Unlike 2012, where I wanted to visit a few people, last years journey through Germany was highly influenced by the festivals I attended.
It was long since decided that DarkFairy and I would be attending Wacken again and when Black Kat and Schnitzel proposed the idea of attending the M’era Luna as well I had to consider this carefully. As I mentioned before, Wacken always takes place in the first week of August, whereas the M’era is sometimes during the same weekend, other times during the one before or after that. This year it was the weekend after Wacken. Attending both festivals would mean I had to drive to the other side of Germany twice in a short amount of time. To avoid that I thought up a couple of possibilities to make it only one trip. Fortunately I again found people who could offer me a place to stay for a night or two and I could participate in both festivals.
Japan in Berlin and a surprise concert
The journey again started in Berlin (B) on the 26th of July where I would stay at Liathano’s place again. On my way to her I picked up a member of the Black Pack (the group Kat, Schnitzel & Co belong to) that also wanted to get to Berlin and we spent the morning in my overheated car – it’s air conditioner is kind of non-existent. With delay, as I miscalculated the time – again – we made it to Germany’s capital without melting and I set her off at her intended destination before reaching mine.
For the evening Liathano had decided to take me to a shop called „Neo Tokyo„, where you could buy tons of Manga, Anime and gimmicks surrounding these things. I was a little bit disappointed at the offerings and Liathano seconded me on that, but said that it was probably just business running slow. It is after all a quite specialized shop and being in the middle of Berlin might not even help with that. After I had decided to only take a few volumes of different series‘ I’m reading we went on to find some food. Not far from the shop is the cáfe „Mamecha“ where you could buy and eat a variety of Japanese food, alongside a vast amount of different drinks. Surely I didn’t miss out on that opportunity and Liathano had a lot of fun watching me try it.
If your interested I started with a Miso Soup that reminded me of, well, Sauerkraut. I also got a Bento box that included rice, extremely sweet omelette that had been roasted with horseradish (interesting how in German it is called „Meerrettich“ (Sea-radish) and in English it is horseradish XD), weirdly sweet spinach with sesame, Umeboshi (red, salty and sour cucumber-things) and Hijiki algae with carrot bits. And yes I eyed a couple of things in suspicion before I ate them…
We also discovered that you should be careful of mixing the (vanilla) ice and the soda of a Melon Crème Soda, it creates evil foam, but is still refreshing and tasty. (Kat and I also discovered a similar effect with a drink of Cider, Pils and currant liquor when we were in the pub for my birthday last month, but Kat was less lucky than me and her drink spilled quite a bit before it stopped.)
For the evening I met up wit Lil‘ Kat and a couple of her friends as we had planned to go to the „Wikingerbar“ (Viking bar) to catch up. But as it was full we decided to go to the „Pech & Schwefel“ (Pitch and Brimstone) around the corner instead. Which turned out to be a good decision. With a tankard of (in my case Beltane) Mead (sweet woodruff and meadowsweet) and beer for the others we shared our stories and enjoyed the Hungarian Laterns, the live band that played that night. It was a nice surprise, but kept us from talking much more and as I was to depart early the next day I couldn’t stay that long either. Catching my (last) bus I returned to Liathano’s place.
Pen & Paper
Early in the morning I bid my goodbye to her and went on to meet up with my passengers for the route to Kassel (C). As I had a lot of stuff in my trunk for the festivals it wasn’t that easy to include other peoples luggage, luckily I am rather talented at real life Tetris. 😀 When we arrived in Kassel I managed to drop them off one of them right in time for her to catch a train to her place.
After both of them were gone I made my way to Nazgul, who was already eagerly awaiting me. Beforehand he had asked his DSA (Das Schwarze Auge – The Dark Eye) group if I could join them for their adventure that evening and they agreed. That time they however played a round for Earthdawn, so I couldn’t use the character I had created back in 2009 when I played with Fairy and her friends on our first meeting. In preparation of this I had to consider what I wanted to play and Nazgul provided me with several files of information the different races and professions.
In the end I decided to play a female Nethermancer T’Skrang (magically apt reptile person) by the name of V’ashtay (Those who noticed my several Doctor Who posts might discover the inspiration of this name in these two: Vastra & Vashta Nerada). As Nazgul and his Dungeon Master (the one telling and supervising the story, if you are unfamiliar with the term) didn’t talk about it they both prepared character sheets for me, the DM thankfully filled them with the basic stuff.
The story we played was also quite interesting:
The group of heroes was investigating the appearance of several thick magic treats that could not be destroyed that easily, but could cause high damage if ingested with powerful magic. They had already put a lot of effort in their research and had a new lead that they wanted to follow. Just as they were about to get closer to a new lead their quarters were searched by an unknown party and all their notes were stolen, even from the vaults. Luckily the most important object, an old magic book that might include the spell that used the treats, was still in the possession of the groups Nethermancer. Provided with shelter and food my his fellow sorcerer he made it his task to fully translate the book, while the others investigated the break in. (Rough version of what happened)
As you can see above I also took my time while the other’s worked on their characters to doodle mine. Oh, and I exchanged the uncomfortable kitchen chair for one of the camping chairs I remembered having in my car…after several hours of sitting in the other I must add…
Apart from the playing we also had the traditional pizza and sweets appropriate for such an event.
We played until the early morning hours and when we left the air was filled with sheet lightning from a thunderstorm in the distance. It was quite a sight.
