Not much happened yesterday really. Stephen & Michael are still in Switzerland. Michael spent the day skiing and Stephen spent half the day skiing (he has hip trouble and has now decided to pack in skiing – old age setting in). the only photo I received from them yesterday was of them have a drink at the top of mountain. I am just assuming that they actually skied as I have yet to see a photo of them doing that!
On the other hand, I can comment with 100% certainty that I sat in a room the whole day in a planning session. From walking well over 10000 steps a day for almost a week, I walked less than 2000 steps yesterday which gives you an idea of how sedentary the day was for me. The worst thing is that the chairs are wooden and by the end of the afternoon my back was aching from all the sitting so I spent the last hour or so standing.
The Germans like to start late (9am) and finish late (6:30pm). I can sort of understand why because at 8:30am the sun had still not risen (not that we saw the sun the whole day because it was overcast and raining the whole time). At these meetings there is also the insane tradition that they hike up to a hut in the mountains where we have dinner in the evening. Remember this is Germany in the winter in the mountains. Usually there is snow and it is freezing cold outside. This time there isn’t any snow to be seen but it did rain the whole day (and it was still freezing cold outside 2 degrees C). When I first came to these meetings I felt obliged to walk as I thought there was no option. Now that I am more experienced I realised that the food had to get up to the hut somehow and so I now join the bus while the crazy people walk up. I have gained a small following and last night because of it raining there were 4 of us who drove up and the other 9 people walked.
Dinner in the hut is always exactly the same. You start with Smoked Salmon and Rosti and that is then followed by Spaetzle and venison stew. This year it was no different. We have one person in the group who doesn’t eat meat (but he does at least eat fish) and so he gets Smoked Salmon to start with and Smoked Salmon for his main course. It is standing joke and they make no effort to provide for him. Vegetarians in Germany are not really provided for in restaurants.
The one thing I do like about the Hotel that we stay at, is the breakfast. They always have the same thing and it is a traditional continental breakfast of rolls/bread and cheese/meat. I see this year that they actually did have some cooked sausages and bacon and there was a frying pan out so it looks like you could have egg if you asked (not that there was anyone around to cook it). However, they have a selection of about 15 cheeses and 10 different types of cold meat (and the cheeses are fantastic). The bread/rolls selection is also extensive and are generally very freshly baked.
Tonight I start my journey (and it is a journey) back to SA. It involves a 2-hour drive to the airport, then a flight to Munich with very little time to connect to my flight to Dubai and then connecting to the flight to Cape Town. Not a lot of time in-between so hopefully nothing goes wrong and I am able to make all the flights. If all goes well I will overlap with Helen for about 2 hours in Cape Town – just enough time to take custody of Chloe!
P, S & M … and H & C (from CT)