Hey guys, welcome back!
October has always held a special place in my heart as each year it comes with different, yet always fun and exciting events. This year was no different as it was one to remember for a long time to come. My mum and brother moved to northern Germany a few years ago and I've rarely seen them since, so this October I decided to visit them for the first time. Months before I actually went I also stalked Wardruna's website to see where they will be performing on the tour for their new album. One of the shows was going to be in Berlin and I really wanted to go and see them live.
Mum and I somehow planned things out so good that I went to see her the same week as the concert took place, so we bought our tickets and decided to go together. While being in northern Germany, Hannover, Hildesheim, Sarstedt... was wonderful as it was, the concert was the icing on the cake. There was a loooong 3 hour drive to Berlin from Hildesheim, but everything sort of magically fell in place, and we managed everything with ease. I was in love with the rustic old looking beautifulness of Hildesheim and Sarsted, not so much Berlin as it was crowded and grey. but never the less I wasn't there for the site seeing. We had a whole day in Berlin, because the concert began around 9 pm, so we went exploring. The underground tube system was 'fun' to figure out when you come from a country that doesn't have one. But thankfully I speak German quite good enough, so we managed just fine. Apart from visiting the Alexa shopping center where we ate the most delicious noodle soup at an Asian restaurant, and going for a tremendously overpriced glass of wine and iced coffee, we didn't end up having enough time to explore more than Alexanderplatz square.
Words cannot explain how much I enjoyed Wardruna's concert. If you think they can't be better live than recorded, you're dead wrong. You can feel such power in their music, you can't help but fall into sort of a trans. Even my mum was super impressed and enjoyed the performance. They had a few shockers that just left your mouth open. and heart pounding. Amazing instrumental as well as vocal talent. It was beyond magical. I can just imagine how it would be if they performed out in the openness of nature. Brilliant. We were at the Huxley's Neue Welt music venue that hosts lots of concerts almost every day, so it was a closed space, but in a huge city like Berlin, maybe that is for the better. I danced and tried really hard to actually look at the performance and Einar Selvik with his wonderful team, but to be honest the music is so good, your eyes automatically close. The end was the best part. They played probably everyone's favourite song Helvegen which is not from the new album, but is a classic that lifts your soul, and I was ecstatic. Couldn't help myself but dance and sing along. At the end we of course had to ask for more, so Einar actually performed solo and sang the Snake pit poetry with the company of his lyre. As mum and I waited for our ride home, we went for beer and pizza at about 1 am. which was really fun even though we were very tired. That's probably one of the cool things about big cities... you can always find food and drinks even late at night. I mean you should see Budapest at 4 am... buzzing.
I've been to Germany before, but never to the northern parts of Niedersachsen. The smaller cities are sooo beautiful, I had neck pains from constantly looking up. The Hildesheim Market square is just breathtaking. The old architecture of buildings is so well preserved and looks like something out of a story book. I can just imagine what it looks like in winter time when they prepare the Christmas market. We went for takeaway food to NordSee, which is literally everywhere you go and for good reason (it's delicious), and for a good old German beer at the square. There are a lot of Russian residents living in those parts of Germany, so they literally have legit Russian food stores with everything your Russian heart desires. Even the music in the shop is Russian. I'm originally from Ukraine, so practically all of those things also apply to me, and we bought a few classics like the famous Plombir ice cream that I haven't eaten in a long time. Yumm! Hildesheim also has a great Asian restaurant with foods you never tried before in your life. Mum and I ate a whole lot when we went there the last evening before I headed back for Slovenia.
Ahhh... this town. I mean if there is a perfect place to live peacefully surrounded by beautiful old buildings, small lakes, rivers and nature within a 3 minute reach, this is what you would imagine. There was something about it... the atmosphere maybe, that is just so different than what I'm used to. It almost felt as if I was in the UK, although I've never actually been there. Bushes filled with Hawthorne, Birch trees as far as the eye can see, beautiful Oak trees that have just turned the most gorgeous shade of brown. And black crows! I love crows. They're my favourite animal. Smart, loyal and beautiful. But I've rarely seen an actual black crow. We mostly have gray crows in Slovenia (their feathers are black and gray). The streets in the centre part of Sarstedt are made of bricks, everything is made of bricks actually. And it just looks so nice! The brick roads were spotless, every brick neatly placed, as well as the sidewalks. Not a single gum stain on the floor. Everything had a beautiful warm shade to in. Bricks, white walls and wood elements and old medieval shop signs is all you can see. Honestly it was like being in a dream. Maybe I saw it in a different light as it was my first visit there, but my feelings were more than genuine.
Being bigger, it's not as warm and homely as the other two mentioned, but it's still very much vibrant and welcoming. With shops lined neatly and conveniently close to one another, better stocked than even Berlin in my opinion, I got a few things that I can't really get my hands on in Slovenia. I've not spent a lot of time there to further explore. Just hopped into some shops and went for coffee, because mum still had work through the majority of the week. But it was still a nice not at all rushed experience.
We planned to visit the coast which is about 200 km away, but with all the driving and limited time, and also the cold rainy northern weather at the end of the week, we just didn't end up going. But for sure the next time I visit, I know I'll stay longer and we'll have more time to actually explore.