12 June 2014

Germany Getaway: Downtown Essen, Buga Park, and Getting Emotional

Warning: This is a photo-heavy post.

On Tuesday, Mom stayed home. After breakfast, we went with her to Lidl supermarket which was near St. Marien Church.
While she gathered the things she needed, Hubby and I walked around to see what things we would most probably buy for pasalubong.

Here’s one of the things that really caught his eye
A huge can of beer!
Later, along with Michaela, Mom drove us to downtown Essen. At the parking area, there are special spaces for women which are slightly wider than the regular spaces. Syempre, that’s where we parked.
Women's Parking
But as we were getting out of the car, we noticed a man parking his vehicle in one of those special spaces. As we looked, the man just smiled as if he was embarrassed and laughing himself at being caught. He still parked in the women’s parking space though.

As we walked around, we took pictures…like these:
Lego store!
One of, if not the, leading jewelry shops in Germany
I like the name...makes you think you're in Spain =)
With Mom by a lamppost
Outside the Grillo Theater
A man on the street playing an accordian
So many fresh plants and colourful flowers!
A fruit stand
On this post hangs the badges of different towns in Essen (I think)

Super like the window display =)
Before going back, we went to the Essen Cathedral.

A mass had just ended so the lights had been turned off when we went in, making it a bit dim, but it did give us a chance to take pictures of the awesome things we saw:
Seven-arm Candelabrum

Entombment of Christ
We tried taking pictures of the Golden Madonna, but we weren't able to get a good shot.  Here's what it looks like just to give you an idea of what we saw
And here are some pictures that we took outside the cathedral, but within the grounds:

As we went around , I remembered the movie The Sound of Music.  See the last picture above with the tombstones on the ground and arc-shaped passageways, it looks similar to the convent where Captain Von Trapp and his family hid in before escaping, don't you think?

Finally, we went to Essen’s biggest mall, the Limbecker Platz, and again, we took a few pictures.


Inside, we saw a shop that sells all kinds of chocolates
This photo shows all kinds of chocolate bars that are packaged for all sorts of celebrations. It had a revolving track where there were little containers of chocolate bits that you could sample and taste.
Can you see Hubby's hand getting a sample?
More chocolates
for Mother's Day
What really caught my eye was this poster that said if you buy this particular chocolate bar, they’ll donate a portion for the Philippines. Nakakatuwa di ba?
Soon after, we went back home where Dad was waiting for us.

After lunch, Mom baked bread. By the time it was almost ready to take out of the oven, Hubby and I couldn’t help sniffing the air from time to time. It smelled so delicious!
In the afternoon, they took us to Buga Park in Gelsenkirchen. Again, we walked. It was a pretty long walk from the house, but it was ok because the weather was really cool.  And again, being surrounded by nature just felt refreshing.  Here are some shots we took on the way.
More dandelion seeds

A glimpse of a mosque

The bridge in the middle of being repainted

Dad and Mom holding hands while walking. Ang sweet nila 'no?
However, the most memorable thing we came across at the Park was a rock, or rather a group of tall rocks
Believe it or not, I climbed one of those back in 2005. I didn’t get to make it to the top because it was my first time to climb and I had begun to panic when I realized that I was so far off the ground, but still, I did it. Ang sarap ng feeling.

While we were taking pictures, a lady saw us and recognized Mom and Dad. I think she was one of the trainers there or something. She asked if we wanted to climb the wall, but we chickened out. Plus, we weren’t wearing the proper shoes. If I had known earlier that we would be given the chance, I’d have prepared for it.  Here's a shot of Dad trying to climb it on his own.  Of course, since he didn't have the gear, he didn't manage to get up that much.
As we walked some more, we saw the Gelsenkirchen Amphitheatre, where I remember we attended a concert and we all danced and partied the night away 9 years ago.
Walking back home, we passed through a cemetary. It’s different from the ones I’ve seen because there were so many flowers and colourful rosebushes around the tombstones. Not scary at all. In fact, if a family member or very close friend was laid to rest there, most probably his or her loved ones would visit often because it was so peaceful and beautiful with all the colorful plants and flowers. It actually looked like a garden. We didn’t take photos there anymore; respeto lang di ba?

That night after dinner, Michaela came over to practice with dad for the wedding for their Father-Daughter dance. Once they perfected the waltz, Dad invited me to dance. I was hesitant because for one thing, I didn’t know how; and the second reason was because I knew I was going to get emotional…mainly because I never got the chance to dance with Papa on my wedding day. In the beginning, I just concentrated on our feet and following the steps he would tell me
But when he said “Pam, just look at me; it will be easier to dance” and I did, my eyes started welling up and I couldn’t stop crying. I felt that Papa was watching, and maybe he used Dad so that I could at least experience a Father-Daughter dance. 
See my face scrunching up?
He hugged me then, which made me cry even more. And I appreciated it that they didn’t ask me why; I believe they understood.
Later when Michaela left, we played Skip-Bo again. This time, Mom and I made sure that Dad and Hubby weren’t sitting beside each other. And I won 2 rounds! Woohoo! =)

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