I spent a good five weeks enjoying my holiday at home in the Azores. The lush green, the intense blue and the other intense colours of the eternal spring there let me breathe deeply again and again.
On 15 August, it was time to celebrate in our island capital Vila do Porto (population approx. 3000). Music, food and drink, good atmosphere (without excesses of drunkenness and violence) included. I got to know some nice people again.
A few days later, I arranged to meet up with a few friends for a barbecue in the forest. Everyone brought something. We had all kinds of drinks, delicious salads, freshly baked bread and, of course, barbecues of all kinds. The guitar was also a must. The colours of the forest never let me go.
On 25 August, I flew to Germany to celebrate 50 years of Abitur with my former classmates. We meet up every five years, this time we were again given a guided tour by a teacher from our school in Kusel and spend half a day together, which we round off with a dinner.
I then travelled to Mainz for my annual medical check, which unfortunately only took place two years later this time. At the university hospital of my partial alma mater, I was put through the mill from head to toe for ten days. I had arranged this months in advance and had also booked a hotel within walking distance. After the daily examinations and sometimes treatments, I enjoyed the summer in the city where I spent part of my studies before moving to Heidelberg after the Physikum.
The daily extended walks were very entertaining, as there is almost always something going on in Mainz in summer, including eating, drinking, partying, enjoying and marvelling.
They say that if you were born on the Rhine, the river never lets you go (I was born in Worms on the Rhine).
After visiting my mum and her partner, I had an appointment at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg before flying to Malaga for another Earth 300 appointment. The train journey to Córdoba was quick and comfortable. In addition to the business appointments, we enjoyed the fascination of this Andalusian city with its rich history dating back to Roman antiquity. The night-time tour of the Mezquita Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, left us with unforgettable impressions of the Moorish and Christian centuries that still characterise the city today.
After my return to the Sauerland, we celebrated my mother’s 92nd birthday in the oldest inn in Westphalia, the Pilgrimhaus in Soest, which opened in 1304. As a former pilgrim on the Way of St James, I naturally had a special connection to this pilgrim hostel.
After that, I actually wanted to go back home and spend another month hiking on my island in the Azores and take my time preparing for my next assignment as a ship’s doctor, which was planned for the end of October. But things turned out differently and I’ll tell you all about it in the next blog.