We had a very simple bread-and-jam breakfast this morning and then wrapped up our packing while Kai took his own sweet time to get ready for a week away from Osnabrueck. But eventually, we did get our start just before 11, and drove pretty much straight through to our destination, Laboe, a small resort town near the major harbor city of Kiel, on the Baltic. Imke drove us out of Osnabrueck (which is rather a labyrinth to get out of), but Mark took over about 30 minutes down the autobahn, with Imke providing the occasional directions. He had no trouble with the German traffic, and the trip was remarkable for being not remarkable at all: we all assumed we’d be in a traffic jam sometime along the way, because that is standard on Germany’s overloaded roads, but we didn’t have any. We got flipped off once for being too slow, though, by a very impatient driver! We arrived in Laboe a little before 3 pm, so we made the trip in less than four hours, and checked into our vacation apartment, which is fabulous–it’s two storeys up with a balcony and a lovely view of the bay of Kiel (Kieler Foerde), with the open ocean to our right, straight north. Unfortunately, it was very windy and gray yesterday (no rain though), and has gotten rather cool, so we just went for a pretty short walk along the beach promenade just to check it out. It’s about a five-minute walk down to the beach from here, which is very pleasant! Given the weather and the fact that it is mid-week, it was pretty deserted, but the beach is beautiful and the houses along the promenade are early twentieth-century villas, now mostly B&Bs and vacation rentals, so they were fun to look at as we walked along.
By the time we got back to the apartment, our friends Uschi and Wolfgang, who were meeting us here, were just about to arrive, and we showed them where their apartment was–smaller and with a less impressive view on the ground floor, but ideal for them because Wolfgang has some major mobility issues. Uschi, Imke and I went shopping for groceries, and then we all had dinner together in their apartment–a simple bread, cheese, and cold cuts meal with tomato soup to go with it. Kai had a good time hanging out with all of us old people, chatting alternately in English and German, and we stayed until about 8:30. Then Kai went back on his beloved computer, and we ventured out for another brief walk in the wind, but we were back pretty quickly. We got to watch the sun set right across from the apartment underneath a thick layer of clouds, in one very narrow strip of clear skies right over the horizon. Even our teenager had to admit that that was very cool. 🙂