As the train approached the town I began to see place names I knew, Buckeburg, Minden, Porta Westfalica. Then I saw the Wiehengebirge, a forest-clad low mountain range, with the Kaiser Wilhelm Denkmal, a large stone monument, two thirds up the slopes. I've many memories of that place, the main one running down through the forest with my mum getting soaked during the mother of all storms
We passed over the River Weser, where my grandfather used to fish and the family had picnics, I have loads of photos taken on the river's banks, luckily my family were avid photographers who catalogued life in Bad Oeynhausen and the surrounding area from the late 1800's.
Portastrasse, where my mother grew up led off from the pig fountain. The large Victorian house is now gone, sold in the 1970's to make way for a bank's car park. But the street otherwise was the same, large Victorian houses, tree lined, with a fan-shaped cobbles in the road. My grandfather was a dentist who held his clinics in the house and even today I noticed that there were still medical practices there.
It was a beautiful day (as they say
We sat on a seat close to the fountains just relaxing in the sun. I had scattered my mum's ashes in this park, and I felt close to her there, something I have not felt anywhere else, it wasn't a sad feeling it was a good feeling.
We then went back into the town centre for something to eat and found a nice place (the name of which I can't remember) and sat outside. We had a lovely meal, the cake Julie and I had was absolutely delicious and it went down very well. We took our time, just watching the quiet life of the town pass by, very relaxing.
I'm really glad I went to Bad Oeynhausen. My last visit in 2002 was overshadowed by a cloud of grief, now I've moved on emotionally, and like Bono so eloquently put it a few years after his father's death, the pain doesn't go away, but the temperature goes down. That's very, very true and I was able to enjoy this visit, relive fond memories and feel close to my mother. I have no relatives in the town now, and I don't know if I'll ever go back, if that's the case I'm pleased my last memory of the place will be a good one.
This evening was our last night together, Debbi and Julie were going home the next day and I was going to visit friends in Wolfenbuettel. We went out for a meal in Hannover at a steakhouse called Maredo opposite the gorgeous opera house. We had a lovely steak meal and delicious wine, it was a lovely way end our holiday together.