Europe 1987

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan 2018

Europe 1987

The weather today began with cloudy skies, but it warmed up into another lovely day.  We were a little later getting up but managed to leave at about 9:00am for Kaiserstuhl, a grape-growing district about 30 kilometres to the north-west of Freiburg. 

We drove through some lovely villages and finally found our way to a vantage point near Oberrotweil looking out over the villages and vineyards below us.  We then drove on to Sasbach am Kaiserstuhl where we found a lookout with views over the Rhine River and across into France (which was just a few hundred metres away).  Here we saw grape vines being pruned and weeded, with cultivation on huge hillside terraces that were angled perfectly to get precisely the right amount of sunlight – very interesting geographically.

From Sasbach we drove through Endingen, Riegel, Kenzingen (location of an interesting street and a skirt purchase for Di) and then along back roads and the town of Freiamt to Waldkirch for lunch in a lovely park we found there.

After lunch, we took a very winding, scenic, forested drive through Kandel to St Peter and St Märgen before heading back to the Youth Hostel in Freiburg, where we had a lovely chicken dinner.  After dinner we enjoyed a very pleasant walk up the mountain behind the hostel.

We returned shortly before dark, and while Di and I started to get Tim ready for sleep, Liesl and Phillip took advantage of the late summer evening to enjoy some time outside in the Youth Hostel’s courtyard.  After all, there was a small, elongated pool of gurgling water there with taps feeding it and a flat area for running around.

Suddenly, Liesl appeared at the door in something of a state, saying “Mummy, Mummy, a man just threw water all over Phil”.  Immediately, Di’s maternal instinct kicked in, and while I stayed in the room with Tim and Liesl, Di went downstairs to see what was happening.  Sure enough, Phil was quite wet and a young man in his twenties was nearby.

Di confronted the man, who claimed our 4-year old Phil had been splashing him with water for fun, and as he was finding that irritating, he had decided to escalate the situation and throw a man-sized quantity of water over him.  Di’s response (in the spirit of escalating matters) was to go and get a container, fill it with water, return and pour it over the man’s head, leaving him saturated (and perhaps somewhat humiliated).  It was not our finest moment of international diplomacy.

Later that evening there was a knock at the door.  It was the young man.  Having dried himself, he had tracked us down to the room where we were staying.  He apologised for wetting Phil (but explained why he had done it), but he felt Di’s reaction had been excessive.

Di didn’t agree, and proceeded to tell him about the level of maturity that four year olds typically possess.  I would have liked to raise the academic quality of the discussion by introducing some observations based on reference to Jean Piaget’s constructivist theory of cognitive development, but thought better of it – wisely, I feel in hindsight.

Day 38

Freiburg and Kaiserstuhl

Wednesday 19 August 1987