All I knew for sure when we left Minden, Nevada is that we would be staying in London for 9 days. The rest was a surprise – Bill likes crafting these to keep me on my toes.
We rented a car in Hannover after having traveled for a month by air, bus, train, cab and ferry and headed north. In search of his Neddenriep ancestral home.
Equipped with a street address and GPS we encountered a problem right at the get go. No such street. Town yes – street no. Hoping that someone in the town could advise us we looked for a cafe. Thank goodness for small towns and an intelligent google savvy young women who not only informed us that the street was spelled incorrectly the town was incorrect as well.
No problem though. After asking “Where is your Googler?” on my phone, she punched the info into our GPS and we were on our way. A 10 minute drive.
Reipe 9 in Bad Fallingbostel. Reipe had every number but #9 – back and forth we drove – just about to give up when Bill spotted a farmer. No way in heck he would speak English – we gave it a whirl. English – yes. Oh you want the Neddenriep Haus – turn around hang a right and then take a left into the trees on a narrow road. Ok – that’s strange but ok.
Sure enough 9 Reipe – Neddenripe Haus.
Bill’s ancestors immigrated to America in 1869 and to this day the house/farm and street still bear the Neddenriep name and are still occupied by Neddenrieps.
We snuck around the property like house robbers snapping photos – proof that we had been there. Mission accomplished.
On thru Bielifeld, the Heitman hometown and Minden the namesake to our home town in Minden, Nevada. Another link to the past…
To go full circle – Bill made an illegal turn leaving Minden and soon there were flashing blue lights warning us to pull over. Promptly Bill was scolded about obeying road signs and please give me your car papers and your driver’s license. Bill pointed to our home town on the license and told the officer that we were here to discover the original Minden. With a smile the officer informed us that she had traveled to Minden, Nevada this summer to visit a friend who was an au pair.
With that and another stern warning we were free to drive back to Hannover.