Malta to Sweden

I retired in October 2015 and left my work place on Malta as well as my flat and the island of Malta. I moved back to Sweden, closer to my children. I was leaving Sweden in 2007 because I did not have a chance for a new job. Since that I have had work in the Republic of Ireland, Germany and Malta. Following you can read about my way back to Sweden. I was visiting friends and relatives on my way home.

19th October 2015

I was coming from Malta by plane. My friend Marion picked me up at the airport in Vienna-Schwechat. – We were so happy to meet again! It was raining in Vienna and only around 10 degrees C. During daytime we stayed at Marion’s home, but in the evening we were going to the “Volksoper” and watching “Die lustige Witwe” (The Merry Widow). We really enjoyed it as well as we enjoyed to have our seats in the first row, even I had the head of the director of the orchestra in front of me. It was still raining on our way home, therefore we did not look for a restaurant.

Around noon this day I wrote an email to the owners of the “Freddy Quinn Archiv”. They asked me by answering email to call them for an appointment the upcoming day. I did call them and we decided to meet at 11am at their home. By the way I fell asleep an hour between 1pm and 2pm ;-).

20th October 2015

I have had a really nice day! Awoke in time and had breakfast and a good chat with Marion. Around 10am I left her home and was going by U6 to Alterlaa for meeting Eduard and Brigitta, the owner of the Freddy Quinn Archiv. I was very welcomed at their home and got coffee, lunch (with soup as well as pasta and chicken-stew), coffee again, but this time also with a newly baked roll. Eduard told me a lot and after the lunch we watched two movies, both music shows from the 1980th with Freddy Quinn. We also were waiting for the postman, because he should come with the movie “Freddy unter fremden Sternen”, which they ordered for me from Amazon. Unfortunately there were no mail in the post box, though I have got the one they owned. That was very kind of them.

Back at Marion’s we had dinner: chicken and potatoes. We talked and also were watching TV (e.g. about the Vienna Prater and its animal wild life – I actually had seen before, when I have been living in Hamburg). I also got a “Betthupferl” – Marion’s homemade “Gipfel” (cookies). I tried to watch my new DVD, but my operative system did not find my DVD-player :-(.

21st October 2015

I love my Austrian friends!

Also this morning was enjoyable, but not that I had to pack my things. For lunch I have got an Austrian sausage and potato mash. Marion followed me to the bus station for the Flixbus to Munich helping me with my luggage. I carried the laptop in the laptop-bag and I felt it to be very heavy.

There was no problem to take all my luggage onto the bus – even it is written in their terms of use, that I should not have so much items with me. The bus arrived in Munich in time, because the border control was very quick and easily done. The bus driver was using a border point, that was not overcrowded either. Actually there were not really a queue at all.

In Munich I had to wait two hours for a “Megabus” in a waiting room at the bus station. I booked the bus in advance, too, which will bring me for 1 EUR to Nuremberg, where I have booked a bed in the hostel “Five Reasons”.

22nd October 2015

Arriving in Nuremberg at 01:40 I could not find the wall, where I had to find the opening. Therefore I took a taxi ;-). I think it is quite unusual to go by taxi to a backpacker hostel and a bed in a dorm. When I came into the dorm one guest was still awake and using an iPad or tablet. The light was good for me, though there was no need to switch on another light. Unfortunately I had the last bed left and it was an upper one, but these beds were very good, though I managed it without any difficulties.

I awoke around 8am, even I was to bed in the middle of the night. I dressed, ate a standard breakfast for 5,80 € with 2 tysk buns (Brötchen), Salami, ham, cheese and coffee and got full even I did not had any muesli. I was allowed to put my luggage in the luggage-room in the basement and was allowed to have it there “as long as I wish”. I found my way to the Railway Station. There were a train to Pegnitz, where my cousin is living, just some minutes later. I had to ask where to buy a ticket and found it easliy. The ticket machine was like the ones I am used to from Hamburg. I could catch the train without any need to run. It was perfect! At the destination I was picked up of one of the sons of my cousin. I did not know, that he will do that, but when I saw him at the railway station in Pegnitz, I understood, that it was one of my second cousins.

