Across Continents

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Brief but passionate affair

Regensburg was a medieval city, the old part at least. It had a well respected University. The cobbled streets, bookshops, students on their bicycles and the little cafes suggested a place of great learning. Kepler, the astronomer and mathematician, lived here for a time. Largely unchanged for centuries, it was a place easily overlooked. By Bomber Command at least.

Regensburg street scene

I’d visited Kepler’s house the previous day with Manfred whilst Ute kept an eye on the bikes. Not satisfied with determining that the planets followed an elliptical path around the sun, he’d also worked out a precise method for calculating the volume of beer barrels. ’That’, I suggested to Manfred, ’would be integral calculus’. Talented chap this Kepler.

The city had also been home to Don Juan, an Austrian war hero. They’d even put a statute up for him. The guidebook was mostly in German, but had the odd paragraph in English. It advised that he was the result of a ’brief but passionate affair’ between the then King and a local woman. I suspected that a better English translation might be ’one night stand’.

I was sharing a room at the youth hostel with Jean-Baptiste. He was shortly to start his Masters course at the University and spoke excellent German and very good English. I had a suspicion his French wasn’t too bad either. And he knew where to eat cheaply. Despite being in the centre of the old city, the hofbrauhaus was frequented by real Bavarians, not tourists. It served beer, together with variations on a meat, vegetables and dumplings theme. There were a couple of vegetarian options – probably EU regulations – but I doubted anyone ever ordered them. They daren’t.

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One response to “Brief but passionate affair”

  1. pete sellers says:

    Ken,
    Good to see you never fitted in the tact and diplomacey course prior to leaving. I dread to think what you will be saying by the time you get to Australia! rest days? in germany? what more could I expect from a lancastrian

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