Archive | November, 2012

Seeing Baby Lucas

26 Nov

The day we saw baby Lucas again was a special day for us. Babies grow a lot when you’ve been absent for ten weeks. We saw our great-grandson in the midst of three aunties and his grandma, while his mum was enjoying all the attention her son got. Our daughter’s dog felt a bit left out, looking for attention by the baby’s mum.

This bear had come from Berlin to Baby Lucas.

We went here for refreshments

while Lucas took a nap in his pram.

One Week after Landing

26 Nov

Waking at the crack of dawn we decided it would be a good morning to see the sun rise over the lake. I straight away felt in a holiday mood. It was exactly one week after we had landed back in Australia. The week had been hectic at times. So here comes a lovely holiday morning. And lovely it turned out to be as you can see from the pictures.

This is where we parked our car.

Eventually some more of this was facing us at home. But first we had some fresh bread-rolls and coffee.

A Cemetery in Leipzig

23 Nov

Previously I mentioned that we went to Leipzig to look for my grandfather’s burial place. Today I want to publish some more pictures about our excursion to Leipzig.

We had come by train from Berlin arriving at the Main Station in Leipzig (Hauptbahnhof)

A tram took us to the Southern Cemetery (Südfriedhof). When we got of the tram we could see the Völkerschlachtdenkmal.

Crossing the road, we found ourselves right at what looked to us like the main entrance to the cemetery. There was a friendly lady in the building next to the entrance. She had the particulars of the graves at hand which were still under the care of the cemetery. People usually pay a fee which covers five years of care. If for any reason a renewal fee isn’t paid anymore, the grave site becomes a new plot for a new grave. My grandfather’s grave dated from February 1947. I knew that some of my cousins had continued to pay for the care of it. We even knew that the grave should be in section XXIV. I asked the lady could she please look up whether the grave-site still existed. The lady said, indeed, this particular grave was still under their care. It had been paid for till the year 2017. She showed us on the map where section XXIV was. This was it. We didn’t get any information about the position of the grave. We thought with the help of the grave’s number we should be able to find it anyway. Each grave under care had a particular number. We had the number of our grave. However to see the number you had to remove a stick from the soil. Then you could see the number underneath the stick. The problem was the numbers were not arranged in a consecutive order. We found the section all right. The grave-site number? This was another matter. We saw a young working woman who saw to the surrounding garden areas. She tried to help us find what we were looking for. She couldn’t work it out either where this particular site was. A gravestone with my grandfather’s name on it? Forget it. We covered the whole section, right left and center. We found nothing. In the end I felt rather tired and had a rest on a wooden bench while Peter kept on searching. Nothing! We hadn’t packed any food. Somehow we assumed we would be able to buy some food somewhere. But then except for flower-shops there had been nothing near the entrance. The toilet near the entrance was under repair. In the middle section of this huge cemetery there were toilet facilities which had been indicated at the entrance. Eventually we were heading for this middle section which turned out to be very beautiful: There were lovely well kept garden sections and stunning buildings with comforts, plenty of water and even a prayer room. Eating something, well, this had to wait. There was an office. Peter made inquiries. In this office every particular about every grave from way back was filed away. The lady from this office was able to give us a print-out with the exact position of the grave. Immediately we were full of hope again and we headed all the way back to section XXIV. We searched, and searched, and searched. We knew we were in the right area. Still no grave. We just could not see it! What was wrong? We didn’t know. I took another rest on that bench where I had been sitting before. Peter roamed about close by. The rest of the story is in the following pictures to be seen.

 

Me, taking a rest

We definitely had entered the right section.

Peter contemplated in front of this more recent gravestone that here was a person who’s name ended in “….mann”. But where was “Spickermann?”

Peter picked up the stick at the end of this grave site that said it was still under care.

He turned over the stick, looked at the bottom of it. This was it. He shouted over to me: Darling, Darling, I found something!

Look, look, look at the name!

Wow, I had been sitting close to Grandfather’s burial ground all along!

This is how this 65 year old gravestone has been supported for I don’t know how long.

Walking through this cemetery with its tall trees was actually quite uplifting and relaxing. Lots of autumn leaves on the ground already.

View to the middle section of this huge cemetery where the Crematorium is. I might publish about this a bit more some other time.

An excellent cup of coffee was on offer in one of the flower shops close to the cemetery. We were told they didn’t sell any food yet. With the coffee we did get a very tiny biscuit.

After coffee we had the energy to walk a bit closer to this impressive memorial.

The tram took us to the city center of Leipzig where we indulged in a beautiful meal in the old council building’s restaurant. .

This is where we had a lovely cooked meal.

