This time last year, I was absent for a couple of Photo Hunts due to my being away in Germany visiting with a German friend who I had met while hiking in Hong Kong -- and who lived and worked in Asia's World City (and happily got permanent residency status in Hong Kong) before getting sent home to Germany by her company.
Before she left the Big Lychee, she invited me to visit her -- and I duly did so a few months after. What made my German vacation particularly cool was that my friend took some days off from work during my stay so that we could go and visit other parts of Germany together. And although she had actually previously been to most of the places we went to together, she kept on assuring me that she was enjoying seeing them in my company -- and that by doing so, it sometimes helped her to view them in a different light.
Among the towns and cities we visited during my 2010 German sojourn were Heidelberg (with its romantic ruined castle), quiet Speyer, charming Cologne and beautiful Mainz. In Heidelberg, we stayed the night with old friends of my German friend -- and I have to say that one of the highlights of my holiday was the post-dinner conversation we had that evening in their home: one which involved talk on a wide-ranging variety of subjects, lots of laughter and also some piano-playing interludes.
All in all, when I think of my German vacation last year, I remember not only lots of visits to cathedrals, museum, biergartens and other beery places but also lots of laughter and great conversation -- the last of which I would not have been able to have if I hadn't been holidaying together with a good friend (whose goodness was evidenced, among other things, in her literally having a hand in all the Puppet Ponyo photos that were taken in Germany, including at the bustling marketplace in Mainz! ;b)