Europe Trip 2016 || Day 5: Hannover, Germany

We woke up and had Nutella and bread for breakfast after getting ready for the day. Then we took the tram to the train station where we caught a train to Hannover. We went to the Herrenhausen Gardens which basically a beautifully landscaped and manicured yard. President Obama had visited the gardens just months before, so we felt like we had to go. We walked around for a few hours, took pictures, laughed and made fun of each other. There was a labyrinth in one of the sections of the garden which Marguerite had a very difficult time with trying to get out of. She was leading the way out, and it probably took her a good five minutes to get us out. At one point, Johannes and I snuck out from behind her and watched her try to find her way out. We walked around some more, and it was such a beautiful day, and very very hot. 

After we had walked around in the gardens for a few hours, we went back into the center of town so that Marguerite could find a shot glass. She collects shot glasses from all the places she visits, and didn’t have one from Germany yet. We had quite a hard time finding one until we headed back to the train station and saw a hopeful shop in the train station. She finally found her shot glass and made all of us happy that she found one. Then we got back on the train to Göttingen and away we went.

When we got back home, his mom had cooked a rice and chicken meal for dinner. Johannes’s mom talked about her healing practice and his dad made typical dad jokes that Johannes was obviously embarrassed by. We had rhubarb again for dessert and played dominoes again on their balcony. His parents went to bed early so we took pictures and said our goodbyes to them since they would probably be gone when we left the next morning. We finished our game of dominoes inside and Marguerite won again, which Johannes was not super happy about. We showed Johannes what snapchat smack cams were and we all laughed way to hard at some ridiculous videos that we took of each other. After a while of uncontrollable cry laughing we all went to bed, completely exhausted from the day we had had.

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Europe Trip 2016 || Day 4: Göttingen, Germany

Today we slept in while Johannes went to his morning class (University was still in session when we arrived). We got to meet his lovely mother that morning and she was so gracious for the flowers and chocolate that we brought the night before. When Johannes got back we ate breakfast together. Then we went into Göttingen town center to look around and experience the city a bit. We ran some errands with him first before getting out of the car to walk around. We walked along the wall that surrounds the town, which is very old. Some parts of it have been destroyed or have fallen apart throughout the years, but much of it is still standing. It used to enclose the whole city, but now the city has grown and much of it has expanded beyond the wall. Then we found out we had to move his car so we walked back and on the way we stopped for an ice cream. After we moved the car we walked around in town for a little while longer before we went to his school to grab a bite to eat.

We sat outside and ate our food and watched all the students. It was another super sunny day, so there were a bunch of students around campus. Then we went to his English writing class since he said the professor was American and funny. The writing class was good, much of the stuff he talked about we also learn is school. While he wasn’t explaining the writing stuff he threw in stories about the nude beaches and then bashed on the Germans for a bit. Marguerite was pretty tired and fell asleep for some of the class, but luckily the teacher didn’t notice, or if he did, he didn’t call her out on it. After all, we weren’t his students.

Once class was over, we walked back to the car and drove to a little town outside of Göttingen so we could hike up to see the watch tower. It was a pretty steep hike, and I forgot a water bottle, which was not the smartest of my ideas. Marguerite had to use the bathroom, so she ran up to the top while Johannes and I took our time. Once we got to the top we walked out to the edge, and it was such a gorgeous view! You could see for miles and miles. Then we all got on the wall and rested in the sun for a bit. After about an hour we walked back down the mountain and drove back to Johannes’s parents’ house. His mom had made lasagna which was very delicious. For dessert we had rhubarb (which was from their garden) and cream for dessert. I wasn’t so sure about it at first because it is pretty tart, but after I got used to the flavor, I loved it. After dinner, we went out on their balcony and played dominoes with his Mom. We had taught the game to Johannes when he visited us for Thanksgiving a few years before, and he was determined to finally beat Marguerite (she is kind of the queen of dominos). Johannes’s mother ended up going to bed a little earlier so she didn’t finish the game. When it got dark we moved inside and Marguerite ended up winning (it wasn’t really a surprise). After the game was finished, we all went to bed, ready for a trip to the Herrenhausen Gardens in Hannover in the morning.

