The weekend before last (July 9 - 11) was my last weekend before the 2nd eye operation, and since the first op was almost 4 weeks ago by then, I was allowed almost everything I wanted to do (with caution).
It was a weekend with a mix of sunshine, rain and thunderstorms; as most of you know from the news, the rain and thunderstorms caused a lot of damage in many parts of Germany as well as other countries in central Europe. Thankfully, neither O.K.'s nor my area were in trouble, and I am selfishly glad that all my family and friends are safe and well. Still, I am not untouched by the dramatic events; the death toll has risen to somewhere around 120 as far as I know, and the worst affected regions will suffer from the aftermath not for days, weeks or months, but years to come.
Anyway, this post is about what the weekend was like for me - if you think that's shallow and callous, feel free to not read on.
On the Saturday, we finally went for the type of hike I enjoy so much: straight from the cottage, rucksacks packed with sandwiches and water bottles, and a total of just over 24 km, all at a leisurely pace.
Surprisingly few other people were out and about, making for a peaceful and quiet atmosphere in the woods. I loved every minute of it, especially knowing that for several weeks to come, I was not going to be able (or allowed) to do something like that.
|View across Diersburg|
|We were headed to the wind mills you can see in the distance.|
|One of the two wind mills at the top of Steinfirst.|
|This completely harmless grass snake (Ringelnatter; natrix natrix) was fully aware of us and made haste to cross the path to safety. The snake was about as long as my arm from finger tips to elbow.|
On Sunday, we decided on a walk instead of a hike, and drove the short distance to Ortenberg. You have seen the castle and surrounding vineyards a few times on my blog, but we took a slightly different circuit route from the parking lot behind the town hall, so that we came back with a view of the castle we had not yet seen.
|These tiny moths were on the hydrangea near the front door of O.K.'s cottage, maybe 2 cm across. Sorry for the slightly blurry picture, but they looked as if they were made of lace.|
|A former vineyard left to its own devices.|
|A particularly picturesque part of Käfersberg, next to Ortenberg.|
After that beautiful weekend, I had all of Monday to get things ready for my next OP and the days after, and was able to go to the clinic on Tuesday morning in a rather relaxed state of mind. As you already know, all went well. I am scheduled to work again next week after SIX weeks on sick leave - it feels like I have been practising for my retirement, which is still about 15 years away!