I was still on a high as we waited on the slipway for the ferry to dock. I mean I know I didn't win or anything but I reckon third was pretty good in the circumstances. But lets face it the kid who won is twice my size, I never really stood a chance against those thighs and Greta did come second so Dad's well made up! Its certainly more exciting riding these Elite races than the usual fish ‘n chippers.
So now we get some Dad time before we head back home, which is why we are waiting to cross on the Bodensee ferry.
“Here we go” Dad muttered as we were waved forward onto the ferry, a glorified version of the ones that cross the Rhein near home but a bit bigger I guess. We clanked down the ramp and drove to what answers as the pointy end before parking.
“ Eine Fahrkarte, bitte .”
The ticket geezer was already at Dads window.
“ Neunzehn Euro bitte.”
Money changed hands and already the boat was starting to move.
“Lets go up and get a drink, its about twenty minutes across to Meersburg.” Dad informed me.
It was well breezy on the open deck but it was a gorgeous day still and pleasantly warm out of the wind.
“You can just see the Alps over there.”
“If you look down the lake, those pointy things?”
“Oh I see.”
“Well that's Switzerland.”
“They must be pretty big if you can see them from here.”
“You could say that. Nothings organised yet but George is thinking of bringing the squad down for a training camp in the New Year.”
“I might see if I can hang the junior squad on too – if you think anyone would be interested?”
We had barely finished our drinks before it was time to go back to the car to disembark. The ferry docked with a small lurch then we were off and up the ramp.
“So what's this place we're going to?”
“Unter Uhldingen It's a reconstructed lake village, I've been wanting to get here since I was at Uni.”
“It's not like old then?”
“No about sixty years I think. Keep an eye out for a sign.”
We passed loads of people walking and cycling then I saw a sign for the Pfalbauten Museum as we entered the village.
Five minutes later we were parked and walking around to the museum building.
“Doesn't look very big.” I noted.
“We'll see.” We walked up to the entrance, “ Hallo, ein Erwachsener und einmal unter sechzehn bitte .”
“ Acht Euro bitte, die nächste Führung ist in fünf Minuten, warten sie bitte unten in der Ausstellung.”
“ Das ist kostenlos?”
“ Ja, die Führung ist im Eintrittspreis enthalten.”
“Vielen danke, come on kiddo, it looks like we get a free guided tour.” Dad enthused.
We were in the museum place for about an hour, the guide explained a load of stuff that Dad sort of translated although I think he already knew most of it. It was quite interesting especially as some bits felt like they were gonna drop into the lake anytime! I didn't think they'd have fires an' stuff but there was even a bread oven on one bit. I guess it was more interesting than some of the dry old castles I've been dragged to over the years!
“You want to eat now or later?”
“Well we didn't really have any lunch.” My stomach growled in affirmation.
“Ok, there's a restaurant place over there.” He indicated a building opposite the museum.
“Do me.” I agreed.
We decided to sit out under an umbrella as it continued to be quite warm.
“How are you finding Germany then Drew?” Dad slipped in as we waited for our food.
“What d'ya mean?”
“Well do you like living here?”
“Its okay I guess, I mean I do miss Warsop but I'm sort of getting used to things.”
“What about the language?”
“Well I can sort of understand a fair bit but like I was lost on that tour a lot of the time.”
“Me too to be honest!” Dad chuckled, “I'm sure that'll come kiddo.”
“Do you think we'll stay here forever Dad?”
Dave contemplated his reply, “to tell the truth I don't know. It was a big wrench to move out here and I guess I sort of expect, hope at least that the job will last until you kids leave school or university – your mother is keen to keep riding I think but she can get work teaching over here – we've already checked that out. Maybe we will go back to the UK sometime but I'm determined to make a go of it.”
I sat contemplating his reply. It was pretty much what he and Mum have said all along really, and I guess I have made friends – even if they are all girls! Its not the same as back ‘home', it was never going to be was it?
“Aha – food!” Dad mentioned breaking my train of thought.
The drive back home was long and tiring, endless autobahn with a couple of comfort stops. It was close on eleven when we turned off for Ahrweiler and ten minutes later we were at Schloss Bond. It's not the same as returning to Warsop, well of course not, but it is starting to feel more ‘right'.
Maddy Bell 28.11.07 (Revised 15.12.07) © 2007
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