Tour of Camp King Oberursel on YouTube

We took our walk through the former military post Camp King in Oberursel this past Sunday.

In part 1, Mr. Kopp and I talked about the Kinderhaus, the oldest building on the grounds and now housing the archive, as well as the King Memorial Site.

In part 2, we covered the past and future of both the Mountain Lodge and the chapel.

The former Officers' Club at Camp King Oberursel

The former Officers’ Club at Camp King Oberursel

I’ve just noticed… the big tree on the right is no longer there. It had to go to make room for the coming extensions of the building.

Electric car launch in Oberursel

As my post I have been walking for more than 45 years has created some interest, I decided to write a continuation.

Advances in technology have eased the way for consumers to reduce their walking. This is why the remote control was invented for your TV, VCR and cable box, among many other devices created for your convenience. But while it may be convenient to stay put on the sofa, your muscles, particularly your heart, won’t appreciate it. Getting up and taking a walk will even save you more time as it may reduce trips to your general practitioner and psychologist’s office. Walking is the best way to mental and physical health.

As a matter of fact, I am still walking everywhere. Over the years I have met dog owners, young mothers pushing strollers, senior citizens carrying their shopping, German students walking home from school, and many others who have sometimes stopped to talk. To some people, seeing somebody walking during the day might mean I am not employed and therefore I often have to excuse myself as I am on my way to the next appointment. But if I ever felt lonely, I would just go out and take a walk. (Don’t forget your camera either!) It is mind-cleansing, invigorating, and stimulating.

Taking a walk is a great way to socialize unless you opt for a walk in one of our dark and silent woods. And I will continue this lost art of walking, not only to save the environment from toxins, but also to … my own health.

But scientists and engineers have been working on inventing yet another means of transportation, namely the electric car. This project is supported by the Environmental Ministry of Hesse, which in turn offers this test electric car to the city of Oberursel from 3-30 April 2009. Various local companies have the chance to test-drive this car (a Citroen Berlingo) for a day or two.

The city of Oberursel invites local companies to participate in this testing phase. If you would like to use the car for a day, then please contact:

Herr Gessner oder Herr Rinker, Umweltamt Stadt Oberursel

Tel. 06171 – 502- 306 or 502 – 310 .

The city will host a press conference on 3 April to launch this test.

I have been walking for more than 45 years

In the past friends and family had been after me to get my driver’s license. New friends acted surprised to hear I live without a car, but yet I have so much fun. I have a big network, and I am always out in my free time – on foot.

I learned how to drive while I lived in the States and also got my driver’s license for $12.50. I guess my driving was not really worth more than that anyway. My husband had to teach me and I remember my mother-in-law’s warning that even the best of marriages end up in divorce after driving lessons from the spouse. We survived this trying time…

Later on I even taught a young Japanese girl how to drive near our farm where we only used deserted country roads. For the best of me I could not figure out why she always swerved to the left side of the road while driving. Ignorant as I was, I did not know there was left-side traffic in Japan. And she did not know enough English to tell me about it. We survived that one, too. As a matter of fact, she outgrew me when years later she traveled by car from the East Coast to the West Coast of the United States.

Even though I traveled on the busy highway East 140 towards Baltimore every morning to get to my job in Finksburg, I did not become a very experienced driver during that year. And most of all – I did not enjoy driving.

When we moved to Germany, we ended up in a very convenient location with daily necessities such as bank, supermarket, kindergarten, school, train station, bus station etc. – all in walking distance. Why would I need a car? My friends would argue that I might need one in case of an emergency –

Is that so? Then I would call the ambulance for € 20 or a taxi for € 40. This is still a lot cheaper than the purchase of a car, maintenance, gas, and insurance premiums.

Now I am even happier for not having followed my friends’ unsolicited advice. Why put more cars on the road with the current status of energy? One of my friends bought an ethanol driven car, which seemed to be more environmentally conscientious. Based on this article The Clean Energy Scam in TIME magazine, though, all this could be some kind of humbug.

I’d rather keep on walking – it is good exercise, free of charge, good for the environment, and more sociable. I get to see things I would miss while driving. I get to talk to people instead of just waving at them through the window. And lots of walking is good for the shoe industry. Knock on wood – so far I have never caused an accident as a pedestrian, either. I love the freedom of walking and not having to rely on a car.

Public transportation is around the corner and if need be I take the U-Bahn (train).

From the time I learned to walk, I have been on my feet – except for this one year in the U.S.A. This totals more than 45 years.

How long have you been walking?

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