I spent the whole day with my cousin and got to know one of the daughters in law, her husband as well as their children. My cousin invited me for his home made lunch (beef, makaroni, salad and sauce), I also have got an afternoon and evening meal. Furthermore he served me limonade during the whole day – unfortunately he only had carbonated ones. He was very happy about our meeting and even his brother visited him for a short while. In the evening, when it was time for the way back by train his married son and the wife brought me back to the railway station.

Around half past 8pm I was back again in Nuremberg, picked up my luggage at the hostel and went to the bus stop for a Megabus. Unfortunately there were a roof, but not a warm shelter and it was quite cold. I had to wait for around three hours at this bus station.

23rd October 2015

The bus was late and all we passengers were very happy, when we could enter the bus. Even it was the Megabus (1,40 € for the whole trip from Nuremberg to Kassel!) I was allowed to take all my luggage on the bus, even I had another seat for it, because there were no racks for luggage over the seats. I only slept around 2 h on the bus. It was not very comfortable. There were very little space between the seats and even I have had one with a little more space for my feet, it was not very much.

The bus arrived late at Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe, where my brother already was waiting for me. He parked his car close to the bus stop and helped me also with my luggage. At his home his female partner, which I met this day for the first time, already had breakfast ready and they had lots of different spread, sausage and cheese as well as fresh coffee. I could not eat of all the varieties. We talked a lot during the breakfast and also afterwards, of course. Furthermore we took a look at old photographs, put years on some from our travels, which were not allocated yet and I have got to know, that I have not been in Salzburg (Austria) as well as I put in lots of memories in one travel, but the places we have seen were by more than one travel. For lunch I was offered goulash, dumplings with bread cubes and kokt red cabbage. It was delicious! Between 2pm and 3pm my brother drove me to a school friend of mine, who is living in the outskirts of our home town.

I was very welcomed of my friend. She served coffee and tarte as well as cakes. We talked a lot and in the evening we went to a restaurant to meet two other former class mates. Actually one of them met up at Erika’s home. The other one came directly to the restaurant, but was late because the traffic. We ate greek dinners and I was invited by my friend.

After the dinner all four of us went home to my friend. We have got snacks and drinks. We also were looking on two old group photographs from school (one for the boys and one for the girls) and put name on all of our class mates. I was the only one who had all names, even two were spelled wrong, but the others could allocate them to the right person. It was so good, that I had scanned my photographs and my laptop with me. My friend and me went directly to bed when the others had left and especially me had a good sleep.

24th October 2015

I awoke once around 8am, because I had to go to the toilet, but I fell asleep again and did not awake before 1pm ;-). I have got breakfast at that time and only one hour later we ate lunch. We had a good chat between, while I could answer on a lot of my friends questions. It became 3:30pm before we took a planned walk. We were visiting the area of my first home and continued to a place called Märchenmühle (fairytale mill). We took a lot of photographs and I was happy, there were no need for selfies, because my friend took some pictures of me. At my friend’s home again, we had coffee and cakes again and quite soon afterwards a vegetarian dinner.

During the evening we watched photographs, e.g. from my flat on Malta. I answered some more of her questions, got photographs from her and helped her with her gmail-account as well as we at the end checked the timetable for the tram, because I had to continue the upcoming day. It was around midnight, when we went to bed.

25th October 2015

My bus left at 10:40 from Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe, therefore we had to leave my friends home around 9am. That also means, that my friend was following me to the bus stop and helped me with my luggage. At our destination we did not find the 10:40 bus to Berlin on the timetable, though we asked another woman if she has a clou about it. She was going to Berlin very often and told us, where the timetable is and also, that there will be a bus at that time to my next destination. We had a chat and she told us, that she has been living on Malta for some years ago. That was really funny!

In Berlin I did not find the waiting room at the bus terminal, though I was going to the street, where I could see the sign for the underground. I was able to send a message to my friend, who is living in this town, that I am waiting for her at the corner, where the “europcar” is situated (even I spelled wrong and wrote Europark). After a while she came and found me there together with another friend of her, who was from Graz, Austria and visiting her. My friend told me, that I should have got to the waiting room and I told her, that I could not find it from the platform my bus was arriving. Anyway it went all well, but there was a little problem with the underground. I have got an underground sightseeing 😉 because a bomb threat on the route.

At my friends home, she pampered us with a cheese cake with apple on the top and tea. We had a good chat before all three of us went to a music coffee shop named Prachtwerk, which is situated in Neukölln in Berlin. There were world life music. It was a for my unknown sound. I ordered home made lavender limonade, but it was to sweet. From this place we went home for a night meal before we were going to sleep.

