Hello everyone! Welcome back for day 6 of my trip to Germany. If you have missed any of the previous days (and actually care to read them), here are some links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Yesterday was busy day, and scientists are still counting, but currently it is estimated that I took a million+ photos. Get ready to have to scroll a lot! Let's review my day yesterday:
The Concert, and Seeing Hanover in more detail
Breakfast and Rehearsing
Yesterday I woke up around 7:30am. The first thing I did was put my laundry in the laundry machine to wash it for travelling this week. I showered, and had breakfast at 8:30am. I had Musli (similarly to several other days this week). After breakfast, I hung up my laundry and worked on yesterday's article. I had to hurry yesterday because we were planning to sing some of the Schubert songs at noon for Hinrich's parents, and therefore had to practice.
We left to rehearse around 9:30am. We rehearsed at the church because the church was doing their service at a park this week. The organ looked pretty cool yesterday morning so I decided to take a picture of it. Despite all of the time we spent practicing Schubert this week, we only managed to get 12 of the songs to a point where we felt confident performing them. So for the other 12, we just planned to play the intro and read the poem during the concert. We hope to record a bunch of the songs when we get back from our travels on Friday.
At 12pm, or "high noon" as Hinrich's dad referred to it, we performed the songs we knew for Hinrich's parents in the church. The concert went well, and I recorded the audio for the whole thing. I may post some of the recordings next week since we haven't prerecorded enough videos for the week. Here's a video we made of song 3, Gefrorne Tränen, from the cycle. There are subtitles available in English:
Lunch and after
For lunch, we had noodles and vegetables. It was quite good, but unfortunately, I did not take a picture of it. During lunch, Hinrich began quizzing his family, and eventually me on European geography. It was an very funny until he asked me what countries border Switzerland. I had no idea. So I asked him what states border Texas (even though I didn't really know all of the answers to that either).
After lunch, we got to talking about American football, and I showed Hinrich the highlights from the superbowl that the Eagles won (which was a great moment in Philadelphia's history). After that, Hinrich had to go to his football game, and his parents and I planned to go on a tour around Hanover.
Tour of Hanover
The first place we went was a place called Herren Hausen, and it was an estate built by the kings of Hanover for summer vacation/relaxing. It includes both a French Baroque garden (the only original left in the world), and an English garden. The English garden was apparently built by King George I when he became the king of England.
The French Garden
Our first stop at Herren Hausen was the French garden. Because it is Baroque, it was very orderly and symmetrical (much like Baroque music). Everything in the garden has a fixed design, and it reflects man's control over nature. I can only imagine how much work the servants (and whoever maintains it now) had to put into keeping the garden looking the way it looks now.
The garden was filled with statues of figures from Greek Mythology. Had I had more time, I would have looked at each statue and tried to figure out who it is. I'm sad I did not see Poseidon, but there were too many statues to look at each one. The three I got were Hercules, Chronos, and Athena. My favorite is Chronos:
Within the garden was also an outdoor theatre surrounded mostly by fantasy statues in bronze. The stage design is clever - using hedges in place of curtains; when a character is done in a scene, they walk off behind the hedges. The stage also has mirror figures one on each side. Apparently two men in Greek or Roman history famous for assassinating tyrannical kings. What I asked Hinrich's dad is why would the king want to make assassination of a monarch look like a good thing? He said that's a tricky question, but the king probably viewed himself as a noble leader as opposed to the corrupt tyrants who were assassinated.
You could also see the building the king would have parties in from the theatre:
The Botanic Gardens
We also went to the botanic gardens. The kings apparently also collected plants from around the world for these gardens in order to study them, and have an idea about what the plants of the world look like. Today still, the gardens have many species from many different parts of the world - including where I'm from; that was very cool! I will include a few of the pictures I got at the Botanic Gardens:
On the way out, we also saw another Lindenbaum. Hinrich's dad quoted the song to me and explained some of the references it makes to the tree. Here's a picture I got of the Lindenbaum's leaves and his hand:
Seeing Hanover City
Just as a note before all of the sites: many of these buildings were destroyed in World War II, and have since been rebuilt.
The King's Estate
Not only did the king have an estate 10 minutes away from the main part of Hanover, but he had several estates in Hanover, too. I saw at least two of them yesterday, but only got a photo of one. I think this building is now a building used by the parliament. Across the street from it, you can see statues commemorating a protest staged by world famous professors in the 1800s towards the king of Hanover. The professors travelled from their University to the city to protest that the king had violated the agreement that had been made with the people. They were all banished from Hanover, but are now celebrated as heroes. Unfortunately, I did not get a good photo of the statues, but here is a photo of the king's estate:
Brick Church or Stone Church?
I saw two churches probably a few blocks away from each other yesterday, but they actually mark something very distinct about the people building them. One group of people in Germany had access to stones, and therefore preferred it in their buildings, and the other group did not have as many stones at their disposal so they preferred bricks. Hinrich's dad told me that the churches demonstrate this difference in preference.
The brick church has an interesting story. They wanted to make the roof overall a pointed roof, but couldn't afford to do it. So instead they made it tiered, but it still makes the eye see a pointed roof. Closer up to the brick church, you can see these statues. The one on the left depicts the legend of Saint George slaying a dragon, and the one on the right depicts a very haunting idea of a dead father whispering in his son's ear to remind him that he too will one day die.
The Old Town Hall
I now understand why the new town hall is called the new town hall because I have seen what the old town hall looks like. It was originally built in medieval times (then rebuilt after World War II).
Many of you probably know who Leibniz is; he is one of the men who invented calculus (at the same time as the other man: Isaac Newton). One thing I learned on this trip is Leibniz lived in Hanover. Here's a picture of his house:
Dinner and Playing Cards
When we got home, I met Hinrich's other sister who also plays piano and cello. We had Musli for dinner, and played several card games including Go Fish. Go Fish is really funny for me to play with Germans because their words for several of the cards sound like bad words in English. So I will hear one of them ask the other if they have an "ass (ace)" or "buben (jack) (pronounced like "booby")". We stayed up until about 11pm, and then went to bed.
Thanks for reading this! See you in the next article!