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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Niedersachsen, Germany

Jun 25, 2018 - Final good byes and home to Canada

This has been a week of many sad “good byes”. We cannot believe a year has gone by with us living this completely new life in Germany. Right now it feels like we are between two worlds: thinking about this amazing experience and thinking about resuming our lives in Pender Harbour. We keep asking ourselves if we really took full advantage of what was available to us; it feels like there is far more pressure on us living abroad than living at home vis a vis making every moment count! The year has flown by with the solitude broken by visits...

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Apr 25, 2018 - Monday in Buxtehude

Monday was a beautiful day in Buxtehude. I first came to this town in 1994 and this is my 7th visit but first without being part of the student exchange. We went to school in the morning where I met a few colleagues from previous exchanges. Melanie was a part of the 2004 exchange and Kristina was in 2013. I walked through the town and remembered previous visits. I got my lunch at the train station-a doner kebap. Then I got an ice cream. Back at school Herman and I watched the teachers play soccer at 6 PM. They play every Monday and in the...

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Trip Journal


Trip to Italy

Apr 25, 2018 - Tuesday and Wednesday

My last two days. We went to the Airbus factory then the Altes Land with a lunch by the Elbe. We finished the day Tuesday with a visit to Stade. North Germany is really a beautiful place. Today I had a last walk through Buxtehude then home to pack and get ready to leave. I never know when or even if I will return but I know I hav have friends here and many happy memories!!!

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Trip Journal


Trip to Italy

Apr 22, 2018 - Saturday and Sunday

Two very busy and enjoyable days. Saturday started with a train into Hamburg. We went to an art exhibit of Thomas Gainsborough. He was an 18th century English painter famous for landscapes. It was a very good exhibit. Then we had a special tour of the Hamburg town hall. The tour was done in PlattDeutsch which is a dialect of German. I of course do not understand but the building and rooms were beautiful. Then it was off to the soccer match. It was Hamburg v Freiburg. On the way in we ran into a student from the 1996 exchange. The match was...

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Trip Journal


Trip to Italy

Apr 5, 2018 - Viking Invasion!

What a (pleasant) shock it was to the system after weeks of being alone to have the Danes descend upon us: Nicolas, Christina and delightful Lasse (8 years) and Villum (18 months) for a few days. It goes without saying that we were terribly flattered that they borrowed a car (they depend on bicycles to get around Copenhagen), packed up children, a bicycle, a crib, a high chair, luggage and drove from Copenhagen to Hooksiel to see us old folks! Naturally, they ran into the age old problems with roadworks on the the autobahns so they suffered...

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Mar 31, 2018 - Visit from the kids and Amsterdam

The great adventure is over for the young Picketts clan (Dean, Ashley and Jessica) – two weeks of non stop sightseeing, eating unusual food, history lessons, bike riding and introduction to the nuances of living in other countries (not to overlook the language challenges!) They started in London (where poor Ashley nearly missed the entire episode, arriving on the plane with a violent stomach flu), then on to Amsterdam by train where we were there to greet them. We had driven from Hooksiel to Amsterdam the day before to get settled into the...

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Mar 16, 2018 - Exploring more of Niedersachen

We thought Spring had sprung in Northern Germany when we went from sub zero weather (but sunshine!) to 15C almost overnight. Out came the bikes and off came the toques, gloves and scarves. That did not last long as Northern Europe is being hit with yellow snow warning (and we all know about yellow snow…) as another “beast from the east” is descending on us. This is bad news as the grandkids, and their father, are making their first trip to Europe this week. More on that with the next posting. The weather in our area has been absolutely...

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Jan 6, 2018 - Exploring the area around home

After the trip to Dresden, we knew we would be home in Hooksiel for a month before we leave for our trip to Madeira. Being “home” does not necessarily mean hanging around the house waiting for something exciting to happen. We are in Germany, for Pete’s sake – all of it is new and exciting, even on dark, windy days. More markets -We found yet another Christmas market (there appears to be one in nearly every town, varying in size depending on the size of the town); this one was at Schloss Lütetsburg that is about 1.5 hours from here, at the...

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Dec 31, 2017 - Christmas & New Years in Germany

Christmas started for us battling the crowds to get groceries for the long holiday over Christmas; as I said in my previous posting, Germans respect family time and Christmas is no exception. The grocery stores were closed Christmas Eve (Sunday, a usual closing day), Christmas Day and Boxing Day. And we have no 7-11 to pop into if we are out of butter or milk. The ladies warned us that Germans shop for Christmas like there is a famine coming so we were prepared; the weekly outdoor market was a bit hectic as you have to have the moxie to...

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Dec 13, 2017 - More differences between Germany and home

Opening hours: Being great supporters of the rights of workers and recognizing family time, we are impressed that this progressive, industrial nation still adheres to the old fashioned opening times: Sunday is definitely a day of rest (from noise, shopping, etc.) so most grocery stores are closed; most shops still close for two hours over lunch every day; some stay closed Mondays, or Wednesdays, and on Saturdays, many close at noon. Makes for a happy society – but frustrating for Canadians who are used to the 24/7 shopping culture!! We have...

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Dec 13, 2017 - Train travel: Hamburg or Mumbai?

We took the train from Bremen to Dresden, via Hamburg – about 4-5 hours. We had a compartment nearly to ourselves and the trip went smoothly and efficiently so we were feeling wonderful when we arrived to meet George and Pia, our friends from Earl’s Cove. However, the return trip was a nightmare from start to finish! It was cold in Dresden, and windy. The platforms are open to the weather so you do not want to be standing there for any period of time. We found out our train from Dresden was delayed (verspätet– you get to hate seeing the...

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Dec 13, 2017 - Christmas season in Germany

Someone suggested that Christmas started in Germany. We have no idea whether this is true or not but it is certainly celebrated in a beautiful way. Missing are the bright, coloured lights, blow up Santas and snowmen, and American Christmas carols starting in November. Few houses display outdoor lights, and if there are any, they are all white. Christmas is a time of Advent and organ concerts in the churches, choirs singing everywhere, Christmas markets in most towns One of the Christmas markets was held at our local “castle” at Gödens. We...

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