Friday, November 28, 2008

A Low Country Blog

Since I have started my Educational Technology Ed.S. degree, I have been reading a lot of blogs. For me it seems to be one of the best sources of information on what is going on with technology and the classroom and gives me countless ideas and resources for that day when I FINALLY get my own classroom.

My travels through blogs as has led me to an interesting one on art and society in the low country. As I am sure most of you do, when I hear the term "Low County" I immediately think of the coastal region of South Carolina. However, here the "Low County" refers to the Netherlands and the Flemish region of Belgium.

I think The Low Countries is a wonderful blog to find out what is new and going on in the art world. For example, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is hosting Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night with the MoMA that will bring Starry Night to the museum in February. Don't worry, I have already bought my ticket...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Schlepping to Schiedam

As we've mentioned, it is getting cold here. Like long-john and fur boots cold here. And I have been coveting a pair of warm, fuzzy Uggs for sometime now - all the Dutch girls have them. So as a reward to myself for getting all A's this semester I went in search of the perfect pair to keep my toes toasty on winter bike rides. Amazingly enough, due to coupon codes and the sagging dollar, it was much cheaper to buy them online in the States and have them shipped over. With a few mouse clicks and a credit card entry, my coveted boots where on their way to me.

And that's precisely where the snag began. Either our intercom is not working or UPS is incompetent, because everyday I sat hopeful in my apartment watching the truck on the tracking site get closer and closer to my door and then farther and farther away.

"WAIT! You have my boots!"

After three days of this nonsense, I called and asked if I could simply come pick them up. "Sure" they said, but they forgot to mention it wouldn't be simple.

For starters the nearest UPS location is not in Delft but in Schiedam - a suburb of Rotterdam. I looked up the route on www.ns.nl and set out on the trek to claim my boots this morning. And along the way I learned a few things:
  1. Just because you are getting on bus 54 at the correct stop, does not mean that this particular bus 54 will follow the same route that another 54 bus follows. (We actually learned this in Utrecht a few weeks ago, but is was once again confirmed today.) Hello! What happened to naming buses by the routes they take?
  2. You can't get out of talking to the man begging you for bus fair by saying you don't speak Dutch because even the bums can speak English over here. However, "No entiendo. Hablo Espanol." works quite well.
  3. We actually live 5 minutes closer by foot to Station Delft Zuid than Delft Central. This information will come in handy in the future.
  4. UPS needs a more user friendly location - surely they can find a space for rent that is not in the middle of an industrial shipping zone. I can now catcall in Dutch.
5 bus rides, 2 train rides, 4 long walks, and 3 hours later I arrived home with my boots. And they were worth every bit of trouble!

Gas Update

One of the most common questions we get when talking to friends and family is "What is the price of gas?" While I knew the price of gas was not dropping dramatically here like in the US, I was unsure of the answer. So today I sought out a gas station and here is the answer:

1 liter of gas = €1.239

I imagine that's not much of help to you, so...

Since 3.785 liters = 1 gallon,

1 gallon of gas = €4.69.

and with today's conversion rate of:

€1 = $1.287

gas costs a whopping $6.04 a gallon over here.

One of the many reasons we choose mass transit...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lazy Weekend

As you can tell from the snow pictures, it has gotten cold here. We had a few lazy days at home this past weekend and took a break from the site seeing.

On Saturday we originally planned to take a walking tour of the architecture in Rotterdam. We saw exactly two building before the cold and wind pushed us back into the train station for Option 2. There really was no Option 2, since we were on a tight schedule to make it to Goes for dinner, so we ducked into a humongous bookstore and browsed for a bit.

We then traveled to Goes for the evening to visit some old neighbors. The visit was lovely and the dinner was delicious. It was nice spend an evening in a real home and catch up with old friends.

On Sunday we woke up to a snow flurry. After snapping a few pictures from our balcony, we settled in for a day of movies, books, and hot chocolate. It was a wonderfully, lazy day.

