Tag Archives: Neumünster

Sunday Shopping and Duck Race

Today we had one of the few Sunday Shopping days in which the city is opened on a holy Sunday. Last year I actually wrote about this so you can find in this article more information about this stupid situation here in Germany and why there are barely any people around on Sundays. This Sunday was also a bit special as we had the yearly Duck Race in the city once again (here the article about it from 2015), we had some Street Food gathering going on and a Classic Car Meeting as well.

All the ducks shortly before the start

This year we skipped the Duck Race and I only took few pictures before the start. It is not because we have no interest in watching it but we have a little puppy who needs to get out around 3pm each day and that is also the time the race would start. We had surprisingly good weather with a lot of sunshine unlike the entire last week which had only storms for us.  I would love to tell more about the Street Food gathering but we tried to not get too close to it as it would have certainly ruined our wallets and give us some extra pounds. The only part where my wife was getting weak was the stand with Japanese styled Crêpes but thankfully the waiting line was so absurdly long that she gave up on it.

The Japanese stand

For me the highlight was the Classic Car meeting. The local club has several meetings each year but somehow I have never visited one. Always something happened such as holidays, too much rain or simply no energy to leave the apartment. It was really interesting to see cars from the last 70 years gathered here. As we are in Germany there were mostly only German brands such as Opel, Mercedes, BMW, Audi (Auto Union) and so on but there were also few US brands, British and French. My brother always wants to purchase a classic car but in the end it is just too much work to maintain it properly and you need also a safe garage as those cars can be really expensive.

Lovely old Mercedes

This Sunday was finally a day to relax a bit. Funny enough even though we had the Sunday Shopping day we only went around the city to watch all the interesting events rather than going to any shop at all. Tomorrow and the day after we have some big things happening but more about it in next weeks blog post/ some hints on Social Media the next days.

Have you visited a Classic Car meeting?

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Sunday Shopping

After battling with a persistent flu for over a week it is time for a small blog post. I actually tried to write something before but no coherent thought was possible with constant headaches, running nose and coughing. Enough of my excuses and I present you here again some fun fact about Germany.

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A little fire

Sunday shopping sounds not too strange for most people. Well, Germany is a bit different. Here we have the “Ladenschlussgesetz/ Shop Closing Law” which determines when retail stores have to be closed. Sundays and public holidays is a dead zone in the cities, Monday through Saturday stores need to be closed before 6 AM and after 8 pm followed with the tricky December the 24th where shops needs to be closed already after 2pm. Sounds stupid and in fact the law was a bit changed in 2006 when the different  German States got the power to decide themselves how the law is applied. Because of this the different States have different opening hour regulations. We live in Schleswig-Holstein where shops are allowed to be open at any given time from Monday till Saturday so we have it pretty good compared to conservative Bavarians who still follow the old Shop Closing Law.

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Nathan’s new favorite truck

Now coming to the Sunday Shopping. As Germany has a predominant Christian population and is one of those old creepy countries, work is by tradition and religion prohibited on Sundays. Okay this sounds a bit harsh, it is not prohibited but nothing is opened on Sundays so you better get all shopping done by Saturday. However cities are allowed to have this thing called Sunday Shopping which they may have up to four times a year. As they are so rare most cities try to make together with bigger shops some kind of event out of it. We had the first Sunday Shopping of the year on the 5th of February in my hometown and we decided to check it out. No not because we wanted to go shopping but to see what the event would be like.

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Must have been cold wearing that!

 

In the market square was a small stage with live music, a fire to warm up and the volunteer fire department were presenting themselves in order to recruit for their youth division.  There were also some artists and a fire show which we kind of missed each time it was on. One of the artist was walking on stilts with an interesting costume making her look like some kind of firebird/phoenix . Nathan was at first amazed by her but then he realised that she was just too tall so he decided that running away is the best option.

