January 3rd, 2011! (pt. 2)

Okay for some reason it wouldn’t let me post more pictures, but anyways!

Outside of the cathedral there was these cute lion benches lined around the church.

Above is the other side of the church. It has a sundial, but we were wondering, how does a sundial work during the winter without sun? Hmm…


The next pictures are various city pictures…


Here is another church that was only a few blocks away… 

I liked this sculpture because it had a bunch of cats on it! I wish I knew what it meant…

This is, as we call it “the crazy house”. An artist designed this house and I’m not sure what it is now, I’m guessing some kind of business is inside.

Here is another church, but it got to late and we couldn’t go inside. (We were also expecting people over at Nele’s house so we didn’t have much time.)

We headed back into the mall to get something to eat, and we decided to get some Chinese food, or as they call it, China food. Hehehe. It was so strange hearing Asian people speaking German there, and coming from California, or more specific, Northern California, I am well aware what kind of Chinese food there is, but the Chinese food we ate was not the food I’m use to… It was noodles, but not quite chow mein. Hmm… 
So after we ate, we headed back home because some friends were coming over for a movie party. But first we went to the local grocery store (Called ‘Ja!’) to get some snacks. 

So, If you would like to get a cart, you have to put in a euro to unlock a cart and once you are done shopping you can lock the cart back and get your 1 euro back. BUT. We didn’t have a euro, so we only had a 50 cents coin, so we had to use the kiddie cart. ;)

For all you NorCal people, I know you will love this drink called ‘hella’!! For those who don’t know—

Hella — noun/verb/adverb 
Originated from the streets of San Francisco in the Hunters Point neighborhood. It is commonly used in place of “really” or “very” when describing something.

After our shopping adventure, we went back home and watched the movie Get Him to the Greek. It’s an American comedy about a talent scout leaves to escort a British washed-up rockstar to the Greek Theater in LA. I personally didn’t like it so much, but it was nice to laugh and have a good time with Nele’s friends. We went to bed a bit late, but stay tuned… the next day our trip to Berlin starts!!! 

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January 3rd, 2011!

On this wonderful winter day, we decided to go into Braunschweig! Braunschweig is about 15 minutes away form Nele’s house, so we took the car and went on our way~

 


We parked above/behind this building. (above) This building was an old castle, but was bombed during the war. After the war, they weren’t sure what to do with it, because some of the original bricks were still there, and some of them were destroyed, so they decided to make it into a shopping mall.

So do you remember the story about Henry the Lion? Well I don’t, but I guess this building above is where all his treasures are saved in. We didn’t go in because it was closed and like, 10 Euro to get in. :|

So next to Henry the Lion’s treasure cove was the Brunswick Cathedral! So big and beautiful! Now for inside the church…

Above is a tomb of an old king and queen (Otto the IV and Beatrix) I guess they’ve been in there for a long time….

Look at this beautiful ceiling! 

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I love Volkswagens, so I wanted to take almost every car home with me! ;)

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January 2, 2011!

Still tired from the night before, we got ready for our trip to the Autostadt! For those who don’t know what the Autostadt is, it is a tourist attraction next to the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg.


Part of the museum. ^


These large cylinders is actually a parking garage for new cars just made in the Volkswagen factory. The owner of VW wanted to make the moment special for the one buying their new car, so, when you buy a new VW, either online or at the factory, the owner allows you to come to the Autostadt and pick up your new car from this garage and drive home! How cool is that?

They have a large museum full of old cars (above), most of them Volkswagen, but also had the other cars the make— Bentleys, Audis and Lamborghini. They also have houses dedicated to each of the type of cars they make. The Lamborghini was placed on the side of the wall and would flip inside and out.

Obviously not my picture, but this is what it looked like! The other ones for Audi, VW Bentley, etc wasn’t too exciting.


My new car! (I wish!) I took many pictures of cars from the museum and I will post a separate post of the cars I saw.

Mobile from the inside of the museum! It was car parts cut out of paper. Hmmm my arts and craft senses are tingling… 
We toured around all day in the museum and the park till dark (around 4/5 pm) and then had coffee with Nele’s mother and her aunt. Afterwards we went back outside to enjoy the scenery. 


These are the chimneys from the VW factory and are lit up as advent candles! (So cleaver!)


