OT: Back from the Wifi Desert

Hello hello, I am back! Apologies for the absence over the last week and a half while I was travelling in Germany. The Fazerland (largely) remains a wifi desert, i.e. once I had left Kate, my access to wifi became problematic. Despite checking into a four star hotel in Munich, their wifi was deplorable. We had four devices with us – iPhones, iPad and Macbook – and none of them were able to access the wifi. And while staying with a friend for the last two nights, her wifi also did not allow me to sign in. Seriously, Germany, that is not worthy of a country that considers itself an industrial nation!!!

But never mind, the upshot of being cut-off from internet access is that there are no distractions from travel experience. It was just wonderful to be travelling again. I have to admit that I was on the verge of tears when I caught the first glimpse of the land through the clouds as my plane was approaching Hamburg airport on the way out. It had been 26 months since I was last in Germany – and since I last saw my mother in the flesh… We made the most of our time together and it was harmonious and happy. My mum even managed to secure the first white asparagus of the season – as asparagus with smoked ham and new potatoes is one of my favourite meals… (see right).

After a few days in the North of Germany, I made my way South, first stopping at Kate’s for an overnighter. That’s when we were hit with an unexpected return to deepest winter. Sure enough, Easter holidays are still often used by Germans to go skiing. But at that time of year, snow is usually limited to the mountains. This year, it even snowed in “the low lands”, i.e. the North of Germany. Here’s a look out the train’s window:

After my all-too-short stay with Kate I took the next train, going further South to Regensburg. Regensburg is a beautiful old town, situated on the river Danube. It has an old stone bridge which many people find reminiscent of Charles Bridge in Prague – only that the Regensburg bridge is actually 100 years older than the one in Prague! The city has a well-preserved medieval old town with lots of old houses and very narrow lanes. I stayed with one of my best friends there whom I have known since my first day in college. (She was also my travel companion in New Zealand, way back in 2015. Good cod, seven years ago!!!)

In Regensburg I continued the “downhill slope” that I had started on with Kate – craft shopping. Arrrrgh. 😉 Kate had already spoilt me with a visit to a cheap decor and craft item chain store in her area, and it just so happened that the chain had another branch in Regensburg. To my surprise, my friend suggested we check it out. And I bought more stuff. 😱 But even “worse” were the charity shops and book exchange in Regensburg, where I loaded up with about 6 kilos of books… I had to do it. It was too tempting, and the prices were pretty good for exactly the things I needed…

However, at this stage, the extra suitcase I had bought (!) at home with my mum, was full!

Here are some pics from Regensburg (click to enlarge):

Luckily my friend spontaneously decided to travel on to Munich with me – which meant she was able to help me with my two suitcases 😂. Soon after our arrival, we also picked up my mum at the train station. She had travelled down to Munich on her own, to celebrate Little Miss Guylty’s birthday with us.

We spent four days together in Munich, mainly shopping to supply Little Miss with a few bits and pieces for her room in the student residence. I’ve got to say that German student accommodation is pretty impressive. Little Miss has an en-suite room in a self-contained student flat, sharing a kitchen with seven other students. It’s all bright and airy and modern, and super cheap, compared to Dublin rents.

The weather continued to be rather chilly, but at least it was mostly dry in Munich. I snapped a few pictures for you while we were wandering around.

After my mum left on Sunday, I had a couple of nights staying with a friend of mine, just relaxing. I also managed to find the time to meet Linda60, fellow Armitage fan. In fact, Linda60 has the honour of being the very first fellow fan I ever met in person, way back in 2012 on the occasion of the Hobbit AUJ premiere in London. So meeting her was a must!

I flew back to Ireland from Munich on Tuesday, having had two great weeks of enjoying the Fazerland again after such a long absence. It was glorious, having been released from the Covid “prison”. Here’s hoping that the pandemic will lessen soon and that we *all* can enjoy more freedom again, soon.

And now back to normal programming 😉. I hope to bang out a few posts, soon, and get back into the swing of blogging. I am glad to be back with you all 😘!

51 thoughts on “OT: Back from the Wifi Desert

  1. It sounds like you had a really wonderful trip. I sometimes forget what a privilege I have that my parents and sibling have been inside my bubble during the past two years of relative isolation.

