Where’s the souvenirs mate?

Yesterday I battled the cold north winds and set out, on foot (I did actually walk) to the town centre of Wilhelmshaven.  Why didn’t I catch a bus?  Because it’s not as dramatic.  I wanted some exercise.  My main mission was to find something lovely for my niece as a present and then secondly (secondly because I assume it would be easier to obtain – I’m very picky) another nice present for my mum.

 

After 7 hours, I failed.

 

How can this be?
The ‘main shopping centre’ is pretty much filled with bakeries, a McDonalds, some hairdressers and a tourist information centre.  That was my first calling place.  They had a magnet, a cup and nothing good to give to a 2, almost 3 year old from a doting uncle.  Look at these examples.
“No problem!”, thought I.  I know there’s a toy store outside the centre, if there’s one, perhaps there’ll be a few.  Even if there are many children, there are certainly a lot of old people, old people love to buy things for young kids, so they can cook them into their walls of bread… or so is my understanding.

The toy store has toys, boring, can get anywhere toys.  I spent over an hour and a half looking at everything and trying to decide if I could convince myself that it’ll do. Dear reader, no purchase was made.

After numerous laps of many of the streets… there are no other toy stores. No. Joy.

I remember from the other times around the coast and I’ve done a bit of internet searching, I’ll have to head to the beach sometime and pray that the Gift God smiles upon me.

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Heide Park: Searching for the Game I can win

Heide Park, the Wonderland of Hannover, has an interesting carpark.  It’s rows of gravel/tarred road interspersed with rows of grass and trees.  Under the trees is where you park you car.  We managed to get a good one that was quite close to the entry.  I won’t lie to you, there were points when we were close to entering where I may have jumped around like an exciting child, it was fairly genuine.  I don’t think I’ve ever been to an amusement park in another country.  I’ve been to two Oktoberfests and they have elements, the rides and games and junk food, that amusement parks have, but they aren’t the same, it’s not the same place with the same purpose.

Perhaps because the weather is heading for full winter blasts or maybe the threat of rain was too much, but thankfully the place wasn’t so busy.  This also meant many of the stalls were closed.  I don’t know that it would have mattered, the variation between fried potato and sausages at one stand to the other would be minimal.  You can get beers here though!  The best part was that the queues for the ride were all under 30 minutes, with maybe one exception, for the park’s biggest roller coaster.  The Colossus, which claims to have the Guinness World Record for steepest descent on a wooden roller coaster, was a monster.  It had several peaks and turns, I think it lasted for well over a minute, maybe up to the 2 minute mark.   That might not sound like much, but you time most rides and they average 30 seconds, maximum.  Unless… of course… you’re talking grandparent rides like gondolas or those cruisey floating through water things.  Wimp.
It was The Colossus that undid some of the magic, at least for Inni.  She started to feel ill afterwards.  Like the trooper she is, she went on another ride, this one with loops.  She then needed a break, we ate.  I got some bratwurst with jalapenos, because I’m multi-cultural like that… oh the bratwurst wasn’t actually bratwurst, it was chorizo.  Whatever, you weren’t there man.  It also had a salsa and was pretty nice.  We then went on one other ride, also with loops and Inni pulled out of any further rides.  I don’t know that there were many left that I was interested in doing.  I think I did a few more, got some sweet photos come up where I’m chucking horns at the camera but I didn’t buy them because they were $10 each.
The park was coming to a close and maybe it was because I saw all these punk kids with giant donuts on their heads or their girls holding huge fluffy bears and dogs that I thought that I could win something too.  Naturally this meant I took Inni the long and wrong way to the other side of the park so that we could play one particular game I wanted to play.  She also chose another game that she thought she could win.  Put it this way, she now has a bear that says “I love you” from me and I have the memories of the time at the park…. hahaha

A night at Stephan/Stefan/Stefen’s

We went to a work colleague’s house for a dinner, I’m not sure if it was meant to be anything more than that or not actually… either way it was 3S’s place (he’ll be known as 3S until I find out how to spell his name) that we congregated on to enjoy each other’s company and some nourishment.

I got to meet other colleagues that have been talked about in many past instances, now I have faces to all their assumed spelt names.
We were a little late due to rental car turning to car hunting opportunities.  This weekend’s rental was a very blue Fiat 500, one of those tiny tiny cars.  It has a pretty nice interior and a bit of grunt, but it’s such a toy car.  We were still the 2nd group of people to arrive, only one person is punctual – which, given the stereotype of Germany, is rare, although I think nobody at this evening is fully German: born and raised.

We talked, everybody arrived at their time, then there was talk of Australia and New Zealand.  Food was being prepared: sausages wrapped in canned puff pastry with tomato sauce sprinkled with pepper corns and herbs and chucks of mozzarella.  There was a beer with tequila in it going around, the other option is a radler, which is the acceptable in German ‘Shandy’ – lemonade + beer mix.
We raced cars on some Sonic Playstation game.  I came a respectable 2nd, given that I didn’t understand why accelerate wasn’t the X button it normally always is and started 10 seconds behind everybody else.

Food was served, the burnt ones were the tastier of the group.  I think the sauce chemically changes a bit more as it solidifies.  There was talk of the international trends in porn, Tibor being a self proclaimed expert.  How do you test that?  The things you learn about people and their passions haha!  Then there was a dessert, some kind of chocolate cheesecake thing, it was very rich.

The night ended with a celebratory champagne and the film ‘Drag Me to Hell’ – coincidentally we were trying to watch only a night or two before.  Everybody but us had to leave, so the 3 of us watched what eventually being not so great a film, entertaining enough.

The ever changing sound of German Radio

They appear to have changed 2 of the 3 sacred songs.  Now on the field you can hear “Bills” by Lunchmoney Lewis and “Sugar, How you get so Fly?” by (I assume) Baby Bash.  Looking forward to the change up when we hire a car next weekend.

One thing that’s a positive was that half-way through Weezer’s Teenage Dirtbag song, they cut it and had ads play.  Ads are generally slightly less crap compared to Weezer.

No, you cannot go that way

Dear Waze,

Your GPS navigation system had acknowledged that the road was closed.  Your users had updated it with that information. Why did you insist that we continue down that route?

Kindly,

People who now have to take a long and complicated way to the next castle

_____________________________________________________________________________

 

We went castle hunting, managed to make it to 3, however because of the above, one of them took a lot longer to get to because the road that the GPS app in the phone was closed.  The app knew it.  We could see it advising us that it was closed.  It didn’t have another route though.  When we started to go another way, it kept programming to take us back down the closed road.  So the third castle was closed by the time we got to it.