The alarm clock rings very early – he would not need, because we are already awake anyway – the suitcases are packed and ready and are only pushed into the first streetcar. It is 5:34 am when we get on the train and drive to the station.
Even at this time we can enjoy life to the full ;o) Then we arrive in Berlin, do another little bus tour and meet at Tegel airport and with Theylich's together. Now we can check in ..
After the usual waiting time we board the plane, which is already waiting for us here.
Now we are on our way to Munich – the long awaited journey has now begun. … how happy we are! After about one and a half hours we land in Munich, are checked again by customs, have one hour stopover and then board the Airbus A330.
The Airbus A330 is a twin-engine wide-body aircraft of the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus, which is designed as a medium or long-haul aircraft. It has two turbofan engines with high bypass ratio and like all modern commercial aircraft a two-person cockpit. The first flight took place on 2. November 1992 in the version A330-300 instead of.*
This is the plane that brings us to Charlotte, North Caroliner,
to the United States of America
The United States of America (abbreviated USA), in short also United States (abbreviated U.S., The United States (US), often shortened colloquially to America, is a federal republic. This consists of 50 states, a federal district (the capital Washington, D.C.), five larger territories and several island territories. The 48 contiguous Continental United States (often called the Lower 48) and Alaska are in North America, while Hawaii and smaller outlying areas are in the Pacific and Caribbean, respectively. The country has a very high geographical and climatic diversity with a great variety of animal and plant species.*
The flight procedure begins, the takeoff works great, soon we are in the clouds and the food is served. It tastes. Also otherwise we are satisfied with the entire service of Lufthansa. After dinner the plane is darkened and we could sleep a bit … could, but who can do that? I, for one, am pretty excited and looking forward to all that we have planned.
Before that we have to fill out an entry form. It is an American form and the questions are formulated accordingly. The boarding staff can help and Andreas also knows well … English teacher – how good!!
By the way, they want to know again why you want to enter (business/private), where you live the first time and the complete address, if you have a criminal record, where you were born, etc.
Charlotte, North Caroliner, USA
After 10.5 hours of flight we land in Charlotte, local time: 4:15 p.m.
Now comes the big moment, before which one should have quite respect. We stand in front of an official, whose officer uniform we have seen so often on TV, and give our fingerprints, have our eyes photographed and are asked funny questions, which we answer quite nicely. This officer can really refuse entry into the USA ..
It is a strange feeling, because the whole trip is planned, paid and so we are just nice. By the way, photography is also prohibited ..
But it works – even if it takes over an hour!
Then we come to our rental stations, because in one row there are at least 10 providers of rental cars here. We booked with AVIS in Germany and now we don't have any more fuss, because we don't need any additional insurances or any other things … contract on the table and off we go ..
Jeep Compass, gasoline engine, 125 kW, 170 hp, no good equipment, radio, cruise control
All vehicles here in the floor are on the numbered place and all vehicles are open and the key is inserted. A bit unsettled we get in and just drive off. We get to the barrier at the exit of this floor. Here we show our contract and driver's license.
(the german or european certificate is accepted for a limited time)
We know a traffic jam and drive behind Andreas, they got the wine red station wagon. This is even a 7 seater … It's almost 2 h drive to Mocksville. After this long day, the driving stretches like a rubber band ..
Around 19°° o'clock we finally arrive. It is an estate, a farm or ranch as they say here. This is how we know it from movies. It remains today with the short greeting and a small snack in the beautiful kitchen, because we are really finished and soooo tired! Soon we retire to the guest room and sleep soundly.
Our today's tour in graphical representation:
Good Morning America How Are You …🎼
Early we are awake again and again, the first time against 4°° o'clock. From now on it is more resting than sleeping. As dusk falls, I stand on the balcony of the typical southern house and look out over the estate.
Actually it is not even quiet – crickets chirping, coyotes screaming and somewhere even a rooster crows. The silence of the night has long since ended and in the forest somewhere an owl calls. It is about 16°C at night and the grass has dew beads on the stalks..
Around 7°°am we get up and go out for a walk. Claudi and the girls are also awake and come along with us. It is fresh, but also interesting!
Then the sun comes out – madness – sunrise in America … and we are there! A dream comes true!
When we come back we want to take a shower – that is – we try it. Oha ..
Mocksville, we have a problem ..
Water comes only from the tap – the shower head stays dry. Whatever we try – it stays and so the good old washcloth comes into play. Later, we learn that to take a shower, you simply have to pull down the ring on the faucet ..
Breakfast is American. For (soluble) coffee we will have waffles with some ingredients, which may be very sweet. Syrup, pumpkin butter jelly, jam, Nutella (from Germany), fresh blackberries, yogurt and cereal.
After breakfast we drive together with our hosts – they have organized it – over highways and small country roads. Let's see where we end up – they didn't tell us anything. We make a stop and can see the Osborne Mountain. … no one knows, but no matter – we are here and also look at this mountain!