    I too am traveling soon – heading to Crete and Santorini in September (always room for you…*wink* *nudge*)

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    • Oh, hello Obscura!!!!!! 😍 Oh, don’t tempt me! September in Crete and Santorini? You know, I was on Crete (with a day trip to Santorini) in 2017 for my summer holiday. While there, I took my mum and daughter on a trip to Knossos, and I remember standing there, thinking “This would be so much better, if T___ was here!” So I am not lying when I say I am tempted!

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  2. I’m happy to hear you had a nice time 🙂
    I’ve been to Germany a few years ago, when our niece was studying there. We went by train because we took our dog with us too and we visited Munich, Frankfurt and Marburg. Munich is just 5 hours from Verona by train, not too much after all. Really loved our trip there (mini Guy was with me too, I think I have the pics of his Germany trips on Tumblr).

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    • Oh, Verona 😍. (Incidentally, my daughter has become friends with a couple of fellow Erasmus students from Verona… I suspect she will make the trip to Italy and visit them after the semester…) – Yep, Munich is definitely quite easy to get to from Italy. It’s only about 300km between Verona and Munich! Munich is practically already *in* Italy 😉. Glad to hear that you enjoyed your trip to Germania! 😊

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    • Around now is probably a good time of year to visit Germany. Well, the South at least. Not so sure about Göttingen 😉 But yep, I can imagine that you’d love to go. It must be quite a while since you were able to travel there.
      (Hehe, and yes, those Erdnuss-Flips are *chefskiss*. And I stupidly forgot to buy a few packets to bring home with me. Rookie mistake *doh*)

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      • Göttingen was always a crapshoot in April. But even so. May was better — all those May holidays 🙂

        Erdnuß-Flips: well, as you are still in the EU, you can probably have a case airmailed to you, right? Not too heavy, at least.

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        • May seems to be the time for all those traditionally-wet places. (Applies to Ireland, too 😁)
          Last time I looked, I was too stingy to pay for the P&P of a case of Erdnuss-Flips. But now you have got me drooling… eh… thinking… Must check that out.

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  3. Welcome home! Your vacation sounds wonderful. It’s been several decades since I’ve been to Munich but I remember fondly the excitement surrounding a beer festival in the Marienplatz. The parade of horse-drawn carts decorated in flowers and streamers in colors specific to each brewery was a sight I’ll never forget.

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    • Ha, I am delighted to hear that so many of you have been to Germany. Munich is definitely a nice place to visit. The whole beer hall scene is legendary, and festivals in the summer are probably a great time to experience the city. I usually don’t drink alcohol, but during this trip, even *I* could not resist ordering a beer shandy on a couple of occasions…

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  4. Welcome back, glad you had a good time with mum and friends! Love Regensburg, and Munich has its beautiful places too. 😉

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  5. So great that you had a wonderful time re-connecting with family and friends. Did a lovely day trip to Regensburg from Munich a few years ago while traveling with my elderly father – we loved it too.

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    • It’s great to hear that. As nice as Munich is, there is so much more to see in the South of Germany, and Regensburg definitely is a worthy destination! Good choice, piffle!

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  6. Glad that you have had a wonderful time with your mum and daughter. I can comprehend your feelings of travelling again. My brother lived many years in Regensburg and has expatriate himself to the Canaries. Since two years now we didn’t see us cause of the pandemic situation. And now I am sitting on his balcony and the wifi is working, so I can comment.
    Oh, asparagus, I love it

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    • Oh, so you must be quite familiar with Regensburg yourself then, Bea. And wow, emigrating to the Canaries!!! Well, he probably has the best weather there now!
      Asparagus season, here we come! I won’t get any white asparagus in Ireland, but I am going to make the most of the all the green asparagus I can get my hands on…

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      • Oh yes Regensburg is very nice and you can make fantastic tours with the bike, especially to the biergarten.
        It is an advantage to have family members living in interesting places. Disadvantage you can not very often visit them

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        • I’ve never done any biking in or around Regensburg, but a few years ago we did a one-day canoe tour on the Naab river. It was just great.
          Hehe, yes, it’s good to have friends and family living in nice places… If only we also had the time (and money) to visit them more often…

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  7. Hello Sonja. Welcome back. Looks like you really had a great time. 😊 Happy to hear that. And three generations at Little Miss Guylty’s birthday, that’s lovely. Now I have to pack because tomorrow I am going to see my parents for the second time in over two years (I’ve already heard something about asparagus soup, yummy).
    Happy Easter 😘

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    • Thank you, Graza.
      Hehe, yes – grandma, mother and child, attending said child’s birthday. (Sounds like the title of a 18th century painting 😂)
      Hope you have a nice time with your parents. Enjoy that asparagus soup!!!

