Since Mandi is gone having a girls’ weekend in London, I decided that my schedule really isn’t important, so I awakened my nocturnal side and explored the city.
After the bombings of WWII, this organ (great as it is) pales in comparison to the original organ from the 17th century.
Unlike the (fun) chaos of the disco, the pipes bring order and harmony to their listeners.
Stained Glass patterns look much different without the sunlight shining through.
The evening started with a visit to the Marktkirche (the market Church) for an Organ concert – the most pleasant part of the night. I asked myself why someone would want to come all the way to an old brick church to hear the music when they could get it from their iPod instead, but as soon as I felt the resonating tones in my ears and in my feet I remembered how silly of a question that is.
Looking back in 2015
Looking back in 1907
Hannover is small enough that you can walk through just about every street downtown in a single night, quite a contrast to the likes of Tokyo. There was a surprising amount of activity on the streets that lasted from the time the lights went out up until the bakers turned them back on. Despite the darkness (businesses and buildings turn their lights off at night, unlike in the United States) it felt incredibly safe.
The Altstadt, or old city, still has some very old half-timber homes mixed in with the ones that were reconstructed after the war.
My journey ended back at the main train station. The youth of the city and region around Hannover have taken over this block with lights and music and partying, which was actually quite a bit of fun.
I love taking these walks and getting some great pictures, and it’s something that’s hard to share with someone who isn’t also there with their camera. During the daytime I’m always on the lookout for a place that might look good at night for a photo so I can be efficient, but it still involves lots and lots of standing around waiting for the camera to do its thing, making small adjustments when it’s not exactly right.
My time here in Singapore is ending – I’m sitting in the airport terminal waiting to board my flight to Hong Kong. Joseph’s wedding was a special event that I’m thankful I could attend. He is a dear friend of mine from my days at Purdue and we were roommates for the semester after Drew left for Japan and before I left for Germany. Joseph does post-doctoral research on the structure of the universe at University of Pennsylvania and Serena, now his wife, works at a hospital down the street from their new home.
There are no pictures yet of the wedding because I didn’t want to drown him out with cameras. Turns out that I needn’t have worried, because the guests already handled that part! There were so many pictures being taken! There is, however, a plan to distribute the official batch at some later point.
After the wedding it was me hanging out with Joseph’s parents, which was fun. We explored the city, walking first to Ion Sky, an observation deck 218 m above ground at the top of a residential complex on Orchard Road, where even.more.malls can be found in Singapore (I think they like to shop). As we neared the Singapore River and Marina Bay, Joseph’s parents retired to their hotel while I continued along. I think they had a good time in this big town, just slightly bigger than their home community in the vicinity of Bedford, Indiana. The nation of Singapore is about as big geographically as my home, Johnson County, Indiana, but holds just as many people as the entire state.
Earlier this year when I was in Tokyo, I took a ten mile hike through the city on one of my last nights. Something prompted me to start walking and I kept on going until I reached my hotel. It was probably a combination of me wanting to have a few more hours to explore the city and the fact that I love exploring at night so much – the colors of the city come to life and there’s a peaceful sense on empty streets which earlier hosted should-to-shoulder crowds.
Last night I did this again in Singapore. I hadn’t planned on it being so long, but shorty after midnight I discovered that the transit system shut down, so I ended up walking home (and running for a couple of km). All in all, my tracker counted 35,000 steps, covering around 25 km (15 mi), and I lost practically
none all of my sleep. Now it’s time to get some Zzzs, take a day trip of Hong Kong, then get back to work in Japan.