After arriving in Hannover Sharon was having problems with her new iPad and we soon found the Apple Store close to the Hauptbahnhof (main railway station). With no place to insert a German SIM the only way she could send and receive emails was, if I created a ‘Hotspot’ for her on my mobile phone. We were inextricably linked – joined at the hip! Who remembers snail mail?
With Graham in tow the following day we wandered into the ‘Altstadt’, lunched at a typical German restaurant, and inspected some of the local art and architecture. A French artist by the name of Niki de Saint Phalle decided to make Hannover her home and her very distinctive porcelain figurines were in many shops and large scale models were displayed in the parks and walkways.
The large man made lake in the centre of the city was used during the 1936 Olympics that were hosted by Berlin. Large models in a formal government building showed Hannover the way it was prior to WW2 and then the bombed out ruin post war. An interesting place but not our favourite city.
In the marina we met a French couple who were travelling a similar route at least as far as Koblenz but then they were going to continue down the Rhein to Mulhouse and then take the Rhein au Rhone canal to link up with the Rhone whereas we had chosen the Mosel and the Canal des Vosges. We exchanged navigation notes and Patrick passed on some advice about the canals. He had been a Beneteau dealer in the south of France.
After leaving Hannover we spent the next night along the river bank at a place called Bad Essen. No, it doesn’t mean bad food but rather a health spa with thermal pools. A very cute village with thatched roofs.
By the 18th June we had reached Munster. The downtown harbour did not look very inviting with lots of “No Mooring” signs and shallow water next to the Quay. Only after we had tied up did we realise that the signs related to a harbour festival that had been run a couple of weeks before. Being Kiwis a ‘No Parking’ sign simply means you need to use a little poetic licence when explaining why you are there – like mechanical failure! We had an excellent meal in a waterfront restaurant and Sharon ordered one of her favourite dishes – grilled Tiger prawns!
There are more bikes per head of population in Munster than there are in Amsterdam and perhaps one of the reasons is that it is a city with a student population of 60,000.