Crazycrone's Corner

Complaining, Crabbing,Caterwauling...

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Tourist Stuff (1) ...

For the past few years, my friend H and I have been going on Christmas Market package tours, to Germany and Belgium. Yup, corny as hell, but it's a cheapish city-break type thing, and the atmosphere tends to be mellow.
I'm not a shopper, but enjoy the calorie-clogged food and booze from the stalls, you get to stay in posh hotels at low rates, and there are always old churches and museums to check out.
Most people seem to like the markets at night, admittedly when the lights are at their best, but it's horribly crowded, and everybody's steaming drunk, especially the loud pushy teens. This scares me, as a feeble, tottering old crone, and I much prefer doing the rounds during the day, and watching telly in the hotel at night!
This time, we went by train, again, but to Heidelberg, which is really too far. We had to change trains twice, and een though we made good time, we were on the road for close to twelve hours.
We were one of the youngest 'couples' in our group, and a lot of the people were distinctly odd-looking, including a pair of sisters who looked like terrapins, a 'Fred Munster' clone, and a tiny old gal with a huge red suitcase nearly as big as she was, and a Red Riding Hood. She had a kind of unnerving scuttling walk, too, and, to me, became eternally DON'T LOOK NOW Woman. She never stopped yakking, either.
H honestly enjoys having long, life-story swapping sessions with boring strangers, but I always want to get the hell away, no doubt missing the odd interesting person, but the socialising bit  gives me bad nerves.
The churches this trip were not terribly spectacular, but I always enjoy having a look around and making my 'three wishes' (I was told as a child that you can do this when you go into a church for the first time-) ...

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Twelve hours. That's insane. You could fly to Hong Kong in that time!

I'm with you on the exploring during the day and winding down at night. A chum of mine looked askance at me as she always insists that you can't know a city unless you've seen it by night.

Easy for her to say, but I'm often travelling alone. I wouldn't want to wander around London alone at night, let alone in an unfamiliar foreign city! Hmmph.

But did you get decent gingerbread?

No, I get that at LIDL. There was nice sachertorte, though, and I don't usually like that much. I also had a very nice chocolate-covered pretzel. Mmm...

Don't mention LIDL! My local one has run out of gingerbread. I am distraught!

Twelve hours travel would be taxing even for a strapping young lad, so I'm not surprised you found it a pain. Love the insight into the markets - the drunk teens aren't quite as picturesque a scene as Nigella, dreamily clutching gluhwein and floating around beatifically, makes out, but it still sounds like a rockin' good time.

And you're SO right that people shouuld ask before they "help". The exact same thing happened to my partially sighted business partner a couple of years ago in San Francisco - she was getting off a bus and someone reached out "helpfully" and grabbed her arm, unbalancing her and forcing her to jump down to the street, which injured her hip. You should hear her expletive-laden rant on the helpful (with special reference to people who think it's perfectly fine to touch you just because you're a Poor Unfortunate).

Edited at 2012-12-14 09:46 pm (UTC)

Yup, I third the "help" thing. People trying to "help" me and my dodgy hip get an "I'm FINE, thank you!" and a glare from me.

I always feel a bit mean, as they are well-intentioned. It's maddening, though, and sometimes scary. Happened TWICE in Germany. Peeved me even more, as I'm more mobile than I was last year.
Another thing- why is it when you really *would* appreciate help/ a seat, no bugger offers?

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