Thursday, 21 November 2013

Bonn Voyage

So, a couple of weeks ago, Year Abroad Fever (of the travelling variety) struck again, and saw me and my friend Isobel planning a ganz spontan trip to Luxembourg. We were so smug at the thought of our own year-abroad-inspired spontaneity and living-on-the-edge-itude that we completely neglected to book any trains or accommodation until last Thursday night, by which time it was too late and everywhere was fully booked or much too expensive. This slight spanner in the works did not deter us for long, however, and we chose Bonn as our back-up destination for the weekend, the home of Beethoven and haribo. A great combo if ever there was one. Bring it Bonn!
Bonn is nice :)
I have to confess, this change of plans suited me nicely, not least because it gave me an excuse to think of a punny post title (let's face it, Luxembourg just doesn't lend itself well to this type of humour), as well as that hideous (but brilliant, admit it) atrocity above (Bring it Bonn!? Really Rachel?). Not to mention the fact that we would be able to get up at I-am-a-well-rested-and-functional-adult o'clock, as opposed to it's-so-early-the-Germans-probably-haven't-even-headed-to-clubs-yet o'clock. Good times all round.

Feeling slightly smug with our Semestertickets in hand, Isobel and I boarded a double-decker train (why don't these exist in England?) and sat back as Deutsche Bahn conveyed us effortlessly to our destination (well, there's a first time for everything). A bewildering search for the tourist information and a successful U-Bahn trip later, we arrived at BaseCamp Bonn. This was no ordinary youth hostel. Quite apart from the school-bus-restaurant and unexplained bull statue in the front yard, the accommodation itself was no standard dorms-with-bunkbeds arrangement. It consisted instead of several extravagantly decorated caravans and a sleeper-train carriage (!!!) all crammed into a warehouse.
Isobel and I opted for the more economical train carriage, but regretted it on arrival when we saw what the rest of the accommodation was like. All the caravans were so brilliantly decorated and much more comfortable-looking than our tiny room. One of them even had a statue of Beethoven outside! (You can use the picture above to play 'Where's Beethoven?'. Hint: It's not very hard.)

The rest of the day's adventures included a trip to Vapiano (the most bewildering restaurant ever), a lovely but unintentional stroll through a graveyard (we were trying to find the haribo factory!), and a look round the gift shop of the Beethoven's House museum (we got there just as it closed... Attempt-at-being-cultured fail!). We did successfully manage to go to Starbucks and find this beauteous and wonderful place:
Bonn's other cultural attraction (the haribo shop, not Isobel)
We enjoyed a leisurely moonlit stroll along the Rhine, then through some gardens back to the city. Then it was back to our hostel for our sleeping-in-a-train-carriage-in-a-warehouse adventure. This is one of those things that sounds cooler after the event than it actually was at the time. Our room was approximately the size of a small tin of sardines, and once the ladder to the top bunk was in place there was not enough room for both of us to stand in there at the same time. But I think we can both tick it off our lists as an 'interesting experience.'
Definitely no room to swing a cat. Probably not even a hamster.
The following day, after the heavenly treat of a breakfast buffet (breakfast + buffet = two of the best words ever put together), we made a second attempt to find the haribo Fabrikverkauf (factory outlet), this time with a map! It took forever to get to, but I think the strenuous exercise of walking there definitely justified our buying our weight in gummy goodness.
It's a whole supermarket, but just filled with haribo... Bonn appetite everyone!
This bag may have weighed more than my suitcase. Oops.
Let's just say that certain people's Christmas presents may be a little heavy on the haribo! 

So that was our spontaneous (s-Bonn-taneous...???) trip to Bonn, and though we probably missed out on some of the cultural and architectural experiences of this beautiful city in favour of its culinary delights, it was, as the French might say, a Bonn expérience. I would say sorry for all the terrible puns, but I will never apologise for art.


  1. Ohhhhhhh Rachel *shakes head at puns* ...Nah I'm just kidding, I enjoyed them. Of course I did, this IS me we're talking about! XD

    WOAH the Haribo factory!! :'O I'll want to hear all about it when you get home!

    1. I think I had a little too much fun with those puns :P I really wanted to fit more in, but I couldn't think of any more passable ones, sadly! And the haribo factory was amazing! though the internet did slightly give the impression that it was going to be a proper factor showing how they made it and stuff, but it was actually just a big shop. Fine by me though! I have so much haribo now though :P