A month of travelling through Germany


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October 3rd 2012
Published: October 3rd 2012
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Travelling through Germany

Hamburg - Munich - Garmisch - Munich - Hamburg - Berlin - Stuttgart - Cologne - Hamburg - Bonn - Düsseldorf - Hamburg

View from my roomView from my roomView from my room

... at Hetty and Stefan's wedding in Garmisch. In the background you can see the Zugspitzmassiv.
Last time I told you that it took me a while to write about my triathlon because I had been so busy travelling. Let me tell you where my “September travelling” took me.

On September the 5th, I flew to Munich for Hetty and Stefan’s wedding. It was going to be a meticulously planned weekend into which Hetty and Stefan, but also family and friends, including myself as I was going to be Hetty’s witness, had put a lot of effort and heart’s blood. Wednesday till Friday, we were busy organising the last things, which was fun because there were, apart from Hetty and Stefan, Hetty’s mom Els, Stefan’s mom Ulrike, and his sister Anne. We also had a very relaxing Thursday morning because Hetty and Stefan had invited the four girls for a wonderful massage.

On Friday, we left for Garmisch at the bottom of the mountain Zugspitze, where the wedding would take place in a wonderful hotel by a little lake. Friday evening, there was a reception at a nice restaurant outside town with a wonderful view of the Zugspitze and the other mountains around it. We had very tasty Bavarian “Schmankerln” (traditional Bavarian specialties such as
Bavarian "Schmankerln" buffettBavarian "Schmankerln" buffettBavarian "Schmankerln" buffett

... at Hetty and Stefan's wedding in Garmisch.
Leberkas, Brezn and Fleischpflanzerl), enjoyed the stunning view and simply sat together to chat. There were about 46 guests altogether.

Saturday morning started off like in the movies. Hetty’s hairdresser came to her room in the early morning to do her hair and makeup, and Hetty had invited her mum and sister as well as myself to have breakfast with her in her room while the hairdresser was getting her ready. When we were ready to leave for the wedding chapel, she looked absolutely wonderful and happy. Even the sun smiled at her. Needless to say that the weather could not have been any better.

The ceremony was held in a little chapel by Hetty’s dad who is a pastor. It could not have been any more personal, and it was simply perfect. After the ceremony, we had some champagne outside the church, then I went off with the newlywed couple and the photographer to take pictures. In the afternoon, we had coffee and cake back in the hotel, outside of course as it was still sunny and warm. Later we had a lovely dinner and a great party, with some very nice performances by some of the
Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtnis KircheKaiser Wilhelm Gedächtnis KircheKaiser Wilhelm Gedächtnis Kirche

... on one end of the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin
guests in between. Anne and I had, with the help of almost all guests, prepared a wedding newspaper which we gave to Hetty and Stefan. A wedding newspaper is a German tradition and is a kind of magazine that is made for the couple and contains stories about / with / for them, including pictures. They loved it and were very surprised. We had great fun and partied until four in the morning.

On Sunday morning, we had a late breakfast together. Hetty and Stefan left for their honeymoon in Cornwall, and I drove back to Munich and flew back to Hamburg, all happy to see Hetty and Stefan so happy and to have been part of a most wonderful wedding weekend.

The following Wednesday, I left for Berlin with my colleague Maike to attend the Association of Test Publishers’ annual conference. It was held in a hotel just around the corner from the Kurfürstendamm. I had booked a pretty cool design hotel for Maike and myself. We registered for the conference and then went to a reception in the Wasserwerk. There was a kind of performance going on by two artists (a man and a woman) who were painted in silver and
Our hotel in BerlinOur hotel in BerlinOur hotel in Berlin

A design hotel with design rooms.
standing on two pillars, making slow movements. It was kind of strange. But the nice thing was that the president of the Association (whom I did not even recognise) came over to us and told us that cut-e was very prominent. Of course we liked this comment!

The next morning, I conducted our presentation on candidate experience in selection processes. It was on how selection processes and especially tests and questionnaires can be conceptualised in a way that they respond more to the applicants’ needs. My boss Achim had come from Hamburg to attend the talk, which was nice. It was also good to see our Norwegian colleagues Espen and Lasse who had come for the conference, and to see some other familiar faces. We had lunch together and attended some more presentations. In the afternoon, our second managing director Andreas came to talk to Espen and then invited us all for a very posh dinner at a trendy restaurant.

On Friday morning, I flew to Stuttgart for Marie and Matthias’ wedding from Tegel Airport – and got to talk to Volker Kauder, a German politician who is Chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag. It
Cologne ICologne ICologne I

The Cologne Cathedral. I front of it, there is a special cover on the ground, lots of little pictures, because of the "Fotokina", a photography fair that was taking place while I was in Cologne.
was only a brief chat about the pros and cons of mobile boarding passes, but the politician turned out to be rather nice.

