Sunday 29 December 2013

Oldenburg: a gem in the marsh

It's been a monumentally long time since I wrote anything for this blog, but I didn't feel it suitable, as I've been back in old Blighty for many months. However, I found this the other day, and realised I had never actually posted it. If I had, then I may have written more for this blog. Oh, how the present is defined by the past! Anyway, here is a little article on the town I called home for 10 months...

Hello all!

I've been working out how long I have until I am ripped away from this enjoyable teutonic limbo, and it comes out at approximately 5 weeks. This is scary in the sense that I am becoming trapped in my self-reflections on time and mortality. Or in other words, time has gone really fast, hasn't it?

Having lived abroad in the same place for 8 months now, I believe I am sufficiently qualified to both describe and analyse the place I have called home for a substantial time. This place, as you will have guessed from the title, is a small town called Oldenburg, west of Bremen on the Great German Plain.

Never a very important town, due to the proximity of Bremen and various plague epidemics and fires through the years, Oldenburg nevertheless has a distinct air of the royal. At one point home to the Kings of Denmark, the town retains the neoclassicist elements laid down in the late 18th Century. This is most obvious when walking into the Innenstadt from the south, as before you looms the impressive bright yellow facade of Oldenburg Castle. The Castle today houses the county museum for art and art history, along with a chronicle of the history of Oldenburg trailed through plush deep red, oak and gold rooms. Well worth a visit, if not for the history of Oldenburg but for the various interesting art installations held, the prices range from free for children under six, to €5 for a full paying adult.

I am a handsome castle.

Just south from the Castle, crossing the ringroad that connects all the major ports o
f call in Oldenburg, you reach the Schlossgarten, a public park looked after by the local Carl von Ossietzky University. The spacious gardens offer pretty vistas and a wide array of plant-life, including a sizeable botanical garden, open 11-4 on weekdays at no cost. The University specialises in inter-disciplinary subjects, and is named after the German recipient of the 1935 Nobel peace prize, murdered by the nazi regime for bravely uncovering german re-armament on the eve of the Second World War.

Walking back towards the centre, you pass a statue of Peter Friedrich Ludwig, the first Duke of Oldenburg, and a few metres on, the largest church in Oldenburg, the Lambertikirche. The church was built using the small bricks so typical of Northern Germany, but has a drastically refurbished interior, with clean, white angles creating a calm, open space. A large prism cross also hangs over the congregation, beautiful in the sunlight. Open Monday to Sunday, 11-6, the church satisfies all tastes.

After the peaceful, spiritual interior of the church, you can satisfy your material needs by crossing the market place to reach the Schlosshöfe, a large shopping mall deposited in the centre of Oldenburg. The mall caters to everyone, with designer shops, restaurants, a pharmacy and a supermarket, and is open Monday to Saturday, 8am - 9pm.

After your shopping spree, take time to meander through the surprisingly bustling streets in the centre of town. The pretty buildings complement the narrow streets well, and there are even more designer shops, along with traditional brands and many different eateries in all shapes and sizes. The Kunstcafe in the west of the town centre has a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere with reasonable drinks prices and a superb crepe menu. If you are wanting to keep on your feet, there are plenty of quick snack bars dotted along the main streets offering most things, from pasta to the traditional Currywurst, a German sausage with ketchup and curry sauce. 

If you ever say anything against this meal, I will fight you.

Walking eastwards along the aptly named Langen Straße, you eventually reach the opposite end of the town centre, a quarter called Lappan. This is Oldenburg's main meeting point for the locals, and the building from which the area takes its name is a large bell tower, first built in 1468, that stood as one of the five town gates. Rather disappointingly, today it only houses a travel centre and cash machine. At Lappan is Wallstraße, a street full of eateries and bars. Restaurant New York New York serves beautiful American-Italian food in hearty and very good value portions, and the walls inside are adorned with thousands of photos of American film stars, singers and general celebrities along with tasteful stained glass depicting various symbols of american life.

Life in Oldenburg continues well into the night. Oldenburgers generally begin a night out along Wallstraße, so a two minute walk along the street will find you outside Fiddlers Green, a traditional Irish pub serving everything an Irish or British ex-pat could wish for. There are different drinks deals every night, and a pub quiz runs on Wednesdays. Accompany your quiz with their famous bacon sandwich, reasonably priced and guaranteed to keep you full for the night (and probably a large majority of the next day). There are various bars and clubs on the same street, but look further afield for quality. For example, Loft, directly in the centre (Baumgartenstrasse 2) plays modern alternative music in a relaxed and cheerful atmosphere, and if you're looking for something with a bit more bite, Amadeus (Mottenstrasse 21) has regular rock nights and heavy metal gigs.

