Sunday, October 30, 2011

Back To Good Old Germany

There have been many happenings in my life and there are lots of things to share - I just can't find the time to write down everything; so I have to make a selection now (I don't want to overwhelm you after all!).

This past Friday, I travelled back to Germany. The EU officials traditionally get November 1 and 2 off (All-Saints and All-Souls), and so I took Monday in addition to make a bridge.

My journey was very pleasant. I really like the colored trees at this time of the year. It was especially beautiful to watch the scenery from the train which passes alongside the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, also called the Rhine Gorge (between the cities of Bonn and Mainz), and I found out that this is even an UNESCO world heritage site.

Beautiful scenery along the River Rhine
One of the many old castles along the way
Here is another one!

On Saturday evening, my aunt Renate (my mother's sister) celebrated her 60th birthday, together with a good friend who turned 70 around the same time. Both my aunt and uncle as well as the other couple have been very active in traditional folk dance. So whenever they celebrate something, they like to involve their guests with this. I know this may be a bit foreign to most readers of this blog (especially to the Adventists who are in self-supporting work), but I really like it. I find it an innocent, pleasant and very convivial activity - and I actually wouldn't mind to have more opportunities to do folk dance.

We tried our best to follow the steps
And some would just sit there and watch - or talk
(like my mother and grandmother)

Whenever I get to visit my folks, I like to go to the nearby Black Forest. So today, my parents and I went for a trip to the famous city of Baden-Baden. I actually lived there for about five months during my secretarial training in 1999/2000; and this is also the town where this NATO summit meeting in 2009 was held. However, we went for another summit, i. e. we took a small cable car to get on the "Merkur" mountain. It was still foggy in the morning, but then the sun gradually came out, so our hike back down was just lovely. Again, the fall colors are very pretty.

View from an observation tower (while it was still foggy)

A great day for the paragliders
Almost ready to fly...

...and go!

Hiking down
The trees (picture above without flash, the other one with flash)
Loveley scenery - what else can I say?

On Tuesday, my parents are going to take me to Brussels by car and stay there for a couple of days. This will give us another opportunity for a hike - maybe in the hilly region of the Ardennes (no real mountains in Belgium after all, but pretty anyway). On Friday, I'll be headed to Geneva, respectively Collonges, France, where I'm going to spend a long weekend - but this is another story!

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