It has been a while since I've blogged but I was off to Europe, once again, and returned the end of September to Guanaja.
What a trip! I traveled several cities in Germany, went on to Austria and Switzerland and then to Croatia before returning to Germany and Florida. Despite the fact that the weather was cooler than I expected and the days were mostly overcast, I had a wonderful time and saw amazing things.
Especially nice was all the wonderful people I met. I reacquainted with friends I had made on the island, met new people and got to "people" watch in many spots. Thanks to those wonderful people that made my trip more pleasurable: Claus and Annette, Judith and Daniel, Crista and Heidi, Annette's Parents and Sister, Roland, Tina and Frankie, Rene and Betty, Inge and Martin, David and Joan, Jim and Rose and many others that I got to visit with.
The reason for the trip was the wedding of Judith and Daniel in Kunzelsau, Germany. I spent a week in their lovely town and had a wonderful time with the wedding party before and after the ceremony. Lots of fun, good food, dancing and drinking and sight-seeing. I am fully convinced that if you want a good time - go to Germany!
While in Germany I also visited one of my favorite cities, Frankfurt, with Claus and Annette who also accompanied me to Munich where we went on a Beer Garden Tour of Munich chaperoned by Inge and Martin. We ate, drank, walked, drank, saw sights, drank, shopped and, well, drank. I mean, what does one do on a Beer Garden tour anyway?
Another German City I visited was Rotenburg an de Fulda which is northwest of Frankfurt. There I met up with Rose and Jim who showed me the sights of their town and surrounding country side. Beautiful city and great hosts. I hope to post more blogs on the trips to these various Germany cities in the future.
I also headed to Salzburg, Austria and spent 3 days there. This was the only part of my trip where I was on my own. I toured the City by bicycle, did some shopping, treated myself to a fantastic dinner one night, visited the World's Largest Ice Cave, Eisriesenwelt, and, in general, had a great time in a very interesting city.
It was then on to Croatia where I was whisked off to the Port City of Novigrad and on to Pula, Rovinj and finally Groznjan. The final stop, Groznjan, is a village which is the home to various artists who live and sell their wares in numerous shops lining the beautiful cobblestone streets. This is a "must" see stop for anyone visiting the coast of Croatia as not only is the town unique and beautiful, the wares sold by the artists are fabulous.
Finally, it was on to Switzerland where I spent a couple of days in Davos, a lovely ski resort in the Alps. I did some hiking with my guests, toured the town and experienced my first meal of wild deer in a cozy restaurant, The Vetlinerstubli. The Alps are breathtaking! I was awed by their sheer size and that of the huge pine trees. These were giants, reaching to the sky in beauty and majesty. Lovely hiking paths with outcrops of tiny wild strawberries and cranberries and unusual mushrooms and Nature at is best.
All in all, more than I can cover in this blog but enough to spend a few hours putting together future blogs.
The downside of the beginning and ending of my trip, however, were the deaths of two wonderful people that I have known for a number of years.
Our good friend, Hans Glanegger, died in Miami on August 18th at the age of 75. He was on his way to Germany for medical treatment of a serious health condition but became ill and collapsed in the Miami Airport. He was taken to the hospital in Miami where he was looked after for 3 days before his demise. Hans had lived on Guanaja for over 20 years on Hendricks Cay with his lovely wife, Renate. He had two sons and a Granddaughter in Munich, Germany. Hans and his wife operated the famous restaurant in Munich, The Hofbrauhaus, for more than 20 years before retiring, touring the world by boat and RV and finally settling on Guanaja. Hans was a lovely, gruff man who kept us entertained with stores of his youth, complaints of Germany after the war, instructions on how to prepare food, tales of life with his various Rotweillers, and, in general, a man who will be very much missed.
Prior to my return to the States I was informed that Bobbie Brooks, father-in-law to my daughter, Tami, had passed away on September 12th at the age of 68. Bobbie was a long-time resident of Plant City, Florida and is survived by his wife, Patsy, his son, Scott, two Grandsons and four brothers. His death was unexpected and the community who had much to be thankful for by his presence will miss him very much. There were over 350 people at Bobbie's wake and the funeral was with full military honors. Bobbie was a devoted husband and had dedicated his later years to his Grandsons, Kyle and Ryan. He was a friend to all, a comfort to many and a light in the darkness. He is and will always be well thought of and loved.
Life is filled with beauty and pain, happiness and sadness, all of which I experienced in this last trip to Europe and the States.