gemütlich: cozy, comfortable
On 12 January I turned 30. For some, a “big” birthday like that is a pretty big deal (Julie Powell, for example, started her year-long endeavor to cook through Julia Childs’ Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year in order to help distract her from the reality), but I haven’t been feeling any real anxiety about it. I suppose I must admit that part of me compares myself to people who are younger but more accomplished than I, but then I’m reminded of all the amazing things I’ve had the opportunity to do and I realize I wouldn’t change anything, so I’m determined to make 30 my best year yet!
Besides, who can be worried about getting older when she gets to spend a birthday here?
Derek and I took the train to Quedlinburg for the occasion, and we had a fun day wandering around the town soaking in some Vitamin D (the sun doesn’t come out much in the winter in Germany, so when it does, you want to take advantage of it, even if it’s only 33 degrees outside). Someone described Quedlinburg by saying, “If Disney made a ‘German town’ somewhere, it would look like Quedlinburg,” and Derek and I both found that to be a fitting description. (Look at the crooked-ness! It was awesome!)
Most of the festivities in Q-burg happen between April and December, so things were pretty quiet, (it was also a Sunday, and in Germany, most businesses are closed on Sunday, so it was quiet to begin with), but that added to the intrigue for me because it wasn’t overrun with tourists as it can sometimes be in the busier months.
We climbed this tower (after figuring out the strange “place a Euro in this ancient stone wall and the turnstile will automatically advance” system):
for this 360 degree view:
We had lunch in a cozy little cafe (where we, fittingly, learned the word gemütlich):
(Also, look at the size of the fish this woman is filleting!)
Then we walked up to this castle/church (where one of the first kings of Germany (Henry I) was buried for a while):
. . . saw the crypt and the “treasure” (as the tour guide kept saying – sadly, no photos allowed),* and enjoyed some more views:
There were so many interesting textures and patterns to look at, and we seriously wandered for hours just marveling.
The day was wonderful, and to top it off, when we got back to Leipzig, we ate Thai food in another cozy restaurant,** so if my actual birthday is any indication, I’d say this year is off to a great start!
*Interesting little story here: after WWII, a guy from Texas actually stole several artifacts/relics, and they were only recovered when his descendants tried to sell them after he died. We didn’t want to admit we were from Texas lest they think that we, too, had sticky fingers.
**Okay, I’ll admit: pretty much anywhere indoors seems cozy and comfortable when it’s cold outside, so I anticipate using “gemütlich” a lot.