Notes from Puzzle Palace

Saturday, December 30, 2023

A Year in the life of a puzzler (2023)

I want to wish everyone a very happy holiday season.  The year is once again coming to an end and even though we have been busy, I'm finally finding the time to write up my favorite post of the year.  I missed the puzzle advent tree because of the move, I missed the 12 puzzles of Christmas because nothing had arrived in time for me to post it.  But now I have the time and peace of mind to write up our year.

January saw us still in the states.  We started out with a cruise and ended the month with the beginnings of our final hurrah before moving to Italy.  We visited the folks over at Creative Crafthouse and really had a wonderful tour of the facilities.  I got to visit LegoLand Florida and Disney one last time before we left.  

In February we began our USA Roadtrip.  We had a wonderful trip planned out and got to visit with most of the people on our list and a few who weren't.  We started off by flying into Denver to visit with George Bell, Rocky Chiaro, and Wayne Daniel. I rented a car and we enjoyed a wonderful trip across the Western part of the US.  

Our next stop was in California where we visited with Harry Nelson.  Sadly our trip to see Wally Lee was canceled because of health problems, but we added a visit with Ray Stanton, Derick Schneider, Dave Litwin, and George's son Joe.  We stayed in our favorite boutique hotel and spent our anniversary in the Roxanne Cafe.  Life is good.

We headed further south to visit with Stan Issacs who very kindly donated a great number of puzzles and books to the now named World Puzzle Center.  We spent a day with Nick Baxter and his wife and had a nice puzzling dinner with a number of other puzzlers in the area.  I remember Joe Becker was there along with a few others. We also stopped in and saw Donald Knuth for a day.  Wei Hwa had a small gathering of friends over for some games the next day.

Marti of course was a wonderful hostess.  She very kindly donated the RGee collection to the Center.  She invited over a number of older puzzlers who we were thrilled to see. Our trip then took us south to Texas where we stayed with Tanner for a week.  He too had a wonderful gathering of friends for us to visit with. Heading north, we stopped in to see Rob and Mark, then carried on to some of our friends from the world cruise we went on.

Three days with family was followed up by a puzzle party in Ohio and a few days staying with Tom Lensch.  We spent a few snowy days in New York with Hyam Hirsch before heading further east to visit  Tracy Clemons where we finally picked up the Mega Mansion.  I am pleased to announce that it arrived in Panicale unscathed and is now waiting in the castle to be unpacked. 

From there we headed further east to visit With Rob and Brett.  Then it was a night with Saul and Paulette followed by another puzzle party at Eureka.  I finally made it to the puzzle shop of my dreams!

In the final days of our trip we visited with Brian Menold, Bill Ritchie, and, we stopped by the Chapman house to pick up a large number of puzzles that I had ordered.  I just love the rustic beauty of some of them.  And who doesn't love dragons! From there we headed to Atlanta where Mat had a gathering of friends from the area.  I got to visit an amazing Lego seller and we had a wonderful end of the trip. 

Upon our return to Florida, we spent the next afternoon with Art before heading out to say our final goodbyes to Bill and Scarlet. We packed up the last of our home and boarded ship on the 9th of April for the final leg of the journey to our new life.  

I'd like to say it has all gone swimmingly, but that would be not quite true and might curse us in the future.  When we arrived in Italy, we managed to get our permesso and residencia in record time.  

We've had guests from all over arrive to see the castle and the few puzzles we had purchased since being here.  We've made 2 trips to the midlands, traveled to Israel for IPP, and even attended DCD this year.  

The highlight of the year though has been the arrival of our household goods and puzzles!  To date, we have had 5 semis come in with one more to come on the 2nd of January.  Ironically, that one was the first to arrive in Europe.  All of the wooden  puzzles that have been placed in the castle and are waiting to be unpacked.  The library is partially done, simply because it is the easiest of the boxes to unpack. 