Next weekend we will get back to exploring Europe.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Snow!

the view from our balcony

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

I LOVE chocolate-chip pumpkin muffins. Right about Halloween time, I realized I wouldn't be getting any chocolate-chip pumpkin muffins this year for several reasons:
  1. I no longer work in the same building as Krisanne (who makes the most wonderful pumpkin muffins)
  2. It is cost and time prohibitive for my mother-in-law to send us baked goods this year
  3. There are no cans of pumpkin pie filling in the grocery stores here
  4. There is no Halloween or Thanksgiving over here, and therefore, none of the requisite pumpkin desserts
  5. I don't have an oven to bake my own muffins in
It was a sad, sad realization.

Today, however, I found a substitute. Mind you, it's not Krisanne's pumpkin muffins! In fact, it's not even pumpkin. But it will have to do.

Today I visited the muffin man, who kindly sold me 6 chocolate, chocolate-chip muffins and 6 gingerbread muffins. When I got home, I halved the muffins and recombined them to make chocolate, chocolate-chip/gingerbread muffins.
Mmmm! Mmmm!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A land where they don't work 24/7

Today Matt had a PowerPoint breakdown for a presentation he is giving at school tomorrow. So instead of snuggling in for a movie after dinner tonight, he had to go back to school to finish his presentation. He had been gone for about 4 hours when I received this email:

From: Matt
Subject: Trying to come home now...
Date: November 19, 2008 10:32:16 PM
To: Laura

…but I can’t figure out how to get out of the building. All the doors are locked.

Guess graduate students don't pull all nighters here in their office - heck, apparently they don't even work past ten...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bollywood Bijlmer

In celebration of Amsterdam India Festival month, we attended Bollywood Bijlmer last night at the Koninklijk Theater Carre. The performance was a combination of an urban Indian dance performance and an Indian short film. Even though the film was in Dutch, the classic love story was easy to follow.

Some interesting notes about Dutch theater:
  1. Right before the start of the performance, they let you move to whatever seats you like. If you happen to be late and someone is in your seat - tough luck! I think this is wonderful - no one is trying to move in front of you after the show has started.
  2. Apparently flash photography is okay during the performance. Don't worry, I'm sure the blasts of light are not bothering the performers or your neighbor...
Decription of the film from the film website:
"The Bollywood film Bijlmer line with the rising popularity in the Netherlands of the Hindi film and Indian culture. In Bollywood Bijlmer is a dramatic story, full of romance, interspersed with large dance scenes. The film offers a mix of the dream world that is so typical of Bollywood and the daily reality of life in a big-city district in the Netherlands, with all its cultures, lifestyles and contradictions. The story is about a boy who as a minor asylum seeker from an African country has come to the Netherlands and for years with a foster family lives in Amsterdam. He is in love with a Hindu girl with him in the classroom. He has daydreaming about her, but the other is tormented by nightmares from his childhood. At school he has struggled with violence and bullying. Both the bullying as the nightmares escalate until he turns his so that he gets home from school and walk away. He and the girl find each other?"

A Second Chance

There have been modern art museums in many of the cities we have visited, but frankly after the Pompidou Center experience we have been turned off modern art. However, since we had already paid for it and they had a few Andy Warhol pieces, we decided to visit Museum Ludwig.

The museum had a wonderful temporary exhibit of Gerhard Richter's work, the artist that designed the new stain-glass window in the Dom. In addition to the huge pieces of abstract work, they had a collection of 100, paired painted glasses pieces that were gorgeous. I would love to have one of those in my home.

In addition, the museum had a neat audio exhibit from Paul Plamper called A Radio Play in Space. It was a room filled with tables; on each tables was 2-5 speakers (symbolizing the number of people sitting at the table) and 2-5 chairs. When you entered the room you were greeted with the ambient noise of a restaurant; you could sit down at any of the tables and listen to the conversation. Then something happens; sometimes inside the restaurant, sometimes outside the restaurant and a collective hush falls over the room. It is social experiment in whether people will become involved in the event or become distant.

Other highlights of the museum included:
  • 20th century American Pop Art
  • A temporary exhibit for filmmaker Jonas Mekas
  • A wonderful graphic design exhibit of Thomas Bayrle
  • An exhibit titled "Looking for Mushrooms, Beat Poets, Hippies, Funk,and Minimal Art: Art and counter cultural in San Fransisco around 1968"
Maybe the art wasn't so modern, maybe it wasn't so out there, but we definitely enjoyed Museum Ludwig. So much so that we might venture into a modern art museum in the city we visit.

