Sunday, October 4, 2015

EuroTrip 2015: Edinburgh Reunion (Part 3 of 5)

Again I remind you it's been five years (half a decade!) since we started our Masters degrees in Edinburgh.  Five is a nice round number to have a reunion with all the fab people we became friends with, who I affectionately call Das German Friends.

For some reason most of Martin's classmates, at least the fun ones we cared to hang out with, were German.  There are a few notable exceptions, but the sheer number of fun Germans in his class will keep our social calendar occupied for the rest of our lives.

A disproportionate number of Das Germans Friends live in Cologne and Dusseldorf in the far west of the country, so naturally that is where we based our reunion activities.

And by "activities" I mean this:

My god can these Germans (and American, Dutch and Belgian as pictured above) drink.  It doesn't help our case that, on average, they are 5 years younger than us.  So when you think about it, we were that age when we lived in Edinburgh, and they were far younger.  But none of us can party like we used to!  Martin and I have the distinct pleasure of being over 30 while trying to keep up with these whipper snappers.

Though drinking, eating, drinking and more drinking were the main activities planned for the reunion we did get to see a bit of Cologne and Dusseldorf.  We saw the Cologne Dome, which is the big, ornate cathedral that has been under construction in some capacity for several hundred years:

It was the tallest building in the world for 4 years in the 1880's.  See, we learned stuff, we did more than drink!

Actually I just learned that off Wikipedia now and we pretty much did nothing but drink at the reunion.

This is Sabrina (napping, not passed out).
You will see more of her in the future.
Mostly we just walked around town, drink in hand, looking for our next beer garden but we did see a fair bit of the city along the way.  Pro tip: both Cologne and Dusseldorf aren't particularly scenic from a tourist perspective.  Like everywhere in Germany they got the shit bombed out of them in WWII (rightfully so), but some places have done a better job than others of rebuilding.  While these cities sound like awesome places to live they shouldn't be on your Must See travel itinerary of Germany.

Speaking of bombs, did you know that to this day they find un-detonated bombs from WWII and have to evacuate the area while a bomb squad defuses it?  I am fascinated by this!  I was going on and on about how this just happened in London, and Sabrina informed me she has had to be evacuated twice in the last few years for the exact same purpose!

A) How crappy were these bombs that they never exploded?!  Did they get them from a cereal box?  B) How has nobody noticed them sitting there for the past 70 years?!  These aren't in rural areas, these are major population centers where they're finding them.  The older I get the more I am digging WWII history, and this absolutely insane factoid stokes my interest in this fascinating time even more.  I can't help but wonder C) What happens if one of those ancient, undetected bombs actually does go off today?

We had a super fun pool party day planned at one of our friends house.  Well, it was his parents house...remember they are still "youths".  In addition to being young [and fun] our friends are, shall we say, not poor.  All it took to derail our best laid plans was one dead grandma, then the pool party was off.  Waaaaaaaah!

It was hotter than Hades in Germany that week so we needed a replacement waterside activity.  Dusseldorf is conveniently located on the Rhine river, so that was our postmortem Plan B.

Let's see, how do I put this in a non-snotty way?  Coming from Australia, home of world class beaches, the bank of the Rhine river was, umm, an adjustment.

Yes, an adjustment.  That's what this is:

The Rhine is a major shipping route so there were cargo ships going in both directions the whole afternoon.  Lovely ambiance!

This being Germany, we could drink as much as we want publicly and not get hassled by the fuzz.  Fancy beaches be damned, all we were looking for was a cool place near a body of water to drink, cool off and continue our shenanigans.

This was the largest gathering of Edinburgh alumni that we've had, and if I'm honest it will probably be the biggest one there ever will be.  People grow up, obligations increase, travel priorities shift.  We all know we can't completely relive our glory days in Edinburgh.

That's a sad thought, but I guess that's why you should enjoy things as they are happening!

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