Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Travel nerves



Husband has developed an early warning system concerning my rising nervousness before travels.
I can hide it, but I cannot erase it. It is in my genes.
Which is especially funny as my late father, whom I miss so much, has not only seen most parts of the world, but also took us as children to many countries in Europe (with a VW and a tent, and the car packed as only a man from the marine can pack - my sister and I sat on the back seat on four sleeping bags, and when we finally reached our destination, in the early years my father built (!) a bench from wood for us to sit on - bringing with us the round camping table he had fitted exactly over the spare wheel of the VW (in front).


As I was the eldest and there were no sons, I was trained to take it all without batting my long eyelashes - so nobody who will err with me through the woods (in summer) will die of famine.
My father's family, the practical ones with the joie de vivre: restless. The names of my mother's family I can effortless trace back to the 16th century - they had always stayed in the 'Altes Land' near Hamburg - which tells everything.
Do not misunderstand me: I love to be in foreign countries - and, as I told you, I try every year a form of 'survival training' that makes some of my women friends shudder, (though my male friends get that cryptical glint in their eyes). For a whole month I stay on my own in an English or Scottish town or city where I know nobody - and till now I always managed very well.
I like to be in new surroundings - but I hate travelling. No, that's not right. I even like travelling: I hate catching the train. Flying is another cup of tea: I utterly LOVE to start and land - and as I go now by air I can be quite serene.  IF there weren't the question of clothes.
Husband smiles when he sees me puzzling over 'the perfect wardrobe', studying the blog 'The Vivienne Files' and drawing combinations of trousers, skirts and shoes (you always need at least 3 pairs - ballerinas, kitten heels (nowadays - a curtsy to age)  and loafers for trousers) I don't want to take too much luggage (though I always do - but I get better every time), I downsize, but then in June in England it can be cold (in Edinburgh two years ago people were wearing their winter coats, no joke), or rainy, or - as I experienced it as a student: there comes a heat wave. I like to be prepared! (Though nowadays there is always the possibility to buy something one has forgotten at Zara or H&M).
As you cannot help me with the weather forecast you can do me another favour, please: if you have special tips what I MUST see/eat/test in London, please tell me! Thank you!



18 comments:

  1. I wish!
    A month on my own in London, Paris, Hamburg, Koln, Copenhagen....I'd be ready in an hour. I can't give you any advice except my motto - Enjoy it All!
    Your childhood camping trips sound a lot like mine - and as the first born I was the one to help with the tent construction (and it WAS construction in those days) and fire-pit digging. Lovely memories, now that I have forgotten the mosquitoes.

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    1. Dear Pondside,
      I will follow your advice!
      Tent construction - tent pegs - "Don't touch the fabric of the tent in rain!" - gas cooker - cornflakes... When our son was still very young we tried memory lane on Sylt: spontaneous with two igloo tents, and he loved it - though we saw that camping sites have changed very much: modern bathrooms, everywhere posh tent-villas (with a fence :-), and lots and lots of satellite dishes...

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  2. I will get back to you with special tips. If you come to Bath, I can give you a special tour. Let me know how long I have got to recommend all this!

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    1. Dear Tom,
      thank you! If I come to Bath it would be best to contact me before via a short comment on my website www.brigittahuegel.de, which goes straight to my personal e-mail-address (which I will not mention here in public). Then I write back and maybe we can arrange an appointment for all three of us, because I would like to make the acquaintance of H.I. too!

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    2. Rereading this even I cannot understand what I meant to say. Please contact me next wek, if convenient - the way I describe above. I will be in London from 22nd of May (till 27th buzzing around at the Chelsea Flower Show with Anne), then till 23rd of June, intending short trips to Brighton, Oxford (here for work) and maybe Bath.

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    3. Oh dear, Britta - I have a horrible feeling that I may be in Bremerhaven at the end of May, but I will contact you any way.

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  3. We haven't had the opportunity to go to the restaurant Moro, but we have the cookbook on recommendation from someone we trust who has. The food is Moorish, and what we've made from the cookbook has been delicious. Here is the web address: http://www.moro.co.uk/index.php. Have a wonderful trip!

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    1. Dear Suze,
      thank you for the tip! On my last stay in London the author of the Leon-restaurants cooked for me - so they have to compete! And I will look up the cookbook.

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  4. Kitten heels are quite stylish in their own right, no?

    Safe and beautiful travels, my dear Britta.

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    1. Dear Suze,
      thank you! Running around very long distances in high heels is not an absolute joy - and if I add 7cm to my 1.78m I might overtower most of the Londoners :-) So I will be reasonable - sigh...

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  5. Hi Brigitta,
    Living only 20 minutes from London, we visit often. One of my favourite places that I always recommend to people visiting London, is Dennis Severs house in Spitalfields. Google it ..... there's a website. You can book a time on the website and, it's always nicest when it's dark. Also, Sir John Soane's House and Lord Leighton's House in Holland Park which was used for the series Mr. Selfridge. Of course, the famous landmarks are good to visit too !
    .....oh, and Borough Market and a boat trip on the Thames. That's just a few things to do ........ there are millions of others !!!!
    Wishing you a wonderful time in my favourite city. XXXX

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    1. Dear Jacqueline,
      thank you for so many good tips! I write them into my little pink book and will look them up. Although I have a vast amount of tv series, Mr. Selfridge is new to me. Youtube will help. Thank you for your good wishes! XXX

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  6. The Sir John Soames museum in Lincolns Inn Fields is a must...

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    1. "The best house-museum in the world" sounds really convincing, thank you!

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  7. One of my favourite London activities when I lived there was flying a kite on Parliament Hill (Hampstead) on a Sunday morning. I wonder if people still do?

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    1. Dear Dominic,
      thank you, I will go and have a look - if there is enough wind people might still do - otherwise I have a fine walk.

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  8. Talking of walking, just walking is a great thing to do round London - so long as its through the interesting bits and not street after street of identical houses. Trouble is the best way to find the interesting bits is to go look for them and that takes time!

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    1. I love to walk through cities - since we moved to Berlin 2 1/2 year ago I have found many interesting spots often Berlin-borns have never seen, because they stay in their "Kiez" (their quarter of the city). I mostly choose to walk following my intuition, and sometimes by tips of people who have been there.

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