24 Comments40th Anniversary Trip, Life, Memoir, Photography, Travel


One of the highlights of our European vacation was going back to Soest, my birthplace in Germany, for the first time in decades. On the way, we stopped overnight at my mother’s hometown of Bochum, where we spent most weekends and holidays.

Bochum to Soest

Interesting story there.

My grandfather, (Opa), was a dentist. He and my grandmother, (Oma), lived in the same building where he worked for over 40 years. Across the hall from his office was a pub, which has since become a full service restaurant.

By coincidence, I met a woman on the internet who resided in that neighbourhood as a child. Even more noteworthy: she and her parents had been patients of my grandfather’s!

Small world, isn’t it?

When we booked the trip to Germany, arrangements were made to have dinner with her and her husband in that very spot. Quite the exciting adventure! A shiver went through me as I stood right there, looking at the windows of the old residence, for the first time since 1972!

grandparents' home
My grandparents’ apartment started at the round corner window, 2nd floor, stretched all along that side and across the back of the building. The dental office was where the flower shop (Blumen Ridder) is now.

Opa passed away in 1979.
Oma lived out her remaining years with my aunt in Austria and died in 1996.

Bochum Stadtpark
Bochum Stadtpark

When we arrived in Soest, it was as if I had never left. Everything looked pretty much the same in this lovely, historic town.

First stop was the old neighbourhood. Nice to see the buildings had all been renovated. I stood transfixed for the longest time, awash in memories.

Soest apt.
You CAN go home again! We lived on the top floor, right, from Jul. 1965 – Jul. 1969

Hard to believe I was really here….

Cross one off the bucket list!

Another thrill was revisiting a favourite spot in town.
There’s an oil painting of it hanging in our bedroom:

Soest duckpond
Old Mill and duck pond with Wiesenkirche, (church), in the background

My husband especially thought it was grand to see the painting come to life! Shame about the construction scaffolding, but, it otherwise lived up to expectations:

soest duckpond real version
Painting come to life!
duck pond expanded
Expanded view, different angle

Going back home was something I thought would never happen.

It has been a dream come true and I’ll always cherish these memories.

duck pond house
The Old Mill , (left side); now the tourist office
view of town
Duck pond view of town, with St. Pauli & St. Petri church steeples
city hall
Town Hall; excellent example of Baroque architecture
downtown hotel
Famous downtown hotel
house of bells
House of Bells
Kattenturm park
Soest is surrounded by ancient retaining walls. This is the outermost one, complete with the last defensive tower, known as the Kattenturm. Major nostalgia kick! We walked our dog here every day. It was only 5 minutes from home.
famous wall
More of the famous wall
wall by old mill
Wall by the Old Mill
cobblestones and ancient walls
Cobblestones and ancient walls give Soest such atmosphere! ♥
Osthofentor; the last remaining gate

©D.D.B. 2013

Do you have a bucket list of travel destinations? I’d love to hear about them!

Have you fulfilled any of them, or are planning to, soon?

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Debbie D. on FacebookDebbie D. on GoogleDebbie D. on InstagramDebbie D. on LinkedinDebbie D. on PinterestDebbie D. on RssDebbie D. on TwitterDebbie D. on WordpressDebbie D. on Youtube
Debbie D.

Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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24 thoughts on “HOME AGAIN AFTER 41 YEARS!

  1. Hi Debbie, I had fun browsing around your blog. We have a few things in common. I was born in Germany, my parents moved to the US when I was a baby, and now I’m back in Germany. You can read about that in my blog, under About Me. 🙂 I’m looking forward to getting to know you better. Waving to you from across the pond. Angelika

    1. Hello Angelika and welcome to The Den. 🙂 I’ve been taking a hiatus, so apologize for the late response. How nice that we have these things in common. I’ll definitely be checking out your blog too. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  2. Absolutely Gorgeous Germany.

