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19 June 2011

Goodbye Germany

I am right now in the Hamburg airport, waiting to go to my gate to board, and I must say that the Hamburg airport is very dull. There is very little shopping and only a few restaurant's and cafe's. They are very overpriced aswell. Outside there is very little to see because it is raining - it has been on and off for the past few days. Despite that I did try to make the most of my last few days in Bremen and I even managed to get some work done. I am right now in the Hamburg airport, waiting to go to my gate to board, and I must say that the Hamburg airport is very dull. There is very little shopping and only a few restaurant's and cafe's. They are very overpriced aswell. Outside there is very little to see because it is raining - it has been on and off for the past few days. Despite that I did try to make the most of my last few days in Bremen and I even managed to get some work done.

So on Tuesday my friends and I finally went to the restaurant that is in the windmill so that we can say we have eaten at the windmill. Of course, architecture aside it is just a cafe but they did have exceptionally good cake. Mine was custard and strawberries on a sponge base, only here they call custard 'vanilla sauce' and sponge 'biscuit' (pronounced bisqueet). It was sunny but the weather was starting to turn so there was wind and eventually we had to admit that it was too cold and go on our way. Still, it was as nice a place as any to have afternoon-tea, although it was actually much later than afternoon.


On Wednesday there was a total lunar eclipse and apparently the only one like it in the last century, I'm not sure why, something to to with it coinciding with the red moon I think. My friends told me about it and we got all excited about going to see this moon phenomenon, I have not seen an eclipse before I don't think. We checked the internet for the time and the news told us that clear skies were expected for Germany. But what would you know, when we get out of the lab in the afternoon it is overcast and rainy. There were still a few hours for it to clear though so the plan went ahead, but come 7ish it was pretty clear that there would be no lunar eclipse for us. Instead we had dinner at a place called Scharfrichter, which I think means something like heat-scale, and basically at this place you only get sausages, and you choose the degree of spice in your sauce. So I chose the number one because I prefer to actually be able to taste my food. I have an Indian friend who tried the number 6 and could not finish it, it was that spicy. Yet you can go all the way up to level 41. Interesting concept. I think they have some sort of wall of fame. I also think that to order something so strong would just be plain stupid. We stayed out socialising as you do and what would you know but when we finally realise it is time to go it starts absolutely pissing down with rain. We got soaked!

The next evening I had authentic Indian (authentic because it was made by an Indian friend) but of course adapted to the weak tolerance for spice of all us westerners. It was so good I made sure to get a recipe and I must try to reproduce it. To recover from the spice I had made a trifle for desert but it really was just an approximation and I think real trifle with real custard is much better. Of course, as evenings spent with friends generally go we talked for far too long and by the time we left we were too late for the last tram back to the city (our own fault for reading the timetable incorrectly). So we walked from the university to the central station, which took at least half an hour I think, the only bonus being a pretty night-time view of the Universeum museum, which now looks not so much like a UFO as a big ship. It was cold and rainy and I did not get to bed until about 2am!


As for Friday, my last Friday in Germany, all my plans for a good day went out the window. Work did not start until 2 so I would have gone shopping and wandered around town, then after work celebrated the end of the course with the other students. Alas, all my over-endulging on ice-cream and other bad foods finally took it's toll and I spent the day incredibly ill because of these stupid gallstones. I would very much like the Irish health system to hurry up and fix me, I never you to get sick so I am very sick of this. So I missed out completely on Friday, and had to make up for it by going shopping on Saturday. We went to the outlet stores where my friends wanted to buy lots of cheap chocolate at the Lindt outlet but I unfortunately was in no state to be eating chocolate. And while I always quite like looking at shops for once I was under the very rational realisation that I not only am broke but have absolutely no space to spare in my suitcase. Of course, if there had been any absolutely amazing item that was a real bargain I probably would have relented but there wasn't so I was strong and did not buy anything. Instead I spent the rest of the afternoon at the Burgerpark feeding the ducks. There was a really big moth on the ground being attacked by a wasp so we rescued it and squashed the wasp and then found a nice tree for the moth to recuperate on.



For my final evening in Bremen I had pancakes on the pancake ship - called the Pannekoekschip. Despite living in Bremen for two years or more none of my friends had been so it was a new experience for all. It was of course just pancakes but we did expect that after all. It still had to be tried. They were more like pizza's though, they were not thin and rolled up nor were they small and thick and piled up. We each got one large thick pancake with toppings. And luckily the weather was not completely abysmal, there was some sunlight between the rains and clouds - enough to afford me a parting shot of the pancake pirate ship (and yes our waiter was dressed like a pirate),


And another parting shot of the beautiful Bremen architecture.


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