It appears as if the July 20 post did not “take” so I’ll attempt a brief replacement. This week has provided for a greater understanding of this state’s influence in Michaela’s maternal family background. We learned at the history museum in Karlsruhe (covering from early middle-ages to today) how the “Badeners” were somewhat of a holdout to the majority “Schwabeners” in the unification of the 2 states last century. Hechingen is in Schwaben while Karlsruhe is in Baden – and my ancestors were flung across both. Hmmm…. We have spent the week restfully enjoying the area. The immediate area has allowed us to partake of thermal pools, hikes up the mountain to old castles & viewpoints, walks through the old town and several walks along the lengthy, leafy & green Lichtental Allee, at the end of which there is an Abbey. We have also gone out of the immediate town of Baden-Baden to have lunch at a Black Foest restaurant that serves fish caught from the streams on site, to Karlsruhe (now a centre for media & tech, and car plants), to Heidelberg (still with its high castle, Roman acqueducts, and red-roofed vistas), and of course to Hechingen where we met with my Mom’s age cronies to help them understand her unexpected passing. This took place directly across the street from the house in which my Oma was raised (now owned by one of her nephews and soon, his son). Weather has been extremely warm (&wearying), but the rain over the past day has given a little reprieve. We have sampled many of the regional specialties (all familiar from my mom’s & Oma’s kitchen). Today, we re-pack our bags to head to Konstanz and prepare for our bike tour….likely to be re-configured as we go.