Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Weekend party in Germany

I was in Germany last weekend, attending a dinner party in Göttingen, organised as a surprise to my friend Basti by his wife Tina. I know, it sounds quite grand - flying to Germany just for a dinner on Saturday night. And it was grand - I almost felt like a jetsetter (a (no)wedding in Mexico, a dinner party in Germany, you know). Almost - as I doubt if a real jetsetter would fly RyanAir from an airport in the middle of nowhere (Glasgow Prestwick) to an airport in the middle of nowhere (Frankfurt Hahn).

When I got the invitation to attend in August, I couldn't say no. My friends Basti and Tina have 2 sweet kids. Unfortunately the daughter Helena, soon to be 4, was born with a very serious kidney problem, and exactly a year ago my friend Basti gave one of his kidneys to his daughter. Although still requiring medical supervision, little Helena is now a happy little girl with a future. And the party was Tina's way to say thank you to her husband. Basti honestly had no idea what was waiting for him when he got up on Saturday morning! Moreover, he was quite impressed that his daughter was able to keep the secret. You see, the party began at a children's indoor playground. When little Helena told her dad on Saturday morning that she really wants to go there in the afternoon, she had to work hard, as dad thought it is silly to go and play indoors when it was 21 Centigrades outside! After the playground they went for a meal in a nearby hotel, where Basti was led to a hotel suite where he found his suit and ironed shirt laid out on the bed!!! You should have seen his face when he saw some 60 friends from all over Germany - and me from Edinburgh and another friend from Lissabon - turn up at the hotel lobby!

It was a wonderful and very well organised party, with brilliant food, loads of wine, heartfelt and emotional speeches, and energetic dancing until the wee hours of the morning. The 2 hour drive back to Frankfurt, 1,5 hour busride to Frankfurt Hahn airport, the 1,5 hour flight to Glasgow Prestwick, 1 hour train ride to Glasgow Central and another 1 hour train ride to Edinburgh was all worth it!!!

Also - the slice of Hubertus cake I had in a Cron & Lanz cafe at the centre of picturesque Göttingen to calm my tummy (the pre-party excitement:) was yummy. I definitely miss having those continental style dessert cakes in Scotland! I guess I must start making them myself...


Dagmar said...

I'm glad that little Helena got one of her father's kidneys and that she is feeling much better!

It sounds like you all had a great party!

dilek said...

Waw you were in Göttingen (and at Cafe Cron & Lanz)! I lived there till last year! The journey was trying but i think it was wonderful to be with friends for such a nice "thank you" party! Were you before in Göttingen?

Paz said...

Yes, you certainly are a jetsetter! ;-)

So glad to read about your friend and his daughter and that they're doing well. What better reason than to have a celebration with good friends from all over. Helena is very impressive, being able to keep such a big secret. It's so good that you were able to attend.

Nice photos as usual.


angelika said...

Hi Pille, one of the most heartwarming posts I have read for a while (apart from Tattum`s latest post, of course :-)) - check out !). I do understand you and I would have done the same, what a treat and what a reason ! As for the cakes, I recommend to the jetsetter in you to come over to Vienna for a weekend or so, I take you to all my favourite coffeehouses (and to much more to adventure...). In the meantime I will blog about some cake recipes...Take care and best wishes from angelika

Pille said...

Dagmar - I hadn't seen the daughter before, and was amazed that she looked like a very happy "normal" kid despite of everything she (and her parents) have had to go through. Which on its own would have been a great reason to celebrate!

Dilek - you lived in a lovely town then! I had been to Goettingen earlier - to another party:) - in the summer of 1999. And Melissa of The Traveler's Notebook has lived there for a while, as her husband Manuel is from Goettingen. So the place seems to attract foodbloggers:)))

Paz - I wish I could have travelled in a true jetsetter style though:)

Angelika - I know! I have been to Vienna airport twice, but didn't have time to visit the town, as I was quickly transferred to/from Budapest. I will definitely be travelling over to visit the coffee houses. Just not sure how soon - but thank you so much for the invitation! I would be great having a local guide!!!

shauna said...

i am always in awe of people who do the epic Glasgow Prestwick journey from Edinburgh :)

And you have me thinking, there really is a lack of good cakes in Edinburgh! Greggs doesn't count! Hehe. Maybe you and Melissa should go into business... hmmm :)

keiko said...

Pille - I'm glad you had a wonderful time even though the journey took a bit longer than you hoped :)

Pille said...

Shauna - oh well, I've done no that journey once again, luckily just for one leg (on my recent trip to Stockholm). And I was seriously considering opening a Nordic style cafe in Edinburgh one day. I even had few friends who would have helped financially to do that. Now, however, with me moving back home in a few months, this isn't going to happen after all.

Keiko - yes, despite the tiring journey, the trip was worth the effort!