( I am in Germany in my daughter’s place. Her daughter was born on November 10th. I write mails to my mother ( Amma) and my father’s elder brother’s wife, my Doddamma ( elder mother ). I also send photos. My Doddamma is 86 and is mostly in her room and her home. My cousin’s wife wrote to me that my Doddamma was very happy to read and see the photos of my grandchildren which I send through WhatsApp. She says she can now imagine what they are doing. My mother too enjoys them. WhatsApp is such a blessing in many ways. It helps us to stay connected with our near ones, if we want to. 😊)
Dear Doddamma and Amma,
On the 31st afternoon Vinay, Advaith and I went to Mannheim. It is about 30 Kms from Walldorf. It is big city. On the way we can see all buildings so typical of big cities.
Of course there are more people than in Walldorf. It was a holiday and all the offices and shops were closed. parked the car not far from the city centre. Here there are trams running at frequent intervals. The trees on both sides of the road were lighted and there was a decorated Christmas tree too. The whole place was looking beautiful.
We walked along the main road to a beautiful tower called ‘Wasserturm’ or Water Tower. There is a park around the tower, now it was all bare. It would look beautiful in spring. We walked around, there were many people about. There would be Fireworks with the beginning of new year.
I could not take a photo of the tower, the photo is from the internet.
We walked around for some time and walked down another road to a square called Paradeplatz. There was statue in the centre. It was a dark, there were benches, we sat there for some time.
Walldorf is a small town and the older part of Ladenburg took me to the past. This was a different experience.
I read about Manheim in the internet and thought you will find it interesting.
( Mannheim was a small fishing village before it became a city at the beginning of the 17th century. It was constructed on the site of a fortress guarding the confluence of the rivers Rhine and Neckar. Even now a few remnants of the fortification can be seen, and the peculiar street layout owes to that part of its history. For 58 years, Mannheim served as a royal residence and gave Schiller, Lessing, Goethe and Mozart a home for some time. Before World War II Mannheim was a beautiful city, but was flattened in bomb raids due to its industrial significance. When it was time to rebuild the city, Mannheim, like many other German cities, opted for an all out modern approach to urban development. Thus, most of the old quarters were replaced by buildings typical of the 1950s.
Modern Mannheim is the second biggest city in Baden-Württemberg and one of the hotspots of immigration.
Mannheim is located at the confluence of the Rhine and the Neckar in the northwestern corner of Baden-Württemberg.
The city’s tourism slogan is “Leben. Im Quadrat.” (Life. Squared.). The civic symbol of Mannheim is der Wasserturm, a Romanesque water tower completed in 1886 that rises to 60 metres (200 feet) above the highest point of the art nouveau area Friedrichsplatz. Mannheim is the starting and finishing point of the Bertha Benz Memorial Route. )
On the 3rd morning Gayatri had to go for a check up with her Gynaecologist in the neighbouring town. Advaith and I remained in the house. He was helping me in the cooking. He washed the rice and cut pieces of potato. In his kindergarten they teach how to cut fruits some vegetables. That day was very sunny and bright. Afternoon, Advaith and I went for a walk around the airfield nearby. Just a few minutes from home Advaith found a thin,long dried branch of a tree. He was fascinated with it and started dragging it along with him.
I told him to keep it on one side and we could pick it up on our way back, but he said somebody would take it. So we pulled it along with us . We saw some puddles on the way and he wanted to touch the water or splash it. It is interesting that all small children love to do this.
We both enjoyed the walk.
It is funny how the weather keeps changing here. Yesterday and today have been cloudy days and it has been raining . Yesterday afternoon Gayatri and I went to the supermarket, Kavya was sleeping and Vinay was at home. The supermarket is less than ten minutes from home. Here there are no small grocery or vegetable shops like there are in our place. Sundays all supermarkets are closed.
Today morning Gayatri, Vinay and Advaith went to the supermarket to buy grocery and vegetables but found all the supermarkets closed. Today is a festival. I read that on 6th of January, Germans celebrate the festival of the Heilige Drei König (the three saint kings), the journey of the three Magi who came bringing gifts to the infant Jesus in Bethlehem. It is a state holiday in a few Lands(states): Bavaria, Baden Württemberg and Sachsen-Anhalt. Most school children are still on vacation until after this day.
This is also the day when most people take down their Christmas tree and decorations.
Afternoon there was no rain and I went for a walk. It is nearing five now and it is drizzling and is becoming darker. Advaith’s holidays are finishing, his school reopens on Monday. Time has flown, it seems as if his holidays started just the other day. Soon it will be time for me to return.
With lots of love,