Saturday, 13 March 2010

Learning moments

The aliens have landed

I had a study trip during last week, hence the radio silence. Or blog silence if you wish. And what a study trip it was. I saw a lot and I did learn a lot. Mostly how not to do things, but still, I learnt stuff... I might tell you a bit more next week, but first I will show you some photos!

The very first place we visited was Burg Hülshof, a so-called water castle. A lot of castles and mansion houses in Münsterland, Germany were built on islands in small lakes. During my first year of foreign trips I passed this water castle six times, but was never able to see it, because it's shielded by trees. I was very happy to be able to finally see it and was glad the weather worked with us as well. It was the childhood home of one of Germany's famous poets: Annette Droste-Hülshof and it's still lived in by descendants of her brother.

We visited several hotels in different classes. After all, when you pay a lot of money and have a tourleader and someone carrying your suitcases to your room, you don't want to stay in some shabby three-star hotel! But if you pay a bit less, have a driver/tourguide and have to carry your own suitcases to your room, a three-star will do just fine. This room was in one of the three-star hotels we saw. It had a bit of fairy-tale theme running throughout (we were in Grimm-country) and the rooms had names like 'Snowwhite', 'Cinderella' and 'Sleeping Beauty'. And some of the rooms had a lovely mural in the room depicting fairy-tale castles.

On our way to lunch on day two we stopped in a small town that was made up of beautiful half-timber buildings. I could have made at least fifty photos and each would have been beautiful. We only had twenty mintues though and fifteen of those were spent trying to get rid of a group of Polish teens who where in front of the 'Rathaus' (Town Hall). Half timbered buildings are made using a wood skeleton with horizontal, vertical and diagonal beams on a stone base. Then the spaces in between the beams would be filled with a mixture of cut up straw, water and lime (and on occasion manure as well). After it would be dried thoroughly, it would be covered in a white lime wash to finish it off. The roof would usually be hanging over quite a bit to prevent the rain from hitting the walls, making them soggy.

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