Day 7: Osnabrück with Friends

Thursday, August 11

Today was a day for WALKING and TALKING! I woke up pretty early and went for a run–always special in Germany because the surroundings are less familiar, and I actually get an uphill/downhill experience. I got my usual 3 miles in. Then, after breakfast, Andrea and I went on a quick errand for some groceries and drug store items–only a mile or so, but still. Once we got back around 10, all of us (i.e. my mom, Mark and I, and Andrea and Peter) went for a walk together to the Botanical Gardens, which are nearby and a favorite spot to go. We even included the quarry that is part of a re-naturing project and the tropical greenhouse, where Andrea and Peter had never been, because it is often closed to visitors. There were textile artworks all throughout the gardens–knitted, embroidered, and macramé items on trees and on the ground–and that was an intriguing new aspect. By the time we got home around 11:30, it was getting pretty hot and we were glad we had taken our walk early.

Green House at the Osnabrück Botanical Gardens
Tiny Mushrooms in the Greenhouse

Uschi joined us about 12:30, and with her (but without my mom) we took our next walk, to a Japanese sushi restaurant, also nearby, where Uschi treated us to an all-you-can-eat meal (fairly westernized sushi plus some fusian-Asian hot dishes and salads). We ordered on an i-pad and there was a complicated system where we could order x number of new mini dishes (I think 25 for the five of us) every 8 minutes. But we really only ordered two rounds of dishes and then some delicious ice cream for dessert. Both black sesame and green tea were huge hits, only the lychee was kind of a bust–I had forgotten how much lychee tastes like rose petals. But Uschi had a great story about eating them straight from the tree and also dried in their own shells when she visited Laos, and that made up for the weird flavor.

Sushi Robot

After we got home from this walk, we did in fact sit around for a bit and talked (Peter and Uschi both took naps, and even Mark stretched out on a sofa), and, true to German custom, we also had coffee and tea around 3:30. Later on, Uschi drove Peter and Andrea to the nearby town of Wallenhorst (about 20 minutes from my mom’s), where Andrea’s sister works at a big agricultural machinery store. She commutes from our common childhood hometown every day, and so she’s typically Andrea’s ride when Andrea comes to see her mom, and that is where she and Peter were headed for the next three days. I came along as a passenger just to keep Uschi company, and we just drove straight back home and chatted some more. It cooled off enough that we had our Abendbrot outside under the apple tree, and after Uschi took off, Mark and I took ONE MORE evening walk, just through the neighborhood, downtown and back. Downtown was buzzing with people just sitting in all the outdoor cafes and restaurants, and it was just lovely to walk through the old streets just as the sun was setting around 9. But I was pretty tired and talked out by the time we went to bed–the apple health app said I had taken 18,490 steps!

Osnabrück Cathedral (“Dom”) at sundown