Euro REI

On Saturday night we stopped off at the German version of REI; we heard a rumor that they had a pool inside the store to demo equipment. We visited the flagship REI store in Denver, CO, where they have a track for testing mountain bikes and flume in the river for testing kayaks, and wanted to see how it compared.While the REI stores are definitely bigger, Globetrotter offered a few unique services. The pool in the center of the four story building was designed to test kayaks, canoes, and scuba equipment - a current could even be turned on at the touch of a button. The coolest features, however, were the rain and cold room. To try out their rain gear, you simply put it on and then stepped into the "rain room". Once in the room you can choose from simple rain or storm level rain. I wonder what they do with the jacket if you decide not to purchase it... Once your jacket has passed the rain test, you can demo it out in the "cold room" - literally a room with large ice block benches that is sub-zero degrees and has a wind option.

Oh, the money we could have spent in that store...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Two of a Kind

Koln has museum card for €20.50 for two adults and two children, for which you can get into all the city museums (10+ museums) and use the local transportation. Since we had already forked over the cash, we tried to visit as many of the museums as possible.

After the Roman museum, we visted the Wallraf-Richartz Museum - the local art museum. While it had a smattering of Van Goghs, Monets, and Reniors - the best part of the museum was its temporary exhibit: Kunstler Paare or Artist Couples. The exhibit show the works of artist couples side by side and showed how their work influenced each other. While many know about the relationship between Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, it also explored lesser know couples like Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock, Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Hans Arp, and Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz. For many of the couples, it was clear how they influenced each other - some made parallel works, some worked together on pieces, and some adopted each others' style. The exhibit was fascinating - great art, wonderful text, and exquisite curation.

When in Rome...

Side Portal of the Original City Gate, 50AD

Well, not exactly Rome, but rather a city built in Roman times. The main street through Koln dates back 2000 years and the city was officially recognized by the Roman Empire in 50AD (AKA - made apart of the Roman Empire).

To explore its Roman routes we visited the Roman-Germanic Museum. The highlights of the museum were a mosaic floor from a Roman merchant's house the museum was actually built around and the original arch from the city gate. Apparently if you are important enough, like one of the leaders of the G8 countries, you can enjoy a meal in the museum in the mosaic floor room. We ate our sandwiches outside, under the arch - way cooler! Mosaic FloorRoman Bust

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cologne, Keulen, Koln

We rose extremely early for our train ride to Koln - like 4:20am early - the trade-off for dirt cheap train tickets. Due to the early departure time, we had to ride around the country in order to get to Koln and over five hours later we emerge from the train station.

We were quickly jerked out of our half-opened eye state by the site of the Dom. It was ENORMOUS! We were amazed despite having seen TONS of huge churches lately.


Amazing Facts:
  • It was the world's tallest building until 1884 (when the Washington Monument was built)
  • It has the world's second tallest church Spires
  • It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for "exceptional work of human creative genius"
  • Has the largest facade of any church in the world
  • It has stained glass from the Medieval time period, the Renaissance, post WWII, and a window designed by Gerhard Richter in 2007
  • Houses the largest reliquary in the Western world - the bones of the three wise men
  • Has the largest free-swinging bell in the world

Friday, November 14, 2008

You say tomato, I say tomahto...

Tomorrow we are taking a train to spend the weekend in Cologne, Germany. At first when I went to go look for train tickets I could not find the destination. I know the trains go there; it's the fourth largest city in Germany. And then I realized the Dutch name for the city was Keulen. Problem solved; train tickets booked.

But wait, there's no Cologne or Keulen in my trusty Rick Steves' guidebook! Maybe this wasn't a city we wanted to visit after all; I mean if it's not the guidebooks it must be a whole in the wall or a dump or just plain uninteresting.

But a quick Google search told me the real name of the city, as far as Germany or should I say Deutschland is concerned, is Koln. And don't worry Koln is in the guidebook!

Now, why do we rename cities and countries? As Matt pointed out we should either: A) spell them the same and pronounce them differently or B) pronounce them the same and spell them appropriately.

