We’re sitting in the departure lounge in Dusseldorf airport feeling quite refreshed from our wonderful holiday in Germany.
Joining in with local village life has been a joy during our stay. In amongst the walks and bike rides we have enjoyed snippets of some local festivals. The village Schuetzenfest is the celebration of identifying the best shooter in the village. It was a carnival atmosphere with hearty beer soaked laughs providing the sound track along with the air piercing cracks of the fireworks. The ‘King’ shooter had a gigantic crown lit above the doorway of his house and the remainder was lit up with Christmas-like lights – a tribute to his superiority in the village for the year. I don’t know how long the lights stay on but his many responsibilities for representing the village remain for the year.
Thomas and I both participated in the annual archery competition. Thomas had a reasonably acceptable score with ten first kills – this is when you hit the small marked target on the rubber animals with your first arrow. My score was okay but my personal wins were about hitting two of the more difficult targets while Thomas and the other two gentlemen missed. I had the nice surprise at the presentation of being awarded with a club badge for being a special guest. I was really made to feel welcome there and enjoyed our Sunday mornings and Wednesday afternoons singing and traipsing through the woods with Kim, Christian, Joern and others over the last two months.
Highlights of our visit have been my overnight trip to Poland with Dagmar, Thomas’ sister, Thomas’ party and meeting Thomas’ family and friends.
We had some entertaining dinners with Silvie and Peter where the excitement of the next course was full of suspense like a five star mystery thriller. We have lovely memories of relaxed banter with Cathi, Sebastian, Kiki, Doris, Kiki 2, Claudia, Kim, Wiebke, Gerda, Joachim, Nathalie, Bastian and others over dinners throughout the two months. All provided stimulating conversation and great food. Thanks to everyone who helped make me feel welcome.
Thomas’ party was full of lots of opportunities to chat and meet his beautiful friends. He is more than lucky to have such quality and interesting people in his life. It was my faux pas against the normal German tradition to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ and eating cake before midnight. Sorry about that but my dessert button usually switches off way before 10pm.
I joined Dagmar and workmate, Victora, on a five hour drive to Szczecin in Poland for work, (well not me as of course I’m not permitted to work). I went exploring around the old city while the others went off to meetings. There were exceptional historical buildings along a clearly marked dotted red line on the pavement. Notes on the buildings describing the original occupants and the building’s purpose were written in Polish, German and
English. It was my type of self-directed tour. I took my time and enjoyed the sights. The best thing was that the dotted line went straight past the front door of our hotel. A lovely dinner out with Dagmar’s friendly Polish work colleagues was entertaining. Then it was like school camp as Dagmar and I thoroughly enjoyed a chat late into the night before a brief sleep.
Thomas and I took Dagmar’s Giant Schnauzer for a day trip to the North Sea during this last week. Walking in mud up to our knees gave our sea legs a beauty treatment that left them feeling smooth to the touch. Poor Camillo was quite confused with water he couldn’t drink, ground that was squelchy and sounds coming from so far off that he couldn’t see where they came from.
It’s been terrific to meet both Thomas’ lovely sisters and his nieces and nephew. We’ve loved staying with Dagmar and Laura and were made to feel at home. I feel like a got to know them well and look forward to our return. We will miss them and our German home, (and walking the Giant Schnauzers through the beautiful woods picking blue and raspberries), but look forward to returning there.