Sorry for the picture not being that clear, but you can kinda see how the trees are lit up and the bright light in the middle is actually a garbage can looking thing that is made into a fire pit. I don’t think they are burning garbage due to Germany is super ecofriendly about everything…

This is the inside of the Volkswagen GroupForum, which is the Plaza of the Autostadt. My camera doesn’t take very good night shots, but on the floor are globes that are decorated differently and lit up under glass. On the left there is a buffet place that Nele said it was “the best breakfast buffet in the world”. We went in their earlier to get a coffee with her mother and aunt and judging from what I saw, I believe her!

We left a little after 6 (I think?) to go have dinner at Nele’s grandmother’s house (not the one we met the day before) in Dibbesdorf, the next town over. We had a traditional dinner of red cabbage, potato dumplings, and this, oh, my, gosh, this amazing wurst thing, it wasn’t a sausage but it was along those lines maybe, but oh my gooosh it was to die for! (So good that Connor had a dream about it, twice!) But that was another thing I learned that was international— Grandmas making delicious food!! Her grandmother didn’t speak english, so Nele and her mother had to translate for us, but towards the end of the dinner, it was weird, but we both felt like we knew what each other were talking about… strange isn’t it? We talked about religion and politics, usual not very, er, safe(?) dinner topics, but it was nice because we all agreed on everything. :) After some dessert, we said our good byes and headed home. Her grandma also packed us food and cookies for lunch the next day— I guess grandmas and their love and willingness to give food away is international too. :)

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New Years Eve in Schöppenstedt, Germany

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December 31th 2010 / January 1st 2011 !

We woke up the next morning around noon or so and ate breakfast with Nele’s mother and brother. Her father was off on a vacation with some friends and he wasn’t to return till Wednesday. Nele thought it would be a good idea to show her around her town of Wolfenbüttel! 

Off to start our adventure!! It was around freezing point, but I wore a sweater, a thermal shirt, leggings, jeans, snow/rain boots and a down coat with a scarf and I felt perfectly warm. :)  
The next pictures will be various pictures from our walk—


River that runs through her town.

This is an old water tower, but no longer is used as one. Next to it (and under) was the building to go along with it, but is now someone’s house.

Fancy house (next to water tower)


This is duck lake, Nele said during the summer all the ducks are in the water and live in that little house in the middle.


Now we venture into more of the town of Wolfenbüttel!  
 

Cute isn’t it? It was New Years Eve and all the shops close around 2 pm, so the streets were very quiet. Then Nele took us to her school!
 

It’s a castle!! Her school is a 5th grade to 13th grade, so it’s really big!

Here is the inside~


The dark blue building is the town hall. A few days before we came they had their annual Christmas Market and the whole town square is decorated and people have hot wine and eat sweets. I wish I could have seen it! 


We stopped by a few churches, I tried posting the pictures of a few, but the pictures were just dreadful. (but don’t worry, I have many more pictures of churches in other cities.) I this this is a Protestant church. 


Another picture of the church.

So after our little walk around town, which, did I mention the biggest export out of Wolfenbüttel is? Jagermeister! I thought that was kinda funny… Anyways! We made our way home and ate a big lunch (because that’s what they do there, have small breakfast and dinner and a big lunch.) and we took naps and got ready to go the New Years Party at Nele’s friend Sarah’s house in Schöppenstedt, about 10-15 minutes away. We first went to Nele’s boyfriend Benni’s house to drop off our things because we knew that it would be a late night and we were going to spend the night there. Benni’s father gave us a ride to Sarah’s, which was surprising only a few blocks away or so. We met Sarah, and Nele’s other friends Laura, Antonia, Poppe, Mike, and various other people. For dinner we had a German New Years Eve traditional dinner of Raclette.

I didn’t have my camera at the time so I couldn’t take pictures, but this is along the lines of what it looks like. We would put a piece of bread in the bottom trays and put toppings of cheese and tomato sauce with various other things to put on top. It reminded me of pizza fondue. We ate and ate and ate and listened to music until it was almost midnight, so we went upstairs to Sarah’s grandmother’s living room (it was a three story house, parents house was top floor, grandma’s was second floor and basement/bar was downstairs.) It was so strange to watch New Years Eve on tv and not seeing New York City and watching the ball drop! This one took place at the Brandenburg Gate! We had champagne and everyone sang me Happy Birthday (in english) right after midnight! After that we grabbed our fireworks and ran down the the down square to fire them off! And when I mean fireworks, I mean rockets! The totally illegal ones that we cannot have in California!


