Tuesday, January 6th, 2004 I received a call from my mom in Germany in the middle of the night, telling me that my uncle, her brother, had just died from a heart attack at the early age of 56.
I immediately packed a suitcase and got on the next plane to Germany. The following week was intense, full of impressions and experiences, thankfully mostly positive in spite of the sad occasion.
I made sure to pack my new camera and snap pictures like a japanese tourist on speed. The following are a selection of impressions and comments from Germany for your general viewing pleasure.
Approaching Europe at 39,000 feet
Many years ago my aunt and uncle bought this property with a decrepit old German farm house and a barn on the verge of collapsing. This is what they turned it into after many years of hard work and lots of money.
The main house
Back of the barn
Front of the barn
The "foyer" of the barn
This room used to be a pig sty. I remember shoveling pig shit out of this room many years ago.
One of the many old treasures found here
Upstairs are several small rooms with two beds each. My aunt either holds yoga and other seminars here or rents the entire barn out to other people for seminars.
A neighbor's house, also a restored old farmhouse
Front door of the main house
My cousin, proudly presenting his fresh baked nephew
Ben, world's cutest (and hairiest) baby?
My mom and Timmy, the bouncing dog. In spite of his senior age of 11 years, he bounces up and down like a rubber ball whenever he gets excited.
The family at breakfast
My aunt Gerlinde, her son Roland, and his girlfriend Evelyn at a typical German breakfast table
My sister and Ben
Ben slobbering on my new sweater
Roland and his sister Ellen, proud mom of Ben
The young generation: Me and my sister Valerie (top left), my cousin Roland and Evelyn, bottom left, my cousin Ellen, Ben, and Andreas (right)