I am looking forward to a revisit to Germany. Lufthansa, the most efficient airline in the world, Frankfurt airport, the biggest composite airport in the world, gateway to Europe.
I am looking forward to Bonn, its cobbled streets, its old church, the vegetable market, the timbered restaurants, the wine cellars, a pile of Wagner cassettes being sold in a wheelbarrow, the Rhine from the hotel window, greying for the winter the trees shedding their leaves.
And Heidelberg, the castle sitting half way up in the air, presiding over the town, the river bisecting the city, the sudden, cold rains, the ancient hotel with a large oak table laded with breakfast objects.
I am looking forward to the German breakfasts, brown bread and black bread and very black bread, and thick porridge, and harsh German cheese, and several flavours of yoghurt.
I am looking forward to all German food; it is my passion, I prefer it to the insipid French food, which is more a reputation than a meal. Heavy soups, and potatoes, roast, fried, boiled, parsleyed, creamed, and beef stews and the udders of the pig-German pig, and lots and lots of German sausages. The long, thin frankfurters, and the thick sausages of Munich, and the sharp little ones with horseradish of Nuremberg. I am planning to go back to that little rotisserie in Nuremberg, hang my overcoat on the top of several dozen other overcoats, sit around the fire crackling with fat, and order a plate of Nuremberg sausages, and a potato salade, and lots and lots of mustard that goes straight to the nose and the eyes. And, finally to order the pig's knuckles, carve the meat, chew the bones.
And Munich, the lords and ladies parading out of the recesses of the church as the hour strikes. And the caverns below the town hall, violins playing, a girl selling flowers, waiters taking the orders. Is there, indeed, another town like Munich.
Yes, there is Berlin, 750 years of it. Familiar sights of the Brandenburg Gate, the Third Reich, flags flying, a bomb-scarred church in the centre of the town. And the wall Ė the Berlin Wall, covered with graffiti on one side, barbed electric wires and mine fields on theother.
Once again I would like to go to the wall, hire a pair of binoculars, get on the viewing platform, and look at the world on the other side. Later, to go through Checkpoint Charlie, drive into East Berlin, experience the contrast. Old stone buildings, the history of Berline, and goose-stepping guards, and a cemetery of the war dead, a Russian tourist group laying a wreath.
I am looking forward to a revisit to Germany. Next to America, it is the only country worth revisting.