Here it is – the long-awaited, “exciting” second installment.
You’ll be relieved to hear that I did eventually manage to get my cup of tea to my mouth, by adopting a new technique I like to call the “Wurstfinger-out manoeuvre”. I might patent it.
While elegantly sipping my exquisite Netto own brand tea, I spotted Oma emerging from the tool shed in the garden and decided to pop out to say “good morning”. This was just after 10 a.m. and I was feeling rather pleased with myself for simply being up, even if I was still in my pajamas with bed hair. Oma, however, looked like she’d been up for hours and was suitably full of the joys. I raised an eyebrow at the toolbox she was carrying and she threw back a cheery, “So ist das Leben!” (Such is life!)
I couldn’t even imagine a life that would involve me chirpily carting around a toolbox at 10 a.m. (or any time of the day for that matter) but then I’m not a German Oma; she’d probably built the shed while I was sleeping.
Feeling a little underachieving, I went back inside, showered and got myself ready for the day. I figured I would probably have enough plasters to get me through.
Now looking slightly more presentable (and appropriately plastered), I set out in search of food. Before long, I hit the jackpot – a cosy little café that served… Käse-Schinkenbrötchen! The nice lady behind the counter even offered to heat it up for me. (I think there must be something gormlessly endearing about me, or my accent, that Germans find appealing as she just glared at everyone else who came in.)
On the way out, I discovered that there must be some live dogs* in Rheinsberg as dead dogs don’t poop, as far as I know.
Satisfied with my morning so far, I set off for the palace and lake. My plan was to take a few photos of the palace and lake, walk around the lake to the obelisk, take photos of the palace and lake from the other side and then walk back again. Just when you thought this trip couldn’t get any more exciting, eh?
I set off, convincing myself that I was enjoying the (freezing) fresh air. Along the way, I passed a few other brave souls out for a walk, all very clearly German in their sensible footwear and all-weather clothing. Most of them gave me a cheery smile and a hello. It could have been the even more gormless, half-frozen look I was sporting at the time.
Anyway, I achieved my goal of making it to the obelisk, taking a lot of pretty photos along the way.
At this point, I was feeling so “at one” with nature, that I decided to carry on walking for a while. After ten minutes or so, I noticed something odd. I was completely alone. I hadn’t passed any Germans since the obelisk. Did they know something I didn’t? Had I missed a sign or something? I sent Manfredas a quick message.
Me: Are there wild boars in Brandenburg?
Manfredas: Hmm, I think you’ll be quite safe in the middle of the day.
Pfft. What did he know? Maybe the wild boar had never smelled Irish meat before and would disrupt their nocturnal habits for a nibble. Feeling more like eating than being eaten, I headed back towards town for some cake.
Unfortunately, I came to a Glühwein hut first.
Actually, there was nothing unfortunate about it; it was bloody brilliant. My cockles warmed, I continued on for around three minutes until I hit a likely-looking café.
Naturally, after all of this wild adventure I was exhausted, so I walked back to my apartment for a nap. A few hours later, I was ready to eat again. (I know – it just keeps getting more exciting…)
I’d spied a reasonably-priced restaurant on my earlier travels and, this being Rheinsberg, had no trouble getting a table. A lively foursome were sitting at the table next to me and thankfully, they didn’t look like they were about to leave any time soon. This was good as we were soon the only people left. We ended up having a nice chat but soon they were also ready to leave. Determined not to be the last one in the restaurant again, I downed my wine and left with them. We parted ways and I headed to the only Kneipe in town.
While it wasn’t the most salubrious of joints, I’m generally quite at home in these places so I plonked myself at the bar and ordered a glass of wine. The heads around me turned. Ah, “strange face in a local bar syndrome” – fun.
Me: Huh. Am I the only woman here?
Holger: (nodding behind the bar) She’s a woman.
Me: (casting a dubious look at the barkeep giantess) Oh, yes, of course she is! I meant, you know, as a customer… (eek, bad start)
Holger: Hmm, you speak good German but you don’t sound like a German. Where are you from?
Holger: Oh, right then! Shot?
Me: Yes, please.
And so began a merry night of shot-drinking, bizarre conversations and terrible dart-playing. It seemed there was some fun to be had in this town after all.
Day three got off to a rather later start and was pretty much a carbon copy of day two, apart from a nice glass of wine on a (currently non-touring) tour boat – and skipping the Kneipe; I was worried I might have some damages to settle from my slightly erratic darts skills.
And, while I may not have dug up the dog, I did find where he’s buried.
All in all, a perfectly enjoyable few days. I can definitely recommend it – especially if you enjoy having entire restaurants to yourself at the outrageous hour of 9 p.m.
*If you’re confused by the dog references, you probably need to read the previous post.