For a quieter activity this side of the town centre, head to the connected Horst Janssen Museum and Stadtmuseum, the first of which is dedicated to the eponymous multitalented artist who lived in Oldenburg in his youth. Both museums are full of a mixture of contemporary and classical art through different media, and prices are minimal (5 Euros for entry to both).

Can you spot Horst?

Oldenburg is famous for horse-breeding, with the Oldenburger horse well-coveted by many, and a statue has been erected in Lappan as a tribute to this famous animal. There are other horses dotted around the town, along with two bronze elephants guarding a passageway on Langestrasse. Of course, to see real animals you need only take a bus for ten minutes out to the beautiful surrounding Ostfriesland countryside (regular buses from the Main Station and Lappan), but a long weekend exploring Oldenburg itself makes you realise the sheer diversity and intricacies that many are yet to discover in Germany.

So that's it! Hope it was, if not enjoyable, then slightly interesting. I'd like to call it educational entertainment, or edutainment if you will. If you like it, share it with your friends and maybe come for a visit! It's seriously great. Oldenburg I mean, not my blog post. I would never be that vain.

Thursday 4 April 2013

Goethe's porno stash

I have been in Germany for approximately seven months. During this time I have learnt much, laughed often, and been annoyed almost as many times. One thing I have realised is the sheer ease with which you can change the meaning of a sentence in both English and German. 

I'm not just talking about the classics here, although Rosie did brilliantly say the other day to a German lady that she was "too horny to wear a coat". I'm talking about poetic misunderstandings. My linguistic ignorance in this respect came to a head a few weeks ago, during an eighth class lesson.

I wasn't present when Rosie admitted being steamed-up, but I imagine it was something like this.

I was minding my own business, casually checking the vocabulary books in front of me, when I saw one pupil had written that "Faust" is "fist" in english. I immediately asked the teacher, citing Goethe's Faust as the origin of my doubt. It turns out that Faust does in fact mean fist, and that my linking of this noun with arguably the greatest piece of German literature in history creates very different images to the one Johann Wolfgang had in mind, having basically called his tome Goethe's Fist / Dr. Fistus. This could be interpreted in varying ways. My first image was one of Bruce Lee in 18th/19th century clothing getting his soul back from Mephistopheles one punch at a time. 

Bruce Lee non-plussed by the ending of The Sorrows of Young Werther

Apparently this was not the first thing that came to the minds of everyone else in the room. I would try and find an appropriate image to indicate their interpretations, but I would have to delete my browser history, so instead here's a portrait of Goethe subtly altered. See if you can guess how.

Luckily, most misunderstandings can be laughed away, and if all else fails then plead ignorance of a very complicated but ultimately rewarding language. It's what I do multiple times a day.

P.S. I've written a couple of articles for Warwick Student Newspaper The Boar in the past few months! Here's a link to a Crimbo one:

Monday 11 February 2013

0049-10: The Kohlfahrt

The last time I wrote anything for this blog was December the 2nd. That was over two months ago, and I sincerely do not know where that time has gone. You know all those people who say "if you remember the 60s, you weren't there", as if insinuating they were all at the forefront of a brave drug-addled revolution? They weren't. They were all on an extended year abroad.

A normal reaction to getting 25% off all rail journeys with deutsche bahn

I have been so busy going home for Christmas, getting merrily fuzzy around the edges at various Weihnachtsmärkte, going to Karnevals, not to mention working at a school, that this precious blog has skipped my attention.


Then again, you already knew that, as you're reading a new post. That's kind of taken the gloss off the surprise. Anyway, I've decided that I'll write again, as I love doing it and I have almost reached the landmark of 2000 views. I feel a lot of responsibility to represent my year abroad adequately.

With great power comes a sexy spandex suit. I mean responsibility.

And so I bring to you a tale of tradition and unashamed insanity, North German-style: The Kohlfahrt.

To the non-German speaking contingent, this literally translates as the "Cabbage Journey". Ah yes, I hear you scoffing at the back, saying "what a whimsical name for something that has probably nothing to do with its literal translation". Well, you imaginary scoff-fiend, you are wrong. This has absolutely everything to do with a journey and cabbage.

