My train from Rostock to Kiel was running a little late and then there was a change of platform with my next train to Kiel. Unfortunately I missed that one, but luckily there was another train leaving soon so I rushed over to that platform and got on it. So I made it Kiel pretty close still to my original ETA. Malte came and met me at the train station and we walked it back to his place. Catching up along the way and starting to get to know each other again after almost 10 years.

Again it was super easy to fall into comfortable conversation and it was amazing to be here where there had certainly been more snow. Malte has a great communal share flats thing going on with an amazing bunch of people. Who I started to meet and quickly became overwhelmed with lots of names. After a coffee and some catching up we headed out for a walk along the pier, Frenchy (one of the flat mates) also joined us.
We managed to see some people that like swimming in the ocean water in winter. I decided it’s not really something on my to do list.

As it got dark we headed back to the flat to heat ourselves up with some spiced apfelwein. We also went and picked up some extra ingredients as it sounded like it was going to be a pizza night. So the way the apartment set up is, is that there are two apartments but operated and lived in as one. People in both, free to come and go, when someone is home there are keys that cross over between both doors so you can easily access either one. So pizza night was happening in the other kitchen. We were hanging out and just catching up on Malte’s side in the kitchen. Malte’s girlfriend, Deike was finishing work and coming to join us. It was great to meet her and after we caught up we all headed over for our turn with the pizza oven. It was nice to meet a bunch of people, have some interesting and great chats, eat pizza, and then play some card games. A bunch of the others had headed out for a bit to play mini golf. Whilst playing it was discussed about that there was a Drum and Bass night happening at the club nearby.

Deike also likes some DnB so yeah, we pretty much ended up at Shaubude. I thoroughly enjoyed having a good dance, I hadn’t realised just how long I hadn’t done that for. After about an hour Malte (who isn’t a hug DnB fan) was ready to go, and I thought it was also a good idea to call it quits now, considering we got there at 2am. Malte was staying at Deike’s so I could take his bed for the night – and so when I went back to the flat I actually popped into the other side and hung out there having a chat with the guys who were also still up. It was about 4am when I put myself to bed.

The next morning Malte bought bread rolls over for breakfast and then we got ready to head out to the beach. On the way to collect the car we stopped by the games store where I picked up a couple of card games I was introduced to in Germany. (This is where the not winning the soft toy meant there was space….. I guess I could have gifted Malte the soft toy though… DAMN!) Anyway, it was so lovely to go for a winter beach walk, it was such a still day and for the first time ever in my life, I walked on frozen sand!!! I had never even thought about frozen sand before but it totally makes sense. It’s a pretty cool sensation, and I was quite excited about it.

After the beach we headed back to the flat to drop off the car, and get on some bikes. I’m really glad that I relearnt how to ride a bike again recently when I was in the Netherlands as it certainly came in handy not having to relearn tonight. Some of Malte’s friends had invited us along to their garden for a mulled wine by a fire catchup sesh. So we biked there, and I did alright. I was definitely feeling more confident than a few weeks ago. One of the guys I had met the night before bumped into us on our way as he was also biking there too. So we all rode there and found it together. So people rent gardens in Germany. There are apparently rules around them in terms of how high your fences can be, what you can plant, etc. But essentially they all have like a little shed on them and are pretty decent sized and it’s space that you can have people over and parties, or picnics, or whatever. They are handy for people who don’t have access to a yard with their property.

It was a super cute garden, I had some snow thrown at me, the fire was toasty, and I drank quite a few storm trooper mug heads of spiced wine before we got back on our bikes and headed off again. Malte and I dropped the bikes off and then went out to grab a bite for dinner. We had then decided that we would head out to check out The Bunker, which is a converted bunker into a nightclub that plays techno (which Malte does like). A bunch of others were checking out another gig but also wanted to join us so we agreed to meet up back at the flat and then headed out for the night. Malte and I got back at 6am this time.

Deike came over around midday-ish and we got ready to head out for a day trip to Lübeck. I had been convinced that I would not be catching the 9pm train, but instead catch a bus at like 2:45am. That way we didn’t have to rush. The train to Lübeck was about an hour or so anyway. It’s a pretty cute town, that is an inland island. Deike used to live here and she worked at the Christmas market for a couple of years.

Our first stop was an artist makers market that had some really cute and cool stuff in it. On entry we got a little wooden ornament, mine was an angel, So I am going to keep her to maybe decorate a tree if I end up with one. We walked around exploring the markets in the streets as well. I have to say, Christmas markets really are much more fun with others. This is one of those activities that you definitely get more out of with company.

We were all need of some food, strangely we couldn’t find chips. So instead we went to a cafe that Malte and Deike regularly come to when they are in town. (There will be more info in the Vegan Eats: Germany blog) After eating we went back to wandering the market and we stopped for a mulled wine, and at the same time Deike spotted a stall selling the sweet she wanted but a vegan version, so she bought some of those for us all to share. That was pretty nice. It was like little donut ball type things with icing sugar, I can’t remember what it was called right now though.

Deike visited some people she knew at stalls and one of them was also a stall selling vegan waffles. So of course I had to get one to try (and share). This was pretty yummy too. Afterwards we headed back to the train station to make our way back to Kiel. It was such a lovely day and a wonderful end to my whirlwind weekend visit.

Malte booked a taxi for 2:15am to come get me. I was planning on staying up because I thought it might be risky going to sleep with how the last few nights had gone. I was exhausted though, so I did end up having a nap and set my alarm. I woke up at 1am, but thought I will get up when the alarm goes off at 1:30am. I was all packed and ready to go, so I literally just needed to put shoes on and run out the door. The next thing I woke up and it was 2:45am, the time my bus was leaving the station, of course…

I panicked. I woke Malte up, freaked out, until he calmed me down. Thought about it all, called a taxi got a price for how much it would cost to drive me to Hamburg airport, and we booked that to come get me. It was reasonable enough and it meant I wasn’t going to miss my plane. Crisis averted, I am so glad he was there and helped me out. He also missed the original taxi phoning him when I wasn’t out the front waiting for it. Originally my plan had been to leave at 9pm and go sit at the airport all night. Once I arrived at the airport though I realised that it was also a good idea, he had talked me out of doing that. It seems that they close and lock the airport before the first plane checkin times, so I would have been stuck sitting outside if I had done that. I got there with perfect timing and the doors just being opened letting the people waiting outside in.

It was soon time for me to check in for my flight to Zagreb, via Warsaw.