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Weekend in Berlin, December 2003
The SHOT Christmas dinner trip.
The Reichstag Dome and the view from the dome.
The Brandenburg Gate; Christmas market at the Gendarmenmarkt; one of the remaining sections of the Berlin Wall, at the "Topographie des Terrors".
The meal at Gugelhof (attended by 26 people!).
Trip to France, August 2003
A week's trip to Brittany to visit my boyfriend Craig's brother Simon and his wife Lisa at the farmhouse they're doing up. The house is on the edge of a village called Trans-la-Foret, about half an hour from St. Malo.
Coming into St Malo on the ferry from Poole.
The village of Trans, and the farmhouse and outbuildings (earmarked for future renovation and holiday lets). The last photo shows Craig & Simon clearing undergrowth. Since Simon and Lisa both work on Jersey - a daily commute of about five hours in total - they're getting professionals in to do most of the renovation work.
Dol and its cathedral (they ran out of money to finish the second tower); with Hannah (Lisa's half-sister, who was also visiting) and Elliott (Lisa's son) on Mont-Dol. We could just about see Mont-St-Michel in the distance but it's not really discernible on the photo.
Mont-St-Michel: the approach, the cloisters in the abbey, and the very crowded Grand' Rue.
The chateau in Combourg, not far from Trans.
The very attractive mediaeval town of Dinan.
At a neighbouring village's Fete du Cochon (Pig Festival) with Simon & Lisa and friends Ray & Teresa.
St Malo, where we spent a few hours before sailing back to the UK.
Trip to Germany, June 2003
An eight-day trip around the southern half of Germany in mid-June, brushing up on my German language skills (prior to commencing my teacher training) and catching up with friends whom I'd not seen in several years.
I spent two nights each in Erlangen (near Nuremberg), a village called Kluftern near Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance (where I spent a year working at Dornier when I was a student in 1991-2), Stuttgart, and Cologne. In Erlangen I stayed with Richard, who was on the same course as me at university; in Kluftern my hosts were Markus, who'd had a holiday job in the same department as me at Dornier, and his girlfriend Marlene; in Stuttgart I visited Torsten, who'd also had a holiday job in the same place; and in Cologne I stayed with Steve & Lisa, members of SHOT.
The botanic gardens and Schloss (palace) in Erlangen.
In Nuremberg with Richard.
With Richard & Win at the Erlanger Bergkirchweih - the local beer festival, which happened to be in progress when I visited. The Riesenrad (big wheel) was 55 metres tall.
A stop-off in Augsburg on the way to Friedrichshafen. The Fuggerei (second picture) was the world's first social housing development, built in about the 1500s by the wealthy Fugger family for Catholic citizens who werein need through no fault of their own. It still serves the same purpose today. The lady in the little museum, who lives in the Fuggerei, seemed to want to spend all day telling me how everything had doubled in price since the deutschmark was replaced by the euro. It was a relief when someone else came in and distracted her!
Swimming in Lake Constance (the Bodensee) with Markus and Marlene.
Friedrichshafen town centre. During summer 1992 I lived in the rooftop flat above the Mueller drugstore (orange vertical sign in first picture). You can also see the flat in the middle of the panoramic picture, just to the left of the big white building (the new home of the Zeppelin Museum) and the tower block behind it. I did call in to see if Herr Sedlemeier, my old landlord, was at home, but was told that he'd died. It was only a few months ago that he sent me a postcard from Sydney - he was doing a round-the-world trip by freight ship, I believe - so I can't have missed him by much. He was already in his 70s when I lived in Friedrichshafen, so I suppose he's had a decent innings.
Meersburg and Lindau.
Markus grilling on the balcony, and a Zeppelin taking a pleasure flight over the lake. I believe it's only in the last couple of years that the airships have been put back into service.
My first night in Stuttgart. The first photo shows Torsten second from right with his girlfriend Cordula, and their friends Markus and Birgit, at a Schwaebisch restaurant. The other two pictures are of some of the local specialities: Braten (roasted/fried meat), spaetzle (a kind of dumpling-y pasta) and maultaschen (like giant ravioli). After the meal we walked to the Schlossplatz to see the last half-hour or so of a big free concert that was taking place. Mel C was the headline act, and we saw most of her performance. She really is a pretty good singer!
In and around Stuttgart: Torsten about to launch a miniature paper aeroplane from the top of the TV tower; Schloss Ludwigsburg (known as the Versailles of Baden-Wuerttemberg, and well worth a visit); the old palace in Stuttgart city centre.
In Cologne: Lisa's sister Kate making cookies. Her first attempt had been less than successful, so when this batch turned out to be edible she was so delighted that she had to call Lisa and tell her!
In Cologne. The fourth picture shows the view from the tower looking towards Steve & Lisa's flat, which is just in front of the trees at the base of the TV tower. The last picture is of the Old Town with the church of Gross St. Martin.
First picture: in the thermal baths with Steve's mum (centre) and assorted aunts and uncles who'd come out to visit at the same time as I was there. At the thermal baths I had a sauna experience that I won't forget in a hurry! Second picture: Schloss Augustusburg, a short train ride out of Cologne.
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