Monday, January 29, 2007

Germany Day 3

This day was all about Giessen. We were dropped off at the train station after breakfast so that we could change some details on our train ticket (this would become a problem later). It took a while to fix all the problems with the fact that we wanted window seats so that we could take pictures out the window. The poor woman behind the counter had to contend not only with German but listening to me speak to my friend in English. She did a great job of figuring out what we wanted.

Once we were done with that, we had some time to look around. Giessen was one of the largest depots in Germany and as such was a large target for bombing, which means that most of Giessen is rebuilt in modern style. This also means that Giessen is a pretty bland place but it did have a Christmas Market. However, first we had to get wrapping paper for the presents that we had brought with us. This meant going to the largest department store that I have seen in a long, long time. After we found the right place, my friend and I needed to find the bathroom. When we had finished and finally found my roommate again, we needed to get something from the grocery store, which was supposed to be in the basement of the building. We rode the escalators according to the signs and went in circles. It must have been amusing to watch us go around and around and around. We finally gave up and left for the only place in town that mattered at that point, the Christmas Market!

We stopped by the meat and bun place for some food before we hit the mulled wine. We ate those and I wanted to hit the wine stand but my friend forestalled me and we went to the bookstore which proved to be fascinating in its own right. My friend went off to look for Christmas presents and my flatmate had to use the toilet. I had a chance to people watch while I waited. The goth looking kid with the Icelandic flag on his backpack, which could mean any number of things, and his equally goth looking friends were amusing for a while. Poking through the books, I found that you can find the English books and the German translations side-by-side and if they are not, you can find them in the English section of the store, which is very extensive. My flatmate made it back before my friend did so we waited around for my friend who showed up sometime later.

My friend took us toward the Church steeple which is the only surviving part of that church so it looks quite out of place when we past the hot mead stand. We stopped to try this and my poor roommate loved it so much. It is like hot alcoholic honey and it took us a bit to lure her away from the stand. I think that stuff needs to be regulated in some way. It is dangerous stuff.

We saw Giessen castle, which is really more of a palace than a castle. After that we made our way back to the main area where we ran into some of my friend's friends. We talked to them for a bit then went to a cafe to wait for our ride back for dinner.

The one thing that strikes me about Giessen is the lack of history. The "historic" area of the town is one square tucked away from everything else. A common refrain is that it was once beautiful then the war came. I started feeling guilty for the destruction of previous centuries.

posted by Chris  #9:25 AM | 0 comments |