Still in Gotha, we decided to spend the day in Erfurt, a town about 30 minutes away. Put everyone in a taxi and off we went. The cost was probably about as expensive as taking 2 short taxi rides to and from the train station, plus 4 people on the train. Certainly simpler and much more enjoyable. We met with my cousin Uwe and his wife Jasmin. Such a lovely couple. They are now pregnant with their second child, another boy. We look forward to July to see a picture of the new baby. Uwe got a table at the local Restaurant – the Schnitzler. One guess as to what they serve. We were there for a couple of hours and of course ordered the schnitzel. I don’t think I have ever seen such a huge portion. They came on plates about the same size as a platter that you might use to serve 4 people. We ordered the small size one for my mom (the Dino Schnitzel). Yes, dear readers, it was in the shape of a dinosaur! I should have had one too, because I certainly couldn’t finish what I ordered. Way too huge! What a beautiful city. Mom and I walked around the square, while Nicole and Valery went with Uwe to the bridge and saw another part of the city. People were sitting outside on patios enjoying the sunshine and the 20C weather. We ended up getting another taxi to take us back to Gotha.
So here we are at the end of our time in Gotha. Thuringia is such a lovely area of Germany and we certainly had a wonderful visit seeing the region where my mom lived and where her family still lives today. I don’t think my mom has stopped talking since we arrived. She has retold her story multiple times, to many people. I think she has now come to grips with what this area looks like and how it has modernized. It has taken more than 30 years for things to change. The previous communist government did not allow western things, of any sort, to enter the German Democratic Republic, as it was called. Now, they have new cars, department stores, buildings that have been refurbished, beautiful hotels and housing that is being renovated and repaired. I think there is still much to do, but it is certainly better than it was. Next stop, BERLIN.