26th October 2015

We took it calm that morning and had a big breakfast, but there was no yoghurt, no cereals. It is so different what people like to eat and I happily coupe with it. During our breakfast we already had a good chat – no sour faces here!

Around 11am we went by underground – this day we could take the straight route – to the “Monkey bar”. It is situated close to the “Gedächtniskirche” and on a roof top. We took a lot of photographs from the terrace and also some from the toilet, because there is one with an open view over the Zoo. Her friend has her suitcase with her, because she had to go to the airport Tegel for her flight home directly afterwards.

My friend and me continued to the “Berlin-Brandenburger Akademie der Wirtschaft” – a kind of university for an event about “Berlin Zukunftsstadt” (Berlin, the city of the future). I left quickly again, because one should know a lot of the politics of Berlin if one should understand all that it was about. Instead I explored the surroundings, bought a Ritter Sport chocolate (my favorite chocolate with all the different flavors) and went back to the academy again in time to see the prize-giving ceremony for the best photograps about “Berlin – City of the Future”.

My friend and me continued together to the Humbold Box for a talk about the new city palace. We also visited the exhibition by our own. Futhermore we took a look on Berlin by night from the terrace on the roof top of this building.

My friend was planing a lot for this day, trying to show me the best of her city. Though we went to the ARD (a TV sender) and listened to a public panel discussion about a new book, called “Lohnklau” (theft of salary). We ended this day by visiting an Irish Pub called Rickenbecker’s with a weekly Monday Nights Pro Jam Session). There were different artist playing together – different groups after each other. It was very interesting. There were also some very good singers participating. My friend met here also other friends. We were four around a table, very close to the stage and I did not need my hearing aids ;-).

We had to leave before midnight because there are no more public transport later than midnight.

27th October 2015

We went to bed around 1am, but had a nightmeal before it.

My larm clock was for 5:30am because I had to go further early that morning and it was a quite long trip by underground to the bus terminal Zoo. My friend served me breakfast and followed me to the underground station. I was at the bus terminal in good time (departing time was 8am) and I found the waiting room. As soon as the bus was arriving at the platform I went there and tried to get a good seat. Good for me is a window seat! The bus was leaving around 10 minutes before the official time, because all booked passengers were in. Unfortunately the bus had no WiFi, but it should have had.

Arriving around 2pm in Wuppertal my second cousin met me there. Actually I had to wait some minutes for them, because the bus was a little early. I could see my second cousin and her husband coming by car. We were going to Schwelm, where they live and I was happy to see, that her husband was feeling better, because he was very ill before. We spent some hours together, before they were so kind and drove me to my friend in the city called Wetter a. d. Ruhr.

Even I was visiting both of them (my second cousin and her husband as well as my friend and family) when I was on the way to Malta it was very nice to meet them all again. We talked a lot and I had to tell about Malta for them. This was only interrupted by the meals and with eating snacks ;-). They day found an end at 11:30pm, when we were going to bed. I was really tired at this time.

28th October 2015

I awoke at 7am because the Venetian blinds were opening at that time. I took my medicine, which I have to take every day in the morning, half an hour before breakfast. I have to take it for years already. I only have a little higher dose since the surgery of my thyroid gland. Breakfast was at 9am.

After breakfast my friend did show me the school in Hagen, were she has been a teacher for more than 30 years. We continued by car to a nice place and took a walk. ate and took another walk at another place. Afterwards we went to her home again.

I opened my laptop and showed her my photographs from Istanbul. Even she has been in Turkey before, she has not been in Istanbul. Furthermore we were looking at photographs from are class travel to London, when we were at school in Kassel – it was during our last year at school. Only interrupted of the evening meal we continued with looking at photographs, e.g. from my kids and Sweden. We got hungry again and took a banana each before we went to bed half an hour past midnight.

29th October 2015

My friend and her husband drove me to the bus stop in Wuppertal this day. Fortunately we were in good time, because it was not so easy to find the right stop, especially because some people were on another bus stop in front of it and the right bus stop were hidden by them.