When we started this journey we were so naive. We thought we would arrive, turn in our paperwork, have everything done in a month or two and then get our things.  Almost 1 year to the day the first container was packed up and sent we got it.  The paperwork took longer than expected.  We've run into not being able to install shelving as we had planned to do.  I think though that our solution of using antique cabinets is a much better solution.  And before you get excited and make ridiculous comments about the cost of these, I've become very good at scouring the local used markets for pieces that will fit in the castle at a low cost.  

My Italian is coming along nicely.  Every day I learn more and am better able to communicate with others who don't know me.  The people here are wonderful in trying to understand me.  George, he's George. They all love him just because he is such a lovable person.  Sadly, he's not very good at communicating yet.  I've gone back to school to learn how to drive again.  We purchased our third vehicle now.  The first one died on us in Germany, the Tesla still hasn't got tags (not everything has worked to our advantage yet), and since I'll be a "new driver" I had to get a small engine vehicle for the first three years.

The door between the dead cat room, hotel, and castle has yet to be opened, but they will begin work at the first of the year. Our kitchen appliances and materials have been picked out and hopefully, they will be able to order them soon so we can get moving on the rebuild.  I've been waiting over a year to move into the hotel.  It is cleaned and the work can begin as soon as we can get men in there.  Antonio and Elena have done an amazing job of fixing it up, but now we are at the whim of the contractors. 

Katherine has come over for the holidays and we've had an amazing visit.  On the 28th, we got the keys for the annex.  If you know of anyone who wants to rent a three bedroom, two bath house in Panicale, let me know. I've got one available.  We purchased it only for the garages, but will make the house work for us in one way or another.  Worst case, we use it to store more puzzles.  The garage has the Tesla inside along with a few crates that need unpacking yet.  Things move slowly here, but they do move.  

All in all it's been a very good year. Do I still have twinges about leaving Boca?  Of course, but now Panicale is home and as long as George and I are together, we can do anything.  Life is good for this puzzler. 

Happy New Year to one and all. May 2024 be even better for you than 2023 was. 

Friday, December 29, 2023

New York Times article

 Today we had the online version of a story that has been long in the making show up.  Siobhan Roberts of the New York Times has done a wonderful job of writing up our story.  If you have the inclination, it can be found here 

The trailer for the Puzzle Palace movie Made by Jenny Bell Schweitzer and Brian Bell is now live and can be seen here:

Enjoy everyone.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Busy Busy Busy

 First, I want to apologize for not posting earlier.  I'm getting slack as this move progresses. Either there is too little to write about, or there is too much. Today it is the latter. 

Our delivery of goods started on Monday two weeks past and was full on through Thursday.  You see, Friday was yet another holiday and there was a ban on trucks on the autostrada.  In an unheard of event for Italy, the truck driver even came on Saturday to finish the job!  In total, they brought 5 big trucks worth of goods here this past week.  We still have one more coming down from Switzerland, but have no idea when that is going to come.   I hope though that it is soon because then the move here will be officially over and it will just be time to unbox.  

We had an amazing system going on. We would get in 14-18 pallets each day.  I would jump on the truck, label the building they would go into, and then we would open them in the afternoon where I would again label the room number they would live in.  I ordered 2 hoists and Antonio had them mounted on the top floors of each building.  Our crew would then load a box or two into a heavy duty bag and we would hoist it up to the appropriate floor where it would be shifted into the correct room.  

For those that wonder, our basic division is wood and metal in the castle, everything else in the palace.  The castle walls aer at least a meter thick and the humidity level remains the same throughout.  The palace has 1/2 meter thick walls and doesn't keep a constant humidity level on each floor.  Plastic and glass is not as bothered by the changes.  

We managed to get the entire castle storage area emptied out by Monday of the past week.  The teak root furniture was placed in the carriage house and the tables were all placed in the stables.  I set to work putting together a puzzle play area and a Lego winter village display area for the local school children to come and visit.   

On Friday we had the nursery/kindergarten come in with around 20 children.  They enjoyed the puzzles and games, and really enjoyed them more when we placed them on the floor.  Sadly, I am not allowed to post any photos because of their ages (3-5).  Suffice it to say, they were adorable.  They were also very respectful and looked at the Lego but didn't touch any of them.  I was pleasantly surprised.  

