Well if the weather holds true to form, this will be a fantastically memorable walk! In true Germanic style it is an outstandingly organised hiking trail, which any human with a modicum of orientation could navigate. My sense of orientation was instilled from birth.
A little like the Camino Trail in Spain where one simply follows the yellow Nautilus, here one follows a red diamond and the Sign of the Red Deer – the only hiccup being the Deer is in fact green! As there is a significantly high proportion of German men who are colour blind, I guess it’s not so much of an issue, to Germans or one was still walking at night. Here I must confess that I did become mildly lost ( if there are indeed degrees of “lostness” ) and faced the prospect of finishing in the dark.
The other totally unanticipated bonus was my accommodation! Again if the first two hotels are to be the standard for the week, then I could spend months in the Schwarzwald living like a decadent movie star. The Germans call them “wellness centres”.
hotel langenwaldsee at Freudenstadt
my room hotel oberwiessenhof at Besenfeld
One was greeted at reception by a buxom wench dressed in German national costume who would have passed muster for a Bavarian Beer Hall and made Vivienne jealous. Sadly I have yet to be welcomed by Kurt in leadenhose.
At the hotel in Besenfeld at reception I was asked if I would be in for dinner and breakfast, of course I replied. Here is my reserved table for dinner and breakfast!
the dining room
my reservation at dinner.
breakfast again with quaint place name
The wellnes centres of both hotels were dazzlingly decadent and could have been lifted out of an ancient Roman bathhouse or the public baths at Budapest! Spas, saunas, steam rooms and swimming pool with showes that shot water out of multiple orifices at every few centimeters around the wall! Marble, slate and terrazzo added a final Greek touch!
So here are a few pictures of the first day -24 km easy! The rest of the week is truely a walk in the woods only about 15 km a day! Even Pamela could cope whilst Michelle would surely approve of the accommodation!
I had forgotten the hell that is Hall D of Tegel airport Berlin
This queue is simply waiting to check in! The futility of “on-line” check in is obvious! One may as well bounce one’s bum on the moon. It should be renamed to “in-line” check in
Translste from.the English to German the following well known saying:
” I crept into the crypt, kipped, crapped then crawled out “.
Some useful hints:
A few pictures of Berlin and Amsterdam. Berlin i visited three years ago whilst it was 40 years ago for Amsterdam!
the Berlin Dom
interior of the cathedral
Has it changed in 40 years… I can’t remember!
looking across the canal from the Rikjmuseum
I am sure that Juliet owned a bicycle! eveyone else does.
the oldest church in Amsterdam !
Where am I? Have my creative juices dried up? Let me reassure you that is not the case! The reason is quite simply summarised in the two pictures. Firstly the Congress, which, being a very ethical human being as the reader will immediately acknowledge, I am attending with religious ferver.
Secondly was the excited anticipation of my repaired Alto Recorder waiting for me at the Hotel Brandies the day of my arrival. In true Germanic style is was indeed handed to me as I checked in. I have been practicing with gay abandon every spare minute.
The opening morning of the conference was excellent value and was clinically relevant at least to me, the afternoon offering less so. I excused myself at lunch and walked to the Museum of Musical Instruments (Musikinstrumenten-Museum) via The Tiergarten.
This is an huge Park in central Berlin. Surely I was dreaming when from the lush tropical forest beside the track I heard the by now familiar tones of a Treble Recorder. It was moreover being played by an expert. I cautiously left the path and as quietly as possible navigated towards the music. There he was : an old man dressed in black and happily playing a baroque piece with trills and ornamentations worthy of any professional. He finished the piece with a flourish. I spontaneously applauded, he laughed with surprise and we chatted, confirming he had being playing since a child. I confessed that I was an old man playing like a child.
Thence to the Museum and its well worth a visit. Harpsichords and pianoforte abound. Invest in the audio guide and you will hear musical examples on the actual instruments.
Finally as my iPhone confirmed i had walked 37km, i went to the nearby Italian Trattoria and had s pizza which the menu boasts are 34 cm tall.
Adelaide to Berlin
Adelaide airport at dawn
In May 2016 the Gulf airline Qatar commenced services from Adelaide to Doha. I jumped ship from Emirates at the behest of my travel agent: Bargain tickets, the latest and greatest Airbus : A350, and finally the lure of the latest greatest airport. These incongruous Gulf cathedrals of capitalism are truely the Westerners’ Mecca.
Doha airport – its Emirates – same same
Anyway the Qatar A350 was smooth, quiet and fast! We had a strong tailwind and arrived a full hour ahead of time! You can imagine my ecstasy! An extra hour of a potential duty free shopping.
one of the numerous club lounges – Doha
I can’t fathom why at least three Gulf Countries thousands of kilometres from civilisation in a sea of sand, have become hubs of aviation, attracting millions of transit travellers including me!
Now safely in my hotel in Berlin.
And what was waiting for me? My beloved Recorder with a new head block!