I have to admit, when I was first invited to partake in this mythical odyssey, at the end of the school day, an hour before the event, I was not the archetypal Bilbo Baggins. I did not shout "I'm going on an adventure!" in a half-excited, half-apologetic tone. Which was probably for the best, as I was sat in a teachers' lounge. I wasn't particularly excited for two reasons:

1) I didn't really know the reasoning behind/ plan for the Kohlfahrt
2) I knew what Kohlfahrt meant, and had been told that we were going to play games. In the forest.

This is where I may get into controversial territory. I am not a great supporter of communal games. I will stretch to a game of charades or pictionary at Christmas, provided I am full of turkey and acceptably making my way through a good deal of Bailey's. However, after the first few goes, even this becomes too much to bear. So whereas you may think of communal games as being full of frivolity:

I choose to think of them more like a little corner of awkward hell:

I therefore finished the school day with a small sense of dread, and caught a lift from one of the teachers to our starting point. This was about twenty minutes away from the school, at a picturesque country inn, where all of the teachers sat down together at a long table, drinking tea and eating cake. I passed the time quite happily sipping at my Ostfriesische Tea until
we were all politely ripped from the table to begin our journey.

We left the inn to be confronted with a small wagon. This wagon was, of course, full of cherry liqueur and beer. We were all then ordered to take a shot glass and have a large portion of alcohol before we began the main part of the evening. It was at this point that I started to feel the Bilbo part of my psyche bubbling to the surface. We were sorted into three teams, by way of each picking a piece of a poem from a bag, and finding other people with the different parts of the same poem. I thought I may get lost at this point, but my degree finally came in handy for something as I picked part of a poem I had studied. I duly shouted this multiple times until the rest of my teammates crowded around me.

Me, shouting "Ich hab' Erlkönig! Ich hab' Erlkönig!"

We all proceeded to venture into the ever-darkening forest, wagon in hand, to play the aforementioned 'games'. They were, as you will have guessed, harmless and great fun. First, we all had to run a spoon attached to some string through one coat arm and out of the other, to create a link between each member of the team. We, of course, won this, as I am violently competitive.

The next game (after relaxing in a now almost pitch-black forest drinking large amounts of beer and cherry liqueur) was more difficult, and involved trying to shoot matches through a straw and into a bucket a few yards away. I unfortunately shamed my family for generations by failing to land a single match of the three given. We came second, and with feelings of regret and remorse, I entered a restaurant, lit up in the darkness by chinese lanterns and fairy-lights, which was to be the end point and climax of our tale.

This is where the cabbage comes in.

The Kohl is actually Grünkohl, a vegetable similar to kale, cooked in various salts and spices. This is accompanied by slices of gammon and Pinkel, a smoked sausage (surprise me) made with oats and bacon. The meal was delicious, and we sat for hours talking and enjoying the food that was on offer. There was a final mini-game where an appointed member of the team had to wind a toy car on a piece of string towards them as quickly as possible, and we won again, meaning the night was ours! I was close to tears through victory, but managed to hold it together.

The final event of the night was the choosing of next year's "Kohlkönige", which was greeted with cheers and singing, apart from by the two teachers who won the privilege, as they are the ones who will have to plan the event at the same time next year.

The scene was like this, but with more gold and slightly more enthusiasm.

We finished the meal late, tired but happy after an evening of cheerful happenings and friendship. I would recommend going on a Kohlfahrt to anyone I meet, as it is a great excuse to have fun, drink and make friends, all the while kidding yourself and those around you that you are only taking part for the cultural experience. I'd like to thank the people who arranged our Kohlfahrt, as it was a lovely, warm and welcoming experience, and one that has helped me to settle even further into a life in Germany. It has also taught me that no matter how tired or unenthusiastic you are about a new experience, try it at least once, as I changed in a matter of hours from this:

To this:
With the help of friends and cherry liqueur

That's all for now!

N.B. I think I may write more posts like this, explaining a cultural phenomenon, as opposed to my daily life. Tell me what you think (if you'd like) by commenting or emailing. Thanks for reading!

Sunday 2 December 2012

0049-9: The November Mystery

I can't spell November. Every time I attempt to write the word I include at least three too many r's.

