Germany Journals

Ancestral Home in Germany

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A November 2002 trip to Germany by jrheimbach

Dense Forest Photo, Germany, Europe More Photos
Quote: Through my wife’s research on the Internet, we found wonderful Heimbach cousins in Pennsylvania who documented the family genealogy back eight generations. They identified the community of Heimbach in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany as our ancestral home. With the ease of flying into Frankfurt, we took off to visit Heimbach and the surrounding countryside.

Ancestral Home in Germany

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Overview

Dense Forest Photo, Germany, Europe
Quote:
At the time of our visit, the exchange rate between the US dollar and the Euro was to .9985 Euro. The almost a one-to-one rate made easy mental mathematics for our purchases and expenditures. Everything was so clean. We saw people out sweeping the sidewalks and wiping off the building exterior walls. Even the public restrooms showed a high degree of cleanliness which was much appreciated! Conservation of resources was apparent everywhere. The countryside was dotted with large windmills, as the wind helps to generate more electricity. The church where we attended services on Sunday was not heated inside; people kept their coats on to stay warm. Inside lights were either very dim or off. N...Read More

Berghof

Hotel

Outside of Hotel Photo, Germany, Europe
Quote:
We chose Baumholder as our overnight location, as the town of Heimbach was just a few kilometers to the west. We learned from my distant relations that they stayed in Baumholder when tracking down the genealogy information of our family history as overnight accommodations were not available in the small community of Heimbach. As we rounded the corner driving into Baumholder, we immediately noticed the rows of military barracks. None of us knew about the presence of this military base and were truly surprised. We thought Baumholder was a German community, unaffected by American influence. No wonder people at the hotels we called spoke such perfect English. Most of the people must stay o...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 1, 2003

Gaathaus Hintern Fels

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Restaurant

Family Crest Photo, Germany, Europe
Quote:
We took as many pictures as possible before the sun set that evening. We had arrived in the small community of Heimbach/Nahe, the documented home of my European ancestors. We drove up the side of the hills, taking pictures of the town below. We walked around the center of town, capturing the brook. ("Heimbach" translates to "Home Brook.") After sunset, the only place open was the bar. We moseyed over that way for a beer and to meet some people. All eyes turned to this set of strangers who walked into the bar. My brother-in-law asked the waitress if she spoke English. "A little," she replied hesitantly. "Would you like a Christmas beer?" We tried to explain why we stopped to visit, but our messag...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 31, 2002

Backerei Kondtorei Cafe

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Restaurant | "Backerei Kondtorei Cafehaus "

Backerei Kondtorei Cafe Photo, Germany, Europe
Quote:
We stopped in Kirchheimbolanden to exchange dollars for euros and to have lunch. Having driven about an hour southwest of Frankfurt, we were getting hungry and anxious to try German food. Exiting from the Autobahn, we immediately drove into the city’s commerce district and found parking. We walked a short block to a building with an ATM sign and used my bank card to open the external door. Fortunately, the ATM offered instructions in English, so we successfully withdrew the needed euros for our traveling. A line of people had formed by this time (I guess we must have been a bit slow completing our transactions), so we decided to ask for lunch recommendations. No one there spoke English. We loved...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 1, 2003

Backerei Kondtorei Cafe
Edenbornerstrasse 5
Kirchheimbolanden
063523668

Stadtkrug Barbecue Restaurant & Hotel

Restaurant | "Stadtkrug BBQ"

Stadtkrug Barbecue Restaurant & Hotel Photo, Baumholder, Germany
Quote:
"I did not come to Germany to eat Chinese food," my wife announced. We had already driven through the entire town of Baumholder several times looking for an open restaurant, and finally found an open sign at a Chinese restaurant. I looked down the street and saw another lighted sign for barbecue. "Let’s try this restaurant instead," I suggested, and we walked over to Stadtkrug. The warmth of the room greeted us as we walked through the door. I immediately noticed a large hearth with an open fire. A large grill sat in the flames, and food was cooking over this open fire. The hostess seated us immediately, directing us to the one empty table. There were only a dozen or so tables and boo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 1, 2003

Stadtkrug Barbecue Restaurant & Hotel
Poststraße 12
Baumholder, Liebenburg 55774
49 (0) 6783 1010

Trier, Historic Roman City

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Attraction | "Christmas Fairs"

Trier, Historic Roman City Photo, Munich, Germany
Quote:
We stopped at two Christmas markets while traveling through Germany during the first weekend of December. Each town had its own customs and flair for its market, and all of them had plenty of food and drink. The community of Heimbach hosted its Christmas market up by the school. Food booths and the beer garden were outside, and all the crafts booths were inside what appeared to be the school cafeteria or all-purpose room. My wife had minimal selections from the dozen or so booths, but she was determined to bring back something from the town of Heimbach. After walking around the room twice, she settled on a set of hand-crocheted doilies, buying one for herself and one for each of our two daughter...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 1, 2003

Trier, Historic Roman City
Western Germany Near Luxembourg
Munich, Germany
49 651 978080

Genealogy

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Story/Tip

Highway sign Photo, Germany, Europe
Quote:
My wife’s interest in genealogy has elevated our interest in different parts of the world and encouraged us to expand our travel plans to include locations important to my family history, primarily returning to this ancestral homeland in Germany. As we traveled through this section of Germany, I noted the strong resemblance of this geographic area to the same section of Pennsylvania where the Heimbach family settled back in the 1700s. I could envision my ancestors’ assessment of the land in Pennsylvania, with a positive reaction to an area of such familiarity and possible comfort. I have a better appreciation for the strength and fortitude of my ancestors to move from this community to unknown ...Read More