Our tour took us to Germany to visit Hayden, who is spending 4 months studying at the University of Paderborn as part of his PhD.
It created an opportunity for us to visit special friends, the Busch’s, near Heidelberg, still celebrating Rebecca’s marriage to Felix in early September. We were treated to a German food fest, a weekend of fabulous German food and wine and years of catch up conversation.
The weather came as a surprise to us – snow was falling. How ordinary in Europe, but how exciting for us to drive through falling snow… until we realised that our car wasn’t equipped with winter tyres. Suddenly we found ourselves wishing the temperature to increase and the snow to melt or we might become marooned.
We called into Heidelberg to show Pepe the sights, or perhaps to give Hayden the opportunity to remember the city from previous visits.
Next stop was Niedel Weisel, the birthplace of my g-g-grandmother. Whilst I have strong connections to those family roots, I was also excited to show Hayden where his g-g-g-grandmother came from.
They were brave people who spent months at sea to arrive in a foreign, even hostile, environment in search of a better life. For the many young people that journeyed from Nieder Weisel, many stayed and established roots in Ballarat, Bendigo and Yackandandah. They came in search of gold and stayed to build our amazing country.
As we drove north, the air became cooler, so Hayden appreciated the gloves I had knitted for him as Bruce drove the kilometres. Truth is Bruce is a lousy passenger so there is far more harmony in the car when he drives and I knit
Paderborn felt like an intellectual’s city. There are countless universities in the near area and a number of IT and communications related enterprises.
We hunted and hunted for the famous three-hares three-ears on the Cathedral at Paderborn. Hayden found them some days later in the cloister, an area we failed to find.
We did however find the Schloß Neuhaus, a beautiful Western Renaisance building 4 kilometres out of Paderborn. The gardens were laid out in true renaissance style and were clasically beautiful. A major part of the building is used as a school – what a nice place to learn!
Hayden will spend four months in Paderborn. He has a professor’s room on the campus, so is comfortably set up.