Saturday and Sunday we opened to the public.  There was also a small Christmas market in the garden.  We had a few people come in on Saturday, but were in competition with 3 other Santa houses in the area. Sunday was a different story.  We opened at 10 for a local boy who is immune- compromised.  Santa and I both wore masks in the interest of good health.  I discovered the day before that he loves Lego so George and I gave him one as a gift. He spent a good 1/2 hour or so looking at the Lego and explaining each set to his mother.  After the holiday is over I'll invite him over to take a look at the Lego room.  I'm sure he will just love it. 

The doors opened to the public at 3 and we were full on busy all afternoon.  Santa didn't get a break at all.  There were so many children, but there were also adults.  They too enjoyed the puzzles and many of them had to have photos taken with Santa.  It was a real nice way to introduce ourselves to the community.  We were genuinely made to feel welcome.  Everyone loved the root furniture and we were asked before the day was even over if we would do it again next year.  Absolutely!  But I get to buy a better elf costume.  The one I bought from the local store left green elf fluff all over my clothes.  

Throughout all of this, Katherine has arrived.  I took a day to go to Florence with her and she was a great help with photos during the events of the weekend. In the coming weeks while she is here, we will do a number of those tourist things that everyone does.  Can't hit them all, but I can get a few nice places in for her to see.  It's so nice to have her in the castle for Christmas.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Coming soon!


For more information, go to

For those of you that read this drivel that I publish, you may remember back in December of 2021 we had some people come take some footage for a documentary on us.  Well, it is finished and will be shown soon at a Prestigious Film Festival somewhere in the world (I'm not allowed to tell where just yet.)  If you are interested in seeing a bit more about our lives, love, and puzzles please do join the mailing list for information on where and when you can see the film.  If you come to the World Puzzle Center, you may just be able to view the lovers in person.  I've seen the film and they have done an amazing job of capturing us as we really are.  

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Great news!

 Our goods have cleared customs and are ready to be delivered.  We have spent the last week updating paperwork and clearing out the ground floor of the castle and the hotel getting ready to receive everything. 

Antonio has rigged up two hoists so we can get the puzzles to the top of the castle and the hotel.  It will be easier to bring things down the stairs than climb up with them.  

Now we just wait on a date for the first truck.  

I have been working on my Italian driving license and have attended the first two night classes of driving school.  This is fun.  The book is in Italian, the class is in Italian.  Double duty!  I'm learning all sorts of things at once.  Unlike when I lived in Hong Kong, I am not getting translation headaches.  In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to be reading a page of the book yesterday and I realized I was comprehending without having to translate all of it.  A word here or there, but not a lot.  I mean really, how often does one use windshield wipers in daily conversation? 

George's Christmas gifts have arrived early and he is eager to open them, but is holding back until the rest of our goods are here.  Really, I think he's waiting for the staricase to be removed from the hotel.  We don't need that secret passage to the kitchen and both of us would rather have the space in our respective rooms.  

Larry, Curley, and Moe are hard at work in his office. Now he can add Laurel and Hardy to the mix and get them running.

We met with the interior designer for the construction of the kitchen and bedroom/bathroom last week and have made decisions on materials and appliances.  They loved our bathroom design and have said it was a first for them.  Neither had installed a Toto toilet here, or a rainshower that plays music and has lights in a Turkish sauna before.  

Today is Thanksgiving back in the states and we are having dinner at a local hotel run by Americans.  Sadly, this means no left over turkey.  Perhaps I will buy one next week and cook it anyway.  There is nothing like an open faced turkey sandwich after the holidays.  

And I thought I had posted this. Wo much stuff to do so little time.  The trucks are arriving and the fun is now just beginning! We have a great system down, the pallet is removed from the truck and brought to one of 3 opening locations.  We then Open the castle pallets first because we don't want to disrupt parking (although, the locals seem to do a fine job of this on their own).

