Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 175

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The Martinshof Story - A Philosophy of Happiness - Life Awareness - Maps & other Text series

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Sunday & Monday, August 1 & 2 2010 (diary)

Wallstree im Hamilton, on the Oos river, Baden Baden Yes, this where I am, at one of my favourite places in Germany : the Wallstreet im Hamilton Cafe alongside the tiny river Oos in the centre of Baden Baden. Trust me to get into the wrong train this morning, but despite this small hickup I arrived safe and sound in this so wonderfully elegant city well before lunch.
In contrast to adjacent photo (taken 2 years ago) it is raining quite steadily, but sitting under one of their large red umbrellas I feel quite cosy. I just finished a light lunch of grilled zucini with a Rothaus beer, the very first day I may perhaps go without a German sausage.

If you like sausages there is (I believe) no better place in the world than Germany : Bockwurst, Grillwurst, Wienerle, Currywurst, Weisswurst, the choice is endless. But if you really wish to feel part of the local scene you order (from an Imbis or market stall) "ein lange Rote mit" (a long red Bockwurst with fried onions, folded double in a crisp German bread roll).

Earlier today I got a taxi at the Baden Baden railway station to my hotel : a huge Mercedes driven by a quite attractive and pleasant lady, Manuela. I have arranged for her to pick me up Thursday morning, so I will be on time for my train to Deventer.
I also received an email from Harry (a long time employee with Martinshof) who told me the company will put on a lunch for me and all the "old time" staff when I visit there in a few weeks time, that should be great.

It is 1PM and my hotel room should be available now, so I stop, will change in my room and then on to the Spa baths!

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Tuesday, August 3 2010 (diary)

On my way back through the rain to my hotel after lunch yesterday I purchased a €10 umbrella, and of course !! it worked like a charm : the rain stopped immediately. It has not been raining since, but today is still heavily overcast as this panorama shot taken from my 3rd floor hotel room illustrates. However the temperatures, even in the evening, have been quite pleasant.

Baden Baden - view from my hotel window, 2010
(Click on photo for an enlarged and sunny view)

Yesterday afternoon I had my first 2 hour session in the Caracalla Therme. I came out very clean and refreshed but also rather exhausted.
Nevertheless after a very brief siesta I managed to get back to the Wallstreet im Hamilton Cafe for dinner : Currywurst (YES : sausages after all today!) with salad and the most delicious "pommes" (chips, pommes frites). This Cafe offers as one of its features wines from around the world, their reds for example are : Merlot from Italy - Shiraz from Australia - Cabernet Sauvignon from Chili - Rioja from Spain - Spätburgunder from Baden Baden itself.

Jewelry by Frey Wille : hommage to Hundertwasser This historically perhaps most elegant of Germany's cities, still retains much of this elegance today : the buildings, the avenues with both modern and ancient sculptures, and many shop displays which are a true delight to the eye.
Here are no (in my view) vulgar, showy Rolexes on display (yes, I spotted a few, but only some less obtrusive models). This is the world of Vacheron Constantin, Gerard et Perigaux, Chopard and some exclusive brands I have never heard of before. Prices of luxury watches reach up to €22,000 (about AU$30,000) and I hate to imagine what some of these exclusive watches without their price tags revealed might cost.

I also saw some of the most delightful enamel jewelry (bracelets, pendants, rings, even watches) designed by Frey Wille inspired by Hundertwasser and Klimt, and it is at moments like this that I wish I was not single but had a lovely partner on which to bestow some of these fabulous creations. Ah well, life is a bit less expensive this way, one can't have everything.

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Wednesday August 4 - Sunday August 15 2010 (diary)

Dinner with Gerrit van der Meij in China Town, Gorrsel, 2010 As anticipated, I did have some problems getting online these past 10 days or so, but things have cleared up and I can upload texts and photographs again through the wireless connections from friends where I am staying.
I had three lovely days in Baden Baden, followed by a most relaxing 6 hours rail trip to Deventer in Holland. Here I stayed for a few days with my old school friends Dick and Lyde in Gorssel, while visiting several of my other friends in the area : Aaldert, Eric and Ellen and of course Gerrit with whom I had dinner at our old pub, now Chinese Restaurant, China Town.
And yes, yes, of course I have consumed plenty of bitterballen.

Stop for lunch in De Weerribben On the 12th we had our University Club Reunion at the Dutch Nature reserve De Weerribben. Fourteen of us gathered together in the small village of Kalenberg from where we started off on our cruise in three fluisterboten ("whisper dinghies").
Halfway through our journey we stopped for a picnic lunch. Very well timed as soon after we got on our way again it started to rain, but only for half an hour or so.

With Jaap, his wife Kitty and Rudi in the bar of Hotel Geertien Eventually we all got back safe and reasonably dry to proceed to our dinner (now for 17 of us) and overnight accommodation (for 11) in the hamlet of, would you believe, called Muggenbeet ("Mosquito bite"). The Hotel Geertien, was right on the waterfront (of a canal). The dinner was excellent, the rooms very good and the old pub bar, where a few of us gathered late at night, was an absolute treasure and delight.

These last few days I am staying with friends in Gramsbergen in the East of Holland, where we do every day (weather permitting) lovely nature walks of 4-6 km in length. I think I am losing weight!

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