Good morning again. And this is weird to say because it’s past 9PM and I’m on a plane a few thousand feet above sea level flying towards Bucharest. It’s Sunday evening still in both Germany and Romania. We had a wonderful morning and early afternoon with Bernie and Anca. A bit windy but sunny. The moment we got ready to leave, Bavaria started crying for us. Literally. With a storm. “Stay inside idiots, don’t leave just yet, this is fun.” And despite wanting to stay, we had to go. But more about Sunday when I get there.
Right now we’re still at Day 5 and 6 of our vacation.
Shopping. The final frontier. These are the continuing voyages of Mela and Mom. Our ongoing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life forms and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
(to the MALL!!!)
Well, if you haven’t figured it out already, this is two ladies traveling, consequently shopping always gets in the way somehow haha. We can never get enough of it and one way or another we find a reason or excuse to go back into shops. Nancy says she’d use a much bigger coffee mug because the normal ones just don’t do the trick for her. Mom and Mela think AHA! We must go back to Dikelsbuhl and find one for her. And of course, while we’re there we can check the other stores we missed last time. I mean, it can’t hurt to roam around town, enjoy a cup of tea, a good meal and the German hospitality.
So we walked back to this small medieval town and found new corners to hang and admire the details we had not spotted before. We walked the smaller streets close to the other towers surrounding this fortress and we discovered small houses covered in ivy, head to toe so to speak. Among the tiny alleys we ran into shops you could barely notice behind wooden doors, stashed away from sight. We spent at least 15 minutes in each, discussing and comparing. Normally, I would not spend that much time looking at the many shiny facets of a ring, but I’m on vacation and my eyes are allowed to indulge in other things than the Times New Roman font of my Word spreadsheets at work (of course, there is the blog, but that doesn’t count hehe. This is always pleasure!).
Then we decided that for lunch we should try a new place. So many fancy restaurants, looking so appealing. We stop to check the menu and sure enough, it’s in German, so the prices are all we really understand. Yet, we are more interested in the feeling we get when we go inside. It has to feel… like us. Cozy and warm and fun. Eventually we go in (wait! I have to check the pictures we took to make sure I spell this right haha) the Blum Kleinen Dbristen (with an accent please!) and we are overwhelmed with how small the place is but how welcoming still. We get a table with a view to almost the entire saloon and my curious eye keeps checking the people around. I always do this without meaning to. I am just observant. There is an old couple in the corner having a really plentiful meal. He’s drinking bear and I can tell it’s all coming back through his nose and he chokes. Eventually he has to hit his chest a bit to ease the alcohol puffing back up his throat. His wife checks him out with a suspicious eye while enjoying her salad. Most women are serving salads while the men are wrestling a colossal chunk of pork in their plates.
|Now you can see why we we found it hard to leave...|
|My plate ...|
|And the salad in between...|
|And The Mela...|
|It's not only that I cannot read German but they have to use those hieroglyphs as well, that I can't even decipher letters anymore...|
|My warrior/commander face haha|
A couple next to us orders tea and Coke. That’s a strange combination. I had met the guy at the toilets earlier and he asked me in a perfect German if that was the way to the men’s room and I answered in a perfect German “Ya!” and smiled with my Romanian face. They’re both having some heavy stuff to eat. I switch to the menu before me and the pork actually looks really good. I slide my finger down the page and despite the killer combination of meat and fries (and possibly noodles too), the dishes do seem to be delicious so I am turning into a sinner and I want to battle pork in my own plate now. On the bottom of the page there is a dish called “The Spit of the Knight”. Now why would I eat the spit of a knight? But the damn thing gets my attention: pork medallions wrapped in grilled bacon, potato dumplings and salad to the side. Devilish!!!
But mom still thinks about it. She says “is there fish?” I say “hmmm, maybe.” I turn the page. I always ask for the menu in English of course. I don’t want to end up eating God knows what. We find the fish section. Now I have to say. I had an experience in Poiana Brasov one time, I think it was 2008. I was with my family at a restaurant there and we ordered fish without realizing that the price was different if the fish was bigger than a certain number of grams. So we ended up with a bill that turned the fish sour in our bellies. You don’t want to know. And as we say, after one such experience “vrei sa sufli si in iaurt” (you want to blow even in yogurt – you get it – yogurt is already cold, no need to blow to make it cooler haha). So I share my worries with mom. She laughs, but she remembers. So the lady comes in and I ask the stupid question: “Is the fish more expensive if it’s… bigger?” She looks at me and she doesn’t get it. Of course she doesn’t get it. I have to relate in a few words my previous fish-price drama and she nods, understanding. “No. Price stays the same.” Now she speaks my kind of language. “Well then get us this and this.”
And man, did they bring us fish or what. I’ll just add the pictures to see for yourselves. And while we still wonder at our own stuff, a young couple before us, all cuddly and cute until that point, get their food. Haha! The face on the guy was priceless. I don’t know if his knight spit more or something but they brought a whole friggin’ pork leg with a butcher’s knife stuck in it because there was nothing else that he could use from that table that would have cut through so much meat. His girlfriend laughs her heart out then takes the camera to capture the moment. He doesn’t even try to mask his astonishment. Mom and I are happy to have ordered fish now.
Lunch is over, but it’s so good in here. The chit chat of people and just a tiny bit of music somewhere in the air (not like in Romania where I have to shout at people next to me so we can hear each other). So we decide that – considering we haven’t sinned with the knight and all – we deserve desert. Oh, the cruelty of such choices! Caramelized apples and cream, banana split and fruit salads! We eventually want to go for a local delicatessen so we get an apple strudel each, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and cream. They add a slice of orange to it and two of apple and we die!!!! Savor savor savor!
