It’s the luxury section of the holiday.
Today I had nothing to do really. I had no where I needed to be, no camping admin; just a day off. I started late (obviously). After a sleep in and a bit of German Tv watching I decided to explore a bit. I left the bike at the hotel and wandered into the small town centre.
Much of east Germany looks very similar and this centre was like hundreds of others I have visited. I wandered along uninspired and thought about heading back to the hotel when I saw the train station. Well, there’s a possibility.
You know I am familiar with trains, but I think this is the first time I’ve taken a train in Germany, indeed in anywhere other than the U.K., without bikes or baggage. It was so easy. I got my ticket, found my platform and headed off to Spandau. Spandau has an old town, a citadel and a shopping centre. It no longer has a prison. They knocked that down after Rudolf Hesse died.
I wandered around, did some shopping, got a sandwich, looked at the citadel from afar and generally mooched. Then I got the train back. The train was late.
As I sat staring out of the window I thought about how comfy I feel in Germany. I think it’s because, after travelling in a new country (Denmark, Sweden briefly) Germany feels familiar. I’ve been here quite a bit over the years and know little things like supermarket names, brands, where shops are likely to be, when they’ll open. How to get trains. And while my German remains terrible I know scripts (‘I would like to camp for one night with a small tent and a bicycle.’ ‘Do you have a vegetarian option?’ And god bless my terrible German education. The one thing that appears to have stuck - apart from random bits of useless songs - is numbers.) I can use what I have to function.
I’m off to Berlin tomorrow. I’m looking forward to just relaxing. We’ve had a few holidays there so rather than sight see I’m planning more mooching, coffee drinking, maybe push the boat out and eat out. Who knows?
Last night I had the window open. The room is stiflingly hot and the fan wasn’t helping much. I was in bed reading when a bat - I kid you not, a bat - flew into my room, did a couple of circuits and then flew out again. I let out a quick yelp. Giggled for five minutes (bats are amazing, it was never going to get stuck in the room but imagine. I know the German for bat -thank you Strauss- but doubt I could manage to tell the rest of the tale.) and closed the window. Then I went back to my book.