Sunset last night over the Atlantic Ocean.
I arrived in Frankfurt at 6:30 a.m. this morning. I spent the day at the airport people-watching and being reminded how much I am NOT into the skinny jean fad.
At long last, I met my travelling companions on our 4 o´clock train to Bonn.
The trip was lovely as our group chatted it up about our varying interests in agriculture and the scenery was breath-taking. The tracks wound along the Rhine River for the two hour trip. Perched on nearly every vineyard-covered hilltop was a "schloss" or castle, reminding me of how new North Dakota is as a state how much longer Germany has been "developed"...hmm...going to have to think more on that one another day.
We arrived in Bonn, the former capitol of Western Germany, and checked into our hotel, the Andreas Hermes Akademie. What a neat and tidy place, with very gracious hosts that handed each of us a pack of sheep-shaped gummy bears as we signed in. A big bonus to a weary traveller. Will have to find some more to take home to my kiddos.
Mr. Willi Kampmann, Director of International Affairs for the Deutscher Bauernverband (German Farmers Assn.) picked us up and all five of us piled into his car, quite smaller than the `Hi-Ho Diesel` or `Silver´, our family pick-ups. We went to a restaurant called `Bastei`, where we met Willi`s predecessor, Dr. Klaus Lotz.
L to R: Herr Kampmann, Herr Lotz, Frau Connecticut, Herr Maryland ö
Over an amazing meal of a crisp salad with smoked salmon and lemon-caviar, we sipped Reisling, we discussed many of today´s agricultural issues while looking out over the sunset on the Rhine River and a ferry shuttling cars back and forth across the quickly flowing waters.
Lots of ideas were exchanged on farmer´s organization structure, risk management tools in agriculture, the animal rights movement, financial challenges for farmers, politics, and last but certainly not least, our shared passion for FOOD- producing it and eating it!
One LONG day, with a perfect happy ending....
oh, and did I mention the ice cream? Simply delectable!
I have now been awake since 7:00 a.m., yesterday. Good night world!