Monday 12th July
Sunday 11th.july (unless you know that the GF went to school in Germany in1958, the next bit may not mean much)
After Saturday's debacle, I took charge, did some research and emailed William. Consequently we were able to drive and park the van 250 yds from the remains of Prince Rupert School which are nowhere near what is not the Bunker as described on the local map, the actual bunker having been demolished last year as we had been told. Also, contrary to previous information, only one building remains, not the whole school complex. This building is in a state of disrepair and fenced. As luck would have it, a young lady (covered in bird shit ) was opening the only gate for someone as we approached so I inquired if this was in fact the site of the old PRS. It transpired that it was, was now being used by an organisation running the largest,and most successful Common Tern breeding project in Germany and she was the director. We explained the GF'S interest and she welcomed us in and gave us the tour. She had just obtained a grant from the town to preserve & renovate the building and intended to have a museum installed to show it's history from Kriegsmarine submarine pens to BAOR boarding school. The Tern project occupies 2 or 3 rooms, the rest look like a squat, peeling paint and 50 years of neglect. However, she was quite adamant that no one from the Ex pupils association had been in there since she started in 2009, so one up to the GF, who is not a member. The GF had her photo taken against a crumbling background.
The Tern project was fascinating. It was a floating raft in the sea, which had been covered in rocks and shingle to provide nesting sites for Terns. They had gone front 60 pairs 10 years ago to 900 today and the project is a major research facility despite being confined to 3 bare rooms in a dilapidated ruin.. the staff are mainly volunteers doing Phds and post graduate stuff from universities all over Europe. So it was jolly interesting.
We had had enough of Wilhelmshaven by now, so we drove to Jever so the GF could not recognise the house were her parents may or may not lived and then we went to Holland. Nice site on the coast at HARLINGEN....and the first thing we saw was Reg&V......small world.
Monday 12th July
Cycled into town, less than a mile, then cycled around it. Absolutely beautiful, full of character,old houses,canals and restaurants. I finally got treated to a slap up father's day lunch at a harbourside hotel which only cost Julian & Justin a mere €107, which the GF has paid and added to their (ever increasing) account.
We are home tomorrow, 14.15 ferry from the Hook to Harwich, so hopefully home by 9pm.