Thursday, 27 August 2015

Plau an see and bike ride

Plau am see, bike ride, evening with Argentinian 

I started the day with a brisk walk beside the lake. Ingrid, Tina, Jorg and I went into Plau. It is an attractive small town with typical N German architecture, churches built of small red bricks, and a Rathaus on the main square, lots of buildings of different ages ranging from 17 c onwards. It is a German tourist spot. We rented bikes biked across the countryside towards Lutz, a brewing factory, we biked through small villages with a few houses and a church, all made of small red bricks. Many of the houses had been repainted, there were also large landowner farmsteads from two centuries ago. The forest was lovely with mixed trees and smelling of pine and other scents. Tine loved her first forest biking experience. If the weather had been better I would have biked beside the lake. It was very easy to hire bikes and the roads were well marked. 

I bought a blue mug with an interesting line running along it from the local female potter, it will remind me of the Baltic. In the evening we had an extraordinary supper cooked by an Argentinan who married a German 25 yrs ago and established a brass band and training for children here. He had built a huge barn in his garden for training sessions and camps for kids. He was exuberant and not good at managing the detail in his life. He had heard Miguel and concha speaking Spanish at a concert earlier in the week and clearly wanted an evening of speaking Spanish. He set up an Argentinan meat feast sardo with about 20 different types of meat and we eat these sitting at a canteen table in his harshly lit barn. He talked about his life and has enthused children to play in brass band in Mecklenberg prommen.  

I asked people about the highlights and the surprises of the holiday; we all enjoyed the northern German architecture and the clear northern light on the houses and villages and being in the group again. Tina’s highlight was swimming in Baltic and biking, she was surprised that Mecklenburg is part of Germany because it is so different to the industrial west and Bavaria she has previously visited. Jorg was surprised to see the posters supporting the local neo Nazi politician on the route to Rostock and Miguel by the evening with the Argentinian.

I enjoyed the friendship of the holiday; they are all nice people and have socialist and international perspectives and interest in culture. National stereotypes are definitely discernable in the group, the Spaniards Miguel and Concha are gentle, thoughtful. Jorg is kind and thoughtful but combined with German angst. He has been happier since buying his house in Sienna 3 years ago. Tina is warm and Italian and happily has no long -term effects from her cancer 15 yrs ago. Frances is half Welsh, half Ghanian and working in South London and with London interests. Ingrid is a solid reliable German and is keen on culture and has the burden of an elderly mother living close by. We are all still working in medicine, Miguel and Concha as consultants in infectious disease and oncology respectively in Madrid, myself in London and globally, the others are all GP’s with varying work-life balances.

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