Monday, May 16, 2011


The cruise's first port of call was Kiel in northern Germany, on a day that swung between charming sunshine and gloomy downpours. My party noticed a bizarre tower that looked as if it had been stolen from the set of District 9 and went to investigate.

We couldn't get very close, but we found a couple of vantage points to admire its Brutalist sci-fi presence. Admiral Ackbar was intrigued.

Since it was a lovely spring day, momentarily at least, we went for a walk in a large park, admiring the fresh greenery, the last of the spring flowers and a veritable phalanx of adorable baby ducklings. I also reacquainted myself with stinging nettles. Hurrah.

Later I went searching for some kitschy token of my visit, but unfortunately rainy Sunday mornings in provincial Germany are not conducive to good souvenir shopping. The only place open was a frustratingly awesome flea market selling nothing but children’s' toys and clothes. I could have picked up used Lego and Playmobile for a song, but getting it back home would be a big trial for little reward: yes, a Playmobile dragon is awesome, but what do I actually DO with it once I've dragged it halfway across the planet?

I also took a turn through the Cathedral of St Nicholas, a grand German church almost entirely surrounded by casinos, porn shops and lap dancing clubs. The earliest part of the church dates from the 13th century, but the most striking and beautiful part of it was the mid-20th century stained glass windows. They were modernist reinterpretations of Bible scenes, rendered with an absolutely exquisite eye for colour, composition and design. They were quite possibly the most beautiful church windows I'd ever seen.

I was a little disappointed about my lack of souvenirs, but at least my other travelling companion had a good time. He admired the native wildlife...

And he made a new friend...

Before being nabbed by the long arm and firm buttocks of the law...


Blogger phil said...

I'm admittedly not all that familiar with the bible but I certainly don't remember a dog.

8:28 PM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

You obviously haven't read the sidebar in Revelations about Fluffy, the Pomeranian of the Apocalypse.

8:43 PM  

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