 1990s, I did the Coast to Coast trail ~ 190 miles through the scenic northern part of England. I loved London and have seen most of what it has to offer over many trips.
I visited Sweden fairly often as it had a lot of manufacturing companies like ABB. I traveled around quite a bit and made it to the southern and western parts of the country. I was surprised by how much was still woodlands -it’s a big country with a low population. A favorite memory was sailing the archipelago outside of Stockholm one Summer weekend.
Russia – St Petersburg
I did a trip in 1995 to St Petersburg while visiting friends in Sweden. It was a fascinating place and I wish I could have spent more time there.