Thursday, December 23, 2010

Frustrating flights and snowy streets

It has been one really really long day! I flew out of Wellington at 10am on Tuesday morning NZ time, and finally arrived in Germany at 6pm NZ time on Wednesday (6am German time). Its now 9pm here and I still haven't gone to bed!
Outside Hauke's parent's house

Long haul flights suck. Long haul flights with screaming children, neighbours who just won't sit still and french women who stink of red wine, ciggarettes and puke suck even more. After days of flights into Frankfurt being cancelled I was quite stressed about getting here in time for Christmas, and arriving at Wellington to be told that my ongoing flights were suspended wasn't great for my nerves, but after Auckland everything was smooth sailing, screaming children aside. There was none of the crowds of holiday travellers and snow-bound passengers that I had seen on the news. Even customs and immigration into Germany seemed too easy, unlike NZ you can pick up your bags, waive your passport under a nose and then just stroll through. The reality of what other travellers had experienced did sink in though when I saw the rooms filled with camp beds where stranded passengers had been bunking down.

Hauke was waiting for me in Frankfurt, most epic hug of the whole year I think, its been really good to see him again after a year and a half! He has been absolutely amazing and playing the role of host and tour guide perfectly, although I don't know how much more of 'Claire you have to try this food' my stomach can handle! We caught the train back to his parents house, and everywhere is like a beautiful winter wonderland. This is one of the biggest snowfalls they have had in decades, fields, trees and houses are absolutely covered in snow, with a foggy white sky as the perfect background. I haven't seen snow like this for years!

Picking a Christmas Tree
Hauke comes from a small village called Harste, just outside of Göttingen which is about the same size as Wellington proper. Both are beautiful, small towns filled with wooden-framed houses and cobbled streets. His own house is beautiful, and his parents are absolutely lovely. We headed out for the afternoon, to pick a Christmas tree and explore the Christmas market. Words can't describe the market, I'm sure for Europeans it is really standard but I have been totally captivated by it, I will post more photos of it on facebook soon. It hadn't really seemed like Christmas back in NZ, but it definitely does now! We also checked out his dad's work, the huge sotrerooms filled with drawers and drawers of electronic parts seemed like your kind of heaven dad, and we detoured to a supermarket where I found the vegetable cassava (yuca), one of the foods I had missed the most from Costa Rica but couldn't get in NZ, it's really bizarre to find it here!

On the plane I dwelt a bit on my new unemployed and homeless status, but since I got here I have had the biggest smile on my face, I think the next couple of months are going to be awesome! Over the next couple of days we will check out the countryside around here, meet up with all of Hauke's high school friends and celebrate Christmas, before the whole family heads to Austria for a ski trip. More news coming in a couple of days!


  1. Thanks for the update. Looks an amazingly beautiful place - just like I imagined. Great to know all is going well. Love the photos. The new camera is going to get a work out! Thinking of you in two foot of snow while we swelter in 30 degree norwesters which have knocked the Xmas lights around. Couple of sets broken. Lots of people stopped last night.
    One thing I meant to say, everyone who looked at your plan (and I know it wasn't fixed) said you must go to Interlagen if you are in Switzerland - like Queenstown - very beautiful place. Merry Xmas - Dad

  2. apparently Christmas lights aren't cool here, they are considered as tacky! New camera is amazing, I am so glad I got it, I will put up more today or tomorrow or something on facebook.