Friday, September 07, 2007

Deutschland Day 4: The Day After

The day after the wedding, we had a little time to kill before joining the bride and groom and friends for a late lunch and then hopping on a train down to Heidelberg. Mike and I decided to try venturing out again into downtown Bonn, with more success this time as we weren't distracted by a bar offering tempting drinks. And Britta didn't have to come out to find us either!
The Winter (or Summer) Palace on Poppelsdorfer Allee

After a bite to eat in town, we ran into a Strassenfest (street fair) being set up near Lotharstrasse (Britta and Philipp's street).

At some point during the day.

The bride and groom wearing our gifts. :)

Beauty in the back garden.

Marietta (foreground) overseeing the sealing of the memory box that will be opened by Britta and Philipp on their first anniversary. I'd tell you what's inside, but B & P might read this. :)

After some time with the married couple, we took a train down to Heidelberg with Britta's friend Hendrick. He was a great host to us for the next two nights. Photos of Heidelberg in the next post!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Deutschland Day 3: The Wedding

After our lovely evening with the wedding party, we crashed at Nora's place and wound up sleeping until around 11:30. I guess jetlag was still an issue.
After a quick shower and dress for the wedding (we had to leave at 1:00 for the ceremony) Nora fed us a beautiful breakfast out on her back deck, which overlooked the forest nearby.
Took some quick photos...
Awww (but not the shoes I actually wore)

Nora and Michael

The church

Reunion with Jessica (one of my travel-buddie around Australia)

Inside the church

The bride and groom at the entrance

Unlike American weddings, it seems the bride and groom enter together at German ceremonies

Champagne toast after the ceremony


A rickshaw the Philipp drove Britta around in

A Bonn building on the walk over to the reception

Bonn Mercedes

The garten of the Rheingarten

Uta, myself, and Caroline near the Rheingarten

Inside the biergarten of the Rheingarten, waiting for the reception to begin

Guests were asked to draw on bits of paper that, when put together, would make a poster-sized version of a photo of the happy couple. I was tasked with drawing Britta's face...very carefully.


Marietta getting down

Fellow Victoria University at Wellington students (l-r Me, Caroline, Jessica, Christian, and Uta)

Cutting the cake

Cutting the rug

And just in case you can't quite picture it in action, here you go.

Deutschland Day 2: Köln

Hi all! (Or whoever still reads this)...
Ugh, how embarassing. I always have the best intentions when I post on this thing to continue the posts on a daily or (gasp) weekly basis, but then shrug it off or let life get in the way or just assume no one still reads this thing. But that shouldn't matter, right? It's a great way to discipline myself and that should be enough.
However, I just received the prettiest card from Britta and Philipp (hi Britta and Philipp!!!) basically asking for more posts. I'm very flattered that you guys even think to check this site, and apologize that I haven't posted more from our wonderful trip to Germany. Mike and I still have little outbursts of "genau!" and "super!" and "ich war noch neimals in New York", so let that be a testament to how much we enjoyed our time there and how much of a lasting impression it made.
That said, I hereby continue my posts on our Germany trip, starting with Day 2 in Köln.
Drumroll please...

Köln Cathedral

Köln Cathedral

Köln Cathedral

some familiar faces

flying buttresses

Köln Cathedral

inside Köln Cathedral with the bride-to-be

The bell tower at Köln Cathedral. This is halfway up something like 8 million steps to the top.

after step 7,999,999

View from the top

This reminds me of the view from the top of Christchurch cathedral

After climbing back down, Britta took us for Köln's own specially-brewed beer called "Kölsch"

our first lederhosen and semi-dirndl

I'm kind of in love with this picture

After seeing this photo, my buddy Lisa (and Prague-mate) pointed out that she stayed in one of these hotels when she visited Köln. These are down by the Rhein.

I'm kind of in love with this one too.

We returned to Bonn in the early afternoon with Britta, as she had lots of things to do before her wedding the next day. (Side note: can you believe she actually had the energy and interest in shuttling us around the day before her wedding? Seriously, she's wunderbar).

Before dinner with Clemens (the best man), Marietta (the maid of honour), and Nora (our host for the next two nights while Britta and Philipp did "wedding things"), Mike and I decided to walk around Bonn and stopped in the "Wespennest" for a beer.

I guess we lost track of time (and beer) as on our walk home we saw Britta on her bike searching for us. The poor dear not only had to plan a dinner that night, and a wedding the next day (not to mention a honeymoon and then a research trip to West Africa three days later), but had to worry about silly Americans getting lost. Ugh.
She escorted us back to their flat where preparations were being made for dinner. I forget the French name, but the meal is basically a variation of fondue: everyone gets a little dish on which to put all sorts of vegetables and meat, top it with cheese, and then stuff it under this sort of hotplate that cooks and melts the cheese. It's so yummy and fun! Especially with wine!

the handles are the little personal cooking dishes.

Nora, Britta, and Marietta

Clemens and Philipp

As is to be expected with food and wine, good conversation was had. As is also to be expected with food and (especially) wine, I probably stuck my foot in my mouth a few times, but the hosts never made me feel like a dolt. :)