Jan wanted me to come to Braunschweig to see his student life and university before he left for the USA and his final year – he leaves in a week!
I packed a bag and headed for BS on a quick ICE. Nice journey – the Brits could pick up a few tips from such comfortable and quick, sleek intercity train. Although he had an exam later, Jan picked me up at the railway station and we trundled to my hotel. We had great weather throughout my three day stay. It was a week before my flight to the UK.
The first day was seeing the town and his flat and flatmates and getting used to his second bicycle – a nice yellow ex-post bicycle complete with carriers front and back and parking wheels. I liked it and it is a comfortable bike to use around town.
Each morning Jan came to my hotel to pick me up and off we went to explore the area for the day.
The second day was really interesting. We went to a small town south of BS, called Wolfenbüttel, where some Duke of BS in the 1700’s had built a palace and a library and started to collect books from all over Europe. Jan is pictured posing outside this library and I am pictured posing inside it! It is apparently one of the three most important libraries for ‘Enlightenment’ – Renaissance texts in all of Europe.
There is a pic of me standing next to a facsimilie of a book valued at €32 million. Yes, so much. The original is in a safe and comes out six weeks a year for special showing. Wowee!
Next day we hired a canoe and canoed around BS. That really was an experience –
seeing the town from its quiet, green, leafy inner city waterway. I took the pics of that tour. We also met some of Jan’s mates at a bar on the side of the river and cycled around town, went to his uni buildings and ate in a ‘student’ restaurant they go to.
All in all, it was a wonderful experience for me and quickly took me back to my students days many years ago. I wouldn’t have missed it for anything and have happy memories of the days there which are important as he packs his bags and prepares to fly to Rhode Island for his final year of study there. Pity he can’t take the yellow post bike with him!