Friday, 25 July 2014

A healing visit to Munich!

Odeon Square
Before leaving France, I made a quick visit to Munich where I lived for more than 8 years. It certainly felt peculiar as I did not know what to expect from this trip. I moved to Germany for my studies when I was 18 and spent a good part of my 20s there. Life in Munich was not always easy. I struggled to find meaning and purpose. During that time, I also went through numerous family problems. Before attending a 10 day Vipassana Meditation retreat in Switzerland in 2006 (where I made up my mind to move to Australia), I was depressed and had no direction. Therefore, going back to Germany brought up many different emotions.       

One of my good old friends, Flo, picked me up from the airport and we went to his place in Gruenwald. I haven’t seen him for more than 8 years but we reconnected easily. Both of us had many interesting stories to tell. We visited one of his work places where he teaches Taekwondo to children. At night, I met his future wife, Moni, and we had dinner together. It was a great night.

The next morning, I started to walk on the familiar streets of Munich with memories flooding my mind. I paid a visit to another friend, Christian, whom I met in Sydney many years ago. He actually hired me as a bartender when I first moved to Australia. Now, he runs his own restaurant in Munich. After a good chat, I continued my journey towards the city centre, Marianplatz. When I was working as a tour guide in Munich, all of our tours started from there. Being at the same spot many years later brought up mixed emotions. I felt melancholy and joy at the same time. I acknowledged the past and realised the personal growth and change I went through.

I stopped by the office of my former tour company and visited my ex boss, Ralph. We had a quick chat as he was busy. In the afternoon, I strolled up to Max-Weber Plazt where I used to live. I met up with my Greek friend, Ari, who always encouraged my spiritual search through long discussions, and book recommendations from Osho. It was beautiful and very emotional to meet him, who helped me to start my spiritual journey and healing. We had a good chat about life and our experiences in the past 7 years before I moved on.          

Visiting Claudio
The next day, I went to see my salsa teacher, Claudio Pacheco. He is an amazing dancer, musician and a dear friend from Cuba. He taught me how to dance salsa and we used to spend a lot of time together before moving to Sydney. I was delighted to see him and his family after many years. 

The day continued by meeting some of my former colleagues, Jeff, Eric and Sabri in a traditional Bavarian restaurant. We had a couple of tasty local beers, talked about the good old times and had a blast. I still believe that Bavarian beer is the best in the world. I would like to offer special thanks to Sabri who provided most of the beautiful pictures in this episode. If you ever need a tour guide in Munich, you can contact him through Salut Munchen.

Munich, the capital of Bavaria (and beer) is close to epic Alp Mountains which offers incredible hiking experiences. There are also numerous lakes around this charming city where you can do day trips. My favourite ones are Tegernsee and Starnberger See. Another amazing site is the legendary Neuschwanstein Castle which is about 2 hours away from Munich. It is a 19th century Romanesque palace commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. It is visited by more than 1.3 million people every year and was the inspiration for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle. 

Fairy tail Castle of Neuschwanstein
In the next couple of days, I got to see with my adoptive parents, Hanife and Ali, and their relatives from the Turkish community, Sukru, Aysegul, Zehra, and many others. I appreciate their amazing hospitality, kindness and beautiful loving hearts. 

As the days went by, I got to spend some quality time with friends who played a major role in my life when I was going through challenging times. A big thank you dear Christina and Dani for their support and encouragement. Seeing them again helped me realise how much I have grown since I was there 7 years ago. I am very grateful for all the beautiful souls who crossed my path during my journey over those years.

7 days in Munich came with an incredible healing. I truly enjoyed seeing my old friends, spending time in this elegant city and was able to fully close an old and somewhat bitter chapter of my life. I now know that I needed to go back to release these old patterns and traumas, and acknowledge the change and growth within my soul.

I would like to finish this episode with a quote from my diary “Thank you for the good and the difficult times, thank you for the experiences, laughter, sadness, depression, pain, happiness, support, anxiety and worry. Many thanks to all my friends and family. I am now ready to release the old energy and move on to the new chapters in my journey. Namaste."

Bavarian Alps

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