Saturday, 7 September 2013

A Happy Birthday in Germany

There were so many beautiful moments in Europe, that I simply can't post them all. I know, though that beside the friends I already had there, my list has grown considerably - what a blessing!
Some friends I knew through email only and met for the first time during this trip.

Two of these friends are Lutz and Antje Beranek. If you've followed this blog for a while, you will remember I did quite a few posts on German prisoners of war here in Canada during WWII. (See German POW on the sidebar labels)

While working on this fascinating project I 'met' Lutz and Antje. Via email and Skype we became good friends. Lutz' dad was one of these POW and he fondly remembers the stories his dad shared with him about his time in Canada, which he always deemed, 'the best years of my life.' I'll try to post one of the stories he shared in a few days, if that will be OK with Lutz.

Today, I want to tell you about meeting this couple for the first time and spending a weekend with them. Right away it felt like we had known each other for a long time. Months before they had asked me when my birthday was. As it worked out, I got to celebrate it in Germany and Lutz and Antje made sure it was memorable!

Saturday, Aug. the 24th ( a few days after my birthday) I was in Hamburg with my classmates. This was a great time, for sure, but I was excited to get back to my hotel, knowing I had visitors. We came back at nine in the evening and found Lutz and Antje waiting in the lobby. Was wonderful to finally see them face-to-face! They came laden with birthday gifts; a whole package of love - chocolates, coffee, cookies, songbook, Harmony Quartet DVD... all beautifully put together in an interesting basket! Needless to say, I was overwhelmed by their kindness!










I had brought some homemade gifts for them as well. So after our gift exchanges, they graciously invited Kathy (my friend and colleague) and me to a near by restaurant for supper. We enjoyed lots of fabulous food on this trip and this meal did not disappoint either! We had spaghetti topped with meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Along with some very good German bread. Anybody who has ever been to Germany knows that nobody does bread like them! So many different types, and sooo delicious!

                                
Next day, Kathy had a visitor of her own. So, Lutz, Antje and I decided to do a leisurely walking tour of Hannover, which ended up taking most of the day. With gorgeous weather, we had a lovely time getting to know each other better and seeing beautiful places in this city. For the most part, we stayed near the Maschsee area. Beautiful!!

The Rathaus over looking the Maschsee
 
 
We rented a paddle boat and soaked up some sun on the glistening Maschsee. Had to chuckle... I was sitting in front with Lutz, but he wouldn't let me paddle, because I was a guest. So, I relaxed and took a lot of pictures for my growing collection of wonderful times in Europe.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Before heading back to my hotel we enjoyed more scrumptious German cuisine near the Maschsee. This included ice-cream, like I'd never tasted before! I can't even say exactly how it's different from ice-cream on this side of the ocean, other than it's very smooth, but less creamy and so very rich in flavour! Could it be, that they don't use artificial ingredients??
 
Vielen Dank, Lutz und Antje
fuer's wunderschoene Wochenende!


3 comments:

Paul A. B. said...

I'd say the ice cream was better, certainly because of its authenticity :) When products are made right, the quality always shows. I guess in North America we have so valued convenience, that we have accepted many compromises — even when it comes to food. This sounded like an amazing experience!

Linda Maendel said...

The entire trip was an amazing experience! And I agree with your comment. Another good example is the chocolate. After one has tasted European chocolate, ours seems somewhat waxy and not as rich and tasty. Someone needs to go over there and learn how they make chocolate...Would be a worthwhile investment, I would think. (: and sweet too.

Shelly said...

What a wonderful time! This is a birthday celebration for the ages~