Well my little Würstschen, here we are again. Quite a time between this post and the last. I apologise once more. I could lie and say I've been on a month-long magical voyage of discovery with a platinum horse and a cat named Phillip, but:

1) I don't like telling fibs
2) That was only a dream

In truth, I have done some interesting things, but this has been interspersed with early school mornings, and so the bags under my eyes are becoming so large that I may need to pay an extra £30 to Ryanair for excess baggage. "BUT"- I shouted to myself as I awoke this morning, scaring Rosie and two pigeons perched on the windowsill- "I NEED ehem I need to write a blog post today about all the hijinks I have been involved in. Also, I'm still tired." I promptly fell asleep, but am now as fresh as a (pressed) daisy, so in the inimitable style of ITV news and Big Ben, here are the events of the past month:


I actually went to the Kramermarkt for the day, bought a crêpe, lots of ice cream and German beer. A good time had by all.


I visited Bad Essen, a small(ish) village near Osnabrück for the week with Rosie. I was surprised to find this normally quiet haven cheerfully interrupted by two things:
1) The hotel we were staying at, a characteristically calm German abode, was visited by what we could only assume was a touring porn film company. The question as to who was being murdered eventually gave way to the dawning realisation that a woman was either having sex in front of a camera, or she kept winning the lottery every seven or so minutes.
2) On one of the little trips through the village centre, we came across the logical scenario of a man resplendent in neon lingerie and cowboy hat, chuckling manically as he crossed the road to affront us. In fact, it was his thirtieth birthday, and he offered us lemon liqueur (I valiantly took both my and Rosie's shots- doubleLAD) before swapping his bottle for a bike and riding around a traffic island a dozen times.


My parents and nephew came over to see me! We had a lovely week looking around Niedersachsen and only wanted to kill each other a few times. Result!


Back in Oldenburg, I took part in a Laternenlauf, a traditional walk around the district where children make lanterns and sing old Christmas songs. A genuine sense of community, especially when we all returned to the start point to be greeted with hundreds of candles lighting the way to mulled wine and cake. A comforting night, and the first time I thought about Christmas.


Saw a football match at the AWD arena, Hannover 96 vs. FC Twente. Good atmosphere, but as you would expect from my first football match of the year, a dull 0-0 draw. Another point worth making is the system for buying drinks and food in the stadium. You have to buy a card for 10 euros and are charged 3 euros for the pleasure, meaning you have 7 euros to spend on your goods. If you run out, you can of course top up - a minimum of 5 euros. Very helpful system for the people working there, but I may not go again, and I have 4 euros floating about in the ether that will go to waste. Euros euros euros.

Rio Ferdinand couldn't work it out either


München! Four and a half hour journey down to the Bavarian capital to see the one and only Jason Mraz in concert! A very early birthday present from Rosie, as he is one of my favourite artists, and he did not disappoint. He has the very rare talent of sounding even better live than on CD, and I feel very lucky to have experienced that. Thank you Rosie! We of course spent a few days in the city itself, and I will describe our time there in greater detail in a new post soon.

In other news, I have developed a new dance craze for whenever it snows, meaning I remain cheerful and warm in equal measure. Expect it to be the new Gangnam Style.

The Psy seal of approval

Thank you for reading this post, it really means a lot to me to see how many views I have. Sorry for the break in between this post and the last, but I promise to be a better person from now on.

Happy Advent!

Wednesday 10 October 2012

0049-8: Al Pacino Kama Sutra

Well, hello again. Haven't seen you for a while (I imagine - I don't really know who reads this, so I may have seen you yesterday and I wouldn't know. The curse of internet anonymity). How are you? I'm well, thank you for asking.

Right, let's get cracking. I met up with Rachel and Beth (another language assistant living near Oldenburg - the entourage is growing!) on the tuesday night, and quite obviously went to my favourite restaurant in the quarter kilometre circumference covering a certain part of town, "New York New York". I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, and it's quite late here, so I'm just going to possibly repeat myself when I say it truly is a brilliantly unique restaurant. I would liken it to a kiwi (the fruit not the nationality): a little grotty and hairy on the outside, but perseverance pays off when you get inside and experience the juicy goodness on offer. As you may be able to tell from the name, the place is modelled on italian-american cooking, and the walls are plastered (sometimes literally) with photos of celebrities past and present, with bright lights accompanying pretty glass installations. A really cheerful atmosphere that makes you feel as if you're in the middle of the Big Apple. Also owned by a mafioso-style family of italians, and some sicilians along for the ride. Going to try and make it a regular place to eat, or at least have a "cohwafee" (My attempt at the New York pronunciation of coffee. Sorry.)

Also couldn't resist this. Sorry.

