September 19th, 2010

Fishy Circumstances

Home sweet again

I am back from many places, all in Poland, Germany, and France. We booked hotels in advance, and figured out most of our adventures en route, cross-references between guidebook and atlas. The atlas had World Heritage Sites on it, for which we occasionally detoured. I showed restraint, and only organized two restaurant meals in advance; they were really quite nice ones.

I drank new wine in Germany, which is the grape equivalent of "real" (American) cider; so good. We sought out chateaux in the Loire valley, dwarves in Wrocław among high gothic merchant houses, hills and a waterfall in the drizzly Black Forest, champagne in well-paved Epernay, opera houses in Bayreuth, paintings in Weimar, mustard in Dijon, and war memorials near Arras. We visited friends in Tours and family in Leipzig. I have a nearly-full memory card in my camera and a new pillow. An ornately-decorated desk in a hotel room gave me a minor pair of puncture wounds. Internet access was so much better than it was on the equivalent trip we did three years ago. I think I finally have the Peace of Westphalia down.

In Poland, I could pronounce words, but was grateful when there were signs in German, as I could make a reasonable stab at reading the German.
In Germany, I was relieved when, at a particularly good restaurant, there was the option of a menu in French, which I could read with confidence.
In France, I talked to people in French, and they answered back in English, because it was easier.
C. points out that it's only a matter of time before, in England, my pronunciation of something-or-other is corrected again.

Some day, it would be nice to be fluent in something.