Tuesday, July 15, 2014

It's all history...

We went and had a little lunch near Thomas' work and then we headed over to see the Maschsee (lake) and the Hannover 96 stadium and gift shop.

Thomas and I had fun watching Marc try to decide which jersey to get for our friend Travis. Travis is a huge soccer fan so when he heard we were going to Hannover he couldn't resist asking us to bring a Hannover 96 Jersey home. Marc was so worried about getting him just the right one at the right price... hee hee! Poor Marc!

We also walked around the lake a little and even got some Mövenpick ice cream... Marc has brought up this certain type of ice cream many times over the years as it was one of his many memories from Hannover. I have to say, I won't forget it either. It was really good.

We visited a few more places to reminisce from Marc's 1988 trip there. It was fun for me to hear him and Thomas laugh and talk about those fun times. During these times, though, we all wished Achim had been there with us.

We then went to the city building of Hannover.

Apparently I had to pull up my pants after taking that shot...

Thomas had been telling us many things about the history of Hannover during WWII and I had no idea how much I didn't understand about the war until I heard him talk about how it affected Hannover. Hannover was devastated. I guess, because I am not a history buff, I just never caught on to how awful this war really was and how many lands and people it affected. Thomas had explained to us how after the war was over most of Hannover was destroyed and the men would go searching for food in the blasted apart homes and the women would gather brick and stone to rebuild homes with. When I was talking to my dad about how much understanding this history better was really affecting me he told me a story about his grandfather who knew of a family that was living in a building on the 3rd story that only had 3 walls. I had no idea. I don't think I really paid attention, it just all went over my head. War just is hard for me to hear about, therefor, I guess it's hard for me to learn about. I've read the "Diary of Anne Frank" and listened to people come talk to us about being prisoners of war or Jews who had been captured and it made my stomach hurt to hear those stories and experiences.

I never realized, though, until I came to a place where much of it had happened, just how devastating it had truly been and to hear all the stories of what people did out of pure fear.

So when we went to the city building and saw the models they had laid out of Hannover prewar, right after the war and the present it was humbling to see what they had been able to build up from the rubble.

Before the war 
Devastation after the war. You can see only a few buildings standing.

Present-day Hannover

It's inspiring to know that even through such tragic adversity that there can still come great things.

Side note: Because of understanding all this better it made watching "The Book Thief" all that much more meaningful and tearful on our plane ride home.

After looking through the inside of the building we were able to go to the top in the world's only elevator to go up on a curve. It was really pretty cool!

From the top we could see the blend of the old, original buildings and the newer ones. (This became even more apparent as we walked the streets afterward.)

Hannover is a very beautiful, tree-filled city. I took so many photos!

Marc had fun taking some too:

That's the Hannover 96 Stadium in the top left...

Then we decided to head down and check out the old down town of Hannover.

We took an elevator most of the way but you had to take the stairs to get to the tippy top.

The first building we walked to was one of the very famous landmarks of Hannover. It is a church that is all completely standing except for the roof after the war. They leave it up in memoriam just as it was after the war. It is really quite beautiful. Marc took a great pic of the outside and I got one of the inside.

It wasn't raining but the clouds were a bit intense for this shot...
Here are a few random things I took pictures of on our walk just because they were cool or funny:
the cow... hee hee...

This is where taking pictures was a lot of fun for me, enjoying all the old architecture.

I even had to take photos of some of the restaurants! They looked like they were set up for a magazine! Very beautiful!

I'd never seen a fisherman fishing in a city canal so I just had to take a picture, but he just had to turn his head...
 On our way back to the car we were able to pass through this awesomely painted tunnel.

I just love empty benches and trees. It's so serene.

When we were coming back to the car Marc saw a car he wished he was going home in...
Brother probably would have tried to get in or at least sit on top of it...

We made reservations at a Spanish restaurant for dinner so while we were waiting for our time Thomas took us for a little drive outside the city more by where he lives. It was beautiful out there. I had taken my camera home at this point so I wasn't able to get any awesome pics... dang.

We talked to Achim on the phone again while driving around. Marc, Thomas and Achim, again, had fun reminiscing about their times in Hannover years ago.

So we finally got to the restaurant. It was a Spanish Restaurant, not a Mexican Restaurant. I don't think I've ever been to a Spain-style restaurant but I am not sure that I am in a hurry to get back... they were fun but just not much flavor... at least not the kind I liked. We had what was called Tapas, which is basically a lot of meat... lots and lots of small pieces of meat... lots of it... 

It was fun, though, to try something different which is why we went there.

And that was our full day tour of Hannover.

Now I'm here at my desk posting about only memories.

It's all history...

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