Connor and Antonia (Otto) with some of the rockets!

Nele, Sarah and I with some rockets! Too bad I couldn’t have brought some of these home!! ;) 


Connor lighting off some fireworks!
The scene was amazing!! The church’s bells were ringing over about an hour or so and fireworks were whizzing everywhere and people were yelling “Prosit Neujahr!!”, it was great! After lighting off half our fireworks, we headed to a park to to see all the fireworks from afar and light off some more off the play structure. After setting off everything, we, as in the group of 12 or so from Sarah’s party, headed to Benni’s house, which was a few blocks away for some sparkling wine! We trekked through the snow and had some wine with is father and then, his dad said he had a birthday present for me. His english wasn’t that good, so he made Nele translate for him.
(Side note- everyone in Germany speaks English, or enough to get by. They all start in 4th grade(?) and take it into high school. Nele is in an advanced English class and Connor and I both think her English is amazing. A few of her friends are in the advanced class too, but Nele has the advantage because of staying a year in the US. Everyone else speaks English, but being from Germany, they all speak German to each other.)
Benni’s father gave me a present, the first was a box of nice German chocolate (mmmm!) and the other was a Happy Birthday card in German, but on the inside he put coins from Germany before the Euro and also put Euro coins inside too! It was so sweet of him!
After some wine and snacks, we headed back to Sarah’s for a bit. Well, I thought it was going to be a bit, but we stayed till, get ready for it, 6 AM. I know, I know, that was way too late, er, early, but come on, it was the day after Connor and I got there and it wasn’t even 9 PM California time anyways. :P  We chatted about boys and school and teachers and boys and the first thing I learned that was international was gossip and boy problems. ;) After the party closed down, we walked to Benni’s house to sleep over. I slept like a baby! I was soooo tired and we slept in till 12:30 PM! Not that much sleep, but I woke up, forgetting what day it was, and I felt like Harry Potter in the first book when he forgets its birthday. The only problem, Hagrid didn’t bust through the door to tell me I was going to Hogwarts. ( cries )

That morning we had breakfast with Benni and then made our way back to Nele’s house to get ready for going to her cousin’s house, because it was her birthday too! When we got home, Nele’s mother had a cake and presents waiting for me in the living room. :)
 
(blurry shot, sorry!) I received chocolate, a book about the town Braunschweig, which was about 15 minutes away or so, and some nice soap! After my cake, we left to go to her cousin’s house which was in the same town as Nele. All three of us were exhausted so we didn’t say much during our coffee and cake, but her aunt gave me a birthday present of German gummy bears and a nifty pocket flashlight! (Which is very useful.) We came home and ate some light dinner with her family again and went to bed. Very nice birthday I might say. :)

xoxo

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December 30th 2010

The day I left! Mom, Dad, and I drove to pick up Connor and his mom and we left for the airport. Everything went smoothly and even though we couldn’t get seats together, Connor got to sit in front of me both times. (If you are wondering, we took Swiss Air.) Those who know me, you know I love to talk, so I was sooo excited to meet my seat partner. Waiting patently while watching the passengers get on the plane, a girl around my age or older sat next to me. She got the window seat and I had the aisle. After having light small talk, sadly, she was not that exciting and wasn’t in the mood to talk for the next 14 hours together. The plane took off and I browsed the movie selection. After watching an episode of Modern Family and half of Eat, Pray, Love, we were served our dinner!

Yummy eh? I was surprised how nice it was and actually filled me up! I finished Eat, Pray, Love and a word of advice, don’t see it, the plot was trying to be cute and the scenery was nice, but overall the movie was just boring and didn’t make any sense. 

After the movie they turned off the lights of the plane so I took that time to attempt to sleep, but you all know how easy it is to sleep on planes right? I’m not sure when, but when we were around 3 hours till our destination, they served us breakfast! 

