Berlin to Hanover
The train from Berlin to Hanover was an uneventful one. Although, trying to navigate the huge Berlin train station was a lot of fun. I actually really like that place. It is so big with so much traffic that it needs 3 floors with trains going in all different directions. When we arrived in Hanover, we had Chris to great us. For those of you who do not know Chris, she is a distant relative of ours. When i say distant, i mean half 5th cousin once removed or something ridiculous like that. Last I was here, Tim, Joel and me all stayed with her and it was really cool. I was the first of the Aussie relatives to visit in 20 years so heaps of the family wanted to meet me and we got treated really well.
So when we arrived, Chris took us to the hostel she had organised for us in her car and then took us to her place which was only about a 15 minute walk. We were not there long before we went into the centre of Hanover to one of its long attractions for tourists and that is the Rathaus (city hall). Now despite it being one of Hanovers only attractions, i do believe it is pretty amazing. A beautiful building from the outside and incredibly interesting on the inside. On the bottom floor, they have 4 different model displays of the city. The first is in 1500 or something like that. When it was a walled city in the real old times. The next view is in 1939, just before the war began. The third view is in 1945 when 80% of Hanover was leveled by the allied bombings. Just utter destruction everywhere. Its just another way to show the hurt the war created to so many lives. And then the final display was of Hanover now. Rebuilt with many modern buildings and looking all green and etcetera.
After looking at the displays, we went up to the top of the dome of the Rathaus. From here you can get a really good view of the whole surrounding areas as it is one of the highest points. The region Hanover is in is very flat. I would say Perth is hillier. What we saw was rain. I had stared raining cats and dogs with enough wind that im surprised the whole building didnt just fall over on itself. It was not very pleasant up there so quickly took my tourist photos and bolded back down to the shelter of ‘downstairs’.
When we came out of the Rathaus, we went over to a museum which is right next door. The purpose of this was to see a mummy that they have on display. I dont think i have every seen a mummy so that was pretty exciting. But as it turns out, thats not all they had there. The museum was three floors high with displays of ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt as well as the Medieval era and all the way up to pretty much now. My favourite part of the museum was their 1920’s to 1960’s section. They had heaps of retro furniture, technology like the first cassette (i dont even know how to spell it) players, old school telephones crockery and cutlery and heaps of other things along those lines. The thing that i liked about it was that i have been to heaps of museums all over the place and I have seen all of those ancient artifacts and those medieval items but i have never been to a museum with ‘artifacts’ from such a recent time. It was just different. Loved it. I’m sure there are other ones out there like that but that was the first so its the best.
When we finished with the museum, we all went back to Chris’s. We sat in her living room/study/library and helped her make us a traditional Northern Germany styled dish. I dont think it had a name but the main components was bacon, pear, potato and beans. It was actually really delicious. Couldnt help but think she made it up as she went just trying to get rid of some leftover food but whatever, it worked for me. Hermy, who is a friend of Chris’s that i also met last time (in fact we were actually staying at her house last time), also joined us at some point. It was great because last time she couldnt speak a word of English but apparently in the last 3 years, Chris had been teaching her and now you can hold a conversation with her quite easily. She has done very well!
After we had finished dinner, we sat around and chatted for a good length of time. It was almost too long as we had been up early that morning and we were used to going to bed at 9:30ish. Eventually we tore ourselves away and walked back to the hostel for a really good sleep. Hanover seemed to be sooo much colder that Berlin so the temperature of the room was actually bearable. Most of the time we were sweltering in our rooms even with the windows agar. But as it was pretty much 0 outside, it made it all comfortable.