Just one day to pat our bellies, catch our breath and vacuum the house, before Mum and Dad blew in on a plane from Copenhagen. It was their second visit since I moved here, the first taking place in 2010, during Münster’s coldest, snowiest winter possibly ever. Kiel glowered beneath metal skies for the first couple of days and then seemed to remember it’s July and thus mid-summer and with a little huffing and puffing and the odd showery tantrum, peeled back the grey for brilliant, sunny blue. When we drove them back down to Hamburg airport today, there were no colours in the world but the greenest green and the bluest blue. Naturally, now that Mum and Dad have departed, Kiel is to expect a fortnight of smashing summer weather.
So what did we do? We ate. We ate at the schicky mickies – N.i.L (not bad) Längengrad (pretty good) Seebar (always good) and Der Bauch von Kiel (very good). We did battle with the system of Vapianos, which continues to dazzle my father and disappoint my mother. We ate the classics – hot backfisch, Danish ice cream, Bratwurstschnecke, gebrannte mandeln, bakery breakfasts. We had Kaffee und Kuchen at our place. We drank bottles (and bottles) of wine, minty Hugos, tall glasses of German beer.
We caught a little ferry from the city to the little beach village of Laboe and, there, climbed to the top of the Naval Memorial and walked through the WWII U-Boot. Our families finally met for the first time. We spent a day in Hamburg with family friends, watched the Wallabies lose, surrounded by the smuggest Brits the world ever did see. Mum and Dad got well acquainted with Kiel, this city I’ve called home these past 6 months, the city that is such an important part of the Germany story. We caught up on each others’ stories, enjoyed being in the same city, five minutes away from each other. Enjoyed sitting down to dinner together. Enjoyed being together.
And now, Kieler Woche but a pot of Argentinian chimmichurri in the fridge and Mum and Dad on their way to the next city, life will resume, if not its customary pace, a slightly slower one. I can get some laundry done, do a grocery shop. Sort things out that need sorting, like the packing situation for Weiden. Weiden, which we leave for in three short weeks, farewelling what has been a glorious North German chapter and saying hello, once more, to Bavaria.
Oh my, where has the time gone?