Monday, 22 December 2008

Hameln, Celle, Home

After we checked out of the Youth Hostel, we walked around the Altstadt of Hameln.

There are a series of rats painted on the pavements (a tourist route that allows you to follow the 'route' of the pied piper, from the Information Bureau to the Rattenfangerhaus (rat catcher building).
Here is the fountain with the Pied Piper Statue

Here are the kids being led out of Hameln by the Pied Piper!

It is made to give you a rough path to stroll through the city and see the sites, so it suited our purposes nicely. The town was really pretty also in the daylight. The old buildings (from 200 years before white settlers hit Australian shores), the cobbled streets and the general atmosphere were all interesting to see.

The Bridge over the Weser River, there is a gold rat on the top.

We had a really pleasant stroll around, had more strawberries in chocolate (morning tea this time!!) and then found a lovely little cafe to escape the cold.

After seeing Hameln, we set off across country to visit Celle. It is another old, historic town to the north of Hanover. In our original plans, we would have stayed there instead of Hameln, but the youth hostel was booked out. So, it worked out for the best, because we then got to see both Hameln and Celle, which was (sort of) on our way home.
The town of Celle was set up like so many of the small historic towns that we have seen - a central 'Altstadt' with lots of pedestrian zones, an old 'wall' (or a street where a wall would have been), which is often the best (or only) place to find a park, and heaps of traffic there. We found a tower park at the North end of town and headed for the town centre, for a walk around and some lunch.
This van was small enough that Cameron could have driven it! It makes you wonder how a grown man can be comfortable driving in this?

The town lived up to the things we had heard - there is a lovely Schloss/Palace at the south end of town set in beautiful gardens. There are lots of very old (restored) houses, cobbled streets and a large central town hall or church.

Celle was particularly interesting because many of the houses had specific things written across the front of them (see the montage on the next post - look for the lettering, often in gold paint). Most of them seemed 'puritan' in nature
"This house was built for God and for our hard work"
"Work! No chatting, talking or gossiping"
"Don't let widows or orphans suffer, or you will face the wrath of God"
There were lots of bible quotes, and the one I liked the best (loosely translated..)
"You cannot enjoy life unless your neighbours are free".
Christmas markets are great fun, we gave the camera to the kids and here is a selection of photos they took.
These are chocolate covered apples! We are not sure what sort of animal they are supposed to be. In Hameln they had chocolate covered pear halves and dressed them up as rats!
Honey coated almonds....delicious! and below glass decorations.

We had a lovely wander around the last dose of Christmas Markets (for this trip...), finally getting back to the car and hitting the autobahn for our run home.
There was a medieval area of the markets and here are the kids in their suits of armour!

When we told the boys that naughty children would be put in this cage, they decided to stop mucking around!
It was a very busy but highly enjoyable pre-christmas trip with the family (subtitled "Nicole's Christmas Market Tour of Germany...). We all look forward to a safe and joyous Christmas, and hopefully some time to relax at the start of the new year!

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