Why Hanover, you ask? Well, the boy has a German friend with whom he studied abroad in Ireland in 2009. They are good about keeping in touch, therefore it was time for a visit. We drove through four countries in 6 hours (no big deal), at times going up to 105mph (no big deal), and finally parked on a street near said friend’s apartment which was in fact a street belonging to some kind of red light district (once again, no biggie). Martin, the friend, greeted us at his apartment and we dropped off our things before heading to a nearby Irish pub. Yes, we were in Germany, but these boys are still in love with Ireland so what better way to celebrate their shared experience abroad? We indulged in Irish stew, Guinness, Kilkenny, and even an Irish flag shot that was on fire so you had to drink it quickly with a straw before the straw melted. Right! We also played trivia and were totally winning until it was getting too late and the trivia man was getting too drunk, so we decided to head back to the apartment.
The next morning, Martin had to head to work like any normal person who doesn’t work for a French school and doesn’t have 2 weeks of vacation for Toussaint. Me and Michel headed towards the city center (he has been to Hanover once before, and luckily somewhere deep within his brain he still remembered his way around!). After a lovely cappuccino, we went to Town Hall, where you can take an elevator up to the top of the building for a panoramic view of the city. (Note: elevator. Awesome, and not the only modern thing about Hanover… much of the city was destroyed during the war, so the majority of buildings are new and the historic part of town is quite small.)
That afternoon, we went to visit Martin’s friend Soren since the boy knows him too. About 40km from Hanover is the city of Peine, where Martin and Soren grew up. It’s a typical German town which, for me, is just as nice to see as the big well-known cities. It was just warm enough to eat ice cream outside, so that’s what we did. Then we drank a beer. Then Soren made the excellent decision to come back with us to Hanover and the four of us had dinner. What did we eat? CURRYWURST! A huge sausage smothered with a sweet barbecue-esque sauce sprinkled with yellow curry powder. Delicious. We spent the night bar hopping to see some of Martin’s other friends. Two out of the three bars we went to were American/English pubs, and when I insisted that I go to a German bar while in Germany, we ended the night at a traditional Bavarian bar, music and all!
The next morning we said goodbye to Martin before he went off to work again (poor guy) and then went with Soren into the city center for some breakfast.
It was a short visit, but oh, how I love Germany. It is such a beautiful country. The landscape. The cars. And so much more. I’ll be seeing you again come December!