Project 52, Week 34 – Part Three – SONDRA!

It’s time for Project 52, Week 34 – Part 3!

1998_08_08 4 Sondra

34 weeks ago, on my 52nd birthday, I began Project 52. Since there are 52 weeks in a year, each week I’m taking one year of my life and blogging about it. This week, I’m covering the year I was 34 — June 14, 1998, to June 14, 1999.

But now that I’m covering the years I lived in Germany, I don’t seem capable of keeping it to one blog post. This is now the third post about being 34, after talking about my new home and new job and our vacation in Spittal an der Drau.

On August 8, 1998, we got to do something I’d been wanting to do for awhile.

I think I mentioned that one of my first purchases in Germany was a hiking map. Well, I also bought a road atlas. And I loved to look at the atlas and plan these trips to castles.

Well, once when I was looking at the atlas, I was delighted to see a nearby town called Sonderhausen. Anyone who reads my blog knows that Sonder is a German prefix meaning “special,” which I picked up on right away. So Sonderhausen means “special houses.”

I figured there were probably more place names with Sonder- as a prefix. So I went to the index in the back of the atlas.

Imagine my delight when I discovered a town named SONDRA! Exactly my name! It was located in the former East Germany, about three hours away from us. I found a castle nearby as well, so that a trip would involve more than taking pictures of the sign. The closest castle is the Wartburg, which is where Martin Luther translated the Bible.

So, on Saturday, August 8, 1998, I dragged my family with me, and we visited Sondra!

I later made a t-shirt and a sweatshirt with the image. I still wear that sweatshirt when I feel like affirming who I am.

1998_08_08 1 Sondra

Here’s the sign that tells you you’re leaving Sondra:

1998_08_08 2 Sondra

And I just had to get lots of pictures taken. It took us 3 hours to get there, after all.

1998_08_08 3 Sondra

While we were taking these pictures, an old lady wearing a kerchief was working in a field. I wonder what she thought of us.

(I did think the villagers should take better care of their signs.)

Another Leaving Sondra sign:

1998_08_08 5 Sondra

1998_08_08 6 Sondra

1998_08_08 7 Sondra

1998_08_08 8 Sondra

The Wartburg was a fascinating and beautiful castle. Nicely preserved, and with a museum. We took a tour and learned about Martin Luther translating the Bible there.

1998_08_08 9 Wartburg

1998_08_08 10 Wartburg

1998_08_08 11 Wartburg

1998_08_08 12 Wartburg

1998_08_08 13 Wartburg

1998_08_08 14 Wartburg

1998_08_08 15 Wartburg

1998_08_08 16 Wartburg

I always like low ceilings that show how tall I am. Josh could reach this one!

1998_08_08 17 Wartburg

Timmy? Not so much.

1998_08_08 18 Wartburg

1998_08_08 19 Wartburg

1998_08_08 20 Wartburg

Cannon are always fun!

1998_08_08 21 Wartburg

1998_08_08 23 Wartburg

1998_08_08 24 Wartburg

1998_08_08 25 Wartburg

1998_08_08 22 Wartburg

Back home, I’d forgotten to mention that Josh played baseball again that year. Their team even won the little league championship! (Believe it or not, there were enough American bases in the area to have a complete league.)

1998_06 Baseball

And our next outing was much more prosaic: A Corn Labyrinth! We hadn’t been surprised by these in Illinois. A little more so in Germany.

1998_08_15 1 Corn Maze

1998_08_15 2 Corn Maze

It felt a lot more appropriate to go to a Medieval Fest in Kaiserslautern that same night.

1998_08_15 3 Medieval Fest

We did buy a Kinderhelmet.

1998_08_15 4 Medieval Fest

1998_08_15 5 Medieval Fest

This, predictably, resulted in some sparring later.

1998_08_15 6 Knight

1998_08_15 7 Knight

And that was the first couple weeks of August! Year 34 was full…. More to come!

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