10 August, 2016

A Day Trip to Braunschweig, Germany


Today I have another travel post for you! Since I've been a bit off my blogging game recently, this post is coming to you a bit late, but I hope the fact that this trip happened almost a month ago won't be too much of a problem ;)

On the day in question I met up with my friend Kim and her sister Maya for a fun day in their home city of Braunschweig. Braunschweig, also called Brunswick in English, is a city of 250,000 people and is about a 30 minute train ride east of Hildesheim. Despite having lived so close to Braunschweig for almost a year and a half, I had never been there before, a fact that simply had to be remedied.

When we were making our plans for the day Maya had the great idea of going canoeing along the Oker River which runs through the city, so that's how we started off. We rented a canoe for an hour and spent our time paddling up and down and taking in the parks and beautiful buildings that lined the river. We even saw a bunch of ducks, which made me very happy. (In the past few years I've developed an almost obsessive fondness for ducks, don't ask me why.) Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures because I didn't want to drop my phone in the river, but luckily Kim took some, one of which you can enjoy below.


After our canoeing adventure we were getting hungry, so in true German style we went for some early afternoon cake. The bakery we went to is called Cafe Haertle and it was stunning! I've never seen so many cakes in one place in my entire life! Unfortunately, as I was taking pictures of the sheer amazing volume and selection of delicious-looking cakes the woman behind the counter told me they don't allow pictures, so the few pictures I got I won't post here. Just believe me when I say that the number of cakes was truly awe-inspiring. To give you an idea of what kind of cakes there were, here is a picture of the three different types of cake that Kim, Maya and I ordered.

From left to right: My creme brulee cake, Maya's chocolate and wild berry cake, and Kim's raspberry cream cake.
After finishing our cake we walked around and explored the city. Here's some of what we saw.

This, if you can believe it, is a shopping mall. Very classy, Germany!
And then we went from classy to just plain out-of-place. This artistic building/eyesore (depending on how you want to look at it) seems to have been plopped right in the middle of some normal looking buildings and clashes spectacularly with its surroundings.


But don't worry, the next pictures are nicer and much more traditionally German (which, as anyone who has read this blog before will know, I absolutely love).






These buildings are not as recognizably German but they are still pretty :) 

And back to tradition German.


The following few pictures are my favorites that I took that day. They were taken from the a plaza known as the Burgplatz, next to the St. Blasii Cathedral. In a stroke of incompetence I managed not to get a picture of the cathedral itself, but I honestly think the other buildings around the square are nicer.

I love these archways with the adorable little passageway above them.




This picture shows the back of the cathedral (left) from the other side of the archways.
The following two pictures are of the Braunschweig Standesamt, which I still have yet to find a completely satisfactory English translation for. The closest I've found is Bureau of Vital Statistics, but since I don't have a clear idea of what that sort of office does I'm not sure that that's exactly right. The Standesamt is basically the office where you go to get married and which issues birth and death certificates. This one is the nicest Standesamt I've seen in Germany, and it looks like a gorgeous place to have a wedding.



After our wandering we had an early dinner at Vapiano, which since it's a chain was not super exciting to photograph, but I took a picture anyway.


The rest of the afternoon was spent chatting and wandering around the mall, and then it was time to head home. Before coming to Braunschweig I had no idea what to expect of it, and I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised. There were way more beautiful streets and buildings to see than I expected, and after living in Hildesheim it was nice to visit a slightly bigger city in the area, or at least one that actually felt like a city. Hildesheim feels so sleepy for a city of 100,000, and in contrast Braunschweig felt like just the right size with just the right amount of activity. Since it's so close to Hildesheim and it's free for me to take the train there, I hope to visit again soon.

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