Day 6: Family and Philosophy (and Pizza!)

Happy Thursday, everyone! Your days are probably just getting started, as mine is starting to wind down. Today wasn’t a very exciting day from a tourist perspective, but it was an important day as Christian and I spent the morning helping Mom with her treatments, the very thing we came to Germany to do.

Mom had whole body hyperthermia treatment this morning, which basically means she was in a hot tent most of the morning. She has to do it once a week. The doctor asked last week what she thought of it.

“It’s boring,” Mom said.

Apparently he had never had that answer before.

Mom asked Christian and I to bring some movies to watch with her to pass the time of sitting in the heat. We packed quite a variety, but she keeps teasing us for our bad judgment in packing Saharah. Movies about deserts are not what one wants to watch while having their body temp raised.

We watched The Expendables 2 instead (I haven’t watched it before; found it cheesy and over the top. But it was a good mindless distraction for Mom)

Making movies work

The view from the Hyperthermia room

After her treatment Christian went to rest due to a headache, and I decided to explore the apple orchard outside the clinic. The open door leading to it has been beckoning me all week.

“Victoria, come explore!” It whispers to me

The orchard itself wasn’t very impressive, though it had some cute benches. More interesting to me was a gap in the fencing that led into the woods.

It drives Mom crazy there are apples not being picked. So much applesauce could be made!

Cool stone fence

Is that a trail through the hedge?

There were two paths up the hill, one that was switchbacks up the mountain, and another which struck straight up. I trekked up a combination of the two, until I came across this pretty sign:

I have found a Philosophenwag! All this really means is that I found a reclusive walkway, but this excited me, as I wanted to find the one in Heidelburg, but it doesn’t look like Heidelburg will be visited by me (this trip, anyway). It had been another suggestion of Kathy’s, and here I have one essentially in my back yard! Not technically imbued with the historical aspect of Heidleburg’s, but it will do.
Well today would be the day I was wearing flat, slip on shoes. I decided to cut my hike short and continue after lunch, properly equipped and ready to explore.

Yummy, healthy lunch. Missing is a pic of the bread dumpling with mushrooms and sauce.

Back to the hills!

Philisphical quotes to be found along the way. This one translates to some mumbo jumbo about being one with each other and nature, I think

At some point I lost the Philosophers Path and ended up on the Nordic Hiking Trail, which will essentially send you anywhere. A Google search shows that the Philosophenwag makes a long loop, a lot of it winds back through the park, which I have already seen. I walked the Nordic path for a while. It reminded me of hiking at home, though the landscape is significantly different without pines or brooks. I wished my hiking buddy/roommate Elizabeth had been there to walk it with me. I tried to embody her energy up the steep hill and push myself forward, and I did make the top! The view was beautiful, but I was honestly more distracted by the Robin Hoodesque world around me.

After the hike I sat down on my bed and flipped through my pamphlets for a game plan for the weekend. Tourist centers have been very helpful, and I am super excited for the plans Mom and I made for Saturday while she had a cup of coffee. But I won’t give spoilers and ruin the surprise yet.

I would recommend visiting a tourist center for help with plans. Even just access to local maps is very handy

We signed out for dinner (They would try to track down Mom otherwise if she doesn’t show up, to make sure she is okay) and headed into town. We had a threefold plan:

  1. Find the organic store and get  some macadamia nut spread, yum!
  2. See if we could get inside the violin shop.
  3. Pizza

With the super windy roads, it wasn’t easy to complete the first and find the “Bio” store. In fact we ended up walking many a street and winding up at the violin shop first.

Christian and I had walked past the shop on the first day. With a 15 foot wooden violin on the side, it stands out. I hadn’t thought of visiting until a magazine I flipped through showed a bunch of pictures of violins, including those being worked on. I wondered if the two places were connected, and thought it would be cool to check it out.

There was no front door, but there was one on the side of the building. Remembering that “fortune favors the bold,” I creaked open the door and said “Hello?” We found someone who didn’t speak English, but she found someone else who did. I don’t think he was quite understood why we were thereafter first, but we told him that my mother and I had both previously played the violin, and were curious as to what the place was. He showed us the schoolroom where there were many beautiful instruments hanging on the walls. He asked if I wanted to play one but I was too shy. He also showed us the workshop, warming up to his unusual task as guide, telling us how while they didn’t build instruments there, they did repaire them, and he showed us a few pieces in progress, sharing some of his wisdom (Mongolian horse hair is apparently the best for bows). Ultimately it was a cool experience, even just the boldness of going off the beaten path was really neat.

We did finally find Mom’s bio shop (we have talked bio foods so much here I think calling them that will stick in my head once I am back in the States, I will have to work to think of it as “organic”again). It was tucked in a cute little covered alley, and would be easy to miss if you weren’t looking for it. We also found a small store where we picked up some office supplies. Mom got some thank you cards, Christian some drafting stuff (His creative side has been fidgeting to build something) and I found a really neat fountain pen. There is writing on it that is English, so it might not be a German souvenir so much as a really cool pen, but I don’t think I have seen a fountain pen back home for years, so I will count it as one.

The organic grocery

My shade of green! And I grabbed lots of different ink colors to choose from

At this point we considered it time for an early dinner. We went to the pizza place in the town square, called Europa. We all ordered pizza, myself going for a simple cheese and tomato as I wanted to experience a classic pizza, unsullied by my topping choices. It was fantastic, with a thick, chewy crust, an aromatic and enticing layer of herbs, and the perfect amount of sauce and cheese. Being this close to Italy has it’s benefits.

You know you want some

As our final stop of the day Mom got some coffee ground for her French press (she had to order one in, because she wanted her own coffee so badly). Her and I also ordered some coffee to go.

We got back to the clinic and spent some time in the lobby talking with some fellow patients of hers who have become good friends over the last few weeks. The clinic fosters that sort of thing, and it is neat to see the friendships my Mom had developed through all this.

We ended the day early by hanging in Christians room and blogging. A quick chat with Dad over Skype was also a blessing, and I’m sad he couldn’t physically be here to explore with us.


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