(A reprise post from the early days of the original mil-blog, Sgt. Stryker’s Daily Brief, which was posted so long ago that the only place I had it preserved was in a collection of posts about matters historical.)
In the month of September, 1985, my daughter and I spent a couple of weeks in Italy, before I took the Autostrada north, over the Brenner Pass. I had decided to drive across Europe, when I got orders transferring me from Greece, to Spain. The Air Force generously provided passage on the car ferry from Patras to Brindisi, and Blondie and I were off on a six-week long ramble.
In the space of a day, we went from flat northern Italian landscapes of cypress trees and square campanile towers to green terraced fields clinging to a steep mountainside, and chalets and the onion-domed church towers of Bavaria. Just north of the Austrian border, I got tired of driving. In a little town just off the highway somewhat short of Munich (now, since we were in Germany, it was an autobahn) I spotted a sign for a “Zimmer frei”, and for a night rented a guest bedroom from a nice elderly German woman whose guest bathroom provided hot water only in the sink tap. Complaint in rusty college German only roused mutual incomprehension. The bedroom seemed to be that of her long-grown and departed children, with twin beds and a wardrobe upon which someone had painted a view of the nearby village, as seen from the bedroom windows.