First impressions / Prvi občutki

As I wrote in the First beer post, Paula and I went to Bayreuth last week. We left on Sunday and stayed until Monday at Paula´s friend house in Coburg (a small city that is one hour drive away from Bayreuth). This was the only way we could make our 10 o´clock appointment on Monday for the handover of the apartment. I already mentioned that Paula has an extraordinary ability of keeping in touch with people. So we (two Slovenians) stayed in Coburg, Germany with Judit, who is Hungarian, married to a Croatian man named Ljubo. If that isn´t a nationalities cocktail, I don´t know what is. And Paula has a lot more friends like this all over Europe if not the world. Quite impressive I dare say.

It took us about 7 hours to get to Coburg, so you can imagine we were kind of tired. But our two wonderful hosts gave us a royal welcome. After a nice lunch and a lot of catching up, we relaxed a bit while Judit and Ljubo gave us pointers on living in Germany.

The next day, after a nice 8 hours of sleep, we headed to Bayreuth. It was sunny just like our connection Angela in the Welcome center of Bayreuth University. Without her we would have had a harder time of getting around Bayreuth. She helped us with the acquisition of the apartment and she even took the time to go for a drive around Bayreuth just to show us how to navigate this relatively small city.

Bayreuth is small, even according to Slovenian standards (the whole of Slovenia could be one big city if compared to mega-cities like Mexico City, New York or other I can´t remember but am sure they are out there :P). With 70.000 inhabitants Bayreuth is way smaller than our home town Ljubljana. And in this case small is good. When arriving into an unknown city it is easier to familiarize yourself with it, if its proportions are manageable. Bayreuth is like that, manageable with logical urban infrastructure (especially the main road that circles the city center).

And our apartment is in the center of this small city. We got the apartment for low rent because it is supposed to be a social apartment, but there hasn`t been an eligible person in quite some time (I still don´t know what that means, but I am not complaining). The apartment is great, we love it, but it was completely bare. For all who wish to move to Germany, you have to prepare for the fact that the apartments are rented out bare (most of them completely, some have Einbaukueche – installed kitchen). Ours was bare like a newborn. So we had to furnish it. And here comes Angela to the rescue – again (somehow it seem her name exhibits her angelic function when it comes to us). She showed us a store the likes I haven`t seen in Slovenia. It is simply an used furniture store, simply wonderful. They have amazing used furniture for ridiculous prices. So we went there the second day and bought the kitchen (with an oven and a hotplate), working desk, sofa that is actually a bed with a pull out bed (confusing I know) and a small lamp. Everything for 133 EUR. And …wait for it … they delivered everything into our apartment for 15 EUR. I call that a bargain with capital B.

The second thing that impressed me (well next to some unbelievable Bratwurst (it was a hot-dog in a delicious bun) I ate for lunch) was the central garden – Hofgarten (5 min on foot from our apartment). It is quite large and most importantly it has a playground for children. I absolutely loved it.

Most of the time I was painting the apartment and Paula was getting to know everybody in the laboratory. So there were no real adventures (well not counting the Rathaus experience where nobody talked English! and we had to get things done with our limited German), we just took great comfort that we had basic necessities all set up.

Hofgarten sculptures are quite nice

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I dunno why, but this tree lump:

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reminded me of this:

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Paula walking :):

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Dominik walking:

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Love this one:

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Have to figure out what these are:

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and what is the meaning of this:

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The third thing that also kind of stuck with us was the family of our host in Bayreuth (we couldn`t stay in our apartment because we didn`t have electricity yet but most importantly there was no internet – what were we supposed to do in the evening…talk?!). They were absolutely amazing and we are grateful they took us in for four days and that they gave me Zwickl (I say that with a tear in my right eye).

So there you have it. With some pictures next to the text I think you get the idea how it was for Paula and I our first time staying in Bayreuth. It will be a whole other ballgame when our two kids arrive.

Slovenski tekst še pride…