A few years ago my mother-in-law was sent to a mental institution after she suffered from consecutive nervous breakdowns. As she was living on her own in a remote area of northern Germany, doctors decided where she was hospitalized. It happended to be a house near Glückstadt, which sounded nice, as the name means city of luck. It wasn't like that. It was a place like built for the forgotten ones.
Now as she died some years ago, we visited this place again, to show our little daughter what circumstances grandma had to live in some sad months.
Our landlord invited us spontanously to a family gathering at Tripiti Beach in the south of Crete. "Just come. We have cold beer." This casual invitation turned out as the pinnacle of understatement. During that beautiful day full of hospitality and endless surprises from the makeshift kitchen we were literally taken on a trip through greek down-home cooking.
It was the first carnival after Trump's inauguration. Being him the most controversal character with daily speeches next to nonsense, press conferences and ideas for the planet that make you speechless, I expected to find lots of Trumps amidst the carnival crowd in Cologne.
Wrong! Total fake! After a whole night I had to learn this: People are not that political when it comes to party.
This year, spring started extremely discreet in the northern part of Germany. Well, may be like every year ;-) So although the kids are wearing t-shirts, we still had this kind of dimmed light, brownish colors and a lot of things to discover in the woods.
Light changes everything. Even plastic bags that were thoughtlessly thrown away or just taken away by the afternoon breeze change into a delicate sculpture catching the light. In the midst of dried up shrubs of all things the artificial material moves like foliage in the wind and the plastic rustles like leaves ...
One hour east of Hamburg in the midst of rolling hills and endless fields is Lake Neuenkirchen. Something like a forgotten paradise, as the former border – a no go area – between Eastern- and Western Germany was running within spitting distance. So villages stayed the same, as the whole region was declared a preserved area, when the wall came down in 1989. Lots of houses got sold as a half and often the new owners refurbished and renovated without consulting next door neighbour it seems ;-)
I'm sure it was not the last visit on this beautiful island. Coming back means feeling at home in places that took half of the last visit just to find them. And spending half of this time, to find new ones. I love the diversified scenery, the relaxed and friendly people and their attitude that this is as good as it gets. The always unfinished that doesn't even pretend it would be temporary sets its own pace. Perfect for a blissful time in endless summer.
Since 1994 when one of my best friends emigrated to Perth, I've been travelling several times to this wonderful part of the world. The last time, we went there with Luna, our little daughter.
Same Island. Same Beach.