Before the World Championships, we had already planned to do our training with the German Armed Forces in May and June and therefore first returned to Lyon. The reason for this decision was that there's no ice in Lyon in May and June, so we would have needed to switch to an alternative training location then. We were back on the ice right after the competition on Monday and settled a final music choice for the new season. This was cut by Tuesday, and so we could already start working on the choreography on Wednesday.
The music that we've chosen this year is a completely new direction for us and the program is more mature since we feel more mature, too. The story that we're portraying is about two characters that are very different, but who nevertheless try to live together in a common world. When we showed our program to the federal coach for the first time at the end of April, he considered it very good. At the same time, we have to realize that the choreography is something different and therefore new and difficult to realize. In any case, we're curious to see how we can develop the new program.
Over Easter, the two of us spontaneously flew home for three days because we had found some very low priced Easter offers on the internet. We have to admit that Worlds upset us a bit and it did us good to get a break from figure skating for a few days, so we also showed up in Dortmund only shortly. Not that we weren't motivated, but after three months in France it's understandable that you miss Germany and your old surroundings. It was odd to hear German in the streets again. As soon as we were on the plane and at the airport, it felt somewhat odd to return to the German language.
Back in Lyon, we continued to work on the choreography and managed to complete the Free Dance quickly. Actually, it was planned that Martin Skotnicky would come to Lyon for three days at the end of April to get an idea of our programs as early as possible. However, because of the volcanic eruption in Iceland, the prices for plane tickets got so expensive right after the air space was reopened, so unfortunately this didn't work out financially. Without further ado, the test skate was spontaneously relocated to Dortmund and we returned to Germany a few days earlier than we had initially planned. Luckily, we could both live in our old rooms again since the new tenants use the rooms only at the weekend. Right from the beginning, Dortmund was totally familiar again, and the training and atmosphere in the rink in no way felt like we hadn't practiced there anymore in four months. Dortmund is and will remain a place that means a lot to us.
The journey to Dortmund was super calm overall (the French don't seem to drive on Sundays), although Carolina got terribly worked up over Daniel who refueled a total of four times, always hoping that we'd just make it to Luxembourg (gas is about 30 cents cheaper there). Shortly before Dortmund, however, a small disaster happened to us. The car suddenly turned very loud, and a driver who was passing by waved and gestured that we had better take the shoulder. When we stopped there, we noticed that our exhaust pipe had broken off and therefore called ADAC (General German Automobile Association). Since this was already the third time that our car had broken down and we were ordered to leave the vehicle due to safety reasons, we sat down behind the barrier, read a book, and had a short morning break. Luckily, ADAC arrived on site quickly and the exhaust pipe could be fixed to the car again within a few minutes. However, when we filled out the paperwork for the billing, something unexpected happened. A car that drove past us braked and looked what we were doing there. The car behind it could brake just in time, but the next ones didn't make it anymore and three cars crashed. Fortunately, nothing bad happened to anyone, and everyone was lucky that our ADAC guy could get the people out of their cars quickly and free the road from the car wrecks. In one of the cars, there was a family with two small children, and since one of them had some blood in her mouth, we were surrounded by the police, fire service, ambulance and an emergency doctor within just a few minutes. Fortunately, the girl really had just bitten her tongue. However, they considered blocking the autobahn completely in order to retrieve the vehicle parts that lay around. For a good 1.5 hours, we were stuck on the autobahn and we were also a bit in shock ourselves. This experience has shown us how dangerous it is to be just minimally distracted from the road.
By now, we're with the German Armed Forces, but this is something that we'll write more about in our next entry.
Carolina and Daniel