Saturday, May 17, 2008

Perfect Landing

Life has suddenly changed! We came smoothly from Kolkata to Frankfurt with a very brief stop-over in Dubai. As I expected the EK 547 from Kolkata to Dubai had all its 320 plus seats fully booked. I slept a lot more than I did last year, besides watching some comedies . Fr. Susai kept waking me for meals. One thing I noticed for sure : the services of Emirates Airlines had remained the same; and that made up for the long haul between Dubai and Frankfurt on EK 047. We reached Frankfurt 10 minutes ahead of our scheduled time. The immigration and customs went without any hitch. So, we were out in no time to be welcomed by Evelyn. For the night halt we came to Bad Nauheim where we were greeted by aunt Edith. She lives in a single room apartment all by herself. Our stay was made comfortable by arranging at Hotel Sonnenhof. We were just given keys by aunt Edith, and we did not see any hotel staff until the next morning at the breakfast table. Once we left our luggage at Sonnenhof we decided to go for a walk as the sun was still out at 8.15 p.m. Bad Naueheim is a small little town of about 20,000 people, with natural springs (which gives the name “bad” to be pronounced “baad”), health clubs, restaurants and parks. Aunt Edith took us to the most important spots of this little town : the homes of Bismarck (the iron man of Germany), Elvis Presley (great Rock star), and the Beneke Institute (Beneke was the person who researched on the medicinal qualities of the natural mineral waters (artesian springs) that are found in the area. The springs are well maintained, with Spas, inhalatorium and health clubs surrounding such. The municipality was sprucing up the town for a big Fair to be held in 2010, and so lots of repair works were going on in the town without giving much trouble to the people. As we were walking back Evelyn proposed that we must taste apple wine that is exclusive to the region. And so we stopped on the market and joined large crowds of people enjoying their drinks and dinners at the beginning of the weekend. At a restaurant, the ladies serving us proposed that we have "Flammenkuchen" for the dinner. It was prepared with garlic, onion, lettuce, cheese, butter, tomatoes, bacon etc on the roasted bread specially for us as we were guests! We got back to our hotel rooms at 10.00 p.m. We decided to call it a day as we need to quickly adjust to the time zone change. (Pictures from top: Homes of Elvis Presley, Bismarck, and one of the natural fountains)

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