After all these years of it, I still love flying; I especially love piercing the pink cloud tops to get a serving of early morning sun with my on board cup of tea. It wasn't a long flight; the other passengers all seemed to be businessmen / businesswomen. On the descent through many layers of stratus I kept catching glimpses of the Black Forest that had turned white from the recent snow. Stuttgart lies in a basin surrounded by hills; the lower land was still green.
STR was an easy airport to cross and I was soon on the S-Bahn, S2, change at Rohr, where I had no more than three minutes wait for my connecting train on the S1 line, arriving on the other side of the platform, but when I reached Böblingen it was discouraging to realise that the S60 to Sindelfingen (the line under construction when we came here last year) was still under construction, at least on that day; my connecting train had been replaced by a bus. I'd noticed a taxi rank as we drew in so I went for a taxi instead. The driver wanted to tell me about Hallowe'en and its Irish origins at great length, in Schwäbisch, switching to a stilted Hochdeutsch when he realised I couldn't follow.
|Our sitting room in Sindelfingen|
The Sindelfingen Hotel am Klostersee, familiar from last year's visit, let me have the key to our room, but the cleaner was still working on it so I dumped the luggage and went out again. With breakfasts included, we got two rooms this time––a suite!––for a very reasonable price. That was novel, but the hotel is aging, the wi-fi link inaccessible from our end of the building, and our heating didn't work. I mentioned this to the receptionist and she came round with a plumber later in the day, standing over him while he repaired the radiator.
That morning I went straight to my old haunts around the Sindelfingen Radhausplatz, finding the coffee place I liked last time, the post office where I've now bought stamps for my postcards and Christmas cards two years in a row and the shopping mall with the Woolworth's, selling inexpensive objects. I bought a €2 woolly hat for Chris because he'd left one behind in Ottawa and would doubtless be suffering from cold ears after his night in Norway. Then it was time for lunch. I chose a gemütliches Wirtshaus in a 16th century corner of the town, Zum Erdinger, which had no free table left, so I had to share one with two elderly gentlemen who proceeded to chat me up over my soup and Schnitzel "...grosse Portionen und freundliche Bedienung...", one of them knocking back several glasses of red wine while waiting for his (much) younger wife: 44, she was, apparently. He told me he was 73. She did show up eventually, a good looking woman, and after I'd been introduced I averted my eyes for a while but overheard their kisses. She was being very solicitous towards him, making sure he'd taken his pills.
|Goldberg water tower, in the distance,|
seen from our hotel room
We hailed a taxi back to the hotel and slept soundly.