After knocking around Europe for a while, we’re back on American soil. Monday night, Sarah and I arrived back in Madison, after a long flight back across the Atlantic.

It would be imprudent for me to even begin to detail our trip in this space. We saw so much, and did so much, that it would take the better part of a day write up even a partial summary of our trip. Regardless, I’ll include some bare bones information and if you want more information, don’t hesitate to contact me. While our flight from the USA landed in Frankfurt, Germany, we were only there long enough to catch a fast train to Munich.

Munich, by chance and not by design, became our home base. We spent no less than six nights there at various hotels and at various times throughout the trip. We rented bikes and rode around the city; we visited gardens, palaces, parks, and churches. We drank liter after liter of really exceptional German beer in biergartens. Munich is a fabulous city.

After spending a few nights in Munich, we took a ride on Lufthansa to Athens, Greece to catch some of the Olympics. Literally, in the last hour before running out the door in Madison, we decided to see part of the Olympic games. So, we booked a flight on-line and a hotel room through a combination of telephone, fax, and e-mail.

Rather than describe the Olympic experience in Athens (which, again, would take entirely too much digital ink to do it justice), I will refer you to the 23 Aug 04 and 30 Aug 04 issues of Sports Illustrated magazine. In those issues, read the Air and Space column written by Steve Rushin. One is titled “Eat a Gyro, Be a Hero” while the other is titled “Ten the Hard Way”. Those two columns will give you just a hint of what the Olympic experience in Athens was like.

For those wondering what events we saw there, we attended the following events:- Womens Volleyball - Brazil v. South Korea

  • Womens Volleyball - USA v. Cuba
  • Mens Basketball - USA v. Angola
  • Softball (Gold Medal Match and Medal Ceremony) - USA v. Australia
  • Womens Beach Volleyball (Bronze Medal Match, Gold Medal Match and Medal Ceremony) - USA v. Brazil and USA v. Australia
  • Gymnastics Gala (not a competition; an exhibition) After a return flight to Munich, we took a train to Berchtesgaden, where we spent two days seeing some of the local sights, including the Eagle’s Nest (Kehlsteinhaus) and the Königsee.

A long train ride took us back to Frankfurt, where we spent the night. The following day, we were on a packed 747 back to the USA.