The Student Town of Marburg

Trip Start Feb 01, 2006
Trip End Jul 22, 2006

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Flag of Germany  ,
Wednesday, May 24, 2006

It was high time for another random trip to somewhere in Germany. This time it was to the small town of Marburg. I went with Iona who knew all about Marburg. Before she started studying at the Spoho, she spent a month studying in Marburg. So she decided to revisit her old time and I tagged along.

We got to Marburg by getting a lift with a professor at the Spoho. Everyone calls him Papa since his name is hard to pronounce (Euthanasic or something). Hes from Greece and he is the coach of the standing disabled volleyball team for Germany, and this team won gold at the Sydney Olympics. So his team were doing a training camp in Marburg and we got a lift. Now Papa's car is and old van that has a small kitchen and a bed to sleep in so he was kind enough to allow us to sleep in his van (in a parking lot) while he stayed in the hotel.

Marburg is about 3 hours from Cologne. Once we got there I noticed that the public transport system isn't great. There are only buses that run through the town. The area that we were staying in wasn't the best in terms of getting around town. Once we finally got into town I was pleasently suprised at how beautiful Marburg was. It is split into 2 sections: the modern part of town and old town. Old town is filled with beautiful old traditional German homes. Many of these homes are now converted into shops.

It is definetely clear that Marburg is a students town. They are everywhere in Marburg and the great thing is this is refelcted in the price of food and drinks. You can get an excellent meal for about 5 euros. I got to try a german dish called auflauf (pronounced owf lowf). It conists of meat, rice and a sauce which is covered in cheese and baked in an oven. Beautiful. As for alcohol well Iona knew of this bar where you can get spirits that would cost well over 5 bucks each in a bar in Australia for 1 euro. I could get used to drinking Glenfidditch Scotch for 1 euro! It was a nice change since I've been drinking pretty much nothing but beer over here.

So after our first night in the van we wanted to see as much as possible. One problem was that on Thursday it was a public holiday in Germany. This means that the buses ran on a Sunday timetable which meant 1 bus every hour. So we decided it was easier to walk around everywhere (didn't hurt since all this German food hasn't been good for my weight!). It also didn't help that it was constantly raining for the 3 days we were in Marburg.

The first thing we did was to take a walk up the mountain that is on the outskirts of the city. Up the top of this mountain is an old lookout tower where you can get a 360 degree view of Marburg. Now this mountain is very interesting. During WWII, Marburg was seen as an easy route to move land troops deeper into Germany. The Germans realized this so they trapped the whole mountain with landmines! Before you venture up the mountain there is a clear sign that states that you should not stray from the path as there could still be active landmines out there. Interesting. Well we stuck to the path and it was a very relaxing journey. It was when we got to the top that we cursed that it was overcast.

After getting back down Iona served as my tour guide. We got to walk through the suburban parts of town, visit her old uni. I also got to go inside a house that was built by a filthy rich resident. It is mainly used for functions nowadays. There was also the 2 churches of Marburg. One of them had a service and a German guy rattled off some German to me in which I gave him a blank look. Something about asking if i was Protestant or Catholic.

After an exhausting day we sat back and had a nice meal in a Mexican restaurant. There was interesting feature about this restaurant. Instead of showing sports or tv shows on the tv screens they showed some guy playing a video game. I bet all the nerds of the world would love that job: play video games for hours on end while getting paid.

The next day we had another huge day of walking. The first stop was Marburg's Castle. I have no idea when it was built but it was quite disappointing. The inside was very modern and didn't look old at all. It is mainly used for dinner functions and was converted into a museum. The coolest part was seeing some of the human remains they recovered from the dungeons.

After that we had basically seen all of Marburg. We just wasted time by eating and drinking until we could leave on Saturday morning. After that we headed to Kassel, which is about 1 hour by train.
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