As I mentioned, at the beginning of my Germany trip, I spent 24 hours near Munich visiting my best friend from back home. She moved to Munich a couple of years ago and I had yet to see where she now lives with her husband M at Lake Starnberg.
I first flew into Frankfurt and then on to Munich where she picked me up at the airport. I hadn’t seen her in over a year and I was so glad to finally hug her again. Instant chatter ensued. I mean, we talk on the phone regularly, but there is always so much left to say!
We first drove to Starnberg and she and M showed me around. We ended up getting drinks and cake at Orange Beach, a beach bar and restaurant right on Lake Starnberg. We were super-lucky because the sun came out when we arrived.
We seriously had the best time just catching up and enjoying the views!
Later in the afternoon, we drove over to Ira’s home and even though she had previously sent me a video tour of the house, it was so nice to finally see it with my own eyes. The whole house is set up in “split levels”, which I love, and the guest room (where I was staying) is on the ‘third’ floor with a beautiful view of the lake and the Alps in the distance.
We took a walk through town and down to the lake and Ira showed me where she does all her daily routines (where she shops for groceries, where she runs, where the pharmacy and doctor is, etc.). You might think that this is ‘boring stuff’, but for me, to know and see where my best friend lives her daily life now, brings me a lot closer to her.
For dinner, we went to their favorite Italian place in Starnberg, ‘Al gallo nero’, where I indulged in delicious tomato soup (my favorite!) and authentic spaghetti carbonara. Yum.
Strangely enough, up until then, my jetlag had held off and I first noticed that I was starting to get tired when we got back to their house around 10 p.m. We chatted for a little while longer and then got ready for bed around 11 p.m.
The next morning, I was up early. For weeks, Ira and I had tossed around that weird idea that we should go running together when I visit. Of course, both Ira and I also didn’t really think that this was going to happen this time what was with the little time we had and my (very possible) jetlag.
We agreed that we would just play it by ear and that we would go for a short run on Saturday morning, if I felt up for it.
I know, some of you are probably shaking their heads wondering if we have gone mad or something, but for Ira and me, it was a heartfelt wish to be able to run together, to be able to do something ordinary together (pretending we could do that every fine goddamn day!).
So, when Ira texted me from downstairs at 6:30 a.m. (“Are you up?”), I enthusiastically responded (‘YES! Do you want to run?’), so we got dressed and headed for the lake shortly after 7 a.m.
It was a beautiful morning! We ran 5 miles along the lakeshore and to be honest, it was the best hour out of the roughly 24 hours we got to spend together. We chatted away, we passed Schloss Possenhofen (you must know that Ira and I are huge fans of the ‘Sissi’-movie-trilogy, the movies about the life of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, and the castle used to be Sissi’s childhood home) and enjoyed the amazing morning view of the lake and the Alps, and we couldn’t shut up about the fact how special this moment was for both of us!
M picked us up at Steg 1 in Pöcking later and after a quick shower, we had an amazing German breakfast with fresh rolls, bread, croissants and pretzels, eggs, deli meats, cheese, and jam. It was just the best. I think Ira was a little irritated (jokingly) how much I praised the breakfast, but let me tell you, you appreciate things way more when you can’t have them for a while. Just sayin’.
At 9:30 a.m., my Mom called to confirm my flight number and arrival time with me again… because she couldn’t find my flight online. Weird.
Well, turns out, I booked my flight home to Cologne for May, 4th… which was Thursday. Ahem.
I have no idea how that happened and I guess, I could have freaked out about it, but instead I laughed it off (my family, too) and Ira was all smiles anyway because it meant I was going to be around for a few extra hours. Win-win!
I looked into options of rebooking my flight (the train wasn’t an option on such short notice) and then spent a couple more hours hanging out in Iras backyard. We really made the best of the time we had together and it almost felt longer than just 24 hours. The best part was that it felt so comfortable and easy to be around Ira (which is something that I do miss here, as I don’t have any local super-close friends), but it shouldn’t come as a surprise as we’ve known each other for most of our lives. Old friends are the best friends.
At 2:30 pm, I boarded the plane to fly back home and was greeted by this beautiful city view of Cologne and then my Dad, Greta and Tom who picked me up at the airport. Home is where the Dom is.