Next, I mark the room number that the package needs to go into and they either hoist it up using bags or they take it up using the electric stair climber.  This makes short work of things. We are able to unload and move14 pallets within a few hours.  So far we have taken in 41 pallets.  Today we will unload 2 trucks and Saturday a few more. Then we just wait for the truck we went to Rotterdam to show up and all is here.  

Forgive the long absence.  I'll be back to normal (is there such a thing) soon.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

DCD and excellent news!

We have our Permesso!  We have our Carta di Identita!  

The Polizia have made sure we actually live in the home we exit from every time we see them.  At the risk of getting in trouble, living in Italy is a game and we are learning how to play it. (I much prefer Eurorails)  We have our household goods on the move!  It's been a whirlwind month yet again.  This time it is all very good news.  Well, most of it. There is that little problem of the big house in Boca but that will be solved all in good time. 

It's been a long month with very little to report on.  We plug along here in Panicale until it's time to go to a puzzle trip somewhere.  And that is just what we have done.  We spent the last month just living.  I'm putting together a Lego Winter Village for the local school children...Did I mention, we are opening the ground floor of the castle.  George is playing Santa Claus, I am setting up a room full of Lego for the children to look at, and a room full of puzzles to play.  Of course there will be treats for the children and adults both.  We feel it very important to give back to the community.  We love living here and really want to be a part of Panicale.  

We had a Discord puzzler and his family come for a Sunday visit.  This was most enjoyable, especially since he cooked for us! It was a delightful visit and I hope they are able to return when more puzzles are in place. 

We decided as always. to attend DCD.  This was my 7th.  It would have been 9th, but there was that COVID thing.  I'm surprised that I've attended that few.  It feels like I've been going forever.  That's not a bad thing.  I really enjoy attending and seeing friends.  Oh, and the puzzles are fun too.

George and I decided to drive yet again.  I'm up to it and we both enjoy the scenery.  We are American and long drives are nothing to us compared to our European counterparts, but I must say, I'm becoming European.  I love driving, but there is something to be said about getting to the next hotel when the sun is still up. Our MO is to bring along the refrigerator and have a picnic lunch somewhere along the way.  Sadly, this trip we had a lot of rain storms so the picnics were inside the car. No matter.  It's more time alone with my lover. This too reads as odd as we are retired with no one at home. And yet, we always have someone at home. There is so much work going on.  

Our first stop was a nice ski lodge that we enjoy in Aosta, Italy.  This time we stayed in a room with a tub.  that was a hoot. The ceiling was angled so we could only sit on one side because on the other we banged our heads.  But we don't get it for the bath.  We love the views.  I can't wait to go through in winter and see it filled with snow.  But not until the pass is opened again. The Mont Blanc tunnel is closed until January and I do not want to drive the way we did in winter snows. It was bad enough in the rain.  

I've realized, I'm becoming European. That hotel in Aosta was 6 hours from home.  There is something psychological about getting past Milan on the first day.  The next night we stayed at an AB&B that was really cute.  George made friends with some of the other guests that were staying there and shared our bottle of wine with the Mr.  The Mrs. shook her head and gave a look.  I think she was a Puritan. (The Mr.  Tilted his glass in request for a refill unbeknownst to the Mrs.) 

It was a cute little place, I think we will add it to our "stay again" list.  It is 5 hours from Aosta and 6 hours from Oskar's.  Perfectly in the middle.  The Gite au Chalet in Laferté-sur-Aube, France is a full service place. Kitchen, Laundry (if you don't mind leaving with wet clothes after one night), parking, shower, no heat.  The 9 degrees in the room was a bit cold for me. We had a comfortable bed and a pleasant evening.  I made a chicken salad for us for dinner. With my lover and a bottle of wine, what else does one need?  

