I am being treated far better than anyone should be!  You will hear no complaints about that from me.   Pictures of me eating Weisswurst (white sausage) and drinking Weissbier (beer) from a traditional liter-sized Oktoberfest stein on Facebook give evidence of that good treatment.  There has been wonderful food.  Slavica is such a good cook!! We have sat on the bank of the Rhine and walked across a very old covered bridge where I stood with one foot in Germany and one foot in Switzerland.  Then we walked around the old center of Rheinfelden, Germany and had some tasty ice cream (good beer and good ice cream – does it get any better than that?).  Then in Rheinfelden, Switzerland there was festival (Labor Day Holiday) with vendors selling their wares and families walking around the narrow streets in the old part of that city, the older of the two. On another day Dragan, Slavica and I spent four hours in various pools of thermal waters heated by the earth beneath.  Ten minutes in a steam room was enough to produce large quantities of sweat.  The brochure promised healing and a sense of well-being.  It worked.  That was followed by a Chinese buffet with friends.  She is a German from Brazil and he is from Northern Germany.  They had enough English to allow some conversation with me.  I don’t mind at all listening to those around me speaking German since I enjoy recognizing a word or two and trying to guess what they are talking about. More treats to wonderful times have continued to come endlessly.  I got to go to Tanja’s 28th birthday party in the town where her Sister Kristina lives.  Kristina is such a gem also.  I got to meet many of Tanja’s friends, all of whom are very likeable people, very good friends to have.  She has chosen well.  The party was great and if that is not enough, I was treated to a stay in a resort-like hotel at the top of a hill providing a spectacular view of the valley and surrounding mountains of the Black Forest area.  Then there came a number of hours going through the multiple flower gardens by the Bodensee (Lake Constance) with Tanja and Kristina.  We drove to an island that is covered with large vegetable gardens, producing some of the best produce in the region. Then we went to Heilbronn, which is a more modern city since it was completely destroyed in the war.   It is an industrial city with much going on.  Again, I was treated to a stay in a very impressive hotel with rooms identified by names matching the theme of the room rather than having numbers on the door.  There have been more gourmet meals.  Tanja and her Boyfriend have treated me to the best food and drink in Heilbronn. A visit to a technology and science museum with interactive activities for children was a little embarrassing when some of the activities for children seemed not to appreciate that we were adults.  We needed a child with us to show us how to do them.  One day there was a happy coincidence when while visiting a large church in Heilbronn, the organist came in to practice a couple of impressive works on the organ.  I wished he had more pieces to practice.  A visit to Ludwigsburg Palace included a children’s fairy tale area (easier to negotiate than the technology museum), many gardens, and an informative and very interesting tour of the Palace (thanks to Tanja’s translation skills) with one hallway extending the length of one and one half football fields from one end to the other. One day the three of us drove to Karlsruhe where I met Dragan and Tanja’s Mother and Stepdad.  It was such fun to watch and listen to them together.  Their Mother fed us lunch, proving true all the things they had said about her cooking.  It is clear from where Dragan and Tanja got their intelligence and their concern for other people. Some of the best times were spent with the three of us who had walked the Camino together, talking about the things we experienced and the people with whom we experienced them.  We looked at videos I had taken and most of my 2000 pictures.  Together we watched the movie “The Way” that has sparked the interest of so many from the US and Canada in making the Pilgrimage across northern Spain.  In German the movie is called “Dein Weg.”  We watched it in German since I have seen it three times and Dragan had not yet seen it and would do better with the German.  It was such a wonderful week together!  For all those who walk the Camino, there is the world in which we lived in Northern Spain free of all the complexities of life back home.  It is a very special place.  In some ways the end of the time in Spain is actually only the beginning of our Camino, the Way, the one we are on in our lives afterward.  Bringing the world of the Camino with us into our Camino back home with all its complexities is not an easy task – many discoveries are still to be made. I am now back in Rheinfelden with Dragan and Slavica, still being treated much too well!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s