Bit of an anticlimax really

Bonndorf, Germany
Friday, June 30, 2006

We both slept really well and rose at 9.30 to discover that Helmut and Carola had been waiting for us to have breakfast. The table was laid out fit for a queen and we enjoyed a very leisurely long brunch on the verandah. We chatted easily on all topics and Helmut was also a mad keen skier who invited the BOSS to come back to Europe for a personal tour of all the ski fields. She enthusiastically agreed. When the time came to leave I felt genuinely sorry that we had to go so soon.

We had a quick stop in Freiburg before driving the 60kms to Bonndorf.

Background: this next bit is just filler from my childhood to help you understand a bit about Bonndorf. Feel free to skip it. My brother was born in Bonndorf (which is irrelevant really).

The scene: 1973, Mum, 3 kids aged 12, 11 and 9, Kombi van, one year in Europe, relos in Bonndorf.
One memory: Christmas in a tiny German village - walking down to the local dairy and getting milk in a pail straight from the cow.
Second memory: Spending one week of my summer holidays in Bonndorf hospital.
I had burnt my foot and leg with boiling water in the Kombi the week before and had spent a week in a Swiss hospital. To transfer me to Germany they had put my burnt foot in plaster. When I got to Bonndorf they cut the plaster off with scissors - right across the top of the burn tearing all the skin.
They had also tried to force feed me boiled spinach.
I have really bad memories of that hospital.
Final memory: Sitting in the garden playing badminton with my brothers. As I was incapacitated from the burns, I could not leave my chair so if the 'bird' dropped on the ground, they had to come and fetch it. They didn't mind - that was the type of brothers they were.
[I couldn't walk for 6 weeks but mum continued on with our summer holiday in the Kombi, right across Europe and up into Norway - she just carried me everywhere!!]

So my child's vision of Bonndorf was of a tiny quaint German village with a slow pace of life. We passed through a hundred such villages on our way to Bonndorf. Unfortunately, Bonndorf is now a bustling town with 2 big supermarkets and a large housing estate. The hospital has tripled in size and has been turned into an old folks home. The high school dominates the middle of town with modern buildings and a huge recreation area including skateboard park. I should have stuck with my childhood memories and avoided coming.

We arrived at lunchtime and went to the Information Centre. They had hundreds of brochures but not one in English. The lady was reluctant to help us and just thrust a town map at us and moved on to some clients who could speak German.

We checked in to the Youth Hostel which was huge. It looked like it could cater for about 300 people but there was not another soul around. We drove around town, had lunch in a pub, had afternoon tea in a cafe and twiddled our thumbs for the rest of the afternoon - actually we read our books but we may as well have twiddled our thumbs. Had we not already checked in to the hostel, I think we might just have moved on to a more interesting town. The BOSS watched Germany win another world cup game on the hostel telly - with the only other guests, a German couple.

01 Black Forest
Black Forest
02 Black Forest
Black Forest
03 Bonndorf hospital - now an old folks home
Bonndorf hospital - now an old folks home
04 Bonndorf main street
Bonndorf main street
05 Bonndorf
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