2004-08-07 Birmingham

Took the train into Birmingham Moor St, which offered a good view of the remarkable new Selfridges building. Moor St. Station itself has also been expanded and remodelled to appear like its original self. The most remarkable thing about Birmingham was the liveliness in and around the revamped and rebuilt bull ring. It was still a mall, but it was a popular mall and not so dreary as the New St. Shopping Centre. It was nice to see such an improvement, since I've passed through Birmingham so many times, especially to do some bigger city shopping.

At New St. Station I took a fancy Virgin tilting train-the very short distance to Birmingham International. The remarkably small looking, but surprisingly spacious shuttle train took me to the airport. Birmingham Airport had a Wudu for its Muslim customers and was otherwise functioning and practical. My flight was only half an hour late leaving.

2004-08-09 Stuttgart

Back to Stuttgart and two weeks of Waldheim. Had another group of mostly boys, but most were well behaved. There were two trouble makers, both who needed to develop social skills. Ones grandmother was a Kuchenfrau, so he treated Waldheim like an inherited right rather than a treat. The other was just a bully, but at the end of it all he was the one who was crying the most. Clearly Waldheim was fun, even if half the fun was misbehaving. I presumed hed miss the social attention as well.

When Waldheim was finished, I had the opportunity to go to out to Vaihingen and check out the old haunts. The new shopping centre that replaced the brewery has been built. It is ugly and does not look as if it will age well, however the quality of shopping has probably gone up. Everything was pleasingly similar.

2004-08-22 Bamberg

Headed out to Bamberg to visit Caro and see this Sandkerwal that she had been speaking about. It was a big fun Volksfest that filled up the whole town. As usual, I visited apartments that were cooler than mine, and had slow sumptious breakfasts. Also went for a ramble out by castles and churches in the country side, before returning to the city for the evenings festivities. Very impressive fireworks, tasty Hefe, eventually tasty smokebeer, disgusting Halbe.

The other highlight were great games. Siedler the card version and this medieval themed card game reminded me who clever and entertaining German games are.