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  8. Welcome back, Guylty.
    I was waiting to read about your travelling in Germany. We will be on a plane to Hamburg tomorrow. My husband did not see my mother since Easter 2019. Hope they still recognize each other.
    I am looking forward to the food. Asparagus would be welcome, maybe my mother planend as good as yours .

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    • Ooops, I hope I am not too late in wishing you a safe journey and a great time in Hamburg. Three years of not seeing the in-laws – that is a long, long time! Hope you’ll get to have some local asparagus, too 🤤. Enjoy the homeland!

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  9. Ah, sounds like such a lovely trip! Glad you were able to experience all that and hug loved ones again. And meeting some fandom friends as well, what a lovely bonus. It’s nice to have you back. 🙂

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  10. How nice is this all never managed Regensburg,but it’s famous for its beauty… hopefully one day. So lovely you all met up in Munich and T is lucky to be there,great city and the student accommodation is really great! So glad everyone is doing well and Dalmayr is such a treat! I have to admit the images of Munich almost made me weep… apple fritters and all the familiar places! I just want to be sitting in the Franziskaner near Residenz eating dumpling with Pfifferlinge Sauce… or eating Kaiserschmarrn. It feels like another life when I’ve last been there…. oh and yay on the white asparagus!!! Envious! But.. ihave seen a green grocer in my borough who imports stuff might have some so will have to finally make the effort to visit. Lovely to see all the pictures, what a nice trip x

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    • Oh, I can imagine that you miss Munich, too. It must be quite a while since you last went over there? Well, maybe in the future you can go again. It’s at least a nice possibility to look forward to, right?
      If you can get your hands on white asparagus, go for it!!! I know I won’t find it here, but green asparagus is a good substitute. My mouth is already watering, just thinking of it…

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      • Good to see you had such a nice time and thank you for taking us readers along with you so to say with your nice pictures and descriptions. I haven’t been to Munich yet myself unfortunately but I once visited Regensburg for a day and took tons of photos of the bridge 😅 there’s also a unesco world heritage center there that’s well worth a visit and the exhibition was not only about Regensburg but also about the inner workings of Unesco (how is a site chosen to become world heritage, etc)…
        One more thing though: why is there no white asparagus in Ireland??I’m curious! I prefer the green one myself but I thought everywhere where you can grow the green one you can also produce white, because for white you just have to cover it so it doesn’t get sun… you could even grow it in your little garden!

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        • Oh yes, I remember seeing marking Regensburg as a UNESCO world heritage site. Definitely deservedly so, with much more “antiquity” to see than Munich, for instance. (Although Munich is well worth a visit, too.)
          White asparagus in Ireland: You are right, strictly speaking it could be grown here, too. But for some reason Ireland doesn’t seem to have a taste for white asparagus. Even green asparagus is few and far between, and I have only come across the white “variety” in supermarkets but shipped all the way from Peru 😒. I get the impression that Ireland simply doesn’t have a strong asparagus growing tradition, unlike other countries. Mr Guylty tried growing asparagus for me in our garden once, but it just didn’t come up. I think you need a very sandy, light soil for it to grow, and the soil in our garden was simply too tough…

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          • Asparagus is very finicky; we had an asparagus bed for decades and it was always struggling. But I think the specific issue with white asparagus is probably that it’s a lot of extra work adding soil to the bed. It’s not widely grown in the US either in comparison to green, and I suspect that’s the reason.

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          • haha then you were at least closer to potentially having your own asparagus than me, thanks to your fabulous Mr Guylty! 👏 when I was a teenager, the grandparents of a friend of mine successfully had asparagus (both green and white) in Lower Austria and I always thought that I would try to grow it myself as soon as I had a garden. but as the asparagus bed needs three years of preparation before you can harvest the first time and I was never sure how life will go on, I just didn’t do it so far. in hindsight I could have had asparagus already. maybe I start to build it up this year 🤞

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            • Oh yes, that’s true. There is a long prep-time before the asparagus actually grows. I had forgotten that. Hey, it’s never too late to try it 😉. In the meantime, I have switched to green asparagus in Ireland. It’s actually also very nice, and works just as well with the potato/smoked ham combo.

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  11. I am so happy for you!!! Returning to your country, meeting with your Mum, your daughter and friends. nice photos and thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

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