Not literally, of course.
1 May. Labour Day. France. Family trip plan to one of most famous fortresses in Alsace: Haut Koenigsbourg. Incited by 1 May invitations “all – to the fortresses” which invaded Facebook, I bought the train tickets Strasbourg-Selestat on-line the evening before. They are polite, the French railway: tickets for itineraries offered on line are guaranteed strike-free.
The next morning, Labour Day lesson 1: no buses or trams. They expect you to know that. Especially, after some years one lives in France. So, we do some “kilomètres de solidarité” to the railway station. Some celebrate the Labour Day. Some have to labour it.
The train is on time and we get to Selestat. Labour Day lesson 2: read the small script. The navette driver announces that of all castles only Haut Koenigsbourg is closed today, as he heard himself this morning on radio. I open the facebook event on Alsace castles, click couple of pop-up sites to finally get to the text in small letters: Haut Koenigsbourg is closed today. Merci beaucoup!
The driver’s entrepreneurial spirit comes to rescue. He tells us about La Montagne des Singes on the same itinerary and offers not to charge the kid for the trip.
20 minutes latter we are there, meeting the loveliest creatures. Sorry, Haut Koenigsbourg you lost it to monkeys this time. Without even a battle 😉
Time spent there was lovely: we fed them with pop corn distributed by the park’s employees
watched baby monkeys playing
witnessed a love story
and learned how to stay zen even when surrounded by hoards of curios visitors
For the sunshine which inspired us to work faster to go out and enjoy it
A new discovery – the Rooms Hotel in Vera neighborhood. The hotel gets my Client satisfaction award of the year on food, comfort, and genuine smiles of the personnel.
Finding the proper tune with new partners on an uneasy topic
Finding a dose of oxygen in Oxygen roof top bar at Radisson in great company.
For a heartwarming meeting with my dear Georgian friends at Lolita. Cool atmosphere. Very good food.
For the yellow belt for my kid on the occasion of her successfully passing the master’s test while mommy is in mission. Bakar, you made our day. Illimited gratitude.
Superb white roses in full bloom in November
Kudos to street artists with a clear message. Find it!
for an immersion into pure warm Summer and Sun filled days with feet spoiled by the freshness of the sea
Yoga on sunrise on my balcony
the fun of feeding birds on the beach
the hilarous coffee drinking pidgeons, when waiters and customers were not looking. They were quick- managed no picture :). No prints. No proof 😉
letting us discover the other you up the mountain
the gorgeous Japanese garden, where all has a meaning of itsown and the city noise resigns in front of the serene spirit of stone lamps
a little trip to Africa in the Le Jardin de la Petite Afrique
a special vanille monegasque-framboise macaron.
snacks at Costa, the royal supplier; and its unforgetful pecan cookies
the walks on your old city narrow streets
the cuteness of fish at the Oceanographic museum. And for getting to know a bit more about our impact on oceans and your turtles saving project.
a special cafe gourmand
getting lost in multiple passages and the joy of finding our way just around the corner
the generosity of plant growers, offering baby-plants to anyone wanting one
Le Meridien Hotel, where we felt at home and treated royally.
for the superb view over the Alsacian plain, colored by Autumn in all of its splendor,
an unique artefact, a sundial built in the 18th century,
The 3 legendary limetrees – a favourite picture place for visitors, some taking time to meditate inside its trunk
A walk in the forest dressed in Autumn colours
A travel in time to the taste of my grandmother’s bread
A moment of gratitude prayer
An out-door lunch in great strangers company
for the most amazing welcome, with wide open arms of people i know and worked with years ago. They still recognise Oxana-redhead-blond- redhead again :).
For my dearest friends always close by and who filled my home with the smell of home-made bread for me to take home (my other home).
The change i saw and the admiration i took with me for what brave people do, in spite of lots of adversities.
Precious time with a dear friend in recovery. She tought me to slow down right when i needed it most.
Your Autumn mornings colours and my slight sense of envy to sleeping pidgeons on my way to early morning meetings.
The fun of carousel meetings from eight to eight and the plea of my brain to keep going to learn more. With a deepest sense of gratitude to the best interpreters, who went above and beyond their regular duties.
The most amazing, kind and intelligent team of consultants on a mission. And the out-of-meetings moments we shared when i could show them bits of my city.
Fulfilling my need to see sunrises from my window while sipping my coffee.
Witnessing my brave cleaning lady taking her faith into her hands and going into entrepreneurship. She is my hero.
The most efficient and discrete plumber who came at 10pm to fix my water hitting. It was perhaps my team members little prayer, as they risked sharing their hotel bathroom with me 😉