Mmmmm! Another tasty meal from Swiss Air! I waited impatiently for the three hours to pass by and finally landed in Zurich (Switzerland)! Connor and I got through the passport area just fine and went straight to our other flight to Hannover, Germany. This plane was extremely smaller and the plane ride was only an hour or so. Not realizing how tired I was, I guess the second I closed my eyes, I was passed out and was woken up by the flight attendant asking me if I wanted anything to drink…

Finally we landed in Hannover airport around 8 pm(?) with Nele and her mother waiting for us at the door with a rose and a plethora of German chocolate! Nele’s town, Wolfenbüttel, is an hour away from the airport, so we made our way home. I was utterly exhausted and poor Connor wasn’t feeling very well on the way home, so we made a few stops on the way home so we could take a breather. He was okay, just after 14 hours of planes and airports and new surroundings and recycled air can really throw your body out of whack ya know?

We arrived at Nele’s house around 9:30 and settled in. Connor went straight to bed and I stayed up to have some dinner. We ate a light dinner, bread with cheese and meat. Afterwards, Nele and I got settled in her room— she has a fold out bed, about a size of a king, so I had one mattress  and she had another. We both weren’t that tired (I don’t know how I wasn’t tired after all those hours!) so we watched her favorite film, Keinohrhasen, or in English, Rabbit Without Ears. It was a romantic comedy about a pop-culture news reporter who was sentenced 300 hours of community service to work at a daycare, ran by the woman he use to pick on as a child. We watched it in German, and I had English subtitles, but I loved it and I wish it was played in America! We turned off the movie once it ended and like girls, we gossiped a little before bed. 

xoxo

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Hello Everyone!

Sorry I was unable to post pictures and stories during my trip, but I will be writing all about it probably tomorrow or the day after… so stay tuned!! Thank you for all the birthday messages too!
xoxo

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January 1st 2011 !!!

Hello everyone!! Sorry I haven’t been able to update on my trip— the internet at Nele’s house is set up differently so I can only use her computer. A quick update on everything (lenglthy details later)

Our flight went well, even though Connor and I agree 14 hours on planes is too much. We arived in the evening and ate and went straight to bed.
On New Years Eve we toured around Nele’s town and went to her friend Sarah’s house for dinner and fireworks! They get to use the BIG rockets here that we WISH we can use in California! We celebrated the new years till morning and then slept over Nele’s boyfriend’s house. His name is Benni. This morning, well, heh, we woke up in the afternoon, but it was still early for Connor and I, but we ate breakfast and came home to a cake and presents for my birthday. How sweet! Right now I’m waiting for the shower and we are going to go to Nele’s cousin’s house for lunch.

Once I get my computer I will go into longer detail.

Happy 2011 and happy birthday to me!
xoxo

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December 29th 2010

Today is the day! 

It’s around 2:30 pm right now, and I’m franticly packing and checking I have everything and checking again, and then getting distracted, and then trying to pack… it’s a never ending cycle!! Our flight isn’t till 7:30 pm, but we are going to leave at 5 or so to make sure we have enough time to get settled and things. 

I am also making sure to bring some essential American teenager things over for Nele and her friends! 

Okay, maybe it’s not that essential, but they’re from America and thats what matters. 
So, I’m bring Jiffy peanut butter—  An American favorite (even though I prefer the Trader Joe’s kind.)  Goldfish— the snack that smiles back from every American teenager’s childhood. Candy!! (Who doesn’t love candy?!) and the famous Kraft Mac&Cheese (mmmmm oh the memories~) !!

That’s about it! Germany here I come!! 

xoxo

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10 plays

Send Me On My Way by Rusted Root

Perfect traveling song in my opinion. :]

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Hello Everyone!

December 27th, 2010

This is my blog to keep all y’all updated on my trip to Germany!
I’ll post pictures and write about my day and occasionally post music, because sometimes music speaks better than words ;) . I don’t want to be living on the internet while I’m there, so I’ll try to update once a day or something, but I’ll update as much as I can. 

If you want to leave me a message of bon voyage, er, sicheres reisen as the Germans say, or just any advice or anything you like, on the left there is a button that says ‘Ask!’ and I can get your message that way. 

To get you all caught up, I am going to Hannover, which is in northern Germany with my friend Connor to visit my friend Nele. Connor and I have been friends since we don’t remember when, but we’re guessing Kindergarden. When Connor and I were Juniors in high school, two exchange students came to our school that we became very close friends with— Nele, from Germany and Thalita from Brazil. Sooooo Connor and I are visiting Nele for two weeks this winter break from December 29th to January 10th !!! Exciting isn’t it? 

Soo.
Here is the first picture! Me trying to pack… EEEK! 
 

It’s gonna be super cold! Hope and pray I don’t freeze to death!

xoxo

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