Friday, December 2, 2011

2011 - germany and rest

2011 was a true nomadic life with most of our time in Stockholm and Frankfurt, with a few weeks interspersed in London and Paris.  So those of you interested here is a report of the non Stockholm part ... 
April - London 
As the closer friends and family and friends of us know there was a chance that we would go to the big apple in the first quarter of 2011, and Stockholm was going to be a place until then. However, with US economy being what it is the US project never happened in end of March, so it was decided that we will spend the next few months back in Frankfurt. However, the visa had expired and it took a while to get it done, so London was home for next three weeks. 
Here I had my first Pick Pocket experience.  The ज्ञान ( knowledge in sanskrit ) 
I got from this experience  was that if you report the incident to the police and you have lost everything ( as in your ticket cash etc) the police will help you get home using London transport. The police where extremely sympathetic and nice and realistic, (told me to forget any hope of getting the wallet/cards back... I had fond hopes that the thief might take the cash and return the wallet, so I will get my licence and such back...)  Well this meant calling all the banks in three countries to cancel the cards etc. However, luckily but for my ego nothing else was majorly affected, and some one got richer by about 200 british pounds. Did enjoy the brief ( 3 weeks) break, and appreciated being back in a place where you understood what was going on around you rather than it being just some background noise :) Also gave us a chance to catch up with some friends and family etc,  as well as get our Indian spice fix in East ham (Saravana Bhava)  and Southall ( Roxy's) 

May-July Frankfurt - 
This time qround we had couple of friends in Frankfurt. The young couple whom Paddy ad befriended end of his stay last year, where good fun, and we went out quite a bit. Discovered Cacoon, one of the classiest night spot, ( though not quite sure of techno music...)  Had loads of fun with a few friends, but could not last the distance with the music :)
Also, with weather warming up did a lot of hiking. First long weekend was in early june and checked out Vulcan Ring , and fell in love with the place.  The next fantastic trip as down the Lahn river. This was sensational to canoe 15 kms down the Lahn river. 
Again got Purnima and Geeth, with us, so the strong lad could lend us some muscle :) The walking and hiking continued every weekend in Taunus and the red wine consumption increased. 
The last long weekend in June we took of to Garmisch Parkirchen. Hired a medium car rather than the compact, and got upgrade to benz E class. result was for the first time in autobahn we were the ones that were one of the fast lane user :0 Touched 260 KMs but were driving around 200 for quite a while. Was a great experience. the web site was of fantastic value as it helped us find the perfect hikes.  We did the Mt Wank hike, The prartnachklam gorge walk ( along the tunnel and inside the tunnel that runs right next to the gorge. This was absolutely sensational and a not to be missed walk.  We also went to Alspspitz, kruezeck circuit using the cable cars rather than he zugspitz as that was a lot more crowded.  The trip also gave us an opportunity to meet and become friends with cousin of  a good friend who lives in Munich... Also meant that we got to have some yummy lemon rice in the banks of Eibsee with some fun company :)
One other unique experience we did have was visiting a german sauna/spa. This was on a roof top and open air, but the catch is that in these places in germany you are expected to go in your birthday suit ( as the receptionist warned us -  no swim wear allowed ) ! Dedcide that here I did not know anybody and hence should be OK to get in, and actually found that poeple are so comfortable and no one looks at another person. It was a lovely salted pool, steam and sauna etc with the pool/spa in the open air. Felt marvelous and am glad we did it and that I overcame my inhibition :) 
That ended the first part of the german stay. In July I went to Aus/Singapore while Paddy continued funding my holiday. 

Germany Sep/Oct
The late summer autumn in germany was even better with more company for hikes, this time with Fred a fellow CPTer being very interested. So did even more hiking by exploring Taunus, Rhine valley and heidelberg. Thanks to Fred's german also found this awesome website for hiking in and around Frankfurt 
All in all a very enjoyable routine of running during the week, hiking on at least one day in the weekend and partying as well.  End of october , using Pooja as an excuse I also visited Berlin, and that was good. Found that Berlin has definitely changed from our last visit in 1992 , though the bad news of this was that the museums are lot more crowded.  Enjoyed the city anyway. 

One of my favourite monument in paris The cathedral of Notre Dame
First week of November was in Paris and this was ... well what can you say about Paris. This city has to be the most beautiful one in the world with so many lovely architecturally unique and wonderful places in such small area. Staying in St Germain area was excellent and from where we stayed ( close to St Sulpice) the area is full of character at any time of the day.  Also had the good fortune get our dosa fix at the newly opened saravan bhava in paris :) The weather god was on our side and had an excellent stay before heading back to Stockholm.

The end of the year is close and its going to be London for a couple of days and back to base in Melbourne. Until next year and more travels  Auf Wiedersehen, Au Revoir, HeyDoe , Caio etc etc.


Venkat - Besant nagar said...

I read with interest and noted the places and sites for our itinary.

The Nomad said...

Good luck for whenever it happens :)