On September 8th, 2012, just 6 days after my arrival in Germany, The Wife and I began the first part of our ongoing walking tours of Hannover. We followed “The Red Thread,” which totally sounds like a yarn shop for old ladies, but is actually the main tourist circuit through the city. We barely made it through half of the tour on our first day, so I would expect these posts to continue for some time because the Red Thread is one
Here are the pictures. Click one of them to open the gallery. We hope you like them!
We began our journey at the Touristeninformation, where they sell all kinds of tourist crap my family can totally expect to receive this Christmas. We tried to enter this building and start our tour the day before, but my wife failed to research their peculiar hours of operation. 10am to 3pm on Saturdays? What kind of tomfoolery is this?
This is the actual Red Thread. Each stop has a number and corresponding description in Hannover’s Red Thread city guide. My wife made me read every single one of these descriptions out loud to her, which made me feel like an old man reading bedtime stories to a filthy, naughty little schoolgirl who needs to be punished.
This is the entrance to the Galerie Luise, where rich people go to part ways with their undeserved money. The gallery is basically a big mall designed specifically to crush the souls of the poor and drive them into the nearest Biergarten.
Check it out! Clothing models… with actual CURVES! I am accustomed to models in America, which look like gangly tree branches. These curves were a refreshing shot of life, and I take back everything I said about you, Galerie Luise.
This is the main atrium of the Galerie Luise. My favorite part is that homely little mall troll sitting on top of her throne. Don’t look her in the eye; she’ll set a pox upon your first born.
This is some kind of bronze sculpture at the end of the gallery. It’s a fountain with a wine bottle, only instead of wine, it pours harmless, boring water.
This is the Opera House. You’ll have to forgive the clutter in this picture; there was some kind of street fair going on all up and down Georgstraße that day. And just like Christmas morning from my childhood, it was filled with screaming children and old people.
There was supposed to be an old stone wall from 1337 here. Instead, we found our view obscured by a karate class for kids in session. The instructors were totally letting the children throw them to the ground. “I saw you take that fall!” I exclaimed. “What is this, an Italian soccer game?”
This is the Ernst-Grote House, famous for being the home of the Ernst Grote Coffee brand. My wife tells me coffee is a big deal here in Germany. I wouldn’t know; I’m so sensitive to caffeine even one cup of coffee gives my heart the hiccups.
This is a terrible picture of Hannover’s New Town Hall, also known as the Rathaus. Generally, my iPhone does a great job of balancing light and shadow, but not this time. This looks like the onset of nuclear winter.
Oh look! Another God-awful shot of the Rathaus! I am disappointed by my iPhone, because this couldn’t possibly result from the fact that I am a terrible photographer.
This is the Archer, a bronze sculpture at the corner of the New Town Hall. His arrow is pointed directly at the mayor’s office (I’m serious), begging the question, just how effectively Mayor Stephan Weil can perform on the job with a sharpened projectile aimed at his balding German pate.
Here’s an extreme angle of the Rathaus to make up for the sorry lighting. I hope those tourists up in the tower are taking equally terrible pictures of me down here.
Inside the Rathaus they have these awesome scale models of Hannover from different periods of time. This one is how the city looked back in 1689. Look! Can’t you just see the little peasants selling their wares in the market square? God I bet they stank.
Here’s Hannover in 1939. Doesn’t it look so perfectly quiet and peaceful? Ahhh, like heaven on ear– wait, 1939? I feel like something important happened right after that…
Holy smokes, that’s Hannover in 1945 after WWII. You can see nearly every single building took some kind of damage. Hard to believe carpet bombing was ever considered modern warfare, isn’t it? “Wait, what is our tactic again, Sir? Oh, right; bomb merry hell out of everything until enemy gives up.”
Now THERE is the Hannover I’ve come to know and love. My GOD these people can rebuild a city. They’re like termites, these Germans.
This is the view from the elevator on the way up to the top of the Rathaus. The camera is pointed straight up, so you can see the elevator shaft ascends at an angle of 17 vertigo-inducing degrees.
This is the view from the top of the Rathaus facing north. In the distance you can see the Market Church, which is probably my favorite part of the city. Not because I’m religious or anything; that church is parked right in the middle of beer garden central, and Daddy’s got a vicious thirst.
Here is the view northeast. In the middle of the picture you can see a church with no roof. That’s the Aegidienkirche, but there are no beer gardens in the vicinity, so it doesn’t really even count.
This is the view southwest, looking at the Maschsee and the AWD-Arena to the right, where the Hannover 96 soccer team plays. (And yes, I know it’s called ‘football’ here, but saying that makes me sound like I know how the game works.)
There’s the Maschsee again and the Maschteich in front of it. (Note: ‘see’ means ‘lake,’ ‘teich’ means ‘pond,’ and ‘Klugscheißer’ means ‘smartass.’)
Those are the steps down to the elevator. I took this picture because I spent one second too long considering what would happen if an earthquake hit while my wife and I were up at the top of the Rathaus, and then I panicked like a little bitch.
Oh good, another boring picture of the Hannover skyline. I am sorry, Dear Reader; capturing all 360 degrees of the city seemed like a fantastic idea at the time.
Last one. I swear. Oh, and that tall glass building looks even weirder in person. Like a pile of spare parts from a greenhouse.
If you follow this blog with any kind of regularity, you saw this picture from our first ‘Culture Shock’ post, when I attempted to ask a German if I could take a picture of his adorable electric car.
This picture looks like every single postcard from Hannover ever, so hopefully someone steals it and sends it to a loved one back home without noticing the logo in the corner. “Hi honey! I’m having a great time and I totally found a new wife here in Germany! See you soon! XOXO!”
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