The next day we drove to Belgium.  There we met with Raf Peters (and his lovely wife) from Smart Games.  We had a nice few hours talking puzzles and mutual acquaintances.  Raf was surprised to learn that I had every Smart Games puzzle up 'till this year.  He very generously gifted us a few that I didn't have.  It was a very nice way to spend an afternoon. (Aside from the parking ticket caused by a slew of broken ticket machines)

The next morning we awoke and drove to Dan Haag so I could stop at the Lego store.  Ok.  Ok.  This has gone overboard.  I'm bored. I need our PUZZLES!  I've been building Lego since Christmas of last year knowing that if they arrive broken, it is an easy fix.  I have to be doing something all the time.  I couldn't do Crystal Puzzles in Boca so I picked up a Lego. Thanks a lot Krissy!  It's all your fault.  Anyway, I got my passport stamped-it's a thing! And then we headed on to Oskar and José's.  They are dear friends and have been putting up with the two of us together since.... 

Today is José's birthday. I shan't tell you her age, but I am so very glad she chose to spend it with us.  We had a lovely dinner at a wonderful sushi place.  

Friday we met with the daughter of Ivan Muscovich to acquire his collection!  What a wonderful addition to the library that would be.  (Edit, like the Singmaster collection, someone in the UK has told the family that they would like it.  So much for that addition.) No matter, the library is filling up nicely as it is. 

On Sunday it was Dutch Cube Day, our reason for heading up North again.  As always, it was great to see old friends.  We missed quite a few at the last IPP and it was catchup time.  We wandered the room buying up puzzles that would make a nice addition to the collection.  This year I didn't purchase too many.  The problem is, our collection isn't on display yet so I didn't want to purchase duplicates. In the afternoon, we listened to Ton talk about some cubing competitions and a talk on fast methods of solving. George and I presented on the progress of the World Puzzle Center and a talk on some of the IPP exchanges from this year.  I found that to be great as I still haven't played with that many.

Sadly on Monday we said our good-byes to Oskar and Jose and headed out.  Our first stop was Baden Baden to take the waters again.  This will become ritual for us when traveling North. The rest of the trip home was uneventful.  

When we returned, our friend Diogo came for a few days. He and George designed a puzzle or two and had good fun in the workshop.  As always, we had a lovely dinner at Gallo, sadly it was the last one of the year.  Something to look forward to in the spring.  

The painting is now being done in the hotel and the shelves will start going up soon. 

It is autumn now and the colors across the road are stunning.  I just love this view.

And, because I will be a new driver, we had to purchase yet another vehicle because I am not allowed to drive the Tesla for 3 years! We opted this time for a new Ford Transit van.  Small engine, lots of space.  Easy to park.  The downside? It's a Ford! :)

Life is sure fun here. 

But now for the really good news!  Our household goods and puzzles have arrived in Genoa!  If all goes well, we will be having everything delivered within the next 2 weeks!  Cross your fingers and toes for us. I need clothes.  It's getting colder now and dumb bum here didn't bring winter clothes when she came in April.  

Thursday, October 12, 2023

No news is GOOD NEWS!

 First, I want to say I've been enjoying the cup-a-soup that I bought in the UK.  Such a silly thing, but my meals historically have been a bit of cheese, some sausage and a coffee (no longer partaking of this delight) around 10 followed by lunch of a cup of soup around 1 followed by dinner between 7 and 8.  George is not a soup drinker so for me to make a pot, I would be bored senseless after eating the same soup for a week. "And now for the rest of the story..." (Thank you Paul Harvey)...

First, our beautiful new Tesla.  We bought a temporary tag to get it home. Home. Panicale.  Home. I like the sound of that. >>> And then the problems start.  We need to register it so we park it as required and go to Perugia to register it (45 minutes away). We rent a car because we are responsible citizens.  Then have Antonio drive us because we are intelligent citizens.  And then we find out we need all of the documents translated and apostolated.  Fine.  We did that. then we wait some more. What next?  Oh. Residency.  

Here we go again.  The Burr-ass-cracy.  We have our Permesso.  Now we need the next bit. We apply, but there is a problem. Too many nosey ninny's in the community have told those in power that we own 3 properties and live in each one of them at the same time. FYI: 2 are uninhabitable. One has no utilities and the other has now anything.  No running water, no kitchen...nothing.  We have an acquaintance in" town" help us with a contact of hers but this does no good.  Now we need our Marriage license apostolated or we aren't married (welcome to Italy). To do that we need to go back to Miami....And the beat goes on...


