Preparing for another busy weekend

The other week when Jan and I were in Mannheim we saw a poster (in the window of the tea shop we went in) advertising an English picnic in Ludwigshafen. It’s a cultural event apparantly, organised by Initiative Buchkultur, an organisation whose aim seems to be to promote the publiscation of “nice, good and well-made books” (sorry, I’m translating from the German here) because there are too many “cheap” books (in terms of both content and the way they are made), bad translations and books that haven’t been properly proofread. Fair enough.

So the picnic is taking place this Sunday. There are various different activities taking place… croquet, some performance by a Sherlock Holmes club, English folk music and more. Jan is mostly interested in the English beer tasting session at 2pm; I like the sound of the cream tea at 5. And, one of the items on my 101 Things list is “have a picnic in a town I’ve never been to before”. I’ve never been to Ludwigshafen before (even though it’s only 55 minutes away by slow train!) so that will be another item to cross off my list. Excellent!
That is, of course, providing we actually make it to Ludwigshafen…

I’m having a party tomorrow night, partly as a belated birthday celebration and partly because I’ve been promising to host a flat-warming party for months. So, two birds with one stone and all that…
I’ve asked people to come early (7pm… that is early for a German party!) in the hope that the party will also finish early (around 2am instead of after the sun comes up would be nice…) but we shall see what happens.

Yes, another busy weekend ahead, and today is preparation day. I have been shopping twice… but still don’t actually have everything because I’m running out of money! The living room is swept and the kitchen has been mopped. So now I just need to finish tidying the bedroom (aargh, where am I going to put everything?!), do the dishes (ugh, just kill me now…) and make cheese scones for the picnic. Tomorrow I have to make chilli, nachos and chocolate fudge cake for the party so there won’t be time to make picnic food as well. Urgh, sooo much to do, and seeing it written down like this makes it seem like even more. I guess I’d better get on with it then…

Mannheim

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.

Giant tortoise
Giant tortoise

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.

In The Tea Salon
In The Tea Salon

It was a lovely afternoon and the perfect way to spend my last Saturday as a 25 year old.