Thursday 20 June 2024

A Very Busy Week

Being busy sometimes feels good, and even being VERY busy can feel good - provided I get enough time to myself in between, before or after such a period. Last week was a good example, and much as I enjoyed all the various activities, I really wouldn't be able (or willing) to keep that sort of pace for long!

On Monday (10 June), I boarded a train to Fulda, a city in a different federal state from mine. I arrived there at about 1:30 pm, found my hotel easily and checked in. A few of my fellow Data Protection Officers were already there, but with having sat on the train for a few hours and the prospect of more sitting at the conference we were having that afternoon, all I wanted was to stretch my legs and look around. 

My room at the hotel - very 1990s!


...and the view from it - but it was clean and quiet.

Across the road from the hotel was a park, a former cemetery. At one end, a gate lead across another road and into a second park, also a former cemetery. Both parks were beautiful, but quite different in their layout and atmosphere. I had a leisurely stroll and looked at some of the old headstones, the statues, the old trees and the wild flowers in the high grass.







The conference ended a little after 6:00 pm, and our group of about 12 was booked at a restaurant in the town centre. One of us knew the place well and offered to take those who were willing on a little detour on our way there, in order to show us a few highlights of the historic old town. I was among those who went on the tour, and although it was a little rushed so that we arrived at the restaurant in time, it was really interesting.





Fulda has a strong church presence with monasteries and a large baroque cathedral. Even some of the traffic lights pick up on the religious theme!

We had our meal, which was alright; many restaurants in Germany are closed on a Monday and so the person who organised the meal had to make do with what was open. Service was middling, but all things considered, it was ok.

Afterwards, our colleague who had given us the quick tour offered to take us to the area near the river, which was a long green stretch of parkland. There was still enough daylight left, and about half of us were eager to walk after the long hours of sitting and the meal.

A brilliant rainbow appeared and made the walk even better. Fulda is really a beautiful town - I had not known the place at all and was pleasantly surprised. Definitely worth returning to at some stage!


If you look closely, you can see there were actually two rainbows.




Not a river, but the lane along the long green stretch of parkland glistening with recent rain.

By the time I was back in my room, it was 10:30 pm and dark.

The conference continued on Tuesday (11 June). I spent part of the lunch break in the park next to the hotel again. When during the afternoon I learned that the middle part of my train journey home had been cancelled, I arranged with two colleagues who were driving in the direction of my area to go with them.

The three of us had a good old chin wag on the trip home (with no traffic holdups, thankfully), and I soon caught a local train from where the ladies dropped me off, arriving home at 8:30 pm.

The next day was sunny and bright, and as it was Wednesay (12 June), I worked at the office. Walking home from Kornwestheim took about 50 minutes, after which I spent a quiet, relaxing evening at home.

On Thursday (13 June) I learned that my favourite neighbour had died the previous week. Hers is the beautiful garden I see best from my kitchen window, a view you are all familiar with. Last year, she moved into a nursing home, where I went to visit her. We spoke on the phone every now and then, and I was planning my next visit - her death came unexpected, even though she was nearly 93.

Friday (14 June) was nothing out of the ordinary: I worked, I cleaned, I took the train to Offenburg where O.K. picked me up at 8:30 pm. We had our customary end-of-the-working-week meal of salad, bread, cheese and wine.


The weekend deserves its own post, I think - and then you'll understand why I have chosen the headline "A Very Busy Week" :-)

10 comments:

  1. I was curious about the "former cemeteries". Are the bodies no longer there - were they moved somewhere else?
    Your photos of the rainbow and that sky were really fabulous! Brilliant was the perfect word for it!

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    1. Ellen, it is common practice in Germany when new cemeteries are dedicated to gradually let up the old ones. Usually, the remains are not moved, unless the land is to be built over. The place is simply left as it is, with all the headstones and structures such as chapels or mausoleums, but no new graves are added. People still leave flowers at some of the graves, but the land is officially turned into a park, often with informative boards and signs to mark the grave sites of famous people.

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  2. I've definitely never seen traffic lights like those before!!! :-)

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    1. Neither have I! I liked the quirky humour behind that.

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  3. What lovely photos, yes I do see the 2nd rainbow! I am sorry that about the loss of your sweet neighbor, it is a tough thing to lose friends. Take time to remember her, I know you will. x

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    1. I have put together my memories of her, printed it off and added it to my condolence card for the family to read it; I hope they appreciate a relative stranger's thoughts about their sister, sister-in-law, aunt and great-aunt.

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  4. I see that Fulda is in the Kassel region. I visited Kassel in 2007 for the Documenta exhibition by train from London. It is a very beautiful area and I enjoyed my stay in the city of Kassel apart from the episode at the end in the hotel where there was a discrepancy about whether I had paid in advance or not and a difficult train journey back to Cologne. But that is another story. Thank you for sharing your busy week and for bringing back my memories of Kassel.

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    1. Hello Rachel, Fulda and Kassel are both major ICE train stops; nearly every long distance train in Germany passes through either or both stations.
      Last year, the same conference I have attended in Fulda had taken place in Kassel. You can find my post about that short stay here:
      https://librarianwithsecrets.blogspot.com/2023/06/miles-more-week.html

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  5. I like to walk in cemeteries and churchyards which have been allowed to run a bit wild. I know that they support much more wildlife than immaculately tended ones, and I like to think of the idea that death is just one part of the continuing circle of life.

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    1. Same here, Jenny. The number of birds, squirrels, butterflies and sometimes rabbits one encounters in such places is much larger than at the ones that are still in use as cemeteries, and I like the idea of them keeping the dead company among the old stones.

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