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Daily Archives: August 6, 2012

Meeting Up With Friends

8th December 2011

Christmas Market round 2

Since Cathleen had class all day I went to meet Carolin, a girl I had met in Coral Bay, Australia. Turns out she timed her visit home perfectly and was in town seeing her sister. It had been about 4mths since I had seen her, but it felt like just yesterday. We had coffee and caught up with each other, telling stories of each of our new beaus.

Then it was time to explore the Medieval Market, a part of the Christmas Market that has food and drinks from an earlier time period. It was fantastic, and I got to try a version of Gluwein called feuerzangowle. Delicious and apparently more alcoholic. But with the cold rainy weather it was just what the doctor ordered.

Carolin and I

Other than the yummy taste, the mug was the best part. Earthenware and the perfect size to warm your hands round, it is now one of my favorites.

Since the rain was getting heavier we headed to Carolin’s sister’s apartment that was right in the center of town and enormous. It was brilliant and had some beautiful old features. We tried to call Buddha so that Carolin could meet him but couldn’t get through. Later we tried again and he answered, he was super cute and said he was away from his computer and we could skype at 7pm, midnight his time. I was really excited to speak to him.

We did get to skype Carolin’s boyfriend back in Australia though. Much to her disbelief he and I were soon discussing the Rugby world cup, she just rolled her yes at us.

Carolin needed me to fix her bracelet I had made her back in Aus and so we headed back to Cathleen’s house to get my strings. I was able to manipulate the bracelet with some repairs and then it was time to say goodbye to my good friend. I hope to see her again soon.

Christmas Cookies

Cathleen had invited a friend over to make German Christmas Cookies. It was great fun, even if I was a bit distracted waiting for him to come on skype. We made sputniks, zimt sterre and vanilla kipferl. Yummy!!!!


It was great fun and the only thing to mar it was the fact that Buddha never came online and I wasn’t able to reach him on the phone. For some reason I felt devastated, I think perhaps some part of my intuition was trying to warn me, but when the heart wants, it often pushes aside the intuition. Cathleen made the point that it was something out of my control and there was nothing I could do to change it. She was right but emotions can be intense sometimes, especially when other factors like ending a year long adventure are factored into the mix.

Tomorrow is exploring the town of Dresden!

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Germany, RTW, Travel

 

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Leipzig’s Christmas Market…

7th December 2011

Emotions

As the time for the end of my trip draws nearer I find my emotions wanting to spill over and overwhelm me. Add to that a new relationship and you have someone on the verge of tears for a lot of the time. I have always been someone ruled by emotions with logic constantly trying to control them. I had fears of ending up back at the beginning without having gained anything from my trip as far as decisions on what to do with my life (that would be the logic telling me to settle and find a permanent job). Now with this amazing guy telling me how much he missed me but having communication issues as far as contacting me, I was barely above wreck status.

Of course I would discover those “communication issues” he claimed to have were the fact that he was living with another girl for the month of December and she did not approve of him sweet talking another girl…

But I am lucky enough to have great friends who are always there to console and council me. A fellow travel writer, Roger, who secretly doubles as my shrink, was extra supportive and I am afraid to see the beer bill I owe him at the end of all this!

Market Time!

Pulling myself together to focus on enjoying Germany, which easy when there are so many goodies to eat, Cathleen and I headed for my 3rd Christmas Market. Bring on the bratwurst and gluwein.

It Just Feels Like Christmas

We explored the city center of Leipzig and I was amazed at the beautiful buildings and monuments and fountains.

Cathleen has a route planned out, unfortunately she was dealing with someone who has the attention span of a gnat and is very very easily distracted. My friends don’t call me Doug the Dog, from the movie UP, for nothing! But eventually she got me somewhat on track and we visited some stunning things. The church of St. Nikolaus was stunning. It has an important place in history for East/West Germany as it was one of the few churches tolerated by the East’s GDR government and became and important location for students to gather and protest. the only thing that was strange was the habit of painting the inside in pastel colors.

We explored the GDR museum that had an excellent series of life in the East. It really opened your eyes to how oppressed the people were. A lot of it was in German though, so I got through it faster than Cathleen.

