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Published: June 19th 2007
A typical view of the old part of Freiburg with the South Gate, an ornate building and a good old electric tram.
A few years ago, I started my first job as a teacher at a college in Swindon and I was lucky enough to have a fantastic German assistant called Andrea to help me out in class. Not only was she great fun to work with but she was as bonkers as me so it was inevitable we would quickly become firm friends. Alas, aside from a bit of a chat at our wedding last year (may I add that I was chuffed to bits that she flew over especially), we haven't seen each other since. Until today....
My father had an appointment in the nearby city of Freiburg this afternoon so Glynn and I hitched a ride. We last visited Freiburg in winter when the Christmas market was in full swing and a fresh layer of snow coated the streets. How different it was to be here in summer with brilliant blue skies, bicycles bounding around and a really vibrant feel to the place. After dropping off my father, we wandered the wonderful old streets of the city and enjoyed the sensation of being bonafide tourists again.
Some of the best features of Freiburg include the splendidly gothic
Jish Meets the Munster
Jish swings by Freiburg's most famous landmark, the munster, but unfortunately much of it is covered in scaffolding for renovation.
munster surrounded by the most amazing buildings that conjoured up images of medieval Germany in my mind. One very old red building had twin harlequin roofed towers and a zig-zag roof edge that made made me wonder if jousting tournaments might once have taken place right outside. We walked around for a couple of hours, making our way to the river that cascaded prettily through the city courtesy of a series of small steps in the water.
On the way back to the munster to meet my old friend Andrea, we passed a German sausage stand. When Glynn began salivating at the mouth, I had no choice but to order him a chunky big Thuringer Bratwurst which he devoured with relish. Seeing Andrea again was brilliant and we quickly fell into a manic dialogue covering all that's happened in the last 3 years. I had forgotten just how energetic and exuberant she is and it was wonderful to be caught up in it.
We took a walk up a steep hill to a lookout platform that granted those who dared climb the gently swaying tower with stunning views across the entire city. The late afternoon sun was still
Can't you just picture a jousting tournament in front of this building?
lovely and warm giving us ample excuse (if one were needed) to endulge in some fine German beers in a beer garden halfway down the hill. We then headed over to Andrea's apartment for a while before hitting the streets again in search of a suitable dinner venue.
We had been hoping to literally eat out as it was a beautifully warm evening but it seemed everyone else in Freiburg had the same idea. We eventually opted for a fun looking restaurant which served not only great beer but great food too. Between the four of us we tucked into Pflammkuchen, a type of flimsy pizza from Alsace, and Kasespazle, a delicious cheese baked noodle specialty, amongst other things and enjoyed a thoroughly entertaining evening together before it was time to catch the train back to Neustadt.
One of the things I like about Germany are the double decker trains - what an ingenius idea! How is it that England has double decker buses but no-one thought to apply the same principle to our overcrowded rail network? It took just over an hour to make it back to my home town where we were surprised to find my
Ebb and Flow
Cool as a cucumber despite the heat.
father waiting to give us a lift home, bless him. It was well past 11pm and far cooler in the more elevated Neustadt than it had been in Freiburg so we were glad of the ride. It's been great to be independently travelling again, even if it was only for one day :-)
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