Wednesday, June 09, 2010

We left it in Berlin...

Oops, sorry for the interruption. I'm now back in Boston, and have a few more fun bits to share. Towards the end of the week, we woke up early and left Berlin for Goettingen, the town where C will be living for the next year. After we hopped on the train, it wasn't long before we were traveling through the country-side and surrounded by fields of turbines::As almost everyone knows, Germany puts the US to shame with it's renewable energy initiatives, and the proof is everywhere, from the turbines in the fields to the solar panels on even the oldest of buildings... I'm going to try to come back to this topic as we spend more time there.

For now, on to Goettingen::After our short visit, we're super excited to spend more time in this old university town. The town was officially founded sometime in the 1100s, and suffered very little damage during the war. As a result, when you visit today you're greeted by the traditional timber-frame buildings and large stone churches and monasteries.

Throughout the day and late into the evenings, most activity occurs in the old town center, where you'll find this girl:: carrying her geese to market.

Like any town worth it's salt in Germany, the cafe culture is alive and well:: I know that Europe is known for it's cafes and outdoor eating, and on my many trips before, I thought I experienced it. I was wrong, and here's why: I've always done my traveling during spring or winter breaks ~ when, it's freezing. So what I've experienced are the brave souls willing to sit outside and suffer while I ran for cover and the warmth of the bar's fireplace. This trip? Wow, my first time wearing flip-flops in Europe and I was in heaven ~ you could sit outside for hours, eat slowly, drink a coffee, follow it up with a beer, and then maybe dessert and enjoy yourself while every table at the cafe was packed with people doing the same thing. It was great, and surprisingly affordable. We at out almost every meal on this trip because it really didn't break the bank. It probably helped that we ate at your ever-day run of the mill cafes, nothing fancy, but that's what we like... and in Goettingen, it's just perfect.

And we had plenty of time to enjoy the cafes and beer during this trip. As the title of the post suggests, many "essentials" were left in Berlin. I wanted to post an update while on the rode, but we left our code for the internet in a safe place in Berlin... then we sat down to do some work and realized that we left the cord for the hard drive ~ in Berlin. After that, we realized that the only "essential" was more good, German beer. So, taking advantage of Germany's open container law, we picked out a selection of beer from the grocery store, sat down on a stoop in the town center::and watched the sunset over the square:: Not bad at all.

Plus we learned a valuable lesson that came in handy as we traveled back to Berlin. What do you do when the train stops in its tracks for over an hour? Find the dining car, grab a beer, and smile::

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