At least for me, wide awake at 2 am local time. 5pm back home. Hi everyone! Waves....
Seems to be a major adjustment, in spite of the pills I was popping on the plane. And that was, how many days ago?
Leaving the Island was challenging; goodbye/farewell to friends, family, a van still to sell, stuff to store, loose ends and melancholy from the letting go. Time began to accelerate until we were standing beside a pile of luggage at Bjorn and Gabrielle's... then again at the airport in Vancouver.
Bill Reid's Jade Canoe is a powerful statement of the journey, bringing along all those characters...Recognize anyone? They're all here in me today, right now.
Early morning, not much action. Elke and I walk along cobblestone streets, crossing the canal looking at the buildings.
We make a big loop get some food and haul the suitcases and pack sacks back onto the platform. Watch people, lots of smokers, sharply dressed women, an occasional shabbily dressed man, folks with dogs, bicycles. A multicultural assortment. The trains and passengers come and go. Ours is late, Elke's worried her record of making every connection will be broken. Even the ticket taker is concerned as they figure out another connection. The view is spectacular, we race along beside the Rhein river, castle ruins on the promontories, barges in the river, ancient (well really old) towns, villages and wall to wall 6 story apartment blocks in the cities. Gardens along the railroad verge, a massive array of solar collectors, wind farms, endless fields of corn, the ubiquitous church spires marking crossroads every one, individual.
The train makes up the time, we step off one and onto another across the platform. Seamless if one ignores the bruised toes and wrenched shoulders from hauling close to 200lbs of (do we really need all this sh..stuff?) luggage. Elke crashes onto her suitcase propped in front of her as business men work their strategies, write their letters or whatever on mini laptops. I watch the (miles) kilometres go by, fishermen at rivers edge, sheep, cattle, corn, plowed fields, forest, brick houses and factories lining the rails edge.
Our destination today is Eisenach.
We take a taxi through this old, old town up and up through the beech, oak, hazel and ash forest to Wartburg castle and hotel overlooking an almost endless vista of forest, the town in the valley below, wind farm in the distance.
We are here for a family celebration, the 50th birthdays of Martin and Gudrun (belated) Elke's sister. Sabine her youngest sister is here with her son, Martin's brothers and their children.
The view from our room is amazing, Dinner.... also amazing. I do my best to tune my ear to the German language, I'm rescued by Raphaela sitting next to me who speaks English quite well. We talk about travel and opportunities. Much effort is made by the party to include me, occasional translations of jokes and quick synopsis of speeches. White wine, red wine... it all helps make me feel welcome.
We're the first to leave as the time zone catches up to us.