The day started with a worship service at the Lutheran Church in Telgte, Germany. The sister city delegations from Poland, Russia, and Tomball joined our German hosts at St. Peter’s Church. A choir and orchestra led the festive, joy-filled service. Occasionally, we sang hymns in all four languages simultaneously.
Following worship, we were treated to a soup meal in the churches fellowship hall–a welcome treat on a cool rainy morning. Carolyn, Kathy L., Diane, my wife, and I then got into rented Mercedes vans, accompanied by our hosts, Holger & his wife, and medical student, Nick, and his mom, and headed out into the countryside. What refreshing beauty–manicured farm lands, impressive homes and barns with red-tiled roofs, corn fields ripe for harvest, reaching right up to the edge of the country roads! Many roads were lined with white-barked linden trees just beginning to turn red as the cool weather approaches. We headed into the hills and into deep dark forest on winding roads. Soon, we reached a Bavarian Inn–though we are not in Bavaria, but North Rheinland Westphalia. Here we dined on Bavarian sausages and saurkraut and spatzle–a German noodle–served with big steins of beer. I took a short walk into the woods until called back to our group. We headed out beyond the forest to the Unesco World Heritage city of Tecklenburg, famous for the German tribe victory against invading Roman legions centuries ago. The city is charming with its white stucco and wood frame houses and buildings, narrow streets and imposing towers. Here, we were seated at a popular pastry shop where we happily ate humongous pieces of German Black Forest cake, poppy seed cake and plum cake. We walked the city’s streets for awhile and then had to rush back to a country guesthouse where we sat to eat an amazing meal of everything German–chicken schnitzel, red cabbage, German potato salad, etc. and, of course, more beer. It was a feast day for sure!
The evening ended quite festively when a Russian delegate pulled out an accordion and Russian dances soon commenced. A woman from Poland stood and sang a native ballad impromptu and unaccompanied. We Tomball folks sang, “The Eyes of Texas are Upon You.” More Russian singing and dancing followed. We retired for the evening quite satisfied after a wonderful day amongst international friends. WEG