So, this Thursday was Tag der Deutschen Einheit (celebrating the anniversary of German reunification) and, since the Germans have a profoundly sensible attitude, my school had a bridging-the-gap day off on Friday too (I have Fridays off anyway, but I still count this as a win!). Hello 4-day weekend, the perfect way to celebrate my first significant contribution to the enrichment of young minds (I told some year 10s some words) in appropriate style.
Although I'd known for a week that this abundance of free time was approaching, my powers of organisation failed me (as usual), and Wednesday evening found me still at a loose end as to how I would spend the next few days. I was determined to make the most of it, however, and ended up arranging at the last minute to meet for lunch with a trainee teacher at my school, Sonja, who lives in Detmold.
Detmold itself is a beautiful town, a little bigger than Lemgo, which I thoroughly enjoyed pottering merrily round, taking many a touristy picture.
|This house is old apparently|
|Probably a horse|
We luncheoned at a lovely pub-slash-restaurant, which served Detmold-brewed beers and enormous portions of (delicious) food. It also boasted an impressive but confusingly unnecessary rotating toilet seat (well, it didn't exactly boast it. It was just sort of there)! I can only assume the rotating was for cleaning purposes...
So, all-in-all, I spent a thoroughly enjoyable day of looking round sunny Detmold, chatting shameful amounts of English (considering I spent the day with a real-life German!), and meeting Sonja's highly vocal cat, who did not respond to me, despite my attempts to solicit its affections.
That evening I went to the Hauskreis (or church small group) for Gemeinde am Grasweg, which was fun, but extremely German. Everyone was lovely, but integrating into a group of new people is hard enough when they're all speaking English, let alone when you can't get the words out in time (or in the right order!) to keep pace with a conversation in another language. But this is definitely something that will get better with time!
After a fun-filled Friday in good old Bielefeld, which involved Spaghettieis (ice cream in the shape of spaghetti - ours not to reason why), Semester tickets (FREE STUFF!!), and even more English speaking, we arranged a spontaneous trip to Münster for today. It was certainly strange to be back (I spent just under a month there last year at a language course), and the weather did not quite live up to the memories, but it was still a lot of fun to spend the day somewhere different, and to have the excuse to use our freshly-pressed semester tickets (free train travel in the whole Bundesland? Ja, bitte!).
|Summer 2012 - The Aasee in glorious sunshine|
We still had a lovely time though. And we all enjoyed perusing the market in the Domplatz (which included free honey tasting!) and seeing the palace and botanic gardens. We did see a confusing number of wedding photoshoots though (about 3 or 4, all with different couples) in the palace grounds, but no guests or other signs of any significant events taking place. We guessed they were taking photos for a bridal magazine, but who knows!? (Crazy Germans)
Overall, an energetic few days. Here's to a lazy Sunday!