Already we are moving on to the main goal of today, we are going to the
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located in the Appalachian Mountains on the territory of the US states of North Carolina and Tennessee. It was founded on 15. June 1934 established and belongs today to the world natural heritage. The forest that covers the park is one of the oldest forests on earth and is the largest virgin forest in the eastern USA. The park is the most visited national park in the U.S. with between eight and ten million visitors, but traffic is limited to the major roads. The 450 kilometers of road off the main trails and the 1400 kilometers of hiking trails in the park are relatively uncrowded. The park was named after the Great Smoky Mountains in which it is located.*
We arrive and stop at a parking lot on which many pickups are already standing. At each is a trailer coupled and are here with their horses for riding. This is of course interesting!
We take a walk on the trails through the mountains. It has become warm and the well signposted hiking trail goes steeply uphill. Suddenly a bull is standing on the narrow road. Black, powerful and threatening he looks, but lets us pass without much attention ..
The vegetation is the same as our native one. Some plants are bigger and also the trees look higher grown, but the forest smell is familiar to us.
At different vantage points we look over the Smokys. Other animals are not to be seen at all, even though there are said to be many bears living here.
there is the smoke – what luck we have!
As we pull up to the parking lot, the Smoky Mountains live up to their name ..
Over the highway we go back. It has four lanes like a highway in Germany, but the green strip between the lanes has a width of at least 50m! There are a lot of pickups in all states and years of construction on the road.
In the late afternoon we return to the house and take a short break. Today we want to visit a supermarket, buy some water, fruit and odds and ends and look around!
Since our host family wants to prepare a dinner, we can use this time.
Then we come to our first American market. As expected it is huge and the offer overwhelming.
In the market there is, as usual, everything in abundance. The shelf with minced meat alone fills several meters of this supermarket. Beer is bottled at the end of the beverage section. A little later, at our hosts, we will enjoy this beer. It tastes very good – unusual fruity and mild.
a beautiful evening begins
When we come back, everything is ready – we have burgers. Of course! We can put the ingredients together ourselves. Onions, tomatoes, pickles, pulled pork, fries, mashed potatoes, meatballs, baked beans, burger buns and of course some sauces are ready to go.
Now that is tasty! They couldn't have chosen a more fitting meal, it fits America like a fist to the known eye. In addition there is regional beer, which is very tasty.
It is soooo interesting when you can talk so directly with inhabitants of a country. They are proud of their country, absolutely open and – despite my bad English – it becomes really interesting conversations. They are happy to answer our questions and also have questions of their own. Of course, Donald Trump is also a topic, because the presidential election is just around the corner. I find it interesting what the local people think of Obama, Klinton and Trump ..
Nevertheless, we don't last that long in the evening, because we are simply still in the German time rhythm and at 19°° o'clock we are just completely tired. The eyes just fall shut – there we go to bed and sleep well.
everything is quiet, a new day begins
… our night ends early again and as it gets light we walk a bit through the neighborhood and look around a bit.
It is very beautiful here in the rising sun.
Around 11°°clock we drive to a wine-growing area for lunch. This restaurant was chosen by our host family – they are regular customers here. We can ride with Andreas, we all fit in the big car ..
The distances we cover are enormous by European standards. On the approach to the meal it goes 40 minutes on country roads.
When ordering the food we notice clearly our language deficit. Alone, when the waitress asks how they should make the eggs and also lists 5 or 6 possibilities – which I don't understand at all – I urgently need help from Andreas ..
The food tastes good and afterwards we enjoy the area a little more.
In the afternoon we visit an American pumpkin festival in similar distance.
It is full here. Everything on this farm is associated with pumpkins and corn. You can even, as a child, play in corn kernels ..
A cornfield became a labyrinth and in this maze now some tasks have to be done. This makes the stay interesting and in the end we have walked back and forth through the cornfield so many times that every path seems familiar to us. During the whole time the sun burns!
Corn mazes are mazes in corn crops created as a summer amusement (mostly used from July to Thanksgiving). On areas of 10.000 to 45.000 m², a network of trails up to three kilometers long is possible, for which the visitors need up to 1.5 hours. In order to achieve a denser vegetation (visual density), the corn is usually sown twice (crosswise). The labyrinth is planned as a scaled sketch of paths, intersections, and dead ends, and then built by milling out or. cutting after the first growth of the corn plants (about 10 to 20 cm) put on. The design of such field mazes can involve a variety of tools, including GPS technology, and crops such as sunflowers, hemp or millet. UFOs, maps, symbols, fairy tale motifs and the like are depicted alongside abstract patterns.*
Again the evening is short, but today we can already sit on the terrace until 21°° o'clock. It does not cool very much and it is very nice. After packing our bags – tomorrow we will continue – we find ourselves at the pool table in the basement and play a round of.