Embracing Adventure “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~~Hellen Keller

Getting to Heidelberg and Getting Temporary Housing

A civilian worker met us at the secure room in the airport to lead us out to the bus to Heidelberg. I was allowed to take the lift (elevator) with the dogs while he and my husband took the escalator with the luggage. It was a tight fit in the lift, but it was much better than the escalator experience on the way up. On the way outside, the civilian employee told us that the post at Heidelberg is getting ready to close down and everyone has been moving to Weisbaden, where he is stationed. He compared it to a mini-Seattle and seemed to really like it.

While we did know that Heidelberg is set to close in the next couple years and we will likely move elsewhere in Germany, we did not know that people are already moving or that a destination was set. Of course, plans can always change, so there isn’t much sense in expecting anything. For now, we’ll be in Heidelberg and plan to make the most of it, and I’m sure we’ll do the same wherever we go next, whenever that is.

When we got to the bus to Heidelberg, it was much larger than we were expecting, and we ended up being the only ones on it. Even with that being the case, the dogs had to go under the bus with the luggage, but they didn’t seem to mind. While the trip was only an hour long, the bus seemed to be one of the ones designed for longer trips. There was even a bathroom in it.

There was a temperature gauge near the front of the bus reading 4 *C (about 39* F) for most of the trip, and it was raining. Even with the rain, the scenery was pretty with many trees. I tried to stay awake for the duration but I nodded off a couple of times, so I’m glad we didn’t have to drive ourselves.

The Army Lodging building where we checked in, but not where we stayed.

When we got to post, the gate guards checked our IDs and the bus driver took us to Army Lodging. He unloaded our luggage on the sidewalk and drove off. I stayed outside while my husband went to check in. He came out and told me the last piece didn’t fall into place. They didn’t have a reservation this early for us and thought we weren’t coming for another couple of hours.

They ended up getting us a room ready early. We had a sponsor on the way with his car to take us over to the building we would be staying in. While we waited for him, we took the luggage into the lobby. I took the dogs for a little walk while my husband handled the paperwork. I mentioned before that we had been told it would be $50 per month plus $3/per day per dog while living in on post housing. It turned out this was only going to be true of the temporary lodging, and it would be $50 for the stay (even if it had to be extended to two months) and $3/per day per dog. We got charged about $110 up front for the 10 days they had estimated we would need to be there.

The placard to our room.

When we got to the building, we found out there isn’t a lift. The room turned out to be on the second floor up but with winding stairs. The cleaning lady let us know that they leave the doors on each side open and we could use them. While clearly designed to be a fire exit, they were easier to use. When we got to our room, it was number 666. This seemed fitting considering how much of our move had gone. We put our stuff in the room and let the dogs out. We wouldn’t get to really see the room until later because we had some things to get done before we could rest.

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4 Thoughts on “Getting to Heidelberg and Getting Temporary Housing

  1. Just wanted to wish you a Happy New Year!!!
    You fill my curiosity. I always thought most army people have home waiting for them. My husband I did the same. We stayed in a hotel for a month looking for our dream temporary spot to live until we can find a home to buy. It did not work out. I got upset and got tired of moving around from rooms to rooms (The price changes for certain rooms each weekend). He found a furnish housing for us to move into while we wait for our furniture and etc to come from the plane and ship. Funny thing was once we sign that contract for a month. We found our dream temporary home we are current at. Life is funny. I can’t wait to hear about your home you will be living at.

    • Thank you. Happy New Year to you as well. I’m glad I do 🙂 Actually, a lot of army people do already have a home lined up, but not always. Yeah it would definitely be frustrating going from room to room. If you ever have to stay at a hotel for an extended time, try to get them to lock the rate for you for your whole stay and the same room. If it’s a really long time (like a month) look for an “extended stay” hotel which specializes in lower rates for people staying a longer time, or ask the hotel if they offer a monthly rate. You can always over-estimate the time and check out earlier. But if you go day by day there is no guarantee of the rate or room availability because they will change based on the day, occupancy, etc.

      I used to work at a hotel and during a large event I started the day charging one rate and by the time we sold out it was much higher. Sometimes we had people come to us the day of their checkout and want to extend and they couldn’t because we had already booked that room. So definitely plan ahead. In fact most hotels offer their lowest rates online. So check that out before you call, and make sure if you qualify for any discounts you wait to tell them that until they give you the base rate.

      Fortunately we didn’t have to deal with all that. Since we were in the guest housing due to not having our housing available yet, we didn’t have to pay for our stay except for the dogs and we had the same room. That’s cool you found a temporary furnished house although a bummer if you didn’t need it as long as you paid for. So you guys had everything shipped also? Was it really expensive? We don’t know what it cost the army to ship our stuff but we assumed that it would be more than we could afford if we had to move on our own. Anyhow I’m glad you guys found your dream home. We didn’t get to pick our home here, but it’s actually pretty awesome. It’s a 2 bedroom apartment w/ a washer/dryer, a huge kitchen and 2 sinks in the bathroom. I’m trying to go in order of how things progressed for the posts, but I’ll be getting to it soon. I’ll be writing about the guest housing in the next post which I’ll hopefully type up today or tomorrow.

      • Thank you for the tips. I have to book mark this info for one day if we move to Japan or India for 3 years. I wouldn’t know the price but my hubby would he got all the paperwork. His job paid for the transfer (luggage from air and sea) to come back home. That is all they paid for everything else here is out of our pockets. Living in America they paid for half of our rent, car, our first move after extend his contract for two more years, and gave our free tickets to look and see but we use them to visit family and went to Amsterdam. We been here many time and knew where we wanted to live in this area, lol

        You lucky lady you:) A huge kitchen I would love that…actually just more cabinet space.

        • You’re welcome. That would be fun. That’s cool that he has a job that at least pays for the luggage if not everything else. It’s good that they covered that much in the States. Fortunately the army either gives a housing allowance or gives you free housing on post. We got the latter over here. While I think it could have been fun to live off post, it’s kind of nice that we don’t have to mess with finding somewhere within the allowed amount, budgeting for utilities out of it, etc. Hey if they didn’t care where you went with it all the better if you got to go somewhere you wanted to. Yep. The cabinet space is one of my favorite parts. The shelves are a little weird and some things don’t fit well but I have managed to find a place for everything so far and there’s a nice set of drawers, the last of which is deep enough to hold my mixer and bigger pans.

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