 

The reason why we missed the fire show was because we were busy eating cakes in a new cafe. This cafe just open recently with the great name “Layali Lebnan – Köstlichkeiten aus 1001 Nacht/ Delights of 1001 Nights”. As you might guess from the name it is not a German cafe and that is also why it is so great. The cakes and pastries were just amazing and so different compared what the standard bakeries here are offering. Even my mother who is always so annoying  with food enjoyed it so it must be pretty good. I know that this cafe will be visited more often this year by us.

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I am hungry again

So that was it, our first Sunday Shopping (more like Sunday cake eating) in 2017. I actually do look forward to the following Sunday Shopping dates this year as they seem to be interesting with their special events and artists.

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#Nathancuty approves

What are the opening hours in your country?

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Hidden places can be found everywhere

And the “sightseeing” tour continues! Our past travels had brought us to Kiel and to Lübeck however this time we didn’t go to any city as I was in no shape to drive too much and the weather was rather poor as well. So I came up with the idea to visit some nice spots in the surroundings villages of my hometown. Needless to say my wife and my crazy Chinese mother-in-law were not really that interested as one main aspect would be missing in that tour: Shopping…

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Just moments before her feet are getting soaked…

Indeed it took me a while to convince them that it might be nice to get out on that day even though the weather wasn’t that great. Furthermore MIL barely saw anything of this town except the city center and some grocery stores around our apartment. After a while I succeeded and hence our tour started by going to the north to visit Lake Einfeld (Einfelder See). It is a small lake in the northernmost part of my hometown and the district itself was 1970 a small village but got integrated into Neumünster due to changes in the county border/ district management. During warm summer days the lake is full of people trying to escape from the heat but on this particular day it was just too windy and rather cold resulting that only few people were windsurfing without anyone bothering them. Our little Nathan tried to hunt down the geese but they were tough opponents and in the end he had to escape himself. MIL wouldn’t be MIL without anything happening and she actually managed to get her feet soaked in the water and Nathan’s as well while posing once again for some pictures.

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View over the lake

After the lake we drove to the town Bordesholm to visit the old abbey and the old lime tree which is called just “Bordesholmer Linde”. What is so special about a lime tree you might wonder, well it is a pretty old tree as it is around 700 years old.  It is located in the historical center of the town and the diameter of the trunk is 2,30m. Even though the tree is taken care of by professionals it is still slowly dying due to the environmental changes. Behind the tree is the abbey dating back to 1332 so the tree pretty much was there from the beginning on. The original monastery to which the abbeysurroundings16 belongs was torn down somewhen in the early 1700s as due to the reformation nearly everyone became Lutheran and thus the monastery lost all its members over the decades. In the abbey are several tombs of old dukes and other high-ranking people of their time. Right next to the abbey is these days a retirement home in which is also a museum about the history of the area and there is also an entrance to the old vaults of the monastery which had been found during the construction of the retirement home. Furthermore there are some small parts left of the old monastery wall including a tunnel leading into the vaults and other secret places.

 

Our last destination for that day was the Boxberg, a “mountain” here with a height of 76,8m over the sea level. It is located in the Aukrug Nature Park and the Boxberg is part of the moraine landscape.  At the base of this huge mountain is a restaurant in which we strengthened ourselves with coffee and cake before attempting the dangerous climb. It was so steep that even Nathan had troubles getting all the way up himself but in the end he managed and was faster than his mother and grandmother! From the top we had a wonderful view of the surrounding area and it really felt peaceful there and secluded even with a herd of goats in the background. Seriously, why on earth was there a herd of goats? Because of them I could not even read several information boards regarding the history of this area as they were inside the goat enclosure which was protected by an electric fence!

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Moraine landscape

Even though all these places are located in the surrounding area of my hometown it took us the better part of the afternoon until we were again back home. Remember that MIL and my wife were in the beginning not really interested due to the lack of shopping possibilities? This changed and in the end they were rather happy that I convinced them to do this little sightseeing tour as it was a nice day and a new experience for them. I must also admit that I had never visited those places before in my life (except the lake) and was truly amazed what wonderful secret spots are so nearby my home.

Did you ever find some “hidden”  places near your home?

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