Hannover is a sleepy city in the northern central portion of Germany. It houses a large university adjacent to a sprawling park and a few sites. Hannover served as a quick stopover for us and provided time for some planning before heading farther north into Scandinavia.
The Aegidienkirche, a church, was unlike any I had seen before. The walls of the church stood steadfast, while the inside remained open to the air. The roof had been bombed during WW2 and was never rebuilt. It was beautiful to see the dark green vines reclaim the walls in a rising climb to the steeple.
One day we saw a banner advertising an International Food Festival. If it is not already obvious from past blog posts, we are foodies. We melded the festival into plans for the day and stopped in for lunch. Surprisingly, about 50-60% of the offerings were variations of hamburgers, with little exotic offering. I realize much of Germany has adopted flavors from India and “curry-izing” sausages, ketchup, and various other dishes, but I did not expect hamburgers to be the predominant theme. We settled on some Indian samosas and some Chinese styled dumplings, slightly disappointed. Houston’s cuisine spoiled us. Hannover turned out being a treat as our Airbnb had a functional kitchen (yes this is a treat for us).
The apartment was interesting and housed some eclectic decorations. Our room was filled with fan collections of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Printed photographs from the host’s travels covered the entirety of the walls. The living room held my favorite parts. An antique typewriter stood on a black walnut hutch. The windowsill held an old 1950’s radio, beside it with a rotary phone from the 1930s. Of course, I write this while listening to Frank Sinatra, my newest music obsession. Seeing such a myriad of Airbnbs in different cultures, often simply decorated, has left an impression on Hannah and I for when we resettle back in the United States.
This city was programmed in as an additional stopover before our trip to Copenhagen due to distance and logistics. Our visit started rough. The hotel we had booked was disgusting, simply put. It was old with spider webs in the corners, mold and dirt on the baseboards, hair on the sheets, dirty carpets, and severely stained chairs. Normally, we are not high maintenance travelers in any way, but this was a line in the sand we were not going to cross. I took pictures and complained to the front desk staff, who then moved us to a brand new, adjacent building with immaculate rooms.
Hamburg was a bustling port city with heavy commercial interests. The port itself exhibited large cruise ships docked in deep, dark waters. Several hundred yards away there stood shipping vessels ready to drop of imports or pick up wares for more difficult to reach Scandinavia.
We have moved quite rapidly during the trip so far, moving every 3 days on average. This becomes quite exhausting and we started to miss some of the conveniences and comforts of home. Hannah remarked that if we ever came across a movie theater in English, she did not care what movie was showing. To our delight, an old renovated theater was showing “Aladdin” in English. We grabbed tickets and enjoyed our small treat.
Germany is home to ALDI and LIDL, 2 competing discount grocery store chains. We had shopped at ALDI back in the United States often, the produce is quite affordable in relation to other chains. We intended to take an afternoon to pick up some non-perishable groceries to take to the more expensive Scandinavian countries. Much to our misfortune, the day we chose was a national holiday and almost all stores and restaurants were closed. This created an issue for us that day in that we did not have a kitchen or much food with us at the time. Thankfully, the train station vendors remained open and we did not starve. The following morning, the day of our departure, we woke up early and went to the grocery store to nab a few essentials. Waddling under the weight of the substantially heavier backpacks, we boarded the lime green Flixbus for our 5.5 hour trip to Copenhagen.