Sunday, February 20, 2011


I arrived in Gottingen at about 3:40pm on Saturday afternoon. Cordula, her mother, and her grandmother met me at the train station. Her mom and grandma were just on their way back home, but wanted to say hello, which was nice.

Cordula and I dropped my stuff off at her house, and then went and joined Niels (her husband) in a pub where he was watching the Hamburg-Bremen soccer game. Cordula and Niels are Bremen fans, and apparently the team is having a really bad season - they're usually ranked in the top 5, but this season they're currently 14th or 15th in the rankings. They lost 0-4. Ouch.

After the game we went out for dinner at a restaurant nearby. For some reason all of their hamburgers were named after Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. I had the 'Total Erinnerung' (Total Recall), which was basically a cheeseburger. Over dinner, Cordula and Niels told me all about their recent trip to Libya, which sounded pretty exciting. They were visiting friends who are working there (it's actually impossible to visit if you don't have an invitation from someone living there... and also impossible if you are Swiss). They said you don't need to worry about crime, but you do have to be careful when taking pictures, because you can get arrested for taking a photo of a military building or a government building, and they often aren't marked. So they really only took pictures of the historic sites and at their friends' house. There are really amazing Roman cities that are really well preserved on the Libyan coast - the pictures are beautiful with stone buildings, columns, arches, and the deep blue Mediterranean in the background. Cordula showed me the pictures when we got back to the house.

A little later in the evening we ventured out to do a mini-pub crawl. Gottingen is a university city with a lot of students, so they have some cute pubs.

The first one we went to was in a Medieval cellar. It was a really cool atmosphere - we sat around a barrel lit by a candle, and the walls are all curved. I tried a strawberry beer, which had a bunch of strawberries in the bottom. It was pretty good, but a little too sweet for me.

The next stop was at GroMo Cafe, which is apparently famous for its hot chocolate, lemonade, and crepes. It was a really cold night in Gottingen, so I thought hot chocolate would be a good idea. I ordered a Monster Marshmellow Hot Chocolate, which is one of their specialties, along with a nutella crepe. Both were amazing, though I couldn't finish either one on my own - so much chocolate!

The third and final stop was at a bar called Nautica (I think). It was all nautical themed, and pretty unique. It was a really fun night out - and great to be able to chat with Cordula and Niels.

On Sunday we started the morning with fresh rolls from the bakery and another not-quite-hard-boiled egg. Fresh bread is probably my very favorite breakfast food. After that Cordula, Niels, and Niels' brother took me on a walking tour of Gottingen, which was really beautiful, but also really cold. We walked along the city wall to the house where Otto von Bismark lived when he was studying in Gottingen.

Then we walked around the city and saw old churches, buildings, and cool statues. It really is a very cute town.

Gottingen has a display of the planets, with the sun at the train station. They haven't given up on Pluto yet.

After the walking tour, we drove to a nearby castle, which was built in 1015 - almost 1000 years old! It was even colder up on tallest mountain/hill, so we didn't stay too long. But the castle was cool and the view from the top was great.

We headed back to Cordula and Niels house, where I warmed up with a cup of tea, and Cordula made a really nice lunch of pasta, arugula, and tomatoes. We had some icecream for dessert, and then headed off to the train station. And that was the end of another very quick, but very nice visit!

I took the train to Freiburg, where Christoph picked me up. Now I'll stay the night at his house, then head back to the train station to catch a train at 6:52am to get back to the Strasbourg airport. I fly out at 10:50am, have a four and a half hour layover in Paris, and then get into DC at 7:05pm. It's been a really fun trip, but now that I have nothing but a long travel day starting early in the morning, I'm really wishing I could just snap my fingers and be at home!

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