Sunday, 3 November 2013

Herbstferien Part 1 - When The Farmers came to town

Update: This blog post now has pictures! That's right, real photographs that I took with my own two hands. My camera memory card has now made its way safely back from Venice where it had decided to stay a little longer and enjoy a nice holiday :)

So, you may have noticed that this blog has been unusually quiet the last few days (make that weeks... sorry!). The reasons for this are as follows:
  1. Not a lot of stuff happened
  2. A lot of stuff happened
The week before the Herbstferien (This is the 2-week school holiday most German states have in October. Don't mind if I do!) was extremely normal, so I won't bore you with that. Instead, I will begin this post two weeks ago with a very exciting event (drum-roll please): The Farmers came to Lemgo! (No, it isn't some bizarre German farmer festival, though I wouldn't put it past them... The Farmers are my awesome family!)

After a brief stint lost in Lage (apparently there's no way to drive through it and a very helpful lack of signposts), the Farmers finished their impressive (nearly) two-day's drive from Winchester to Lemgo. Their arrival was celebrated by much hugging and tea-drinking and general excitement, followed by a thrilling trip to the supermarket, where I was able to show off the wonders of German pizza-hybrids (pizza-burger or pizza-pasta anyone?).

The next day, our proper tour of Lemgo began, with an exciting trip to the Junkerhaus. This is just the house of an *ahem* eccentric outsider artist in Lemgo called Karl Junker, who decided to build himself a slightly creepy but extremely beautiful house/work of art out of ornately carved wood. It really was quite amazing - I don't think the photos quite did it justice.

Junkerhaus! My camera memory card finally made it home to me :)
Fun as it was to look around, I can't imagine it would be much fun to actually live there. There were far too many bizarrely staring paintings and hideously uncomfortable-looking chairs for my liking.

For lunch, we headed into town, where there was a market on with loads of stalls selling toasted mandeln (almonds), bratwurst, and all sorts of other German goodies. We sampled some of said bratwurst, before deciding to try the regional speciality pickert, which is a tasty but extremely filling type of potato scone. We had ours with plum jam, but they were also serving it with leberwurst (liver sausage). Some people even had theirs with half and half (though I'm not sure I would try that myself).

That afternoon came the event that one must experience/endure in order to gain a true induction into German way of life: one's first handball game. Following our small misunderstanding, in which I had to ensure the Farmers that they would not actually be required to play handball, I'm sure the others were relieved to just sit on the sidelines and observe the German craziness from afar. Though I'm not what anyone would call a sporty person, and my understanding of football really only extends to kicking a ball in a net (what, there's more to it than that?), I actually found handball really enjoyable. It's kind of like football and basketball's hyperactive love child, with lots of supporters playing drums. Only a few minutes in, we worked out what colour team we were supporting, and were able to make appreciative/derogatory noises at appropriate moments. We lost (as an official resident of Lemgo, I feel it's acceptable to refer to the Lemgo team as 'we', and I'm sure they found my support indispensable), but the opposing team was Berlin, so I don't think we really did that badly.

They throw a ball with their hands (I think).
In the evening we were invited to the home of one of the teachers from my school, and my sister, Esther, was able to chat to a fellow bird-watching enthusiast, while I got my first experience of hearing a German say 'squirrel' first-hand. (Search on youtube for 'Germans saying squirrel' and you won't be disappointed. I feel it's acceptable for me to laugh, because I'm sure my attempts to say Eichhörnchen are just as amusing to them!)

Highlights of the rest of the all-too-short visit included going to see the Hermann statue, or Hermannsdenkmal, (Hermann the German was supposed to have led the Germanic tribes to victory against three Roman legions, but the giant statue of him was actually built much later, apparently as a sort of two-fingered salute to the French!), walking in the woods, having a lovely lunch in nearby Detmold, more walking in the woods, looking round the Brake castle, and some more walking in the woods.

Hermann the German in all his glory
All in all, a really lovely visit! I'm only sorry it was so short.

No comments:

Post a Comment