Yesterday afternoon Jan and I decided that, for once, we wanted to do something with our weekend, so we (or rather he) booked a car from Stadtmobil and headed off to Mannheim.
On the way into town we spotted a planetarium. Neither of us had been to one for years so we parked the car and went into enquire. It turned out the next show was due to start an hour later, at 6pm. We figured we might as well go for it so we bought the tickets. With only and hour to wait there was no point in heading into the town centre, so instead we went to Luisenpark, which was just across the road. It cost 5 euros to get in, which seemed a bit much to go into a park, so at first we weren’t going to bother, but there didn’t seem to be anything else in the area so we thought why not. So in we went and, as it turned out, the 5 euros was actually well worth it. It seems Luisenpark is not, in fact, just a park, but contains, among other things, a Chinese garden, an open air stage and a model farm. An hour was nowhere near enough to see everything, but we did go into the Pflanzenschauhaus, which literally means plant exhibition house. It’s basically a giant greenhouse divided into various rooms, including an aquarium, a butterfly house, a section for reptiles and, of course, lots and lots of plants. We saw an otter, a banana tree, a coffee plant and – my favourite part – giant tortoises! We couldn’t find the tortoises when we were at Karlsruhe zoo the other week so I was pleased to finally see some in Mannheim.
By the time we made it out of the huge greenhouse our hour was almost up and we had to rush back to the planetarium where we saw a show about the race to get to the moon. It was quite interesting, but Jan and I agreed that planetariums seemed so much more impressive when we were little.
After the show we were hungry, so off we went into town for some food. I had gnocchi which were basically swimming in a garlicy-oil. Delicous!
After dinner I showed Jan the building where I will soon be working then we went for a look around. We discovered a real English tea shop that looked so inviting that we just had to go in. We both treated ourselves to a small cream tea, consisting of a pot of tea each and a freshly baked scone with real clotted cream and homemade jam. Mmmm.
It was a lovely afternoon and the perfect way to spend my last Saturday as a 25 year old.