For those of you who haven't met Giulia, she is a good friend I've known since our family lived in Belgium in 1996-1997. She lives in L.A. now but was home to Belgium for the holidays to see her family, and came over for a few days.
Brian was in Oslo all weekend for a baseball clinic. Oslo sounds like a magical city where everyone skis, people are beautiful, and you get free ice water at restaurants. Even though Hannover may be, as Brian said last night, "the most boring place in Europe," we managed to have a really good time. I used Giulia as an excuse to do the touristy things I hadn't yet done in Hannover, and to practice being a tour guide for future visitors. The sun was shining all weekend, which hasn't happened since probably October. We did the 'red thread' walking tour of the city. If you follow the red line painted on the sidewalk around town, it leads you to all the historical/cultural/notable places. I figured out that part of the wall in the school where my German classes are held is a tower from the 1400s that was part of the old city wall. We checked out the Opera House and the Rathaus and the oldest house in Hannover. We saw a lot of bad post-war architecture. Giulia almost got hit by a bus but learned that when the light says 'don't walk' here, they really mean it.
|At the Opera House|
|The river Leine|
On Sunday we hosted a birthday brunch for my friend Kaska, and Giulia got to meet the Hausfrauen Klub. As you may recall, this is the group of friends that I hang out with here who are are recent arrivals. True to German tradition, we had a Sekt Frustuck, which is a brunch with a lot of prosecco. We concocted plans for the TV series about our lives in Germany, which Giulia has volunteered to produce. I told her there's plenty of material in this blog, as long as we make the plot a little more dramatic and make the actors a little more glamorous, it will be a hit! (I don't think the molasses episode will make the cut).
|Kaska, me, Renee, and Serena|
There is something validating about an old friend visiting me here. It seems less like I am living in a parallel universe and more like this is a real place and a real lifestyle that someone from my previous world has witnessed. We also did enough chatting to get me through at least a week. So now she will return to Belgium and a few days later to California where it is much warmer and the people look more like the actors in our TV series should. Thankfully, Giulia did not get hit by a bus and will be leaving Germany in one piece.