Planes, Ferries, and Automobiles

Except…not in that order. (Also, see here for visual ev)

Thursday night: London to Dover to Dunkerque through Belgium and the Netherlands to reach Düsseldorf

Sertan and Grant came to pick us up around 7:30 and we headed for Dover to catch our 10pm ferry. We weren’t sure if we were gonna make it, but we did and it was much nicer than I thought it would be (I’m going to put most pictures on Facebook, otherwise this would be crazy overload..). Food, shop, kiddie playpen (had to be under 6, boo). And how cool is this picture:

What an amazing playground, seriously.

I got some fries on the ferry, but started feeling a bit sick so I put my head down. Grant said if there were a window that he would just ‘chuck them out the window for the fish to eat.’ Sarah goes, ‘Yeah. Fish & chips!’ I laughed so hard. It was my tummy and head’s fault. (/it was hilarious.) Also, I love cheesy jokes the most. Walking around on that ferry made me feel like I was drunk and on the Titanic (oh come on. You know that every person ever compares their anything-near-a-boat-experience to Titanic. No kings of the world this time though. It was freaking freezing cold.) Out the window from where we ate looked like the place where Jack and Rose run out laughing after their carriage rendezvous, right before Big T hits the ‘berg. Then, it was so cold and the water was choppy, so we could hear rattling dishes — I could see Mr. Andrews in my head looking at the clock as the ship sank and the china around him rattled. Last — we were leaving the indoors part to head back to the car and THE DOOR WERE SLIDING SHUT. There may or may not have been buzzing/beeping, I don’t remember because I was too ahh. Flashbacks to the boiler room scene, anyone?! It wasn’t terrifying or anything, but I couldn’t help but think about it.

We got into Dunkerque (whoops. Totally thought this whole time that we were docking in Dunkirk. What an American. Want to say I go to werque now. And that I hate to lerque. And that he can so twerque it.) around 1am since we gained an hour. Sarah and I slept on the ferry and in the car, so we woke up and were magically (thanks to driver magicians S&G) in Germany just before 5am.

Friday: Düsseldorf

We started with breakfast at this cute cafe. On the way we passed looooots of shops that Sarah and I eyed, so after a yummy buffet of amazing bread, meatball sausagey things, eggs, meats, cheeses, etc, we shopped and Grant tolerated us while Sertan ran errands. Next we drove to the more city-part of town (before, we had been in a markets area near a pretty square) and roamed there too. Went to a cool cafe and an awesome random-things shop.

Got some leather-based perfume there. Apparently it’s the 5th perfume base. When I was waiting in line for the toilet there, this woman asked me (in German, but I could use context clues and figure out what she said) if I was in line for the bathroom and if there was just one toilet inside — and I guess since one word she said had a ‘si’ sound in it, I ran with it and nodded and answered ‘Si!’ … oops.

After shopping and eating and coffeeing, we went over near the Rhine river to walk around. We had dinner at Brauerei zum Schiffchen — the same place Napoleon drank a cold one after a victory parade! It was cooooold near the river, but so beautiful. We headed home and played Lucky Bastard Custard Duck (Thanks, Sase!) for a while, while drinking sparkling wine with some other berry liqueur thing I can’t remember the name of.

Ah! It’s 4 til midnight and I need to go to bed. Just got back from a preview of Never Let Me Go with a Q&A with the author, Kazuo Ishiguro right after, so! Germany, the rest, next time on a Very Special Full House (to be continued..)

Saturday: Köln

After a delicious breakfast at Breuer’s, we headed off for the day. In Cologne, we saw the Cathedral, which was AMAZING. So beautiful inside and outside. Besides that, we just shopped. I got a lot of white stuff, for some reason. Coat, flats, boots. Got my dad some Eau de Cologne from Cologne! Then we headed back to the Moers area to have dinner with Sertan’s parents. Sertan served as translator from Turkish to English and back between us and his parents and German to English and back the rest of the time. Sertan knows ZEX languages (I can count in German now! ish.). We Americans are an embarrassment. As his mother rightfully pointed out. Still, she and her husband were so kind as to treat us to dinner at a really nice restaurant on the river. It was sooo soooo good.

At dinner, we figured out that if we were ever unlucky enough to lose our A+ translator in a crowd, here is what would happen:
Natasha: Entschuldigen (Excuse me)
Grant: Was ist der kenwort (What is the password? Or as Grant said before we asked Sertan the real way: Vaaaaat eeeees deeeee paaaaasvurt??)
Sarah: Danke schoen! (Thanks)

Sunday: Bonn to London

Sunday had a bit of a late start (I think? Gah, this was more than a month ago now, I can’t remember). But we got breakfast at a cute little cafe and then went to Bonn. In Bonn, we were in ‘Thoven’s hood! (That’s Ludwig van Beethoven for those of you less familiar with my bud). We also saw St. Helen’s Church, which randomly had two stone beheaded-looking heads lying on the ground in front of it (maybe not randomly, but I didn’t see any descriptive plaques I could read) and then checked out the House of German History, which was really interesting and cool to see. Then we headed back to the airport and back to London and were home within 4 hours! So incredible, no?

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