I’ll explain the title later, but if you know anything about UNC Charlotte, you know already that any kind of duck, goose, or swan, while they may be pretty, have the souls of a demon and a hunger for nothing less than living human flesh.
But lets start at the beginning!
This past week was spent exploring Hamburg, walking enough to justify eating all of the spaghetti eis this city had to offer, and canoeing around the Alster. The Alster is the port in and surrounding the city that is beautiful and filled with an array of sail boats when the weather is nice. Luckily, this week was filled with beautifully sunny and 70 degree weather, so I got to spend a lot of time exploring.
Of course, the first thing I did was buy the first of many “spaghetti eis”, which is ice cream that they run through a pasta maker to look like spaghetti, and top it with strawberry syrup to mimic the marinara, and white chocolate shavings to mimic parmesan. Be jealous.
This was the start of our journey,
Out of all the sites we went to, my favorite by far was the St. Michael. A huge church in Hamburg that you can walk up to the top of the Church’s Bell Tower, which gives you the most breath-taking view of the city as a whole.
We also got lucky enough to walk right up to the bells at exactly 18:00, which let us see the bells activate and proceed to burst both eardrums from the volume inside the tower. (You don’t have to watch the whole video, cause ultimately its just loud bells for almost 2 minutes, but I thought the experience was cool).
Inside the church was absolutely stunning. I am by no means a religious person, in fact my spirituality acknowledges the harm that religion causes, but I would definitely love to attend a service inside of this church, if not just to see the inside come to life with people.
After touring the city, Thomas had to go grocery shopping and I tagged a long. If there is one thing I have slowly grown to hate in Deutschland, it is the experience of grocery shopping. It is one of the most stressful things you can think of, especially if you don’t speak the language fluently yet. Unlike in the States, your groceries are not bagged for you, in fact, bags are not even provided. Instead, you’re expected to bring bags with you or buy some at the register. As the cashier is ringing you out, he will proceed to throw every one of your items to you after scanning them. If you fail to grab the items and put them back into your cart efficiently enough, you will slowly collect a pile of groceries at the end of the line, and all the customers behind you will give you the worst look ever, as if you are the one being rude. Then, after you’ve collected your groceries you have to bring them over to what can only be described as a baby diaper changing counter and bag them yourself. Forget about separating your meat and putting your bread and eggs by themselves though, it all goes together since you didn’t judge how many bags you needed correctly and have to shove 5 bags worth of groceries in 3.
After that, we calmed my nerves with sushi, wine, and some German movies.
The next day Goethe (the institute I am studying at) brought us all out onto the Alster to ride canoes and have a picnic at one of the parks. It was a beautiful day with perfect weather, and the sites were immaculate. I was amazed at how nature was still so well preserved inside of the second largest city in Deutschland.
Below was all of my canoe mates (sorry your heads cut off Sibei):
About half way through our journey we met this little guy-
Somehow, our canoe drifted right up to the side of this little devil. Unfortunately, one of the girls in our canoe have never experienced the pent-up rage that lives within swans, and, despite me yelling bloody murder to her, attempted to pet it. It proceeded to freak out, try to attack her, and in the processes, nearly capsize our canoe. Swan stew was sounding delicious for the entire rest of the ride.
We finally made it to the park where we stopped and had a little picnic before heading back.
After the canoe trip we walked back to the institute. It was a long walk, but I have started to really enjoy walking around Hamburg on nice days so I didn’t mind.
On the walk home, I found a couple “Stolperstein” or “stumbling stones” in the sidewalks of Hamburg. These gold stones are a way to publicize the loss of life of German Jews during the holocaust. Each stone is placed in front of the house where a Jewish person lived before they were taken by the Nazi party and eventually died in, or on the way to, one of the concentration camps. Although the evil that was done by the then leaders of Germany was awful, seeing how the modern day residents of Germany publicly acknowledge the mistakes of their forefathers, and even pay such a respect to those who were senselessly killed by them is a beautiful gesture.
So for the rest of the blog posts I will try to post all of the Stolperstein that I come across while here at the end of the post.
Heres what I have found so far,
Julia Schwarzwal & Eugen Gowa,