Recovery with family and friends

Finally we are going back to Asia after being home for a few weeks and we are so excited about it. Our flight to Bangkok will leave tomorrow, Wednesday. So it’ s time to give you a short update of what we have done the last 5 weeks.

After landing in Düsseldorf, our first stop was Kamp –Lintfort at Natalie’s parents house. It felt a bit strange for both of us being back in Germany after 4 month abroad, but somehow also a bit like coming back from a normal holiday trip. West Germany welcomed us with rain and temperatures around twenty degrees, but we never enjoyed such a rainy day so much before.  After being constantly in the tropics for the last 2 months it was such a relief.

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During the following days the summer came back ant treated us with 28 degrees and perfect sunshine. Natalie was excited to be able to take a sunbath in the garden, as she did not do it during our travel. The sun was just too strong. Furthermore we took the chance to give in to our cravings for some German food. We cooked goulash, shared an amazing Kebab in downtown Kamp- Lintfort, had some summer berries and ate a lot of green salad. All things we could not do while being in Asia.

We spent our days telling everyone about my dengue fever and our travels in General, seeing our friends Kai, Nina & David, and Lucia with her 7 months year-old son Noah. In the meantime, I was doing a little better, but still needed to have my naps during the day.

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After 4 days we traveled further to my Dad’s place in Magdeburg. We had a relaxed time there as well,  spending a lot of time with long lasting breakfasts, chilled grill sessions and a lovely half a day trip to Quedlinburg near the Harz Mountains. On the last day in Magdeburg we went to the funeral of my Grandfather “Opi Gerhardt”. It was such a gift for us to have the chance to say goodbye to him. He will be with us in memories and our hearts.

On Wednesday we headed to Berlin to see Lena and Hector for another 4 days. When Hector picked us up at the bus station in the evening, we had also an unexpected surprise visit from my friend Christoph from Potsdam. He had mixed up dates and was already waiting for us for drinks that day instead of the day after. So he joined as spontaneous for a beer at Hector’s and we had a lot to talk about.

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Planned for a couple of times, but never actually done, a little dream came true when Natalie and I visited the Pergamon Museum at the museums island in Berlin the next day. On Friday we went out to Berlin Friedrichshain to stroll around during perfect weather. While walking through a park, a sudden tiredness overcame me and I had to have a little nap in the park :). Later Berlin surprised  us with an unexpected highlight, as we suddenly found ourselves in the middle of the annual Berlin Beer Festival which offered an unbelievable amount of beer from around the world. We felt like having discovered the Octoberfest in Munich by chance. Later we enjoyed some proper German food together with Markus and his young family. It was the first time we saw his only a few months old son as well.

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Our weekend then was reserved for Lena and Hector. In her role as our cycling tour guide Lena did an amazing job and showed us the best of Berlin in a full day 40 km cycling tour. For me it was the first little challenge to see if my body is fit again. It worked out quite well, but I have to confess I had a nap again after lunch in one of the parks we had visited. And of course, Hector joined in :). Our trip to Berlin was made perfect, when Lena and Hector brought us to the famous lake Wannsee to have some relaxed hours at the beach on our last day! Thank you again to both of them for a wonderful weekend.

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It was time to say goodbye and we took the bus again to move on to Dresden. It was actually planned to visit Dresden in 2012 and 2013, but we somehow never did it. Now we grabbed the chance to do it. We discovered the historic city centre, enjoyed the hip quarter Neustadt and had a delightful cycling tour along the river Elbe to castle Pillnitz. This time, I did not have to take a nap in the park. My fitness was getting better by the day.

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Munich was our next destination. We were so happy to see our friends Ertan & Kiki, Vincent & Sabrina with their little boy Luis and Tom & Carry with little Kim. Over the weekend we went to see my Mum and my brother’s family in Austria. Once again we were super lucky with the weather and chilled together at lake Mondsee. It was soo good to see them all and go swimming with my little nephew and see him jump into the water from a 1 meter spring board with passion! Back from Austria, we went to the Tropical Institut in Munich for an after dengue check-up, and got a green light to go travel again. The doctor was super happy with both of us.

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The following week brought us to my sister’s new place in Freiburg. She and her husband Gaspar recently moved into a new flat. We used the chance to crush my sister’s kitchen to cook some delicious dinners with them. During the day, we did some travel planning or strolled around town to try some of Yvonne’s coffee shop recommendations in Freiburg.

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After 2 days we moved on to travel to London. We flew from Basel to London. My first flight ever with Ryanair teached me that not only Asian low cost carrier squeeze their passengers into the seats ;). In London Natalie’s brother Konni and a lot of friends were waiting for us. We had fully 9 days in front of us, which made us very excited.

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We treated ourselves to the full program in London. Which for us means having a picnic in Hyde Park with our friends, cooking dinner together with everyone, discovering some residential areas, enjoying London’s amazing Pubs, finding a cozy place to read a good book and going to the countryside. Big hugs to Konni, Matthew & Kristina, Sergey, Ciara, Sara, Katharina & Ed with little Emma, and Susanne & Andy. It was so good to see you all and catch up!

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Back in Munich we had a packed day to get us ready for our journey back to Asia. Due to Natalie’s well-known organisational skills, we luckily managed to collect my new set of spare glasses, went through the mail of the last 4 months, impregnated our clothes with mosquito repellent, packed our backpacks, collected our Indian Visa and met our friends Wulfy and Diana plus all the others again for dinner in the evening. In the morning, we then took an early bus to our last destination on this trip, Mainz, to visit Natalie’s little brother Ciro. Now we will go to bed one last time in Germany, before flying to Bangkok tomorrow to restart our trip. We cannot wait!!

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