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 😘!