I find it highly embarrassing when filling out electronic forms that have drop-down menus that I have to go ask someone where I am from according the country we are currently in. I got Estados Unidos in Spanish. While I might have gotten Les √Čtats-Unis in French without help, I never would have gotten Verenigde Staten in Dutch. I can only guess what my nationality will be next month in The Czech Republic.

Well, off we go to Cologne...I mean Koln for the weekend!


"Let's Call the Whole Thing Off"
Fred Astaire

you say neither and i say neither
either, either, neither, neither
let's call the whole thing off

you say tomato, i say tomato
you eat potato and i eat potato
tomato, tomato, potato, potato
let's call the whole thing off

but oh, if we call the whole thing off then we must part
and oh, if we ever part then that might break my heart

so, if you wear pajamas and i wear pajamas
i'll wear pajamas and give up pajamas
for we know we need eachother so we
better call the calling off, off
oh, let's call the whole thing off

you say after and i say after
you say laughter and i say laughter
after, after, laughter, laughter
let's call the whole thing off

you say havana and i say havana
you eat banana and i eat banana
havana, havana, banana, banana
let's call the whole thing off

but oh, if we call the whole thing off then we must part
and oh, if we ever part then that might break my heart

so, if you say oysters and i say oysters
i'll eat oysters and give up oysters
for we know we need each other so we
better call the calling off, off
oh, let's call the whole thing off

Oh, Our Apartment!

We live in the Dutch equivalent of campus housing; there are no dorms here but the university provides housing through a contracted agency. Never has it been more apparent that TUDelft's student population is 80% male than today, when I tried to blow dry my hair in my apartment for the first time. (We can discuss later why I haven't blow dried my hair in over 2 and half months.)

There are no plugs in the bathroom. None. I am not saying there isn't enough plugs to plug in a hair dryer, a straightener, and the clock radio. I am saying that their are absolutely NO PLUGS in the bathroom. The second mirror in our apartment is glued to the wall in the "dining room" above the "table". No plugs there either. No plugs anywhere in the vicinity that I can see myself in the mirror while still holding onto the hair dryer that is still plugged into the wall. NONE!

So, I just spent the last half hour blowing drying my hair in front of Jack*, using the Photo Booth application as a mirror. I only wish I had recorded it, so you could watch it too!

*Jack is our iMac

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"I'm on H"

"No, this is J"

"I'm on J."

"You're on K"

"But where is H?"
Sony Center at Potzdamer Platz
This was the conversation that greeted us as we strolled into the movie theater at Potzdamer Platz in Berlin. The square is a stunning combination of new and old architecture that was built out of war ruins by Sony, Daimler-Chrysler and other major corporations. Situated around the square are many touristy restaurants, a Lego Discovery Center, and many high-tech stores showing products of the future.
Canopy at the Sony Center - is lighted to turn different colors throughout the night
The interior of an old pre-war building turn exterior of a new modern hotel

But in the center is a large movie house that shows films in the original versions. For us, this meant a night at the movies to see Quantum of Solace. Once again, a movie theater is the perfect place to see the different attitudes towards alcohol in Europe and in the US. Served right along side popcorn (salty or sweet - you choose) and nachos, are cocktails and beer. Heck, you can even BYOB or BYOC to the movies over here. A few other differences an experience at the movies brings are assigned seats (love this and hence the conversation above) and even more previews/commercials at the beginning of the film. There were over 45 minutes of commercials and previews before we got to the good stuff - James Bond.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Quirky Berlin

Berlin has the museums, the memorials, the historic site, and all the other usual tourist fair. But what lets you know you are in Berlin are its endearing quirks. Two of our favorites were:
  • Pedestrian lights left over from the Cold War
  • An above ground system of brightly painted water pipes, due to the never ending construction and high water table

A little bit of home...

Since the cuisine in Berlin is known for is anything but German, we headed towards a little bit of home for lunch.Never has a toasted sourdough roll with smoked ham, salamis, melted cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses, black olives, red onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and mustard ever tasted so good! And the Coke even came out of a soda fountain machine! No ice - hey, something had to tell us we were still in Europe.Mmmm! Mmmm!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Tear down this wall!"

