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Germany
Darmstadt
GerPol15


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Darmstadt memories (#0117)

Darmstadt memories (#0117)
Memories can be so wrong! I had probably passed this same spot on the trolley almost weekly for a year and a half, but I don't remember any stretch of that trolley route passing areas this green or park-like, nor do I remember all of the historic statues.

My last time in Darmstadt was when I was a 21 year old Air Force linguist assigned to my first duty post. I was there for 14 months (November, 1968-December, 1969) and, though friends and I did explore the area extensively, the picture I developed in mind was of Darmstadt being almost always gray, moderately cold, and a fairly densely built small city with not a lot of parks or open space in the city itself. This particular spot is a park on Rheinstraße and since the trolley from the base to the train station (still on the same route as then) runs right past here, I would have passed this many times. My memories of Darmstadt are very positive for what I learned there about cultures other than the U.S., but it was a shock to see how much I had missed 45+ years ago.

It's probably the case that a significant part of my memory being off is that I arrived in November of '68 and I had never been that far north, thus wasn't prepared for the fairly short days; apparently those first impressions stuck. My work schedule may have also been an influence on perception. We worked 4 swing shifts, 4 night shifts, 4 day shifts, and then 4 days off. Since those days off were often used to explore outside of Darmstadt, much of the exploring of Darmstadt would have occurred in the evening. But, I suspect that a big part of the memory difference is just due to being young and lacking skills in interpreting what I was seeing.

Because of that memory, I had originally intended to spend only a day in Darmstadt on this trip, but due to a rail strike and the fact that I was flying out of Frankfurt (which is very close), I ended up spending 3 days there – which was good.

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Purdy
Purdy
It is amazing how different places look when you are younger. With age you can appreciate the history of somewhere so much more.
2 years ago.