Day 13: Saturday, July 17: Back in Osnabrück

Another one of the beautifully restored tudor-frame houses in downtown Osnabrück.
Ledenhof, the remainder of a small “castle” (initially built by a 14th-century wine merchant and partially restored many times). The tower with the red herringbone was never used for defensive purposes, but was supposed to look like it was.
Osnabrück Cathedral with the temporary ferris wheel currently set up on the plaza (Domplatz) in front of it.
A funny little “meta” detail in the interior wall of the cathedral.
Walking through downtown Osnabrück with the best of friends.
Not a protest group, but a “trashcan drum” band that played a tune as a surprise for a couple that had just gotten married at the courthouse when we walked by. Couples regularly gather in front of the courthouse with their wedding parties and guests after the so-called “standesamtliche Trauung” which has to be performed regardless of whether there is also a church wedding or not.

I slept well and was up around 6, but decided against a run. The initial idea was to sit and chat with my mom instead before the house filled up again, but instead, I realized I needed to prepare my bread and sweet roll dough, and my mom was busy fixing breakfast, so we only ended up sitting down together when it was breakfast time, just before 9 am. We had a lovely leisurely breakfast with Andrea and Peter once they came over from the hotel across the street, and then we went off to show Peter, who really doesn’t know Osnabrück, all our favorite downtown sites in a big loop: We walked down the beautiful residential Katharinenstrasse toward the church of St. Catherine, for which it is named, looked at Osnabrück Castle (now the University administration) and at the Ledenhof, formerly a rather sizable mini castle with an inner court, built by a wealthy merchant in the 15th century, although now only a tower and one residential building are left standing, with a big underground parking garage for downtown shoppers and workers nicely concealed underneath. We visited the Cathedral (which dates back to Charlemagne but was added onto and restored many times) and walked along the tree-lined promenade that used to be the walled fortification outside the old city wall, looked at the oldest parts of downtown and also checked out the model of the city in the 16th century that is kept at town hall. We watched some people celebrating their weddings in front of the court house (a tradition most Fridays and Saturdays), and kids on the carnival rides that are currently in the area between the Cathedral and the Church of St. Mary. Ultimately, we walked across the Heger Tor (the old, but restored city gate closest to my mom’s, with stairs going across it and a bar on top) and looked at the Bucksturm, a defensive tower (and later jail and torture chamber) that was built in the 13th century as part of the city walls. We didn’t take much by way of pictures, because we have seen all of this many times, and on the way home we took a detour to buy a few groceries that we will need tomorrow for breakfast and my cafe au lait in the morning, and for my cinnamon rolls, which I finished prepping after we got home, and which are now in the fridge, waiting to be baked off in the morning.

Our friend Dorothee came while I was wrapping up, and we all sat outside in the shade under my mom’s apple tree in her little garden with water, tea, and coffee while we talked about everyone’s experience during the Covid year. Later, we went for dinner in a lovely tapas bar, but I was actually the only one who had a yummy spread of tapas–everyone else thought that a burger on a chunk of ciabatta bread sounded better! Imke treated us all, and after we got home we had a videochat with Judith, all of us together, to find out how she was doing. We also watched the news of the awful floods in the central Western regions of Germany, which caused catastrophic damage along several normally minor rivers like the Ahr.