Christmas and New Year in Hannover

Our plans in December and January seemed to change every week, and in the end we had some free time around Christmas and New Year.  One day Ferda and I were chatting with Yasemin when she suggested we go to Germany together for Christmas and visit the famous Christmas markets.  It was a joke/dream more than anything, but Yasemin got online, checked tickets, and it was only 100 Euro round-trip, Antalya-Hannover!  Well, that’s crazy.  I don’t see how the airlines make any money.  In the end, Yasemin couldn’t go because she didn’t have a Shengen visa or even a passport.  Ferda and I, however, jumped on those tickets and visited our friend, Bilge, in Hannover.

Ferda and Bilge by bryandkeith on flickr

On our first evening in Hannover we headed straight to the Christmas market in the old city (altstadt) because it was the last evening for most of the Christmas markets in Germany.  We arrived just a couple days before Christmas, just a day or two after some maniac drove a truck into one of Berlin’s Christmas markets. These Christmas markets are sort of wintertime art and crafts fairs with lots of food and of course plenty of mulled wine (glühwein).  It was fun to see so many people out enjoying the city in spite of the cold and a terrorist attack on another market a few days earlier.

DSC06652 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSC06658 by bryandkeith on flickr

At the Christmas market we ate pork on a stick — a German thing, I guess — but we also ate sushi at least three times during our week in Hannover.  It’s not that Hannover’s so renowned for its sushi, but it’s better and cheaper than what we get in Antalya so we took advantage of the opportunity.

DSC06661 by bryandkeith on flickr

Meltem by bryandkeith on flickr

DSC06719 by bryandkeith on flickr

Markthalle was a fun place for dinner and drinks:

Dinner and beers in Hannover's fun Markthalle by bryandkeith on flickr

As a further contribution to the German economy, we bought a bicycle for Ferda in Hannover.  We had been looking for about a year in Turkey and not once was Ferda able to test ride a bicycle.  The few times we did find appropriate bicycles, they never had her size — even in İstanbul (our local shop phoned them many times for us).  During our first day looking for a bicycle in Hannover, Ferda rode at least six different models, every one of them in her size.  It’s actually quite great buying a bicycle in Germany.  There were so many choices, well-equipped and ready-to-go, with dynamo hubs powering the back and front lights, rear racks, fenders.  I remember years ago Megan wanted a city bike in Boulder — same thing: lights, fenders, a rack for carrying stuff.  Even in “bicycle-friendly” Boulder it’s hard to find such a thing.  The more I visit Germany the more I like it.  And the price?  Cheaper than in Turkey including the extra expense of getting the bicycle back here.

Ferda's new bike; we had been looking for a year in Antalya but never found anything her size; she was able to try six different models in one day in Hannover -- all her size by bryandkeith on flickr

DSC06680 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSC06667 by bryandkeith on flickr

Oh, we were good tourists too.  Here are some of Hannover’s sites.  Maschsee:

Love locks like Ferda and I first saw on the bridge in Köln by bryandkeith on flickr

altstadt:

DSC06756 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSC06700 by bryandkeith on flickr

rathaus (municipal building):

DSC06707 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSC06730 by bryandkeith on flickr

the colorful voluptuous Niki sculptures:

DSC06745 by bryandkeith on flickr

and finally this one that I’m not able to figure out.  It’s not the origin of the mountain biking term “baby heads”, is it?

I have no idea what this was -- a bunch of rocks carved as skulls by bryandkeith on flickr

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