Having eaten to the point of hating ourselves, and sharing some tender moments with the endearingly creepy sicilian waiter, we moved onto the Grand Cafe (again), as it was cocktail happy hour. As we sat at the bar, cocktails in hand, I was transported back to the jazz age, the years of conspicuous consumption. That is until I noticed two things:

1) The price of the cocktails was still heinously inflated
2) The soundtrack to the scene was, in fact, Genie in a Bottle by Christina Aguilera

Still, the hour spent there was very enjoyable. It's difficult not to enjoy yourself in the Grand Cafe with friends.

Beth and me at the classy bar

We hadn't planned on it, but we decided to take a short trip to the yearly Kramermarkt, Oldenburg's version of Oktoberfest, before heading on to another bar. Arrived at the Markt to be greeted by the smells of food and beer I associate so readily with Germany. First stop was, obviously, at the Erotikangeln stall. Yes, that's right, erotic fishing. Not trying to catch fish in a skimpy thong, but trying to hook a bag of rude goodies. I was voted as the (un)lucky fisherman by the group, and at first won a prize that doesn't even bear thinking about. The vendor kindly let me have another go, so instead I won a notebook with cartoon drawings of the Kama Sutra included on its pages and a large green fuzzy novelty penis. Fun for all the family.

 My first prize. (Interestingly, when I found this image on google, its title was "gadaffi-dead-front-page". Who says internet image searches aren't always interesting?)

Rambled around the Markt for another hour or so, taking in all the sights, smells and sounds that we would enjoy at greater length the next day. Also saw a fairground ride called "Breakdance" which looked less like breakdancing and more like my personal vision of hell. I didn't go on it. If I had, I would have Chai Powered all over the Kramermarkt (that's right, Chai Power is now also a verb. Get with the programme).

Made our contented way from the Kramermarkt to Polyester Club on the outskirts of the Innenstadt, and came face to face with living proof of the old "don't judge a book by its cover" moniker. It looks from the outside- and I say this with love- a shambles of a place. However, I would say Polyester is another Kiwi: the dinginess continues inside somewhat, but the 1960s eastern bloc style really does grow on you. Added to that the jaunty benches, various random seats, Electro Swing Jazz in the background, and board games on offer, Polyester is certainly a place to go for a good time. Lovely student-friendly atmosphere as well. Will definitely be visiting many times, especially as they have a table tennis night every thursday! We then said our goodbyes, all looking forward to the Kramermarkt the next morning.

Deliberately blurred edgy photo taken by Rachel

Part Two coming soon...

Monday 1 October 2012

0049-7: Chai Power

Back to school! The first time I have ever been relatively enthusiastic about those words in my life. I really didn't want to let the school down, so I put on my best non-ill face and started teaching. I was very glad to have made that decision after the interview/ interrogation conducted by Hauptschule 10 Class, which included such usual questions as "What's your favourite colour", "Have you seen the Queen" and "Do you know Jamie Oliver". Then, a student put his hand up (again) and I assumed, as he was the best english speaker, that it would be yet another understandable, sensible question. What he actually asked in the most matter-of-fact voice I have ever heard was the lovely mid-morning thought provoker "Do you believe in God?" I did the sensible thing of skirting around the question and promoting tolerance. And also spoke really quickly so they didn't understand most of what I was saying. Normality was resumed (so to speak) when the next student asked, in the style of an observational comedian, "So, what about this economic crisis?" It felt like a slightly stilted version of Mock the Week.

The impromptu theological discussion woke me up somewhat, so I had enough energy to meet Rachel again at another cafe. I promise that one day I'll make a list of all the nice cafes and write them down in one big journalistic whimsical mental jaunt through Oldenburg. Unfortunately, today is not that day. Today I speak to you about the horror that is Chai Power.

I tried for a long time to find a picture to adequately describe Chai Power. Instead, I am showing you a picture of a cheerful baby, as protection for you and therapy for me.

Chai Power jokingly describes itself as tea. I should have seen the danger signs. The suspiciously low price. The warning the waitress gave ("You know it's bio, right?") as a look of sheer terror slowly enveloped her caring face. The colour of the thing. But no, the British Council told us to say YES to everything, so why not try this?

Because it is terrible.

I can only equate the sensation of drinking Chai Power to that of trying to chew through a foot of freshly laid tarmac whilst being bombarded with dust from a vacuum cleaner that hasn't been emptied for five years. For this reason, if you ever hear me describe something as Chai Power, you now know my opinion on said thing. Still, two euros isn't bad.

