Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hamburg 14.12.1993: Student Demonstrations and Turkish Cheeses

Arrived in Germany about 9:30 A.M. It’s nearly 7 P.M., and we’re waiting to eat supper at W. and K.’s in Hamburg.

An uneventful flight. When we landed, picked up our rental car in Frankfurt and drove to Hamburg. I.e., Steve drove and I slept fitfully, since neither of us slept on the plane.

The bits and pieces I saw as I awoke were interesting. We took the Autobahn to Kassel and Hannover, then Hamburg. Snowed in the hills around Kassel. Here and there, lots of pretty villages and old farms in the good-looking farmland. Most buildings had red roofs—tile? The oldest farms had buildings attached to one another, as if they had grown together.

I missed the Lüneberg Heath, which I had wanted to see—slept through it. Steve says it was flat and attractive. By the time I awoke from my last nap, we were climbing towards Hamburg—i.e., meeting the few hills between the Heath and Hamburg. Lots of birch, reminding me of Scandinavia. In fact, with the cold, misty weather and overcast skies. It felt much like being in Finland last year.

This all sounds so prosaic and reportorial because I’m frantically exhausted with lack of sleep and jet lag. Hard to get the mind to do more than think one syllable ahead of another.

Hamburg interesting as we drove into it—some kind of student demonstration for Ausländer near the Hamburg main Bahnhof, every noisy and inspirited. Scary, a bit, because of the spirit—perhaps no accident the 18th century feared enthusiasm, Plato’s divine madness of the theos within. But I would believe just as fiercely in enthusiasm in another time and place.

And so supper and to bed. I’m bone, bone tired.

Just had supper—Kasseler Rippchen, sauerkraut, potatoes, sausages, mustard and horseradish, with a wonderful appetizer of Turkish sheep’s cheese and Turkish olives, both very salty and hunger-inducing, with delicious breads (pumpernickel, rye, sunflower), and a delicious French red wine.

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