Day 28 – 27th July 2020 – Braunschweig to Oldenburg via Hannover
No dramas this morning for a change. I like it here, seems very quirky and I like quirky!!
So today I am going to visit my brother. He is buried in a military cemetery near Hannover. I hope there is a flower shop nearby, I don’t want to visit empty handed
The cemetery is only an hour away on the autobahn so I am there by 11am. I’m due to meet with Dori and Janine at Hannover Harley Davidson at around 1pm so have plenty of time…. well…
The nearest flower shop is shut, they have gone on holiday. Ok I find a coffee shop nearby and sit for a while to try and find another one. There is one not too far away so I decide to go there. Buggered if I can find it, both google maps and apple maps route me to the same place, a quiet residential street, not a shop in sight for flowers or anything else. On my third attempt I pluck up the courage to ask someone. There is a guy weeding his driveway so I try in my bestest Germish to ask if there is a flower shop around here… ‘Haben sie Blumen Keller heir bitte’? While waving my arm around in a circular motion… he says ‘uh!’ Ok so I try the name of the shop ‘Monde de Fleur heir bitte’? ‘Nine, something something weg’ ok so I know he is telling me the name of the street, but I don’t understand it and he’s waving over there… ‘Danke schon’ I decide to give up as I am running out of time.
I ride back to the cemetery and go in.
It’s a reasonably small one and I know roughly where my brother is so it doesn’t take long to find him. I have always thought it a bit odd to talk to dead people at gravesides, but that is exactly what I do. I bring him up to date with family things, suggesting he already knows mum and dad are gone, they are probably with him if that is what you believe.
I stay about half an hour, lying on the grass chatting away. The war graves commission, who are responsible for looking after all the cemeteries around the world, do an excellent job and they are all exceedingly well kept, with shrubs and neat grass all well watered. I think it is the least we can do as countries who sent these, mostly, young boys off to their deaths in conflicts not of their making.
I do feel bad not bringing flowers, my mum would have liked and expected it, as do I, so instead I nick a single bloom from one of the shrubs, I don’t think they’ll mind do you?
In just 20 minutes I arrive at Hannover Harley Davidson to meet with Dori and Janine..
It is go great to see them again and they give me a warm welcome. We take some time to have a coffee and do some shopping… of course… just a few minor items for me… erm!!
Next stop is to eat as it is past lunch time… Dori leads us to this burger bar, which looks fab
but sadly it is closed on Mondays…. but we bump into the owner who gives Dori some recommendations for other eateries nearby so off we go.
We pull in to the car park and get off our bikes, then this man comes along shouting something… Dori says we can’t park here it is for the restaurant next to the one we are going in and the man says only his customers can park here… so it seems this bloke spends all day in his car park shooing off people who are not eating in his restaurant… it’s not like it was even half full.. Dori is embarrassed that this has happened, but it’s ok as apparently he’s Bavarian, which I gather is like Basil Fawlty saying ‘he’s from Barcelona’. So, we move the bikes and have burgers for lunch.. very good too.
Back on the road to Oldenburg and we stop for a break at a garage… suddenly a woman comes out of the shop in her bare feet with a childs bubble maker.. the big tube full of soapy liquid and a ring.. she is waving it about in the air making huge bubbles while dancing around saying, in English, these are for you. We think she was a member of staff…. bonkers!
Not long after we arrive at Dori’s home and time for a rest… I realise I haven’t spoken to anyone for ages so am talking quite a lot… sorry!