We got up at a fairly usual time between 7 and 8, had Sunday breakfast (distinguished from weekday breakfast by the soft-boiled egg that got added to bread, cold cuts, cheese and jam. Then we went for a walk with my mom to the Botanical Gardens, which are only about 15 minutes from here, and checked out what‘s currently growing, both outdoors and in the tropical greenhouse. That was a lot of fun, and although we‘d been there many times before, there is always something new to discover. This time, there were some gorgeous irises, a magnolia with blooms the size of a cabbage, and something not quite in bloom that looked like a plant form of Yoda. and nearly extinct Sicilian pine trees, to which my mother alerted us, since she had just been in Sicily and knew a bit more about that. But we also saw lots of bees in various blooming plants, which was nice because we’ve seen so few at home recently. We then got some of our trip logistics sorted out, helped Imke with some household tasks, and had a lovely lunch with German potato salad. Mark and I took off for another walk, just around the older part of the downtown area, where parts of the city wall, gates, and watchtowers from the Middle Ages are still visible. It was getting sunny after a day and a half of overcast weather, and we really enjoyed the sunshine and the slow pace of the day.
Imke left around 4:30 pm, since she had made plans to go out of town, and we were going to start on an overnight train ride to Switzerland later that evening, anyway. So we repacked for our trip, had dinner by ourselves (more bread and cold cuts—our favorite), and made our way to the train station around 9 pm. It was still very nice and bright outside, so we waited on the platform, enjoying the warm but not hot weather, and settled into our reserved seats around 9:50 pm.