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A trip to the south

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This weekend I travelled south. Just a few hundred kilometres. I haven’t been to southern Germany a lot. It seems likely that most Japanese tourists will have seen more attractions of it than I have. And my trip there wasn’t exactly for the attractions but for the people and parties.

The first step was to go to Marburg with friends to visit some other friends who moved there a while ago. Marburg is yet another university town but it seems to be even smaller and more boring than Göttingen. And it’s situated on hills. Wherever you go you’ll see some other part of the town above or below yourself – reminded me of Portugal in a tiny way (heck, they even have an elevator in town to help people up).

Map, from Göttingen to Heidelberg. On Friday night there was a public screening of the German classic film Die Feuerzangenbowle in the market place. Despite being a film made in 1944 it’s not a big propaganda machine and mostly funny with Heinz Rühmann playing an author who plots out the story of pretending to be a high school kid and going back to high school. He tells this story to his friends while having a ‘Feuerzangenbowle’ which is a sort of mulled wine.

This means that mulled wine was also consumed while watching the film. Not just to join in with the theme – but also to keep reasonably warm while standing outside while the film lasted. Afterwards we went for some more drinks in warmer locations.

On Saturday, after sufficient recovery, my friends headed back to Göttingen but I went on to Heidelberg for my brother’s birthday party. Heidelberg is probably one of the better known small towns in Germany but it was the first time I made it there. Apart from ‘Heidelberger Druckmaschinen’ the printing company, they also have a partly broken castle and the oldest university in Germany. Yet I’d never been there before so I got a quick tour of the town which looks a bit more historic and cosy than Göttingen in the city centre.

We then also picked up a nice wooden cask of a local beer for the party at night. The cask was quite cool (and the deposit for it easily exceeded the price of the beer). The party did a good job at filling my brother’s little flat and, I presume, at keeping the neighbours awake a little. Most people were a few years younger than myself there, which was a little strange. And they kept listening to music that was already around when I still went to school, which was a little more strange.

On Sunday afternoon I went back, missing the traing going straight to Göttingen by a few seconds because the damn ticket machines always need ages to ask loads of silly questions and to print your ticket. That was a bit annoying but I got another connection on which I had to change – but to a high speed train, making the journey a few minutes shorter in the end. However, those trains are a bit more expensive, so, in principle, my ticket wasn’t good for that train (meaning I’d have to pay the difference). But luckily the conductor was nice enough to let me get away with that. Probably processing this on their little computer is so complicated that it’s not worth doing it for three Euros or so.

January 30, 2005, 23:51

Tagged as travel.

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