Finally we completed all the required stops of exploration and headed for the market that had been distracting me for so long. I tried some apple gluwein this time, gaining my 3rd mug and had bratwurst for lunch.

It started raining a little heavier but I managed to find my christmas ornament (I collect them from every country I go to), a nifty little incense burner that looks like an old farmer smoking when you burn the incense and then delight of delight a fresh hot waffle with half nutella and half vanilla cream.

Heaven!

We headed home through the rain and then Cathleen had to go to band practice. I managed to get through to Buddha on the phone and we chatted a bit, it looks like the “connection” issues were getting worse. I later discovered this was most likely the time he was having dinner with friends (who knew me) and his latest girlfriend and he put me on speaker and lied about there being a blackout. A real piece of work. But at the time it made me feel loved to hear him and so I focus on the good things, its really all you can do. Good things and waffles make life worth living 🙂

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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To Bike Or Not To Bike…

6th December 2011

Sinterklaas Day

This morning I woke to a wonderful surprise. Apparently during the night Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) had visited all of us and left candy in our shoes, even me as the visitor. I can not explain how that made me feel, to be included. Our Sinterklaas doubles as an Opera student and is Cathleen’s roommate.

Blog Work

Cathleen had class this morning and then we were going exploring, so I spent the time catching up on my blog. There had not been very easy internet access in Nepal and so I was quite behind (kind of like now…oops). For lunch I enjoyed another of Germany’s fine bread rolls with amazing cold meats and cheese. I am so in love with country’s for their food.

Biking Fears

Upon Cathleen’s return she excitedly told me where we were going to go, then she told me how…by bike. Now, I am ever so slightly ashamed to admit, I cannot ride a bike, in fact I have a serious fear of it. Now this is not because my parents were negligent in providing a bike when I was growing up. I recall a rather nice bike. However, I seem to have never mastered the breaking system. For many years I thought they had given me one without breaks, my brother had handle breaks, what I failed to understand is that mine was designed for younger and less agile children and therefore had back peddle breaks… obviously I was way below less agile. I was terrified of going downhill, and having my brother stand at the bottom of one around age 5 saying “Don’t worry, I’ll catch you” and then promptly running him over, my fear did not abate anytime soon. As I got older many friends tried to teach me, but being of 5ft nothing statue, their bikes were giant and usually involved injury or there about. I could go, it was just the start, stop and balance i had real issues with. (Today I have a 3 wheel bike and love every moment of it, it even has a basket and a bell).

Cathleen ignored my pleas for mercy, insisting that it was an irrational fear and once I got going I would be fine. Her roommates bike was a stylish classic model… whose seat did not lower and was higher than my waist. I was on the verge of tears and shaking as I tried to get some balance and felt like a complete failure as we headed out at a rather fast paced walk. Since it was getting late we had to try do everything double time, the bike would have been much faster (and I would most likely have caused an accident).

Monuments

It was a wonderful crisp December afternoon and I rather enjoyed the walk. Growing up in South Africa I never really experienced winter and in Oregon on the west coast of the states winters are very wet, so it is a real treat to have a day like this one.

We were heading to a monument commemorating the defeat of Napolean, used as a gathering place for speeches given by Hitler during WW2. However, with it’s 200yr anniversary coming up the place was getting a new lease on life and with a stunning pond in front of it reflecting the image, it made for a great stop. Cathleen enjoys using it as a perfect choice for the hangman word game, VOLKERSCHLACHTDENKMAL… Now if that isn’t a mouthful!

Volkerschlachtdenkmal

We had planned to go up and see the view and read about the history but the cost was 6 euros, that’s a bratwurst and a mug of gluwein. Cathleen said before it used to be cheaper to just go up for the view, but they policy had changed recently. Instead we headed home stopping at a local store to pick up some sweet goodies, chocolates, licorice, marzipan….. OMG I love this country!

Kinder Eggs Are My Favorite!

German Beer

We popped out for a quick beer with one of Cathleen’s friends that evening, my first German beer (I had been consuming on Gluwein by the mugful up to this point) and it was delicious.

A Tall Cold One

It was a great way to end the evening! Tomorrow it’s the Leipzig Christmas Market…

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Germany, RTW, Travel, Uncategorized

 

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