The thing about Germany that always catches me unware is how quintessentially pretty it is.
We leave beachside Puttgarden to travel West towards Rendsburg. We’re having lunch with my Aunt tomorrow: it will be a bitter sweet reunion. Beloved sister to my father, we visited her last year at the start of our travels through Germany. I was so pleased to see her again, many years since our last meeting and thrilled to take news and photos of her and her family to my father. Tomorrow is Father’s Day at home but I have my father no more, my first Father’s Day without him. It will hard to see her, and the traces of his face in hers, so welcomingly familiar to me last year, no doubt quite poignantly painful tomorrow. I’m glad to see her again, my father’s family were everything to him, and she’s lovely, but there will be the reality of not being able to share it with him. I still ring his number sometimes, in the hope of hearing his voice.
The drive to Rendsburg is a another pretty, thatched cottage lined one. The sea is on our right for most of it. We drive through Kiel harbour where large cargo ships pass through its locks before their passage to sea.
One thing about Germany hasn’t changed, its risk taking drivers. If the speed limit is 80, they’re doing 100, at 120, they’re on 160, overtaking on corners and generally presuming immortality.
Deer signs line our path, but none can be seen. I’m guessing from my last deer sightings that either early morning or early evening is best deer spotting time. For now I’ll just have to imagine them tucked away in the thickets.
The plan was to stop halfway to Rendsburg and make the rest of the trip tomorrow, but in the end we drive right through and settle on the Eider River, just on the edge of town. Last year we didn’t get to explore Rendsburg at all, so we take the opportunity now.
The other, how old some of the buildings are, dating back to the 1500s and 1700s. The oldest building in town was built in 1541. It has a cheeky woodcarving of someone baring their butt. Irrervence hasn’t changed that much through the centuries it seems.
Later we head back into town for dinner at the Dalmatia restaurant which specialises in Croatian food. It’s all very familiar territory, chevapchichi, grills, cabbage salad and a good bottle of Croatian red wine. Delicious.