Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 178

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Wednesday & Thursday, September 1 & 2 2010 (diary)

After all that rather mediocre weather the last month, September has a glorious start and it is with great optimism that I proceed to my holiday home for the next three weeks : Feldbergblick apartment at the Steingrubenhof Haldenweg 4, Sankt Peter.
And I am not disappointed. The place is absolutely wonderful, light, airy, spotlessly clean and with all the mod cons. I have great views from my main room and balcony. The balcony is on the west side of the house, so sheltered from cold east winds and also from northerlies by the main farmhouse and huge shed behind me. It catches the sun from about 11 AM after that all day.

So on my first day I sit outside almost all day, except for a brief walk to the village (St.Peter) to get some supplies. Going there is all the way down, while returning is a steady climb of about 15 minutes, a good workout for the old lungs, I can tell you, but healthy of course.
In the evening dinner with Wivica in the Waldcafé, only 50 meters from my new home. The meals are excellent here, and the views as good or even better as from my place.

View from my lounge room and balcony, Haldenwg 4, St.Peter, 2010
Thursday again a sunny pleasant day. All Australians should (and many of them do) visit a place like Europe now and then, just to experience what bad weather is like and how depressing it can be. I have become quite alert at catching every bit of sunshine I can get, for it is like gold here : very rare.
Anyway I will enjoy it as long as it lasts. I check out the local covered and heated swimming pool, the Hallenbad. It is only small, 20 by 8 meters (70 by 25 ft) but quite pleasant. The water temperature is kept at 27°C and the air at 29°, which is close to springtime conditions in the pools in Darwin. The air too has that peculiar smell of a sauna which I find very pleasant.

After my swim I read a book on the terrace of Café Martin right on the village square. The owner Frau Regina is a friend of Wivica's. Then home for lunch and again later a drink in the Waldcafé with Wivica and another of her friends, Barbara, who also runs holiday apartments at her farm (and were Antien and Babette stayed last year). Finally a quiet evening at home with a microwave meal dinner (they are great here in Germany) and a glass or two of cheap red (South African Cab Sauv) from the supermarket. I very much enjoy my life here so far.

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Friday, September 3 2010 (diary)

Friday morning I once again wake up to the sun. After some thought I decide to try out my Schwarzwald Gästekarte which I have for the three weeks I am in my holiday apartment. It gives one free travel by bus and train throughout the Black Forest region. This is a truly useful and most generous service. So I will go to Freiburg this morning. This is a 50 minutes journey by bus and train.
I arrive on foot just too late for my bus in Sankt Peter, so I have a drink on the village square at the sunny terrace of Café Martin and a chat with its owner Regina. Right next door is Ristorante Bertolds Brunnen which is the Italian restaurant where I always have my escargots.
Cafe Martin and Ristorante Bertolds Brunnen, St.Peter village square
I catch my bus to Kirchzarten and good connection with the train there to Freiburg. The Public transport is really very good in Germany, and used very extensively. Both bus and train are usually around 75% occupied, which is great to see.

In Freiburg I head straight for my hairdresser and say hello to its owner Brigitte, who still remembers me from two years ago. After she has cut my hair I am off to the market for my "lange Rote mit" (long red Bockwurst on a bread roll with grilled unions). Then on to the Herder bookshop for a browse. There are three employees behind the counter and there is a cue of book buyers for each one! This is the case just about every time I visit here, most impressive!

After a beer on one of the Cafe terraces I return to Sankt Peter (this time via Denzlingen), check out the Bauernmarkt (Farmers market) held every Friday afternoon there, then walk back home, good exercise all the way up in 15 minutes. The journey to Freiburg would normally cost €7,20 (about AU $10), but with my Schwarzwald Card it was absolutely free!
The qualifying matches for the 2012 Europa Cup (soccer) have started and in the evening I watch Belgium - Germany, a good match which Germany eventually wins 1-0.

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Saturday & Sunday, September 4 & 5 2010 (diary)

On my balcony at Haldenweg 4, Sankt Peter Well, I must say that in at least one respect we are lucky in Australia (but for how long??). We still can view all the AFL, rugby and soccer matches on free to air TV. In Germany at least this is all soaked up by Sky pay TV : all Bundesliga and UEFA Cup games. It will cost you €20 per month (AU $30) to access it. Only National games, like the one I watched yesterday are still for free.

On Saturdays the Hallenbad is open from 15.00 to 20.00 hours, so I arrive there at 3 PM, have my swim, and proceed then to the local shop to buy some food and wine. Unfortunately it is closed, but will be open from 8 till 11 next morning.
In the evening we go out for dinner at the Italian place : I am addicted to those escargots! They grill them in their shell with parsley garlic butter an white wine, which makes an absolutely delicious sauce to dip up with fresh toast.

With Wivica in Ristorante Bertholds Brunnen, Sankt Peter On Sunday Wivica picks me up from Café Martin (I did my shopping beforehand) for a lovely drive through the Black Forest. It truly is a most beautiful countryside and I love the abundance of trees everywhere.
We finally end up at the Schluchsee (just South of the picturesque, but overly touristic Titisee), where we discovered on a previous trip a small Imbiss right on the waterfront. Good sausages and "pommes" and not a bad glass of red either, which we enjoy while watching the yachts sailing by.

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