Memories from August 2010

Sunday, 1stAugust 2010

Today I had the feeling that spring was just around the corner. I walked to church and enjoyed the warmth of the sun. Soon I took off my cardigan and let the sunshine touch my bare arms. This is good for replenishing Vitamin D and for absorbing more Calcium, I told myself.

I was amazed how healthy I felt on a day like today. Last month I had persevered with several more tooth-extractions, There were some five teeth that had very old and quite large amalgam-fillings. I had made up my mind that it was time to get rid off these teeth. So now there aren’t anymore amalgam fillings left in my mouth. I wonder whether this is why I feel much healthier? Soon after all those extractions I had started a detoxing program. Kate, the naturopath at the Dental Centre, gave me four different supplements, which I keep taking as prescribed. In about six weeks I’ll go for another check-up to find out whether the detoxing of the various metals in my blood has been successful.

Most days I feel that walking for thirty minutes or so is no problem. I usually don’t get pains anymore and I hardly ever seem to run out of breath while walking. Besides, I used to wobble a bit to one side quite frequently. This seems to be better now. Come to think of it, I have been keeping quite well over the last few months. Didn’t I undertake an exhausting overseas trip from the end of May to the beginning of July this year, and didn’t I cope with the stress of travelling remarkably well? Who would have thought that I was capable of travelling for so long without a problem?

The last time I had travelled overseas had been in 1994. That year I had gone with Peter and daughter Caroline to Berlin. In 1997 and 2004 Peter travelled to Berlin by himself. So I had not been to Berlin for a long time. I felt very much like a stranger there during our recent visit in contrast to Peter who straight away felt at home again. He’s extremely familiar with this city. I think the biggest difference, compared to my previous visits, was the experience of feeling so much more elderly. I was for instance always grateful when younger people offered me their seat on the underground train or on the bus. Being elderly gave me the feeling that I could go slowly. I did not have to hurry as the younger people did. Whenever I felt a bit tired I could sit down and rest for a while.

We arrived in Berlin on the 31st of May. We had expected warm weather, but it was still very, very chilly and often extremely windy. Consequently I soon developed a terrible cold. However with adequate rest I quickly recovered from this attack of flu. When it had become a bit warmer, Peter and I enjoyed what nature had to offer, especially further up north in Mecklenburg/Vorpommern where we stayed for ten days with my brother Peter and his wife Astrid.

Mecklenburg/Vorpommern has forests and many, many lakes as well as canals connecting these lakes. The small towns in the area all cater for tourists. Very old houses have been lovingly restored. Some new developments include expensive marinas. Peter and Astrid showed us historical sites and castles where previously kings and queens liked to relax with their families, away from the hussle and bussle of Berlin.

The last few days of our stay in Germany we were back in Berlin. Day-temperatures had risen to well above thirty degrees by then. It did not cool down very much during the nights either. Daylight lasted till about ten at night. At four in the morning it was quite light again. Sometimes it seemed to be a bit light the whole night through!

Peter’s sister, who lives in Berlin, went on a lot of outings with us. Sometimes we were driven around in a car by friends or family members. However most of the time we used public transport – and very efficient transport at that. When you want to catch an underground train, you hardly ever have to wait for more than five minutes for the train to arrive!

Most people probably do not know that Berlin has many lakes, rivers and canals with hundreds of bridges. I do not know the exact number of bridges, however, I was told Berlin has more bridges than Venice! We saw quite a few of these Berlin waterways. Once we were taken on a boat- excursion that took us right through the city centre! On the boat we were served beer. frankfurts and potato salad. A few times we went on ‘book hunting’ excursions. Visiting friends and family in different parts of the city kept us busy as well.

On Friday, 2nd of July, was departure day. We left from Tegel Airport . This Airport is rather small and totally inadequate for a city like Berlin. Because of a lack of space very few big machines can fly in or out of Berlin. However, a much larger airport is to be opened in Berlin in about two years. If all goes well, Peter and I may then be able to go on a direct flight from Sydney to Berlin which would probably cut travelling time by a few hours.

This time we had a return flight from Sydney to Berlin via Kuala Lumpur and Amsterdam. We travelled KLM. To our great relief our luggage could be booked through to Berlin and later back to Sydney.

I was a bit apprehensive about our return flight since the schedule included a five hour stay at Kuala Lumpur. To my surprise I rather liked this stay at Kuala Lumpur Airport. The airport is huge. Internet connections are provided without charge. There is also no charge for drinking water! In the midst of the airport is a rainforest enclosure for travellers to enjoy. And of course there are shops, shops, shops! Also facilities for showers, massages, reflexology treatments and more. In the sitting area you can find stretch-out seats for tired travellers!

We did not want to go for dinner at one of the restaurants. We rightly assumed we would get dinner on the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney. However we decided to go for coffee and cake at the Airport’s Deli France. And we enjoyed this! For a little while I also made use of one of the stretch-out seats. Why doesn’t every airport have those seats for sleepy travellers?