Driving South through Sweden and then – after travelling across the famous Öresund Bridge – passing Copenhagen and taking the long route over Sealand, Funen and then Jutland, I eventually entered home soil – Schleswig Holstein, the most Northern of the Federal States of Germany and the area where I grew up, where I went to school and where I saw veterinary practice for the first time in my life (and in fact didn’t particularly enjoy it….).
Arriving late at night in Kiel, the regional capital and also my home town, I found dinner and a bottle of wine prepared and some shelter for the night at the home of my childhood friends Andy and Stephan.
Sure enough there was a lot of catching up to do, but despite the fact that we all did not get much sleep that night, we were up early the next morning: my hosts to go to work and myself heading for one of my favourite places when at home – one of weekly markets, some selected shops and of course a couple places with excellent coffee.
The first of these came in form of a mini-van, right at the market and it gave both the customers as well as the market traders a quiet corner to relax and to have a chat in the morning sunlight.
Their coffee (or in my case latte) was in fact so good, that it had found recognition in a national gourmet magazine – what an excellent start of the day…..
Having stocked up on local honey and bread (we Germans are very particular about this….) I went to the old part of the town, where I visited three shops that are always on my list when passing by:
The first is an “old fashioned” music shop, which still sells CDs, but which just stocks quality sounds. This might include everything including and as diverse as the classics, Amy Winehouse, Maria Callas, the Buena Vista Social Club or the Choir of Young Believers.
Whenever I visit, I leave money there and I am introduced to new artists.
The next one is an antiquariat, which is still hanging in there selling historic volumes and maps. This time I took with me a couple of books which I had already seen on their shelves a few years ago and I knew that they were mine, but I had always refrained from buying them….. I visited them several times and found them well protected in a glass display cabinet, but no-one dared to touch (or better to buy) them – these books them to have known that I would return one day, to take them with me……
And finally I ended once again at Heyck, a bespoke tea and coffee retailer with a long tradition in Kiel – you can enjoy a freshly filtered cup, while they are grinding your coffee beans, pack your tea or wrap up the chocolate you just couldn’t resist to take with you on your journey. Basically a small piece of Heaven on Earth…….
Walking back to my car I couldn’t avoid taking a closer look at this street sign though…..
Even for someone not familiar with the German language, I think the message was clear, but what concerned me were the rules that would apply between 6 am and 9pm…….