We finish lunch but we spend another 20 minutes there, simply drinking (water!) ‘cause we’re so fond of the place by now. Finally, we go out and Nancy picks us up from outside town to join her and see Riddick. We spend some time with Haylee and Zoey watching her ride and we’re amazed with how beautiful and elegant Riddick is in his moves. It seems easy to ride him. I don’t understand what’s the snake kind of movement from waist down Nancy keeps doing, especially when he’s simply walking. I mean why can’t she just stand straight without her body curving this way? Eh… I went with Eileen at the stables a few times and she asked me to get on her horse. When I saw she used a ladder to get on top of him I said no way in hell I’m riding a 450 kg 5 feet tall jelly!!! Well, I guess that changed soon enough when in a few days I rode Riddick haha But that’s another story all together.
|Mela and Zoey being really well behaved... the both of them haha|
|Oh, that is one of the cuttest most darlings things ever! Haylee and her friend attending to the "horse" haha|
|I mean look at them: a perfect match! And she was so detailed when taking care of him, brushing him, cleaning his hooves... adorable!!!!!|
Ship log 9A5.20, 9 hundred hours
(I have no clue what the heck I’m saying, but it sunds interesting! Haha)
Commander Mela together with First Officer Mom present on kitchen deck decide to assist Nancy in her morning duties with Riddick by relieving her of her children (that doesn’t sound right haha), namely we offer to take Haylee and Zoey for a walk with us, around the village and explore the unknown territory.
Said and done.
Said and done.
We didn’t have to time travel or anything because we could walk the 1 km separating Hellenbach from Lohe, the next small village. Ok, that’s not a village. It’s a holiday camp for kids, holding a big play ground, a few houses and about 67 horses from what we found out later. And three are 3 really beautiful but mean ass dogs haha. We pass Lohe to find ourselves in the… wilderness.
Commander Mela takes the lead followed closely by Frist Officer Mom playing tag with Haylee. The fields are so vast they fade into the horizon, blending with the light blue skies and we marvel at the serenity before us. Horses everywhere and only the sounds of nature and Haylee’s laughter, echoing high and deep as we enter the woods. It’s a fairy tale story: the moss is so soft I literally sink my feet in it and I hop like a rabbit among the trees with Haylee imitating me and we both make perfect cartoon characters. White mushrooms grow among the roots of the tall trees, hidden in the shadows. Some strange forms of life seem to have crept their way in this normality and I’m trying to make out what they are. It looks like fungus or a lesser evolved species of mushroom – concludes Commander Mela asking for a second opinion from her First Officer. But she is busy enjoying the view herself.
The day before we had brought home one of those soap things bubble makers toys and Haylee has it with her. The contest begins who makes more and bigger balloons. Commander Mela proves her skills and makes the 5 years old run around to catch them or blow them high above us.
On our way back we make a pit stop to fuel Zoey with some cookies and juice when we spot an old stable with 3 ponies and a donkey walking about. Haylee immediately bonds with the animals despite my best recommendations and before you know it, we all indulge in the petting and sweet retard talk we always have with animals: “Da’ ma sa pupe mama un baiat frumos…” (Let momma kiss this little beauty…), “Ce e ma’ cu botul asta moale la tine, da’ sa te jecmanesc cu coama ta cu tot” (What’s with the soft muzzle, you little boy, let momma play with this crest of yours). Translations can’t really make it into showing just how funny we were in being idiots. Eventually we move away, but not before Haylee waves goodbye to her new friends.
|First Officer conspiring into the rudimentary action of... petting! hahaha|
After all, this is what our journeys are all about: to make new friends. Even if they are three ponies and a donkey! (Did you just smile?!?!)
Ship log 9B5.20, 3 hundred hours
(that’s in the afternoon for those of you who are not familiar with military talk hahaha – somebody stop me!)
What? You think we were done shopping? There are no boundaries to space, therefore, shopping is limitless as well. I will not bore you with our endless back and forth among the small streets of Dinklsbuhl, searching and exploring and finally buying all sort of stuff. The thing is, we never really get things for ourselves. We find one or two things here and there that we really like; usually they only help us build memories: like a nice flower pot, a specially carved candle, an old and chipped mug, a beautifully painted plate to hang on the wall. But most of the time we like shopping for gifts to bring back to friends. It’s so much more fun and challenging to find the right ones: from magnets to old rings, from little angel statues to wooden sculpted cats, from antique books and colorful sawn butterflies to the local sweets, we always dwell more on getting those than we do to buy clothes or whatever for us. I can only hope that our friends like them and enjoy them at least as much as we’ve enjoyed shopping for them hehe.
Of course that when we were done we went to have dinner, the same place as before – ‘cause it was so good and this time we ended the day in style. Mom got venison goulash with walnut spretzel (I am sure I got this one wrong) and I had duck with potato dumplings and marmalade. Mom’s goulash happened to be just a bit too spicy for her taste, but that was alright, because they chose to deliver me with the fattest biggest duck in town so I gave her half of my portion and we both left the place stuffed. Literally. Because we also had the strudel again haha Yummy… That is one good thing I’ll never complain about nor have enough of. I’m not sure this is good English right now, but you get my point!
|Yeah, that's a lot of food, right there!|
This concludes our mission for Days 5 and 6, dated in ship log number – see above – a journey that had us venture into the unknown of the Deutschland, facing the undeniable peril of the cute and cuddly Ponies and Donkey. Puss in boots is next (that could easily be Camilo!). And then the strange, yet intriguing paths of… shopping.
We shall meet again soon to learn more about our last day in Hellenbach and… beyond.