The bus arrived just in time in Wuppertal, but was a quarter of an hour late at my next destination Hamburg. I looked there for a woman, I had get to know by “ebay Kleinanzeigen”. I have had an advertising to look for a fellow traveler. I did not find her, of course, because she wrote to me, she will pick me up at another place, where I have to go by bus. I remembered that soon and took the bus in the right direction and left at the right place. That was easy, because once living in Hamburg, it was a place were I have been more than once. I was looking around there, were I should wait and decided for a place, which could be the right one after the directions I have had got. Actually I was late. After a while she picked me up there. She had been there before, but had to go home for some minutes meanwhile. We walked to her home just 5 minutes away. She served me a meal and we talked a lot before we were going to bed around 10pm.

30th October 2015

I awake around 8am again. Even the couch was not very comfortable, I have had a good nights sleep. I took my medicine, checked my emails (sent two as well) and was invited for breakfast.

I am happy that another friend, will send my parcels by dpd to my son in Malmö – because I found out, that it is allowed to send heavy parcels to Sweden, one cannot send by mail. Though there is no need to make two of the three parcels. I also send an email to the authority for the drivers license (Führerscheinstelle) in Hamburg, because I hoped, that I could get an international drivers license by visiting in Hamburg and neither have a home on Malta nor in Sweden or elsewhere, but they denied this time, too. I do not know why they are so repellent, if it belongs to that they do not like to write something in English or because they have to much to do. Anyway they named a paragraph after which I should get it in Sweden and have to ask there.

Before lunch I was going by bus to Hamburg-Altona looking for the repair of my hearing aids at the shop, where I bought them in 2013. That was no problem at all and I also have got it for free. Therefore I was happy, that I decided not to try to get a repair on Malta, even I only had one working hearing aid for some month. I strolled around in that shopping area before I was continuing to “Jungfernstieg”, central in Hamburg. I was looking at the lake Alster, which I like very much. It makes Hamburg to be the city I love. I went for a meal in another part of the city, not far away from the Michaelis cathedral, which I continued to later. Using the street with all four Scandinavian sailors churches and the Spanish and Portuguese Tapas bars. Furthermore I took the ferry throughout the harbour to Finkenwerder, but I was not leaving – I just went back with it to “Landungsbrücken” again.

It was not really dark when coming back by the ferry, though I decided to take a sightseeing bus to go around Hamburg to all the places I know and have seen before. I thought, I may hear something I do not know about Hamburg – so I did. The famous “Elbphilharmonie”, which I call the “Unvollendete” according to the “Unfinished Symphony” of Schubert, has no cranes anymore and seems to be finished outside, but the day for opening will not be earlier than in the year 1917 – if it ever will be opened.

The evening I spent by trying to get in touch with the “Pirat Party” of Hamburg. I told them, that I will come, but none was awaiting me. Anyway after a while, one of the two deputies in the “parliament of Hamburg-Mitte” was coming and we had a warm welcome. Anyway another friend of mine was coming there, though I followed her instead to spend the evening together with her, her husband and another friend of them.

I was back between 10pm and 11pm at my host’s place.

31st October 2015

I did not sleep well during the night and got breakfast at 10am as well as a chat with my host. We left her home together one and a half hour later and were going by bus to the bus terminal. We arrived very early and my host told me, that I should not pay 8 EUR for a box, though we went to the McDonald’s coffee shop and she took a coffee while I was taking a coffee and a muffin. She left at 1pm and I walked the few steps to the bus stop for Malmö. The bus should leave Hamburg at 1:30pm, but did not come before 2pm. It left at 2:13pm. The bus was late because it was not allowed to go through a barrier for a demonstration and anti-demonstration. You have to know that there are some few Nazi-people in Germany with some sympathizer, but the anti-demonstration were five times so many!

Finally we left Hamburg and I had all my luggage at the bus again. We had to go by ferry between Putgarden (Germany) and Rødby (Denmark), though I took a meal on the ferry. At the Danish border controll, the custom officer came onto the bus and was first speaking German, but asked then for Swedish passports. When we all were showing our Swedish passports, one of them told us, that here is no need for talking German. There were to young men behind me in the seats, who did not look typical Swedish (btw: what is typical Swedish looking?), anyway the custom officer asked them if they have some bad stuff like drugs. I thought, that is discrimination – none ever asked me that.

From Denmark to Sweden we took the Öresundsbridge. It was a special feeling to be back in Sweden after eight long years working abroad, because this time I will not only visit Sweden but live there again even I will travel as much as possible.

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