The Best Coffee is in Leer

On a whim we decided to drive to the small town of Leer. Leer is another one of those gorgeous, historic, right on the river towns that has scenic old buildings next to modernised apartments with beautiful river views.
Our lunch was at a restaurant that shared this view, called Schöne Aussichten. It is a huge restaurant and with the view like it has, I was expecting it to be pricey. It was surprisingly affordable, an average meal was no more than 10 Euro. They offered Sweet Potato chips too. Worth it! We sat, we ate, we talked about all kinds of different things. One topic was sign language in different languages. There was a deaf couple sitting near us and I was thinking of how hard it would be to learn a foreign language in sign language.
After lunch and some sitting around, relaxing, enjoying the ever lessening sun, a coffee sounds like the perfect way to round out the day. We found Kaffeerösterei Baum on the main stretch of Leer shops. The coffee was amazing. We’re planning on visiting there just for another cup of the stuff. You can order from them to your house, bags of coffee, not a cup of the stuff.


Sleepy Spanish Sugar-loving Sightseers

We’ve had the pleasure of hosting Ingrid’s Aunt and her Aunt’s husband for about a week. We met in Bremen and toured Schnoor, turns out that it’s hard to get a Bratwurst there. If anybody normally asked me about getting a Bratwurst, I would say that on every second corner it’s possible to get one. It may not be the best Bratwurst, but it is available. My thoughts are based on nothing more than whimsy and exaggeration. Bratwurst sellers, there’s a market waiting for you in Schnoor.
The heading you ask?
Oh! Our guests would sleep for around 5 hours every afternoon. This kind of resulted in a bit of a time misuse – we’d wake up early in the morning, they’d be asleep because they would be awake until some small hour during the night/morning. The afternoon would then be lost because of the required ‘nap’.
If you eat cake for breakfast and afternoon tea and add at least 4 teaspoons of sugar to each cup of tea or coffee you drink, and you drink more than a cup per sitting, plus enjoy a ‘sweet treat’ after most meals…

We visited Jever for a bit of a fest. They got their first and last Bratwurst there. It wasn’t everything they’d hoped for, not bad, just not the AMAZING thing that marketing can make one believe a product to be.

One day we went to Hooksiel’s Waterski Park for a brunch. It has a nice view over the water and if there’s good cable skiers or boarders, that makes a nice view too.

In Oldenburg there was a Sexual Education tent/temporary building. It was pretty funny to visit, not that we knew it was there, but after we’d shown off the castle in Oldenburg, this lady explained what the giant rainbow thing was and that we should enter.

In Wilhelmshaven we toured around the Windmill, southbeach and some other interesting buildings.

Bierfest: Wilhelmshaven is not to be outdone by Oldenburg

Another year and a new Bierfest to visit! This time in Wilhelmshaven, a town not often mentioned and certainly not normally highly regarded, particularly by the locals. I think it’s good. The Bierfest was impressive, boasting around 190 different beers from around the world, well, at least, that’s what I think I heard. This puts it a few steps above the Oldenburg Bierfest I visited before.
Pumpwerk was to be the location and the place was transformed into a kind of Bier Bazaar, with beer tents all representing their little regions. It was a little bier shanty town, in fact, that could be close to an Utopia…
We actually visited there twice, on two different days, with two different groups of people. You cannot, no matter how hard you try, drink all those beers in one day. Two days makes it more manageable.
My favourite part was actually educating some of my friends about many of the beers I have already had the pleasure of trying: the old trusty wheatbeers from Belgium with their fruity yeast flavours that are light on the tongue, the Indian Pale Ales from the UK, that test your enjoyment of strong, powerful hop flavours, to the crisp Pilseners of Czech Republic, that cannot really be beaten, especially during some summer heat. I enjoy them all.
The stand out for me this year though was from South Africa. It had just beaten a beer I’d never had from Belgium called Delirium or something, they had a giant, inflatable, pink elephant at their tent and their beers were all over 6% alcohol with complex but kind of sweet flavours. Delicious! Back to the South African beers! These were also quite strong, over 6% alcohol. They had a kick to them though, it separates the boys from the men, like a good Porter should but, I don’t know, there was something behind it that was refreshing and new and enjoyable. Good job!
For food both days, I ate a cheese burger. The lady remembered me the second time, pretty funny (didn’t give me a discount though…).
Was it better than Oldenburgs? Probably. I think the space allowed for a more enjoyable experience. It wasn’t as busy, there were much more seating options available, there were more beers, there were more bands. On the whole it was a greater effort. Sadly, I probably won’t see another one because of the return to Australia, but… you never know, maybe the year after, I may just pop in for a sneaky brew. Speaking of which, I want Australian beer represented at these events!!

*I didn’t actually drink many beers at all, but it makes for a humourous read, ok?

Hannover Maschseefest

We were young and bored, so we visited Hannover for their Maschseefest. It all took place on the lake there. The water is surrounded by numerous tents and stalls. The best plan of attack, of course, was to check out as many stalls as we could and decide what we wanted to eat. A short stroll delivered us a free ice block from a friendly man giving them out to as many people as possible Ice blocks don’t seem so common here, Germans love Ice Cream, so maybe this freebie was to try to crack into the market. Ingrid had some kind of wild fruits flavour and I took the other one, which was mango – I’m not really a fan of mango. We shared our flavour experiences and they were pretty good.
The lake is so large that we only managed to walk half of it before we decided it was time to sit and have something to drink. Conveniently, the ‘Spanish’ section wasn’t very busy, they had a Latin Dance exhibition taking place on the stage, so we had somewhere to sit and something to watch. Not long after taking a seat, a waitress came and asked us what we’d like to drink. Everything was coming together!
We talked and sipped our drinks and looked out over the water, across the shiny faces of the people rowing or peddling their boats. The weather really co-operated today with some blue sky appearing between the clouds, allowing the sun to warm the earth to a fairly comfortable low-twenty degrees something…
That was exhausting. We needed food!
Ingrid wanted a wood roasted Salmon wrap, I know it sounds special, but you can normally get the sandwich version at most of these fests. She will tell you that it is special. In fact they are so special that the first place that sold it was forced to explain to the quite large queue, they’d have to wait around 20 minutes for the fish to cook because the last batch has been eaten. What they do is the hang up to 6 large pieces of salmon on pieces of wood. The then hang all of this over the coals of a fire. I think you get a smokey, fire flavour through the fish, but I don’t eat things from the sea, so I cannot tell you.
Anyway… we didn’t have to wait 20 minutes. We knew there was another place to get the same thing. So we walked there. YOU SEE KIDS! ALWAYS WALK BEFORE DECIDING WHAT TO EAT!
For some reason I wanted to eat a 50cm Bratwurst on bread. In that area there wasn’t one… don’t know where it went. I settled instead for a very tasty sounding Lamb Sausage (Lammwurst) with roasted vegetables. The actual product was a bit of a let down.
Somehow, all of that took something like 4-5 hours to do and it would be late in the night when we arrived home. Traffic is always pretty nice when it’s late, nothing to report.

Colleagues’ New Baby

The guy who owes me a Moving House Pizza, Haitham, and his wife have just announced the arrival of their first baby. It’s a girl. We knew that though. Apparently it was a quick birth. The boss was notified that they were on their way to the hospital at 07:30am and before lunch we all knew she was out.
I’m sure you all send your best wishes to the family, just as we did.
That starts a major Babyfest. AJ and his wife are expecting soon, Ingrid’s friend Natalie and her husband’s child should come soon after, another one of Ingrid’s friends is next and then I think it’s our turn. 3-4 months of newborns.