Schloss Neuschwanstein – Germany
I lived in Germany in the late 1980s and made many business and personal trips while living there and 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 time visiting southern Germany, Switzerland, and Britain. I got about everywhere else, including a visit behind the Iron Curtain in late 1989 and immediately after the fall in early 1990. What a time that was!
I lived in the Stuttgart area from February 1987 to December 1999, working at a large Hewlett-Packard factory in Boeblingen. I frequently made business trips there in the first half of the 1990s and did a 6-month assignment in 1992.
Germany is unique in how well everything looked and worked when I lived there. I would try to 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 some trips to the Alps – usually when someone came to visit. The natural beauty and humankind’s works of thousands of years are unique. I rank Switzerland as the most beautiful country I have ever visited.
Czechoslovakia and Hungary
I went on a bus tour in the Summer of 1989 to 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 much time in northern Italy and never saw the south besides one hurried trip to Rome. I took several trips and saw Venice, the Dolomites, and the Italian Riviera in the east. I was in an old Roman arena in Verona and saw the Queen Mother in her British racing green jaguar make an appearance. Quite a treat! On 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 nightgowns 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 visit to 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 its offers 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 -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 fascinating, and I wish I could have spent more time there.