And my tour with Eisenschwein went on, to be honest not so much cycling in Frankfurt area, more adding liquid & solid calories for the upcoming cycling tour into Stuttgart & Zurich.  But no regrets at all. Life is good!

My second week in the Frankfurt region just started and I spontaneously asked Connie if she was around & guess what? She was up for some BBQ on her terrace. I invited Yannick who I met in Siem Reap last year as he also lives in Frankfurt. The world is a village – Alex who also showed up and recently joined a new bank figured that they are colleagues, what a coincidence. I love when this happens. Prepared some colourful Purple Sweet Potatoe Carrot Mash.

Further cycled myself to Katlin & Steffen. I studied with him in Berlin back in 2000. We enjoy a good friendship & he once told me that we manage to meet more often then others who live in the same town…

Steffen also was the one inspiring me to again write postcards when sending holiday greetings back home, do you remember when you last wrote one? So everyone received a postcard from me the last years, say thanks to Steffen! Or send him a postcard, haha.

They have 4 girls, so cooking had to be quick & easy. Cooked an Original Italian Carbonara and Raspberry Panna Cotta. Even the girls liked it – cooking for kids can be a challenge ?

After this Italian dinner I caught up with Valentina from Italy the next day. I met her in Melbourne half a year ago. And guess what was on the menu? Italian Calamari Ripieni al Forno as well Panna Cotta with Asian Lemongrass touch. Starter was Japanese Tuna Tartare. Vale is right in the progress of reorientation – a step I still have in front of me. So we had good talks, great food & wine.

8 years in banking in Frankfurt leaves me with quite some old banking friends, like Alex who I know almost 15 years. We’ve been on some crazy hikes in the Alps together. Good old memories, if he didn’t have to work & wife & kids waiting, he’d be cycling with me…
We even had the chance to quickly meet Franz, who was our client back in the old days & now became a friend. We all share the same passion for the mountains…

After almost 2 weeks in the region it was time to put my ass back onto my leather saddle & cycle 80km with Eisenschwein to Lucie & Fabian in Mannheim. Guess what, I used to work with her – probably not a surprise. Even that they had a full house prior to the christening of their lil girl the next day I was heartily welcomed & immediately felt like been part of the family. They made some awesome pizza – every Friday pizza. Thanks again for your hospitality – I’ll be back!

I couldn’t drink too much that night as I had the most challenging tour ahead of me. 130km to Stuttgart with 1.400m elevation to kill. I was pretty lucky with the weather & road conditions, so I made it into Stuttgart in 8 hours. The last hour cycling were a mental fight – but the chances of a shower & cold beer at Bens place kept me going. A little uphill battle & I was at my destination in Stuttgart Gänsheide.

Ben is one of my friends who only came quite recently into my life. Although we met in 2000 we only started to hangout from 2013. We ran into each other in the Frankfurt airport. I invited him to my leaving party & he visited me in HK shortly after, got one of the frequent HK travellers, he was in HK at least 5 times the last 4 years. I introduced him to Asia & we had some great trips to Thailand together. Glad we bumped into each other 4 years ago! Friendship ??

Guys & Summer = BBQ! He went nicely shopping & we grilled some T-Bone Steak & Swordfish Filet with Mango Pomegranate Salad, made Salmon Ceviche & Homemade Beef Tartare. Luxury dinner just for the two of us – Bromance….

Last stop before I’ll be moving on to Freiburg was Annika. She’s a real Schwäbin from the region & I’m still asking myself why we didn’t cook Maultaschen (South German Dumplings) but Spinach Chili Goat Cheese Risotto & Caramelised Chili Sesame Figs? Next time…you show me your local cooking skills!

Some statistics before I move on:

New I’m heading off to Eva & Niels in Freiburg…the warmest town in Germany. Let’s see if I have a late summer there…

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