Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Surreal Day in Hannover...

By Kc2610 @kc2610
What an exciting and surreal day I had today! I went into Hannover to explore more than the area outside the train station, and go to the "Herrenhausen Garten", look at the university, the surrounding park and the "Maschsee", which is a huge lake where they have the famous "Maschseefest" in the Summer.
When I walked out of the train station, I noticed that EVERYTHING was closed. Not one shop was open. I thought that was very strange since it was 11am, so not too early and not "Mittagsruhe" - the veyr important German lunch hours of 1-3pm. So I kept walking all the way to the park (a good 3.5km away) and the city seemed very void of work/professional people like normal.

Surreal day in Hannover...

The lovely quiet gardens...

Well, what a shock when I arrived at the park. I saw groups men of all ages pulling carts of beer behind them, with a music box in the cart too which was booming out pumping dance music. All through the middle of the park which stretched a few kilometres were people playing bowls too. I thought 'Oh how lovely, they are just having a nice old time mixing bowls and music, and of course beer because they are German". So I kept walking to the Herrenhausen Garten, which is like a German version of the Versailles gardens.
Surreal day in Hannover...
Those gardens were very impressive, of course, and it was a perfect day to go as it was nice and sunny. When I came out of the gardens a couple of hours later and walked back through the park, there were five times the amount of people with beer carts and music, and now they all had portable bbqs set up and were cooking sausages! And I am serious that they were EVERYWHERE, not just a few groups scattered around, I mean sitting on top of eachother. And all you could hear was 'doof doof doof' of the dance music.
I absolutely needed to know what had put Hannover in such a festive mood, but all of the large groups of drunk German men seemed very intimidating. I managed to find a group of 3 guys (quite good-looking too) that seemed approachable so I went up and asked the usual "do you speak english?". They did, so I said "what are you doing?!". Well, it was Father's day of course! I don't know about anyone else but my experience of Father's day is waking up in the morning, giving your dad a kiss and a present and then getting on with the day. None of this public holiday stuff!
It was explained to me that the real "Father's day" was actually a religious celebration, as it is the rising of Jesus or something. But for those that don't follow, it is classified as "Men's Day". Hence the groups of men ONLY out having a good drunken time.
I stayed and talked to the group for about 15-20 minutes, before the rest of the group arrived.... the rest of the group was probably the loudest, drunkest, baddest looking group in that whole section of the park, and they were pushing an actual shopping trolley piled high with alcohol and bbq essentials. So after shaking everyone's hand and being introduced, I thought it was time to shoot off and get on with my sightseeing.

Surreal day in Hannover...

The huge jazz event I just happened to come across!

After navigating my way through the beer carts, I made my way to another part of the city and started to hear loud music again, not pumping dance music this time, but a live jazz band, and a big crowd! As I got closer I saw bikes, loads and loads of bikes all parked up. Where there are bikes there are people. As I got even closer I definitely saw people - at least a thousand of them. What was happening? A jazz festival of course! Yet again the beer tents were up and everybody was drinking and having a great time. So I joined in, got myself a sausage and a glass of wine and blended with the crowd. I chilled out there for a while and just enjoyed the music and people-watched, finished the last of my wine then moved on. I wonder what I would find next!

Surreal day in Hannover...

Another small jazz band were playing over
there, with many families spread out on the steps

I decided to head to the Maschsee, and I had to walk through another park to get there. This park was also absolutely packed with people bbqing and drinking, and by this time (about 4pm) they were VERY drunk. There was the odd person stumbling down the path towards you, one in the bushes throwing up, another being held up by a friend or comatose on the ground. I'm not surprised by the way they play drinking games. Two groups compete against eachother and the 'drinking' part involves downing a bottle of beer in less than 4 seconds... none of this 'take a sip' business. Nope, down the whole thing.
Finally at the Maschsee, the scene was still the same. If I'm painting this in an undesirable light, I don't mean to at all! Although these people were smashed, it was a great atmosphere. It was like a huge nightclub in the day, spread all over the city. I have never seen so many happy people in one place!
It was getting late, and though I would have loved to stay and see what the night would bring, I thought I'd best get back home as I didn't want to be stranded alone. I ended up getting the wrong train though and was headed for Hamburg, but I managed to find my way back to the right place :)
Surreal day in Hannover...

So that was my eventful day! It was so great to see the REAL Germany, and I am completely convinced that these people know how to party and enjoy life. Work hard, Play hard remains true to them! I'm sorry there isn't much about the horses right now, but I am hoping the doctor says my toe is okay tomorrow and I can start riding again! I'm glad I got to experience today though, I thought I was dreaming it was all just so surreal.

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