We didn't make it to the Museum of the Wall at Checkpoint Charlie until the second day we were in Berlin, but all over the city the scar left by the wall is evident. A double cobblestone line in the street marks the path of the former wall throughout the city. The wall stood for 28 years and 1 day - a symbol of the Iron Curtain and the literal dividing point between Communism and Democracy. The wall built in 1961 not only separated governments and countries but split families apart, tore people from their jobs, and separated friends.

The Museum of the Wall at Checkpoint Charlie was established in 1962 as a nonviolent protest to the wall. It was built right next the border and contained exhibits on people escaping East Germany. It was a thumb at the Communists right outside their own backyard.Today the museum is a hodge podge of escape tales, facts about the wall, stories of life with the wall, and a chronicle of the USSR. Frankly, the museum is an overload of unorganized information; although bits and pieces are interesting, much of it has nothing to do with the wall. The highlights of the museum are cars altered for escapes, flight contraptions used to fly over the wall, and videos of people tearing down the wall.

The other place in town to experience the wall is the East Side Gallery - a mile long stretch of the wall that is frequently painted by invited artists. Unfortunately, between paintings the wall is heavily graffitied, but they just white-wash it and invite new artist to paint again.

Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate has been a symbol of Berlin since it was built in 1791. The gate has been a emblem of Prussian Berlin, the site of Nazi Rallies, a symbol of a divided Berlin, the place of reunification, and, now, a gate into a revitalized eastern Berlin.

The gate was built as just one of fourteen gates to the city. It was designed after the Propylaea Gate in Athens by Carl Gotthard Langhans. The statue on top is of the Goddess of Peace and her four horse chariot.


After the defeat by the Frenach, Napoleon took statue and placed it in the Louvre.

In 1813 the Goddess became the Goddess of Victory as the Prussians took the statue back and returned it to the top of the gate.

The gate become an representation of Nazi Germany during the Berlin Olympics in 1936 when the gate was draped in Nazi banners.

Destroyed by bombing, the gate laid in ruins after WWII.

After the war the east and west together restored the gate. It was used by cars and pedestrians until the Berlin Wall was erected in 1961, when it became part of "no man's land". When JFK gave his "I am a Berliner" speech at the gate in 1963 the Soviets hung banners from the gate so he could not see into East Germany. It remained unused until the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In July 1987 speech at Brandenburg Gate, Ronald Reagan spoke to the people and demanded:

"General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Two and half years later they did just that. The gate became a symbol of reunification on November 9, 1989 when 100s of Berliners packed the gate and surrounding squares in celebration. The Bandenburg Gate was officially reopened on December 22, 1989 when the West German Chancellor and the East German Prime Minister met under the gate

Once again a US President spoke at the gate, when Bill Clinton came to Germany to speak about post-cold war peace and said:

"We stand together where Europe's heart was cut in half and we celebrate unity."


The Brandenburg Gate has become one of the most recognized symbols of Berlin and of Germany - reminding all who walk through her of the struggles and events of the past, present, and future. You can't help but marvel at the struggles of freedom the gate has seen.

Holocaust Memorials

Outside of the Reichstag Building is a memorial to the 96 politicians who were murdered because their beliefs did not align with Hitler and the Nazi Party. They were members of the ill-fated Wiemar Republic, the weak post WWI attempt at German democracy. Most of the 96 politicians were members of the Communist or Socialist party; they were murdered in concentration camps.

Each slab of the memorial represents one man; on each slab is the man's name, his party, his date of birth, and the date and location of death.


The next stop was the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. This Holocaust memorial was completed in 2005 and is this first formal, government sponsored Holocaust memorial. Designed by Peter Eisenman, the 2711 concrete slabs vary in height and are arranged on an even surface. The interpretation of the memorial is left up to the visitor. Some view it as a symbolic cemetery; some think of it as a representation of how European Culture was changed. However, I doubt that it was ever intended for people to use it as a bus stop bench, a place to sit and talk on cell phones, or a playground for climbing all over.


