Grapes, glorious grapes

Yesterday I went to Heilbronn with some of my ex colleagues. The southern branches of the company had arranged to meet up and I was invited too. There were 10 of us in all. We had booked a walk through a vineyard, complete with guide, followed by wine tasting at the Weindorf (wine village), an annual wine festival that started in Heilbronn last week.

The tour started with a bus ride up the mountain, during which a female guide told us all about the town and especially about its history of wine growing. It seems Heilbronn was bombed to death in December 1944, which is why it’s now full of not particularly pretty modern buildings. A shame as it could be such a pretty town, located among the mountains as it is.

On the mountain we met with a male guide who we walked back down with, pausing every once in a while for him to explain something to us. We also got to try some of the grapes. That there on the left is a picture I took of some before we plucked and ate them. Close to the bottom of the mountain we were taken to a small winegrower’s residence where we were able to try our first wines, one white and one red. The woman explained what we were supposed to taste but as usual it just tasted like wine to me. Supposedly the white one was meant to have a hint of bell pepper in it(!) but I couldn’t taste anything like that. To be honest I’m quite pleased… pepper flavoured wine really doesn’t sound appealing to me! We then had a tour of their facilities before heading down the mountain, into town and to the Weindorf. At the Weindorf we were given some bread and cheese then had the chance to try six different sorts of wine – two red, one rose (there should be an accent there but I can’t make wordpress do one) and three white. The rose one, called Musketto, was very nice, as were two of the white ones whose names I unfortunately don’t remember. After the wine tasting we headed to Lehners for some food. I ate Käsespätzle, a  speciality from this region consisting of small dumplings with lots of melted cheese. Very nice – if you’re ever in Baden-Württemberg definitely give it a try. And of course we drank wine – what else? It just so happened that the wine we chose was made by the same people we’d just had a tour with! It wasn’t one of the wines they’d given us to sample though.

By the time we’d finished eating it was nearly 10pm, time to head home. I caught a tram back with the other people who had come from Karlsruhe, finally arriving home at about 11:30pm. I had a quick look at my photos to see whether any of them had actually worked (screen on the camera is still broken) then went to bed, where I was thankfully not bitten. I’m still itchy from where the mosquito got me on Friday night!

Tasty

So the evil mosquito, the one I failed to kill on Thursday night… he came back and got me on Friday. I woke up yesterday morning and the first thing I noticed was that the side of my hand was itchy. Turning on the light for a closer inspection I saw that I’d been bitten. Then over the course of the day I discovered six more bites. That’s seven all together! Little beast had a busy night.  And Jan, who was sharing a bed with me, doesn’t have one single bite! Apparantly I’m unbelievably tasty…
I’m just surprised I actually have any blood left!

I’ll be back later to tell you all about my wine tasting experience in Heilbronn. Right now I have to try and find someone to change Euros into 20 cent pieces for me. Jan’s washing machine still isn’t connected so he’s gone home to pick up all his dirty laundry to wash here….

‘Tis the season to get bitten

It’s that time of year again when all the creepy blood-sucking insects come out to play, and as usual I seem to be some kind of bite magnet. The first attack was on Saturday night. I felt a weird itching sensation and looked down to find some evil flying thing sitting on my hand. I could actually see it sticking it’s sucky thing into me. Eeew! Then yesterday I got home from the football to find a big red lump on my foot. The insects had struck again! It’s right at the end of my foot, just where the toes join on, which makes wearing shoes a lot of fun. Finally, at work today, I discovered a third bite. On the back of my knee. It’s been annoying me since 2 o’clock this afternoon.
What is it with insects always going for me? Have I got extra tasty blood or something?? I’m not even sure what the worst part of being bitten is – the annoying itchiness it causes or the fact that some dirty, disgusting bug that could have been anywhere was on me, sucking out my blood. Urgh!

If anyone has any tips on how to stop insects from munching on you without resorting to one of those incredibly smelly insect repellent creams then please send them this way! Tips to stop the bites I’ve already got from itching would be much appreciated as well…