Saturdays in Pforzheim.

It’s 32 degrees outside and, for a change, we are happy to have a north-facing apartment

Germany never seizes to amaze me. Actually, maybe it’s because there is not one Germany but so many different once. It sounds obvious but: Pforzheim is not Hamburg.

We went for a walk with Pádraig today. Down to Pforzheim. Literally.

FullSizeRenderIf you know Pforzheim you’ll know that this is easier said then done. Last weekend, Pat, Pádraig’s visitors, and Pádraig went for a walk and met a wheelchair bound lady from the rehab centre here whose wheelchair batteries had run out of juice because of the endless uphill battles they had fought to get her back up from town into the rehab centre…

Today, it was my turn of running out ‘batteries’ when we returned from our visit in town.

But the visit was worthwhile.

Town was full of people dressed in ‘Dirndl’ and ‘Lederhosen’ to have fun in the “Oechsle”, a kind of fair with bavarian music, lots of beer, and even more stuff to eat. All part of German “Kultur”.

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IMG_1924We had an ice-cream in an Italian ice-cream parlour that this year celebrates its 80th anniversary. Imagine, they opened in 1935. Imagine what Germany, even Pforzheim was like then. Germany was getting ready for war. The nazis were in power and, in effect, extinguished culture, imposing a regimen of barbarity for which it is difficult to find a match in history. And this in the country of Goethe, Schiller, Beethoven, Schubert, Heine, Brecht…

IMG_1927Town was full of curious stuff. For example: Have you ever heard of Ear Candles (“Ohrenkerzen”)? Apparently, when you stick them into your ears and light them, they act like little chimneys which suck out liquid and ‘Ohrenschmalz’.

Isn’t that amazing? They say that these candles work so well that they have helped countless people to avoid expensive and at times dangerous surgery.

Because it was so hot today, we decided to check out the shower for Pádraig. We brought him into the shower, switched over from wheelchair to shower chair and gave him his first real shower in ages. He had one during his 14 months in the Schön-Klinik, and I think one in Beaumont Hospital. We will need to practice a bit to get the details right,