A Warm German Welcome

fireplace

A complete change to Caribbean weather

Thoroughly enjoying our holiday in Germany. It was rather cold when we first arrived and as the Captain asked ‘not to sweat’ the Captain got it. We had the fire going for the first four nights. It was very snuggly. Dagmar, Thomas’ oldest sister, lives in a beautiful woods where numerous tracks intertwine. We are staying with Dagmar and their niece, Laura, a delightful young lady who is loving having her uncle visit. Both have made us extremely welcome. We have a cosy big room in the cellar and are both sleeping soundly despite the lack of rocking. It is our first time on land in quite a long time and we thought we would miss sleeping on Qi a lot more than we are. We can thank Dagmar and Laura for making our environment so inviting.

A trip around Hamburg showed me the delights that I missed in my whirlwind tour in

Tourist Central

Tourist Central

2010 which consisted of one day. I look forward to further exploring over the next couple of weeks. Thomas needs to participate in various business meetings and other appointments so I get to go for a wander by myself. Such beautiful old buildings to wonder at.

We were treated to the culinary delights of Silvie and Peter Wagner, aka the Kochmonster, on an evening at their place on our first Saturday night here. Peter went to extremes to present a vegetarian feast.

Lovely night out at Silvie and Peter's place.

Lovely night out at Silvie and Peter’s place.

His efforts were beyond reproach as he served up four of the most tasty, eye boggling and unique courses. The dessert looked like a mozzarella and tomato salad yet was a strawberry and an alder flower jellied with agar agar. The green ‘pesto’ is a yummy crushed pistachio spread. The entree looked like a dessert. Peter has a regular Sunday food article in the German on line magazine, Spiegel and is certainly an expert in food and wine. A great evening with a lovely couple. It was great to see them again as I’d met them when they visited us on Qi in Mallorca.

Thomas’ fiftieth was a success with a gathering of twenty-or-so interesting people who joined us to celebrate this milestone. An array of Thomas’ favourite vegetarian dishes intrigued people and the meat that Thomas put on the grill gained limited interest.

Thomas delighting in his birthday cards

Thomas delighting in his birthday cards

It’s always nice to show carnivores that a veggo meal can be interesting and satisfying. The yard looked wonderful with a scattering of candles and lights thanks to Dagmar. Thomas made a side-show of pictures of his adventures from his arrival onto the boat, the crossing and most recently; the Curacao pictures. My disastrous attempt at a Black Forest Cake was met with approval as ‘we can’t have you doing a better job than a German’ and the famous Australian/NZ Pavlova certainly outshone it. It was lovely to meet Thomas’ friends. The highlight was really the build up to the evening though as Dagmar and Thomas went through record collections to develop the play list. Songs, almost forgotten, brought on a moment of wild dancing and recollections of joyful memories. It was a lovely week with late nights, chats and some singing best left out of the karaoke bars.

Xena at play

Xena at play

The morning of Thomas’ actual birthday was spent wandering through the woods armed with a bow and arrows firing upon plastic statues of animals. Upon arrival at the site we were greeted by men in uniform ready to attend a near by Schuetzenfest, (shooting club’s celebration,) of another village where marching, drinking and lots of good ole German music sounds out. This is a major yearly event in the small country villages. We walked through some woods and farm land to reach the place of the targets.

Gentlemen ready for the march

Gentlemen ready for the march

Many of my shots came close to the targets but only about four or five actually made it. I enjoyed the morning and the company of an old school pal of Thomas’ from his home town, Christian. After the shoot Christian gave me a ride in his MX5 back to his place while Thomas drove Dagmar’s van. Christian opened the little car up nicely on the straights and it was a beautiful summers day for the top down. What a thrill.

We still have a few more people to visit and we’re off to Hamburg today to catch up with business and more friends, including Tina. We’re looking forward to having dinner with Sebastian and Cathi tomorrow evening and then we’re heading off to Bamberg on a road trip to visit Carmen, my friend who I travelled around Canada with at the beginning of last year.

Laura and me taking the puppies for a walk

Laura and me taking the puppies for a walk

Loving the beautiful sunny weather and am looking forward to many more bike rides and walks through the woods.

More pics below

Dagmar. Thomas' big sister and one of the puppies

Dagmar. Thomas’ big sister and one of the puppies

May I get a photo of you two? Christian and Thomas

May I get a photo of you two? Christian and Thomas

This is the result of me asking for one sensible photo!!!

This is the result of me asking for one sensible photo!!!

Dessert at Silvie and Peter's place

Dessert at Silvie and Peter’s place

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