The people were quite nice and I even got a compliment from the DM for the way I played. I told him it was due to my writing and the role playing I had done for Warlords and other stories, but it was a nice thing to say. 🙂
Of Monsters and Grimms
On our way to the place we played at I saw an advertisement for an exhibit in the Ottoneum and that was where we spontaneously had planned to go. Even more spontaneous was, when we discovered that the „Expedition Grimm“ took place in a hall on the way to the museum.
It was quite interesting as it not just covered the life of the Brothers Grimm, but also their different work, including the first German dictionary and of course the Fairy Tales. They had several interaction-thingies and a stamp for each station of the exhibit. It was quite interesting and as it turned out I even won something from a card we handed in after we went through it (A book about the history of Christopher Columbus).
Afterwards we went to the other exhibition that was about „Monsters“ like Nessie, Big Foot and others, in short Cryptozoology. It was quite fun and we also got the chance to see an Axolotl. 🙂
Our way back lead us along the Fulda that provided some different sights to the city itself. Apart from the river we passed a strange sculpture side full of stone towers called „petrified conversion of sight“ (versteinerte Sichtverwandlung). No proper description what it was for though…
On Monday morning I then continued my way to DarkFairy close to Euskirchen (D, F), where we would make preparations for our trip to Wacken (E) on Wednesday. Her parents had allowed/offered us to take their car for the trip and with this we would not need to sleep in a tent and even be able to sleep on a mattress. For which we were quite grateful, considering the mud from the year before…
But to manage to do that we had to prepare the car. We cut out cardboards that would fit into the car windows.
Well, at least that was the plan…
The pieces we ended up with were far from fitting at all and we decided that day that we should stick with writing and not dabble into crafting…
We are just not good at it… (read more about it here)
With shopping and other preparations the days were over far too soon and we didn’t even manage to do anything for our book Warlords.
From the 31st of July until the 4th of August we were in Wacken, but that will be covered separately. When we returned on Sunday we were pretty exhausted and barely able to tell our tales to Fairy’s family. And we had a lot to tell, as we had talked a lot of rubbish over those few days (including Ponies with Horn, Spaghetti-fishs and random Pokémon battles). Until I departed we managed to set up a Forum that gives us the chance to properly continue to write our story the way we used to (More information here) and we also posted a couple of posts already. But on the 7th it was time for me to continue on my way.
How to befriend a cat and infect someone with Doctor Who
The next stop was at the outskirts of Köln (G) at IceWolf’s place. We went to spent the evening at the Rhine, to just relax and talk, watching the river flow – and the ducks watching us. It was quite a way from the parking lot to the riverside, but it was worth it, as it was quite a nice side to have a spontaneous picnic-thing. Except the ducks that crept me out, but I have a certain history with birds and am by now quite paranoid when I see several of them in close proximity to me…(I plan on covering that one day as well)
While we ate our food I persuaded Ice’s cat with snacks I had brought with me to win over his favour, knowing I would share the sleeping room with him. And it indeed worked…he even came to examine me, a thing he usually doesn’t do with strangers…
When Ice and I tried to play a round of Munchkin he wasn’t too fond of the things occupying the ground and we soon switched to something different.And it was this evening that I (or rather Christopher Eccleston) turned Ice into a Whovian as our alternative was to watch „Rose„. 😀 (You’re welcome 😉 )
For my next stop I had contacted two of my cousins that live in Düsseldorf (H). One of them could let me stay at her place, but we agreed to meet up at my aunt’s/her mother’s place first. During my stay there I didn’t actually do much, I rather took the time to take a breather for the upcoming festival. We had lunch with my aunt and uncle, teatime with her and my other aunt also living there and saw the family of my cousin’s son take off to their holidays.
It had been a while since I last saw either of them and they were quite surprised I visited in the first place, but it was nice to stop by and talk a bit.
When we returned to my cousin’s place at one time one of her neighbours had noticed something strange in the apartment next door. And as it turned out someone had broken in. Again. While the family was on vacation. So my cousin had to deal with the police and the neighbour on the phone, while I entertained her dog. I couldn’t really do much else anyway…
Regardless of just coming from a place with a cat (two actually including Fairy’s place) the dog kind of liked me right away. Showing her appreciation by peeing on floor in front of the chair I had chosen to sit at…XD…uhm…with the police and everything my cousin hadn’t managed to take her out on time. Other than that was she rather cuddly and wanted to play a lot…
Back in Black
On Friday it was then time for my last stop: Hildesheim (I), where the M’era Luna would take place. On my way there I had a passenger with little knowledge of the German language. This gave me the change to actually practise a little spoken English and earned me another compliment. According to him I sounded like I had spent some time in Britain and not just knew the stuff from school/studying and movies/series. I used those – in my opinion underdeveloped – skills to converse about all kind of stuff including music, festivals and the possibility if a speed camera had caught me or the guy in front of me (As I haven’t gotten a ticket, yet, I suppose it was the other one). When I dropped him off in Hannover I took a short break before I headed off to join the people from the Black Pack, that would attend the festival, at a motorway service area.
But that is a story for a different post.
This journey ended with us returning to Neubrandenburg (A, J) and me continuing the next day to spend my last vacation day with my parents. It’s always nice to get home after a journey…
Thank you to everyone that offered me a place to stay, it’s been fun again. 🙂
I’m not sure if I manage to journey like this in 2014, but most of the planning isn’t even done yet.
We’ll see what I come up with…
Follow the whole route here: