I bet you’d never have thought to travel from Bad Herrenalb to South America using public transport. I bet you wouldn’t have thought it was possible. I bet the vast majority of you haven’t got a clue of where in the world Bad Herrenalb is!

Fact is: Bad Herrenalb is a spa in the Black Forest and it does have a train station from where it’s perfectly safe and possible to travel to Frankfurt airport via Karlsruhe – as I learned from our friends today, when we visited them today, yes, you guessed it correctly: in Bad Herrenalb.

Bad Herrenalb’s claim to fame this year is the Gartenschau it is hosting: there are concerts, talks, loads of flowers, a little stream, and a few stands where you can get something to eat and drink. We had a great time walking around, catching up on each other’s lives. It was a great afternoon out, away from our routine, being with friends, enjoying life, good company and fresh air.

We had a bit of a frank discussion with the event organisers at the end of our visit to the garden show. Turns out that people who have an ID showing that they are disabled and need a person to assist them can bring in that person for free. The three of us had to pay 37 euro entrance fee for the afternoon, which is not exactly cheap for a walk in a park, when one of us should have been able to go in for free accompanying Pádraig, bringing the entrance fee down to 24 euro. Turns out that this reduction only applies to persons with a disability ID card showing the letter ‘B’ for ‘Begetter’ or companion. Now, there are two obvious things to note here: one is that it only works for Germans with a German disability card; the other one is that there is no doubt in anybody’s mind that Pádraig is disabled and does require assistance. But – Germans being Germans, and the organisers of the garden show being who they are, they were unable to apply common sense – but followed orders: no card, no free ticket. No matter what. A piece of paper effectively overwriting reality. Unreal, isn’t it?