Marburg

Woooah, I’m halfway there-eeere…

This is number 15 in my series of 30 German towns before 30!

The River Lahn
The River Lahn in Marburg

I went to Marburg with Jan in October 2007 to visit his sister, who was studying there at the time. She was studying Art History, which already tells you something about the differences between Karlsruhe and Marburg. I’m not even sure you can study something as frivolous as art here! Karlsruhe is all about computer science and mechanical engineering!

Capital of the Federal state of Hessen from 1485 – 1500, and again between, 1567 and 1605, these days Marburg is best known for its university, which is the oldest Protestant-founded university in the world.

One of the must-see buildings in Marburg is the castle, so of course that was one of the first places we went.

At the castle
At the castle

Like all the best castles, the Marburg one is located on a hill, meaning we were able to get some excellent views of the city. The fact that it was a beautiful autumn day also helped, of course.

Marburg, viewed from the castle
Marburg, viewed from the castle

After checking out the castle, we took a walk through Marburg to the other side of the valley, where there is a tower (the Kaiser Wilhelm tower). On our way through town, we walked down some beautiful streets, such as this one:

Marburg

To get to the tower, we first had to walk up a hill through some woodland. It was a bit like being in Narnia (after the banishing of the White Witch and all her snow, obviously).

Marburg woods

Emerging from the woods, we finally found ourselves at the tower. It’s 36m high, which meant a lot of steps to climb, but the view from the top was definitely worth the effort.

The top of the tower
The top of the tower
View from the tower
View from the tower

We picked exactly the right part of autumn for our trip – while the days were still warm and the leaves hadn’t left the trees yet, but were still at that beautiful reddy-orangey stage.

Autumn trees

The next day we had breakfast at one of Marburg’s most alternative cafes – Cafe am Grün. It’s quite a studenty place – with prices to match – and the coffee literally comes in a bowl! I couldn’t actually finish mine before it went cold. We sat inside, but it does have a back garden, which is right on the River Lahn. I can imagine it would be a beautiful place to sit and enjoy a coffee or a meal in summer.

We also went to the New Botanic Gardens, which are outside of town. It seems I didn’tactually  take any photos there (at least I can’t find any). Most of the flowers were of the summer variety so there wasn’t much to see. I’m sure it would have been amazing in summer though!

Unfortunately, I had to leave later that day as I had work the next morning. Jan stayed on for a couple of days and probably managed to see a bit more than I did, but what I did manage to take in was definitely worth the trip!

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The land of blue and white porcelain

Last week we finally made it to Delft to visit a friend of mine. She’s been living there for 2 and a half years already and is planning on moving back to America (where she’s from) in the summer, so this really was our last possible chance! It was lovely to see her again, and I thoroughly enjoyed our few days there. Delft is a gorgeous town. I do like the Dutch style buildings, and of course there were canals everywhere. All this water brought with it a tonne of wildlife. Ducks, of course, but also coots, swans and even a heron that likes to hang around outside a house down my friend’s street waiting to be fed bits of fish and things. How cool is that? Other people have stray cats popping along to be fed, this house got a heron!

Heron, standing on a car waiting for his dinner

We also went to the Hague – had to be done seeing as it’s so close to Delft. The Escher museum there is fantastic and worth every single cent of the 7 Euro entry fee. For those who don’t know, Escher was a dutch graphic artist who did strange but interesting drawings, using strange perspectives and tesselation, among other things. A famous one is Air and Water, in which fish turn into birds. Fascinating stuff!

Our final trip of the visit was to Leiden, where we ate the most amazing pancakes! Huuuge things they were, with an interesting range of toppings. Jan and I had one with bacon and ginger and one with bacon, cheese and apple, which we ate half of each before swapping. Delicious! Having stuffed ourselves with pancakes, we went to work off all the calories at the windmill museum “De Valk”, meaning The Falcon. The windmill was actually working on the day we went, which my friend said she had never seen before, so that was something new for all of us (she has been in the museum several times – she used to live in Leiden – but in 2 years had never seen the blades actually turning).

De Valk windmill – now a windmill museum

We ended our visit on Friday evening by making sushi with our hosts, which Jan and I had never done before. It came out pretty well and tasted absolutely delicious! A great end to a lovely few days away.

Time flies

This shall be my last post for a few days. Not that I’m going to a place without a computer, but the chances of me being able to get my hands on that computer are pretty much zero, so no more blogging til I return at the weekend.

I’m returning to the Motherland (England) for my brother’s 18th birthday. Righteen! I can’t believe it. This is my little brother we’re talking about here. The baby I helped to bath, the toddler whose first word was my name. I remember helping him with his reading, playing schools with him, giving him piggy backs around the park. When did my baby brother get all grown up? He’s doing his A-Levels this year and will be starting uni next September. My little baby brother off to university! I know they say time flies but this has gone just a little too fast for me. I feel old now (again!).

So the next few days are going to busy, busy, busy – starting tomorrow when I’m going to have to leave work 5 minutes early to catch two trams and a bus to the airport. I feel tired just thinking about it!
And now I have to clean out the bag for my luggage (it got grape juice splled in it – don’t ask!), find clean clothes and pack them and somewhere in between that I need to find time to cook tonight’s tea and tomorrow’s lunch. If I’m lucky I might even make it to bed before midnight!

Off to Hamburgerland

Hehe. I wonder if I’ll ever get tired of the joke in the title? Probably not, for I am strange and childish.

So tonight the boyfriend and I are off to Hamburg to visit my friend Claire. We leave straight after work tonight so this will be my last blog until I come back. We are also going to see a friend of Jan’s, N, who he went to uni with. Claire has to work tomorrow night so we’ll meet up with N. then.

And now a message for the one person from my real life who actually reads my blog. She also happens to be my boyfriend’s sister and is 22 today.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear Frauke. I hope you have a wonderful day surrounded by lovely people.

(Also, I’ve just discovered that you can change the colour of the font on here and am very amused that the button you press to make that stuff appear is called “Kitchen sink”. Tee hee)