From 2005 my eldest sister had been getting increasingly ill. She could have faced a fairly protracted death, but as it worked out it came a little earlier than expected in February of 2010. She had time to say good bye to everyone she loved, and her multiple illnesses did not progress into their potentially really awful stages. It left me feeling with the expected grief, but also quite an unexpected sense of relief.
It was in that atmosphere then that I decided it was time to get away for a good holiday once more. In my 20s I had plans for going to Germany to work for a few years. It never came about as I was far from having the sort of money needed for the trip in those days. In preparation I had learned some German which I could still largely remember. So Germany it was to be, with maybe a quick trip into Switzerland as well.
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