Having recovered from the Chai Power Experience, I was really happy to see Rosie and show her the new sights of Oldenburg that I had discovered. I therefore immediately took her to the Baldini Grand Cafe, and was not disappointed with her reaction. By coincidence, we met Rachel there again, and Rosie and I tried the Flammkuchen, which was as delicious as the surroundings.

Here is an actual real-life picture of the upper floor:

Don't say I never treat you

A quick weekend trip to Hannover followed, during which I met Rosie's new flatmates. Lovely people, and a warm, comfortable new flat to live in. We were treated to Kohlroulade, which was succulent minced meat wrapped in cabbage and lathered in a creamy curried sauce. I loved it so much, I asked for seconds, and with what was intended as a compliment, compared it to haggis. Unfortunately, not everyone has actually tried haggis, so they believed I was calling their meal Chai Power. I was certainly not. We all drank beers. Rosie nursed/ took on the role as full-time carer to her non-alcoholic one for three hours.

Went to the Hannover Oktoberfest with Rosie, Dan, Millie and Kat. Was a bit commercial, but they still had the large beers, so I was content, and by that I don't mean drunk.

Dan is the silent hero taking the picture

This is Dan! Prost!

Dan, Millie and I went down a slide on some carpet for a couple of euros, which was nice.

All in all, an enjoyable (if a little sickly) week. I also realised earlier today that it has been a month since I left the balmy isles of Britain to go on this journey. I have to admit the time has passed by pretty rapidly. Still, 8/9 of my time here left to go! Off to school tomorrow and then going out to a club called Polyester Oldenburg for its Jazz night. Should be interesting, and I still have some faith left in the "always say yes" mantra. I will, of course, keep you updated. Bye for now!

0049-6: Dogs and Gatsby

Hello! This is the first part of a double bill blog! However, it's beginning to look like I'll write an official weekly post, with additions where I see fit. I won't have an official time when I post, so you'll have to keep on your toes (all two of you - hi mum and dad!)

Anyway, on to my post!

The weekend was spent traveling to and from Hannover to visit Rosie and see more of the city. Unfortunately I'd booked the train ticket before I became horrendously ill (thanks, kids) so I had to suck it up and travel for the sake of adventure. Slash I'm tight with money, so I didn't want to waste it. Luckily, Rosie was very caring, so we didn't do that much apart from visit the Herbstfestival in the Herrenhäuser Gärten. Overall, a very relaxed, happy event, periodically interrupted by thirty dogs attacking each other/ trying to make love to people's legs.

After a couple of days slowly succumbing to what I now fully believed was bubonic plague, I had to leave Rosie, the modern day Florence Nightingale, and travel back to Oldenburg. I managed to find a seat on the train with plenty of space, so you would forgive me for hoping that this would be an easy restful trip back to my home. Oh, how very wrong I was, I imagine the twelve large Bavarians surrounding me were thinking as they simultaneously plonked themselves down onto their seats and poured rum into hefty plastic cups. I obviously therefore spent half of my time trying to sleep and the other half pretending to play stick cricket and listening to their tipsy conversations.

As a result of my plague, I had both monday and tuesday off, to recuperate and sob quietly in a ball on my bed. However, on tuesday I had begun to show signs of early onset cabin fever, and so decided to meet with Rachel to have a cup of something warm at a local cafe. We met in the Baldini Grand Cafe in the Lappan area of Oldenburg, a beautiful cafe/bar lost somewhere in Jay Gatsby's 1920s. I ordered the 'White Angel' in my best German accent, and received a gorgeous white hot chocolate. I would definitely recommend a visit, as although pricey, the decor is worth it alone.

Gatsby had just seen the price of the Apfelschorle

We were then off to that Schloss again, this time to visit the museum. Comprehensive place detailing the history of Oldenburg (including the shavings from the beard of Peter I. Friedrich Ludwig von Oldenburg's corpse. Family viewing), and the 3€ ticket lets you in to two other museums for the day as well. Bargain! I didn't take them up on the offer however, as it had begun to pour it down, and so my logical decision was not to wait it out but pedal home as quickly as I could on a wet slippery bike through thunder and lightening (it was, in fact, very very frightening). As you can imagine, this did not help my health, but I was determined to go back to school the next day.

Me leaving the Schloss

Part Two coming soon. As in probably later on tonight. I have nothing else to do. Yay!