Spring has Sprung

Trip Start Oct 18, 2012
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Flag of Germany  , Baden-Württemberg,
Sunday, April 14, 2013

Howdy folks,

With my final week of German school finished, the weather has been on the up and up. The winter seemed to be almost as dark and long as in Canada although not that cold. With the longer days and the mercury climbing to 20 degrees, it certainly brings out more of everything: more energy, flowers, green fields and blue skies. Finally, I get to taste some of the weather that I've been missing.

On Friday, I met Lin for our regular hike although I took him on a different route up to the Gaisburg Turm. The last time I was up there it was overcast and rainy and the weather certainly brought out some good views of the Altstadt. It wasn't such a long hike, but good to stretch the legs out.

On Saturday, Steffie and I helped her brother Oliver cleaning up his apartment so that he can move in. The renovations are pretty much finished and he finally makes the move this week which everyone is happy to see. We were also set to go to a restaurant in Heidelberg for a night of Hungarian dancing put on by the local community. There are three Hungarian students in my class and when I found out that they were going, I thought we could tag along.

We got there at 8pm and the children were doing a simple dance for the first part. I was offered some local schnapps so I didn't say no. We had a go at doing a few of the dances which were either in a big round or with a partner, but there was even one where you danced in a group of four which was a little strange. In any case we had a really good time although dancing and drinking on an empty stomach meant I didn't need many! We stopped in at the Burger King on the way home which was a bit of a ripoff.

On Sunday there was some sort of expo in the local sports hall showcasing some of the local businesses. Steffie roped me into going as the town mayor was going to speak to all of the new residents and offer them a book and a glass of Sekt. It wasn't very interesting in the end, but I was surprised how many local businesses were represented including restaurants, car dealerships and landscape gardeners.

On Sunday evening we went to the Dinner in the Dark across the river in Schriesheim. For those not aware of the concept, basically you pay a lot of money (or get a nice Christmas present) to experience what it is like to be blind for a few hours. In our case the dinner was in the cellar of an old winery and there were 36 guests. We were lead behind the blackout curtain in pairs into a pitch dark room where we were guided to our chairs. In complete darkness we had to find our utensils, pour our own drinks and eat a 3 course meal without making a dogs breakfast of it.

The experience was much better than I thought it would be. It took half an hour for the brain to register that there wasn't anything to see and there wasn't a point where I was freaked out. Eating became very intuitive as you didn't know what you were eating so you had to guess by taste and texture. For dessert we were sure that our pudding had pears in it, but we were told later that it was apples. I had a picture in my minds eye as to where everything lay on the table although after a few glasses of wine I did clink the glasses a bit.

Surprisingly outside it din't take long for our eyes to re-adjust to the light and we could finally see the people that we were talking to. One of our servers was a woman who was blind from birth so she was able to answer some of the questions like: how do you know when to sleep-wake up or how to tell the time when you can't see a clock. It was very cool and definitely gave us an appreciation of what senses we have.
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