Delaware may not make Fodor's list of places to see before you die, but a group of travelers from Germany was more than happy to be in town last week.
A delegation of eight visitors from one of Delaware's sister cities -- Baumholder, Germany -- arrived Sept. 29 and departed Oct. 5.
The group included Baumholder District Mayor Bernd Alsfasser; public affairs officer Bernd Mai along with his wife, Melanie, and daughter, Emilia; municipal employee Gaby Zahler and her husband, Hans; and Elfriede Gedratis and her daughter, Ingrid Lopez.
The visitors took in the local sights -- including an Ohio Wesleyan University soccer game and Perkins Observatory -- but, more importantly, provided insight on the differences in municipal conditions on each side of the Atlantic, said Rand Guebert, chairman of Delaware's Sister City Advisory Board.
Compared to Delaware, Baumholder has more renewable energy, a considerable amount of solar power and a highly developed recycling program, he said.
Baumholder officials, meanwhile, are envious of Delaware's growth rate, he said, while Germany's population is shrinking.
Baumholder is one of Delaware's two sister cities, he said. The other is Sakata, Japan.
Delaware also is exploring a sister-city relationship with Lahardane, Ireland, he said, which Delaware students visited in March. Such exchanges typically precede sister-city interactions, Guebert said.
He said OWU has been sending its soccer team to Baumholder about every three years, starting in 1990. The relationship between Baumholder and Delaware grew, and the two became sister cities in 2012.
Sakata, meanwhile, has been sending exchange students to Delaware for about 20 years.
Guebert said he has been chairman of the volunteer advisory board since Delaware City Council created it in 2013.
He and council member Lisa Keller visited Baumholder last month to attend the opening of a new public building.
The state of Rheinland-Pflaz converted the former Goldener Engel hotel in Baumholder into a cultural center with a regional museum and a cafe, a library and space for small events and temporary exhibitions.
Guebert paid for his trip, which he also used as an opportunity to visit friends in Geneva, Switzerland.
He lived in London for 14 years as an employee of the Coastal Corp., an energy and petroleum company.
His job frequently took him to other European countries, he said. Coastal had a refinery in Hamburg, Germany, and Guebert said he was in Berlin when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. He has lived in Delaware since 2009.
Baumholder has a population of about 4,000; Lahardane's is less than 200. Sakata, by comparison, is a large city of about 150,000, Guebert said.
Delaware's population is about 39,000, according to 2017 census estimates.
Delaware council clerk Elaine McCloskey said whenever Delaware officials visit Baumholder, "they find the host families very warm and inviting."
McCloskey said the Germans' visit will be discussed at the next Sister City Advisory Board meeting, set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9 at Delaware City Hall, 1 S. Sandusky St.