I purchased a new Ford Transit van because I can't have a more powerful engine because Italy has decided that after 30 years of driving I will be a new driver. I guess I need to learn all of the bad habits here like stopping in the middle of the road to answer the phone (not driving right?), rounding every corner striding the center lane, and never using turn signals are a few things that come to mind. Sadly, we can't pick up the truck until after DCD so we have to rent the car for yet another month.  

Until I have some news, happy puzzling all. 

Thursday, September 14, 2023

MPP and return home

MPP didn't start until 10, but I woke up early anyway.  I wanted to do a bit of grocery shopping and take some stuff back home with us.  (I can't get cup of soup in Italy and since George doesn't drink soup there is no reason for me to make big pots of it for myself.) I got what I needed and headed back to the hotel to pick up my lover.

We arrived promptly at 10 where we were first met by Kevin and then by Steve and Ali who had some boxes for me.  I put everything away in the suitcases and we went inside. This trip I brought along a WADA puzzle for Michael to see so that came in with us as well. I don't get the hype, but everyone likes them so why not.  

I really enjoyed this day.  I spent a good deal of time talking with Phil and Kyle.  I got to try both of their new puzzles and of course I bought them both.  Kevin handed me a few puzzles to try which I was of course rubbish at so I handed them to George.  

I really enjoyed this trip.  The guys  brought their IPP puzzles for others to play with and I had a go at a few.  All in all, I managed to solve 3 puzzles that day.  I'd call that a success.  Well, one wasn't.  I solved it, was about to move it to the base, and the thing went flying all over the room. Oh joy!  I know I solved it though.  

I was looking forward to a pork sandwich for lunch but that was not meant to be.  Instead I had a Cornish pasty!  OMG!  Delicious.  It brought me back to my childhood when my grandmother would pick these up in Door County and bring them home from her trips to Michigan.  I got a lesson on why they have the crimping along the edges and have decided I'm going to learn to make these myself. Why should I have to wait until next summer.  They would be amazing in the cold winters I bet.

The afternoon we puzzled on and chatted some more.  I played with Rik's exchange for a while then handed it over to Steve and George.  Later Ali came by and showed us what we had all just gotten to in solving.  It's a tricky bugger.  Fun though.

That night we headed to Allard's for a bunch of chatting. No puzzling really.  We did all enjoy watching Gilly make an autumn wreath.  Dinner was fish and chips as usual, and we took our leave around 10.  Tomorrow was another day of driving.  This time to the Netherlands.

We awoke around 7 and just hit the road. This put us to Folkestone a full 3 hours ahead  of schedule and as expected we managed to get on the chunnel early.  Our stop that night was in Delft where we stayed with Peter Knoppers.  Oskar and José bicycled over and we all had a wonderful dinner.  

The next morning Peter showed George his laser cutter and I have a feeling there will be a new purchase soon.  We left around 10 and headed for Khus.  Hendrik has been holding a bunch of puzzles for us for almost a year now so I thought we could drive up and get them. 

When I started the car in the morning, it made a bit of a screeching noise, but on the second crank it turned over.  Fluke I guess.  We spent the night in Lübek and drove to Hendrik's in the morning.  No problem starting the car.  

Upon arrival, I condensed the puzzles from 22 boxes down to 14.  9 of which we put in the car and made Hendrik promise that he would bring us the rest at DCD this October.  

He made a wonderful BBQ for us an we got to meet Matilda, his 1 year old grand daughter. She's adorable.  George played with the devil for a while, but around 3 we took our leave. I still had that lack of dash lights problem.  Once again the car made funny noises starting up and so I decided we just drive until we get to a hotel that has a Ford garage near by just in case.  

