Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Africa-Europe 2015 Day 48. My last day in Germany

For my last day in Germany Anna (Christine and Gustav’s daughter) has planned a nice hike around Feldberg, one of the foothills of the Taunus Mountains. So, come mid-morning, Christine and I left the house in this fine Sunday morning, and so did a million other Germans, intent of enjoying a hike, bicycling, or taking a motorcycle ride up the mountain. The end result is that we couldn’t find a place to park near the top, and instead had to park at mid elevation, where we met Anna.

Christine was in fine athletic form, and pretty soon she and Leo (her dog) had a healthy lead on Anna and myself. This gave me a great opportunity to chat with Anna to our heart’s content. I have known her since she was a baby, maybe a year old, and now in her mid twenties she is a delightful and beautiful young woman with a wide range of interests. For example, a few years ago she spent a semester in Ruanda, promoting small businesses among the women of the town, and only recently came back from a semester in Sevilla, where she developed an amazing command of Spanish.

The hike through the pine forest was wonderful, and the views of Frankfurt and its surrounding villages were breath-taking. In total we walked maybe 8 to 10 km, and by the time we made it to the top I was glad to see that, true to form, there was a comfortable restaurant way on top, where we were able to enjoy a cold beer, a plate of French fries, bread accompanied by rendered lard with bacon bits, and a type of pancake chopped into pieces and smothered on strawberry syrup. OK, so it was not a lunch that would make my doctor happy, but we enjoyed it with the appetite of those who have already burned the calories.

We came back to town just in time to go to dinner with our old friends Gabi and Dieter, where I had a plate of hack steak in some sort of sauce, fried potatoes, and with the whole covered by two sunny-side up eggs. Strange, but actually quite tasty. Naturally we also had a final toast with Apfelwein.

To wrap a perfect day Chrsitine and I went to visit Phillip’s new apartment. He studied Mechanical Engineering, and is now doing a paid internship with a company that is not to far from their home, but since he now has a salary he figured it was time to cut the umbilical cord and find a place closer to work. He chose very well. The apartment is in the first floor of a three-storey building, but in a neighborhood of mostly single homes. He has one large bedroom, a living room with a huge terrace, and fairly adequate bathroom and kitchen. Everything looks empty now, because the big move is in a couple of days, but he has most of the furniture lined up, so he will be snug as a bug. Christine likes it because she can come visit when she takes Leo for a walk along the River Mainz!

And that is it. Tomorrow Monday, July 27, 2015 I am flying back to Houston (a killer flight of 2.5 hours Frankfurt to Istanbul, and from there 12 hours from Istanbul to Houston). I will spend the night in Houston, and on Tuesday I will take a flight from Houston to Monterrey, rent a car, and hopefully sit to supper with my parents by 6 pm. Since the remaining trip is not likely to produce any significant adventures I will finish this blog here, and will resume it next time I go adventuring. Perhaps a motorcycle tour through New Zealand next January?


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