We arrived after a packed flight on Sunday into Amsterdam. The weather was foggy when we landed but it quickly burned off and turned into a sunny warm day. We rented a VW Golf from Hertz and drove to Osnabruck on the A1. I quickly had a large smile on my face when we entered Germany where there are no speed limits (nothing crazy… don’t worry). It was a 2.5 hour drive and we got to see a lot of cows, agricultural farms and not a whole lot else . We arrived in Osnabruck and found a cafe/bar in downtown (called Cafe Bar Celona). We both had a Cafe Americano but quickly realized that the restaurant did not take credit cards. I ventured out to find an ATM while Katie guarded our coffees and made sure we did not get arrested on our first day for “dining and dashing”. After a lot of walking and exploring the area we returned to the car and drove around the city. It is very historical with many old buildings as well as two large churches (still trying to find out the denomination). We went and checked in a dropped off our bags. We avoided taking a nap by going back out for more exploring. We ate dinner at Balou which had good beer and typical Germany food. I had “Schnitzle” – Pork Cutlet (not sure on spelling yet) covered in melted cheese and grilled onions with pom frites (also not sure on spelling but they are fries). Katie had Spaghetti with meat sauce. After a long time of waiting for the check we headed back to the hotel and promptly fell asleep.
Yesterday was an early start to get up to ZF Dielingen to meet my new bosses and the team. Before we left, we ate a quick breakfast of cold cuts, cheese, amazing bread, smoked salmon, fruit, coffee and fresh juice. The plant is about 30 minutes North of Osnabruck and is a pretty drive through the country. Katie joined me and we were introduced to roughly half the CYPP team (Chassis Systems Production Planning group). The rest were out of the office on vacation or business travel. Everyone is very nice and all speak English. We left around lunch time and went to a local hotel Teimanns. It was rather fancy and we had amazing food. I had lamb chops with potatoes au gratin with the most amazing ratatouille that I have ever had. Katie had Sol fish with new potatoes and a salad . We also quickly learned that you have to order water without gas since we do not prefer it yet. Afterwards we traveled to Bramsche to look at a large Ikea-like furniture store called Staas. We also stopped in a MediaMarkt to look at electronics that we will need to replace. It is the German version of Best Buy. It seems like TV’s here are much more expensive by a couple hundred more on average. We returned to the hotel to get changed for dinner. For dinner we met with my boss’, boss’ boss (you get what I mean) at Hausbrauerei Rampendahl. He is the vice president over Chassis Systems Production and Logistics. We had very authentic German food. I had chicken in a white sauce that had brusselsprout leaves and a potato cake with fruit. Katie had pork in a gravy sauce with new potatoes and a salad. Katie also had a dark beer with peach fruit in it. They called it a German Fruit Punch and she liked it a lot. We walked around a little after and returned to the hotel.
This morning we had another great breakfast with more cold cuts, cheese, boiled eggs, more bread and salmon, coffee, kiwi/orange juice and even some eggs and bacon / sausage. We got a tour of the ZF site this morning and we are about to go to the onsite canteen for lunch. The afternoon included more exploring.