It took me a lot less time than expected to get back to Niedersachsen, but I managed it, and all thanks to my work.
My company’s headquarters is in Braunschweig (or if we’re going to properly stick to English, “Brunswick”), and I was sent there on a 3-day training course for a couple of the computer programmes we use when making our textbooks and other products. So briefly about the training itself: it was quite interesting. Some of it was a repeat of what I’ve already learnt, and other stuff was brand new, as well as going into more depth on the stuff I thought I knew completely. I went with Ylenia, a Spaniard who works in the Spanish department in Frankfurt, so it was nice to have some company at the training course. We managed to have a tour of the English department in Braunschweig and meet all of the team there – it was really interesting seeing the “other side” to the English department. The headquarters itself is absolutely humongous and Ylenia rightly said it felt like we’d come from a tiny village in the middle of nowhere!
So we arrived in Braunschweig on Tuesday evening and after checking into our hotel (which was very gemütlich) we met up with the beste Mitbewohnerin der Welt, Elsa, Chris, who was the German Society President last year at Exeter whilst I was Treasurer, and Craig, who I met on the language assistant training course as I was a former assistant helping out. It was lovely to see all three again and have a good catch up! On Wednesday, Ylenia, Chris, Craig and I went for a meal at a traditional Bavarian restaurant – I had the Leberkäse – and Thursday saw Elsa and I in Vapiano with a glass of vino (thank you again for the Einladung, Elsa!). We’d initially wanted to go to ‘Brunswick Burgers’ but it was unfortunately closed. But Vapiano didn’t disappoint, of course!
On Friday, I then travelled to Hannover, about 45 minutes away by regional train, where I met up with David who’d come up from Frankfurt to experience the amazingness of Niedersachsen’s Hauptstadt. We had quite a chilled evening of Jim Block (which I have very dearly missed), Jack The Ripper’s for a couple of ciders, and some other bars. Saturday saw us do the Roter Faden tour around the city with a break in between to meet up with Ilka and her youngest daughter, Isabelle, at the Teestübchen in the Altstadt for coffee and New York Cheesecake. We then continued our tour and met up later on with Fabi who had just on that day moved back to Hannover for his last year studying – Schicksal! We went with his dad to Bavarium, no less.
Sunday was our last day in t’North and we met up for breakfast with Ilka, Isabelle and another old colleague of mine, Angela, before heading back to Braunschweig where I had to catch my train seen as my company was paying for my tickets. It was also good for David to see more than just one city in the north, as well as for me to see everyone in Braunschweig one last time. Craig, David and I enjoyed some Eis because the weather was wonderful. We then met up with Elsa and went on a pedalo along the River Oker. Extremely tiring, but worth the nice views of Braunschweig! Elsa went to Skype with her old host family whilst we, later joined by Chris, went for a final meal in Alex near the Schloss. After a nearly 3-hour journey we were then back in Frankfurt around midnight, and I basically got home and went straight to bed, ready for an early rise on Monday for work.
So as you may tell I’m quite knackered right now to be honest! But my new game came last Monday (what a damn tease!) so I’m going to waste away the evening with that and leftover takeaway pizza from last night. I really do not envy my past student self now that I have evenings to do whatever I want with no revision stress!