In Stuttgart, my mum picked me up from the airport, and I had some time left for finishing Marie and Matthias’ wedding newspaper. I was going to be Marie’s witness. On Saturday morning, the weather was grey and rainy, and I had a guilty conscience because Marie and Matthias had originally wanted to celebrate on exactly the same day as Hetty and Stefan (which had been a most beautiful day, as you might recall), but then moved the date because of Ms. Super-Busy (myself). But the weather had changed when we got out of the church, and it was another beautiful day. The ceremony was not only Marie and Matthias’ wedding, but also their little son Felix’ christening. There were a lot of kids there as many of their friends already have children, so the whole ceremony was designed in a way that the children could also participate.

When we got out of the church, the weather was perfect for a reception with champagne, and it stayed nice. So we could also use the garden
Cologne IICologne IICologne II

Detailed picture of the cover on the ground.
of the house where the party took place. We had coffee and lovely cakes there that had been baked by friends. In the evening, a catering service made a fantastic barbecue. The DJ was good, so we spent the evening dancing and having fun.

My journey was not over yet. The day after the wedding, I caught a train to Cologne to attend a week of further training on “Mathematical Tools for Social Scientists”. Quite a nerdy thing to do, we talked about nerdy stuff and used a nerdy statistics programme. But it is quite helpful for the nerdy part of my job, so a good thing to do. I stayed with my cousin Petra and her family, which was great because I only get to see them about once or twice a year. Her older son Severin is 15 already and taller than me (he might not want to hear that, but I remember him jumping around on the little inflatable rubber horse Marie and I had given him when we visited Petra over a decade ago). His little brother, Benedikt, who is my godchild, is a big boy already, too, attending third grade and already doing well
20th anniversary of ITB Consulting20th anniversary of ITB Consulting20th anniversary of ITB Consulting

The installation showing many, many of the projects the company has done so far. Source: www.itb-consulting.de
at reading his books out to me.

My days were busy with the training and the work I tried to do during the breaks, so I only got to see Petra and the family in the evenings. But on Saturday, they invited me for the Hänneschen Theater, a puppet theatre where the characters talk in the local dialect. The play was on the “Nibelungenschatz”, which is part of a German legend. It also included two traditional figures from Cologne, Tünnes and Schäl.

I arrived back home in Hamburg on late Saturday, to have five days here, then left again for Bonn on Friday morning. I was invited to my former employer’s 20th anniversary. It was, as always, great to see my former colleagues, whom I really like. Some of them have become good friends. There was an opening speech by one of the managing directors, and all the colleagues had set up an installation that contained many little items that had something to do with the company or its employees. They were arranged in such a nice and imaginative way, it was great.

In the late afternoon, there was a speech by futurologist Matthias Horx on “Creative Capitalism – The future of
The Mediahafen in DüsseldorfThe Mediahafen in DüsseldorfThe Mediahafen in Düsseldorf

Virpi and I enjoyed the view from the TV tower you can see on the picture. Source: Gregor Ciecior.
Human Resources. Scenarios for tomorrow’s world of work”. He is a good speaker, and what I liked about his talk was that it was very optimistic, looking at the future’s opportunities and how we can seize them rather than at the threats. One of his focuses was diversity and flexibility, topics we also address and live at cut-e.

After the official part, I went for a drink with my favourite colleagues and then stayed at my friend Katti’s place for the night. On Saturday, we had a slow morning, then were invited for lunch by my friend and former colleague Alex and his wife Daniela. In the afternoon, I caught a train to Düsseldorf to spend the rest of the weekend with Virpi, who had invited me. It was nice to see her. She took me for a little walk through the old town of Düsseldorf, and we watched a beautiful sunset at the river Rhine. Then we went up the TV tower, from where we had a beautiful 360° view of the city, and finished the evening with some extremely tasty Thai food and playing with Virpi’s Wii.

The next morning, we went to the Neanderthal Museum. It is about half an hour from Düsseldorf Central Station and dedicated to the Neanderthal man that was found there. It is a nice interactive museum that is designed in the shape of a spiral, so while progressing in human history, you go uphill. I liked it.

I left Düsseldorf in the afternoon after a nice late Japanese lunch and returned to Hamburg. My “September travelling” was over.

A big thank you to my family and friends for having me. Hetty and Stefan, Marie and Matthias, Mum, Petra, Katti and Tom, Alex and Daniela, Virpi. It was great to see you all. And congratulations to Scott who returned from the Canungra Classic in Australia on Sunday and qualified for the Australian National Hanggliding Team!

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