    It must have been great to go back and revisit this first part of your life. I know so much how you must have feel, because I feel it going back to France.

    1. It was such a thrill to be back in Soest; especially since I thought it would never happen. 🙂 Wonderful to see that little has changed there, too. Lovely little town! ♥ France is also beautiful and I can imagine how much you enjoy going back there, Sylviane! I’ve been to Paris, Versailles and Strasbourg, but that was way back in 1966/67. Cheers!

    2. Hi
      I did exactly the same! I went back to Soest a few weeks ago after not being there for 33 years.
      My dad was in the british army and we lived in Soest for three years!

      1. Hi Jeanette; Welcome to The Den. 🙂 How great that we have this in common! I was born there, as well. Aren’t you thrilled that it hasn’t changed much in all these years? We just loved it. Thanks for visiting.

  3. Debbie, these pictures are *beautiful*! I love your hometown 🙂 I’ve never been outside of the U.S. except for a bit of Canada. I’m a little jealous of Europeans, lol! Glad you both made it back safely.

    1. Hi Marcia; Yes, Soest is like a time capsule and looks just like I remember it. 🙂 That was such a thrill for me! The great thing about Europe is having so many countries close together. We sure did a lot of travelling when we lived in Germany. Even easier now, with the European Union. Hopefully, you’ll get to Europe some day. Unfortunately, I got sick when we came back, but, am better now. Thanks for visiting.

  4. Wow! Yay you! I came over from the Writer’s Post on FB because of your introduction as a canine innkeeper and what a surprise! I love this post. My dad was career Army and we spent a lot of time in Germany as kids of course none of us appreciated it then and are all dying to go back and revisit the places our dad took us. He had a special love for Germany and Austria, and reading your post and seeing your photos, I totally get why..
    Great post! I’m so glad I stopped by!

    1. Welcome to the Den, M.M. Mimi! 🙂 My father was also career army, (Canadian, of German descent). We travelled all over Europe when we lived in Germany and it was such a happy time! My hometown is so pretty and historic; I fell in love with it all over again. ♥ Thanks so much for stopping by and I’m glad you enjoyed the photos.

  5. Dear Debbie, I am so glad you could fulfill a lifelong dream seing your birthplace again, visiting your husbands home area and exploring historic places in Europe. Doing this together with your husband of 40 years was certaily a thrill – for the both of you. You could support each other on this memorable trip and also find each other again in renewed love.
    Your pictures are wonderful and your writing about it professional….
    See you around online!
    Love – Karin

    1. Such lovely words, Karin! 🙂 Thank you – they mean a lot. Yes, it truly was a “trip of a lifetime”. 😀 Coming home has been a bit anticlimactic, I have to say. Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts.

  6. Hi Debbie,

    Great to have you back 🙂

    I can just about imagine your happiness to be back home after SO many years! These are awesome pictures indeed and makes us feel as if so we too have been there – seeing it all through your eyes. Yes, I used to keep seeing the nice ones you shared on FB too – awesome indeed!

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    1. Thanks Harleena! 🙂 Coming home has been a bit anticlimactic, especially since I got the flu. Feeling better now, though. Glad you’ve been enjoying my photos and ramblings. Have a great week, yourself.

  7. Deb…I can’t imagine the fulfillment this trip has brought to you and “Alphonso.” It really must have been surreal to be standing in places that were just memories for so long. I’m so happy that you were able to add new mmemories to the onesv you slresdy held dear. Thank you for sharing your words and pictures along the way, sorella mia.

    1. It was pretty incredible, Gina, especially since I thought I’d never see it in person again! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for dropping in, Sorella.

  8. It must have been wonderful to re-visit your old home. Many memories would have come rushing back to you * it looks like such a lovely place. Full of charm,and very picturesque.. Jo ‘

    1. It was great, Jo! 🙂 My only regret is not having more time. This was a little side trip, tacked on as an afterthought, to the main event, (two week tour of Greece). Thanks for dropping by.