Last night at a quarter to eight, I shut the door to my flat behind me from inside and heaved a bigh sigh of relief.
It had been a great holiday but a rather long and tiring trip back home. To get from Sheffield to Stuttgart shouldn't take all that long, but we were on the road (or in the air) for ten hours. While still in England, everything went smoothly, and all our means of transport (taxi, train and plane) arrived and left on the spot. As soon as we landed in Germany, the "fun" began: There was utter chaos in Frankfurt at the station, with massive delays and many trains cancelled. As usual, the reasons given were varied, and information not always reliable. There had been heavy thunderstorms in the northern half of Germany, we heard, but that was the day before. Also, some trains were cancelled because of "technical issues with the vehicle" - obviously, they were not able to provide replacement trains. For a while, we were unsure about when (and if!) we would be able to make it to Stuttgart on that same day.
And while the time difference between England and Germany is only 1 hour, temperatures in Germany were well above 30 Celsius, as opposed to somewhere around 20 Celsius in Yorkshire. Although we had known about this and came prepared, it didn't make dragging luggage across the airport and train station any nicer.
Anyway! The holiday was great, it was lovely to see the family, we went for nice, long walks and hikes, saw some beautiful places and had nice meals. I brought back five books, one dress, some chocolate and other little gifts.
In a few minutes, I will leave for the office - hoping that trains today won't be as chaotic as yesterday! It will take me some time to catch up with everybody's blogs, and of course it will also take a while to write up my travel notes and choose the best out of the 300+ pictures I have taken.
Watch this space :-)
(Picture of yellow poppies from my parents' allotment, courtesy my Mum.)