My arrival in Stuttgart, Germany was much like I expected. Navigating any airport these days is fairly easy. Most signs are international symbols, in addition I was able to read the German signs and there was usually an English sign right next to it so there was basically no excuse for getting lost. A very interesting element of my arrival that I didn’t expect was the chatter from the passengers as we got off. Some of it was in German of course, but most of it was in Danish as we had just come from Copenhagen.
The Airport itself was like any American airport anywhere with the exception of the German signs. I didn’t encounter any unusual smells like I did during my arrival in Korea years ago. In just about every way the arrival was much less of a shock to my senses and much less confusing than my first trip to Korea in 1975.
Not long before my departure my wife learned that old friends of ours were living in Germany. He is a Colonel in the US Air Force and I knew that he had been stationed in Germany, but I thought his tour was over and he had returned to the states. It turned out that not only was he still in Germany but was living in Stuttgart! He and his wife picked me up at the Airport. I’m not certain of course, but I don’t think too many study abroad students get picked up at the airport by Air Force officers. They drove me straight to Tubingen and gave me a quick tour of the town, including the castle at the top of the hill in the old part of the town. Then they took me to lunch which was wonderful, but I found that I wasn’t able to finish eating it. My friend pointed out to me “Of course you can’t finish it, its the middle of the night for you, not lunch time!” The jet lag thing hadn’t really caught up with me but it did soon after.
My friends then took me to the dormitory where I checked in. We exchanged phone numbers and they said good by and I went to bed and Crashed for a couple of hours until it was time for a get together dinner with the program director, students, and staff.
In my rush to meet up with my old friends I didn’t take any pictures at the airport on arrival. I completely forgot about that. I did have them take a picture of me at the castle just before lunch, so I’m including that picture.