Europe Trip 2016 || Day 2: Hamburg, Germany

On the second day of our adventure in Europe, we decided to hop on a bus up to Hamburg, Germany. Marguerite and I woke up bright an early, and got ready for the day. Our hostel did not provide towels, so that was a bit of a riddle to solve, but we figured something out. Later Renzzo came to our hostel to help us buy bus tickets and got breakfast. Once we got in Hamburg, we met up with Renzzo again (he had taken the train instead) and went on a little self-guided tour around the city. Renzzo knew all of the places that we had to visit so we let him lead the way. He only got us lost once, but it was short and we got an ice cream by the river while Renzzo looked at the map.

We walked along the river for a while and it was absolutely gorgeous. Whilst walking we came up to the Elbe Tunnel which is a pedestrian and vehicle tunnel that passes underneath the Elbe River. It was super cold down in the tunnel, but actually quite refreshing being that it was super hot outside. When we got to the other side, we enjoyed the view of the city. When we back through the tunnel, we got to ride in the vehicle elevator. It was huge! We continued to walk around for a bit until we stumbled upon St. Michael’s Lutheran Church. We went inside and I was in awe. It was so ornately decorated and organ was quite impressive. After taking it all in, we walked around a bit more and then took a break in the town center in front of the Binnenalster which is like a little lake in the center of town. We sat and talked and people-watched since there were so many people there.

It got to be about dinner time, so we went to go find some food. Renzzo suggested Vapianos which is an Italian “serve yourself” type restaurant that started in Hamburg but has now spread worldwide. When we were finished, we had some time to kill before our bus left so we decided to walk around the lake. It was quite beautiful. The we headed back to bus station and Renzzo headed to the train station. The bus ride back was pretty quiet and Marguerite and I were pooped. When we got back to Bremen, we headed straight for our hostel and went straight to sleep. It was a good day, but a very exhausting one.

*I think that this is the day that we beat our previous “step count” from our last summer trip and made about 27000 steps.

Europe Trip 2016 || Day 1: Bremen, Germany

Its been a while, but I’ve returned from my summer long hiatus and I’m coming in full swing with a whole load of travel posts. As you may or may not know, I spent the month of May traveling around Europe. My sister (Marguerite) and I hopped on a plane on May 7th and headed across the big pond to get some adventuring in before summer camp begun. We landed in Amsterdam at 7:30 in the morning on the 8th after a long day of flying. It was strange to walk out of the airport and not see our family waiting for us, but we managed to get a train ticket to Bremen, Germany with just a little help from the International Train Service desk. Before we knew it we were on our way to Germany. Our first train was relatively short, maybe thirty minutes or so. My sister lost her ticket somewhere on (or in the process of getting off of) the first train, so we almost missed our second train in the frantic hunt to try to find the lost ticket. Unfortunately, we never found it, despite our greatest efforts to figure out where it might have ended up. Fortunately, the ticket man at the station let us through the gate so that we could catch our next train.

This train was the long one (nearly three hours!). We sat in front of of a very nice, chatty older woman, Maren, from Hamburg. She had a lot to say about design (particularly architecture and how so many newer buildings are created without any attention paid to the landscape), and was not a fan of Donald Trump. Despite the fact that we were so tired, it was nice to hear all of her stories about her own travels throughout the world.

Eventually, we made our way to Bremen where we met up with one of Marguerite’s friends, Renzzo. He took us to get Turkish kebabs (a common street food in Bremen) before heading over to drop off our bags at his host family’s house so we wouldn’t have to keep everything in the hostel. We packed daypacks for our hostel and then set out on the town. We planned on going to drop our bags off at the hostel first, but when we arrived there, it was closed so we took to the streets and explored. One of Renzzo’s friends, Raphaël came with us. In the middle of our self guided tour, we stumbled upon the last few minutes of some pig act in the town center which was fairly odd yet entertaining. After a bit more walking, we sat down for a refreshment by the river. Then some strange man sat down at the table with us and started talking about how he had been to America to try to find pretty ladies which made me super uncomfortable, so we went back to the hostel to drop off our bags. When we got to the hostel this time, it was closed as well, but thankfully Raphaël called the man and he came and let us check in. I was super tired, so I decided to call it a night there and went to sleep.