Last week we travelled to Teisendorf in Bavaria, near the Austrian border, for the Annual Retreat of the International Pastors of the International Christian Communities of Eurasia at a hotel/conference centre just a short walk from the railway station.

In the past we have flown from Bordeaux to Paris, then Paris to Munich, then train to Teisendorf. Once we took the TGV to Paris, then flew to Munich, then took the train to Teisendorf. This year prices were such that we decided to go all the way by train.

Our outward journey went : Bordeaux to Paris, Paris to Stuttgart, Stuttgart to Munich, Munich to Teisendorf. We had two small problems. One was that we decided to walk from Montparnasse to the Gare de l'Est. Big mistake. Don't do it. Take the Metro and spend an hour in a café instead. Then at Stuttgart we scuttled off to the correct platform to be told that we could not board our train, and that it had been cancelled. Five minutes later it pulled in at the adjoining platform, so we got on and continued our journey.

The return journey went Teisendorf to Munich, Munich to Mannheim, Mannheim to Paris, then Paris to Bordeaux. This journey started badly with a delayed train from Teisendorf, but we still got to Munich in time for our connection and everything went very well indeed. We took the metro from the Gare de l'Est to Montparnasse and had to hang around the station but this was much better than the aforementioned forced march through the annoying streets of Paris.

The conference itself was held over two packed days and involved addresses from Nehemiah from friend Dyfan Williams of Leftwich in Cheshire, as well and workshops on various issues relating to ministry. I had to lead a workshop on emotional intelligence. Yes. I know. Hey, it went OK. 

The last day was a huge committee meeting for the ICC Euro Team. 

All this interspersed with meals of pork, ham, bacon and sausage, as well as various salads when we could not take any more, as well as a visit to a café where I had a very fine piece of Linzertorte. Highly recommended.

Teisendorf is a little Bavarian village, unbelievably quaint with a hat factory that's been there since 1597, an active watermill, a brewery (of course) and a shop for traditional Bavarian dress. We saw people taking to train in Lederhosen.

In past years I've greeted people by saying "Morgen", but this unfortunately unleashed long and embarrassing attempts to engage me in conversation in German. This year many people said "Morgen", "Guten Tag" and "Grüss dir", but I just smiled. Once bitten, twice shy.


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