Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 9-11: Karlsruhe is as great as it ever was and arrival in Berlin

What is the best way to start your first day of a new year?

Right. Eat. Even though last night you said you were so stuffed that you would never eat even a single crumble ever again. But the next morning you longingly think of food again. Happens every year and yet it takes you by surprise every time.

My friends kindly took me out for New Year’s Day lunch in a lovely family-owned restaurant 40-50km out of town and the good was delicious. The view on the mountains was mesmerizing and it was nice to see people waking up and slowly flocking to the restaurant to have a bite or two. I’m pretty sure they were all thinking the same thing about never eating again the previous night as well.

The same night I felt like going out to see a movie and although I was not alone in this desire (as the movie theater was full), there was literally not a soul on the streets, I understand January 1 is mostly dedicated to hangover and chilling later on. I saw Tykwer’s Drei at my favorite movie theater. It was a good movie, although I imagine it could still be considered shocking by some people? I mean I definitely wouldn’t be surprised to hear that. At the same time, the audience was quite interesting: older ladies, middle age couples, teenagers and twenty-somethings and yet no one gasped or giggled at quite explicit portrayal of gay sex and the like. It’s a positive change from what I’m accustomed to in Russia. Also, I appreciate the silence during the movie. But was amused to find out that somebody people bring in homemade sandwiches and snacks.

The following day I saw my friends (who were my Gastfamilie twice in Karlsruhe/Waldbronn before, in 2005 and 2007), two amazing people with who I always find a topic to converse about. We first spent some time in their cozy home and then went out for some Italian delight. I introduced them both to the CouchSurfing and I think they might try it at some point, as they are quite interested in cultural exchange and travel, especially one who devotes some of his time to developing relations between Germany and Russia (and a whole lot of other countries). Was fantastic to see them again and it definitely wasn’t the last time.

January 2 marked my first visit to a zoo in my life. It wasn’t the best date as obviously some of the animals don’t find cold weather as fascinating (even the polar bear! who I would’ve gladly taken a peek at), but nevertheless it was a nice stroll around with my friend. I later walked around a bit on my own, Karlsruhe stills charms it, I must say. It now seems a bit smaller than I originally thought, but still it’s a place from where I have some very fond memories. Dear to me are also the people are met there, the former Gastfamilie I just mentioned as well as my friend from school and her husband who were thoroughly welcoming and made my third stay in Karlsruhe great.

Therefore I was sad to leave yet again, but the thought of coming back makes me all warm inside, so it’s definitely a done deal. Also Karlsruhe seems to have more bakeries than any other place I’ve been to so far (I’m just saying that so people get motivated to come here as German bread is the best you’ll find).

Next on:

A Deutsche Bahn adventure that was a bit of a hassle… although it all didn’t matter very soon because… BERLIN!


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