Underneath the memorial is an information center containing 6 exhibits about the Holocaust.
  1. Introduction - 12 years of the Nazis' extermination policy shown through text and pictures.
  2. Room of Dimensions - written personal accounts of Jewish men and women - including postcards and letters thrown off trains on the way to extermination camps. This room also included the breakdown of murder Jews by country.
  3. Room of Families- stories, pictures, letters, and writings of Jewish families and how the Holocaust affected them.
  4. Room of Names - biographies of murdered Jews read aloud with their name , year of birth, and year of death projected on the walls. It would take over 6 and a half years to read through the entire database - names and stories are still being added.
  5. Room of Sites - information on 220 sites of genocide.
  6. The Holocaust Memorials.Database
While the spot for the memorial was chosen based on where there was room for lots of people to experience it, it lies within a historical area. The land was available here because the memorial is built on land that was once covered by the Berlin Wall. During the building of the memorial, Joseph Goebbels' (the leader of the Nazi propaganda machine) bunker was uncovered in the northwest corner of the memorial. Additionally, Hitler's bunker is less than 200 yards away. Both sites have been left buried so they do not turn into shrines for the neo-Nazis.

Since the focus of this memorial is the Jewish victims, the government has promised to build memorials to the other victims of the Holocaust as well. Behind the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is small memorial to the homosexual victims of the Holocaust; however, it was not government sponsored.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Face Lift

Our city tour of Berlin started at the Reichstag Building - the most visited parliamentary building in the world. It was originally opened in 1894 to house the Parliament of the German Empire. In a little over a century the building has gone through as many changes as the country.
The burning of the building in 1933 was blamed on the Communists and the Nazi party was able to seize control and start suspending civil liberties.On April 30, 1945 more than 1500 Nazis made their last stand against Stalin and the Allied troops at the Reichstag Building. After the war, the capital was moved to Bonn and the building set in ruins just west of East Berlin.

Paul Baumgarten won an architectural contest to reconstruct the building and it was completed in 1964. Due to a 1971 Allies agreement Berlin could not serve as the capital of West Germany and so the building became largely ceremonial.

Germany was officially reunified at the Reichstag Building on October 3, 1990. After much heated debate it was decided the capital would return to Berlin and the building would be used once again.

Norman Foster reconstructed the building in 1992 under the theme of transparency. While the shell of the original building remains, the new building includes many glass walls, openness, and a new glass cupola. The idea was to create a building that was open and accessible to the people, so they could see their government at work.Today when you visit the Reichstag building you receive a 50+ page booklet explaining the Bundestag (Parliament) and how it works. Anyone is also allowed to sit in on legislative sessions and meet their representative. It is obvious they are trying to create transparency in the government.Our visit the Reichstag was to visit the rooftop and climb the cupola. The cupola, which rises 155 feet above the ground, provides a 360 degree view of Berlin.

Berlin

Berlin is a modern city growing out of scars and wounds of the past, some self inflicted, some brought on by others, but most incurred through the World Wars and their aftermath. Our site seeing in Berlin was not focused on famous paintings or world class museums, but rather to visit the sites and memorials that explain how Berlin got to where it is today.

Paris has the Eiffel Tower. London has Big Ben. New York has the Statue of Liberty. Berlin cannot be represented in building and building cannot represent Berlin. Some might say the Berlin Wall, but that is gone now and only bits remain memorialized. Famous Landmarks of the city from before WWII, like the Kaiser Wilhelm Church, were destroyed in the bombings. Even the Victory Column was moved before WWII and now represents more than the Prussian defeat of France. Brandenburg Gate only represents a sliver of the city's history and the Reichstag Building is no longer the Reichstag and has a new roof. Potsdamer Platz is only a decade old and represents more corporation that city.

We spent the weekend exploring the city - it's past and present.

Red Thread Tour

On my second day in Hannover I took the city's Red Thread Tour. The tour was a 5 km walk through the city following a red line painted on the sidewalk that showcased 35+ important sites in the city. While most of the sites would not have even made the guidebook of a larger city, I nevertheless decided to see what Hannover had to offer.

Some highlights of the tour:
A remnant of the old city wall - dating from 1337

A church destroyed in the 1943 air raid and currently a memorial to the victims of war and violence; a memorial service takes place here every August 6th to remember the victims of the bombing of Hiroshima.

New Town Hall - the archer's arrow points directly at the Lord Mayor's office

Buxom Girls - statues by Niki de Saint Phakke, an honorary citizen of Hannover

The oldest family house in Hannover - dating from 1566

And after the history tour, it was time to check out the shopping and the first mall we've seen since leave Gainesville...