As desert Peter and I shared “Leipziger Quarkkeilchen”. They were delicious. Exactly the way my grandmother used to make them

 

Jungle Board Walk at Airport

21 Nov

 

In 2010 Peter took these pictures of the Jungle Board Walk at Kuala Lumpur Airport. We were enjoying browsing around the airport while we had to wait for our connecting flight. This time (two and a half years later) unfortunately the board-walk was closed for renovations.

This open air jungle is situated right in the middle of Kuala Lumpur Airport!

Resting at Kuala Lumpur Airport

21 Nov

After my brother had dropped us off at Berlin Tegel Airport we checked in and then had plenty of time to have a drink with the six family members  who had come to see us off:
Peter’s cousin, Peter’s nephew, Peter’s sister and all their partners. They were all there, to see us one last time.

The flight to Amsterdam was delayed. Because of this we had less than one hour to get to hour connecting flight. When I pointed this out to a cabin crew member he inquired about my age and whether I could walk all right. I told him I couldn’t walk as fast as younger people. Voila, a drive on a buggy was arranged for Peter and me. Being driven through the immense airport with passengers roaming about and making way for the buggy, we felt like in a movie. It was a long, long drive to the departure point for our connecting flight. I doubt I could have made it in time by walking. We were extremely grateful for the lift and were able to board on time on the long stretch to Kuala Lumpur.

At Kuala Lumpur Airport we had a seven hour rest. From there we took off  on a seven hour flight to Sydney.  The longest non-stop stretch was from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, namely eleven hours! During this long flight Peter got sick. After that he had hardly anything to eat anymore.

This is the family who saw us off at Berlin Tegel Airport

We were grateful for the long break at Kuala Lumpur Airport. It gave us ample time to recover a bit from the previous eleven hour non-stop flight. In Kuala Lumpur Peter even enjoyed the coffee and cake we had at one of the airport’s coffee-shops. At some other establishment we had a large glass of iced Chi tea. This tasted very good and was very refreshing. On the next seven hour stretch  to Sydney Peter refused food again. However he had lots of drinks all the time: Mainly water, but also some juice and coffee. He just didn’t feel like eating.

Back in Australia

19 Nov

Peter and I  landed safely back in Australia.Yesterday morning our daughter picked us up from Sydney airport and drove us to our home (100 km south of Sydney). So we’ve been back home now for nearly thirty hours and are gradually getting rid of our jet legs. Everything is fine at our place. Our lovely daughter is going to stay with us till tomorrow (Tuesday).

Six people had come to Berlin Tegel airport on Friday to see us off. We found the perfect place to have a drink with them. This time was very relaxing for us. We knew already that our plane to Amsterdam was going to leave somewhat later than originally planned. My brother had driven us to the airport from his place in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. He had only dropped us off so he could be  back home before it got too dark.

In Amsterdam we had scarce time to catch the connecting flight to Kuala Lumpur. We made sure we’d get some help by the airport people. Just as well! It turned out we had to go  right to the other end of the airport. This would have meant a tremendous walk for us. We were very grateful for being driven to our departure point. I doubt that we could have made it by walking.

In Kuala Lumpur we had close to seven hours to catch our Malaysian connecting flight to Sydney. This meant we had no problem with being on time for boarding at the departure gate. It also gave us the opportunity to stretch our legs a bit and then take a break in a beautifully furnished cafe with French songs playing in the background. The toilet facilities were also very welcome. We couldn’t take a walk though through the airport’s beautiful open air jungle walk since it was closed for renovations. What a pity!

Near our departure gate we found some stretch-out chairs. Believe me, we made good use of them! Some pics of them some other time.

Leipzig

6 Nov

From Leipzig Hauptbahnhof we took a tram to Südfriedhof, the cemetery where my grandfather was buried in 1947. My brother had found out from one of our cousins, where the grave site was supposed to be, that is I had the correct plot number and asked at the entrance for directions. The Südfriedhof is right next to the Leipzig Völkerschlacht Denkmal. We saw it straight away when we got off the tram.

The Völkerschlachtdenkmal exists since 1913 commemorating a battle from 1813. Some restorations are being done at present for next year’s 200 year commemoration.

To find Grandfather’s grave turned out to be extremely difficult. It took us many, many hours. Yet we were successful in the end and very, very happy that our search hadn’t been in vain. I’ll write about it in some more detail some other time.

In the afternoon we had time to stroll through the city center of Leipzig. Leipzig has a lot of beautifully restored old buildings and the modern buildings seem to blend in quite well. We were very impressed.

A view of the Leipzig Hauptbahnhot, the main railway station