You have no idea how wise this decision turned out to be.  The next morning when we were to take off, the car would not start at all.  It just screeched at me. Ok.  I need a new starter. I suspected it, but was hoping we could make it to Italy.  No such luck.  I called a garage, and got a tow truck for the next morning.  

Sigh.  When the tow truck came to get us, the driver told me it was a broken timing belt.  Crud! That means a new engine.  We only paid €2000 for the car so a €4000 engine was out of the question. We had it towed to a junk yard and sold it for €100. Sounds cheap, but it did 2 (almost) trips to England, and it brought a lot of puzzles home.  We drove it for 3 months so that came out cheaper than a rental car.  

Now what?  Well, we are known to be a bit soft in the head, so we called Tesla while sitting at the junk yard and ordered a new Model Y.  Easy! 

Or not.  We were told the car could be picked up on the 12th.  It is in stock, almost exactly what we wanted (only missing the FSD, but we can add that later) She's a beautiful car.  Midnight red.  This paint job is amazing. As to the color you see, it depends on how you look at it and the light that it is in.  

But I digress.  The car is ready, at the delivery center.  Ready to be picked up, but....we need to register the car.  Normally Tesla would help, but because we are taking it to Italy we need to do it ourselves.  We sent the money over, paid for the car, and yet we wait.  It turns out the salesman thought we were diplomats for some reason.  I guess it was hard to understand that our car died and we were buying a new one on the spot.  Anyway, we had to spend 5 days in Berlin waiting.  So much for on the spot purchasing.

So we spent a day in bed catching up on emails, movies etc.  Then we drove to Leipzig to visit with Andreas Röver.  We had a lovely lunch and then George and Andreas returned to his flat to work on some Burr Tools stuff and just puzzle away.

 I wandered into town to see a few sights.  Leipzig is a city I was unable to visit when I lived here way back in the '80's.  It is a mix of old and new with some amazing churches and great sculptures.  I really enjoyed my wanderings.  I hope you enjoy the photos below. 

This is a chime for the clock across the road
My MPhil was on the 30 years war

Tallest tower in Leipzig

St. Nicholas Church

On Monday I went into Berlin to do some sight seeing and a bit of shopping.  Of course I bought a few legos to assemble and promptly did them when I returned.  I was here in the 80's and again a few years back for an IPP.   Today I decided to wander the streets where I was in the 80's.  Nothing remains the same except the KaDeWe.  All the rest was like walking into a foreign land to me.  

Kaiser Wilhelm Church
An amazing clock

It could have been a puzzle

KaDeWe: THE place to shop circa 1980's Berlin
The wall inside the European Center

An old Skoda
A part of the wall near our hotel

Tuesday morning!  We get to pick up our car!  Oh yipee!  NOT!  Remember that diplomat thing?  Well, they hadn't changed it and we are still waiting.  George and I returned to the hotel where I assembled the rest of my legos.  

That evening we saw the Berlin Orchestra play at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.  The pipe organ was amazing during the event.  This of course was the real reason we went. George loves that music

When we returned to the hotel we received the email telling us that our registration documents are on the way to the dealership.  This means all we need to do is bring them to a company who will in turn get us tags so we can then drive back home to Italy where we start the process of registering the car all over again.  Stay tuned for that bit of bureaucracy. I'm sure it too will be great fun.  

Today we got our temporary tags.  We picked up our new ride at 4:30 and headed to the rental agency to return the Fiat 500 that we rented.  A word of advice, don't rent one of these.  They have great storage, but the steering is hard work. Thankfully there was no extra charge for the bit of today that we had the car. 

Tesla in hand. The driving is as expected and I'm so glad to have a bit pickup again.  Actually, a lot of pickup.  I can get into traffic.  With that Fiat and the Ford I wasn't able to. Whose a happy girl then?  We got our Tesla for Italy. Now to do the paperwork. 

Tomorrow we leave for home. First stop: A junk yard to pick up some plates and a carload of puzzles.  Next stop: Tesla Florence to register a car.  And then home. It's been too long.  Here's hoping the reest of the trip is uneventful!