It was still light following the Mathilda’s game against Equatorial Guinea yesterday at Bochum so we decided to venture to Hattingen to a) see what there was and b) find some dinner. We had heard that it was a medieval town so programmed it in into our GPS (or rather the main train station there because we had no idea what street to enter which our GPS likes us to do).
As we entered outskirts of town we all kept our eyes peeled for signs saying “Zentrum” meaning town centre hoping that that would also mean a good place to find some food. What we saw instead were signs pointing to “Aldstadt” which we understood and meant the old town. We followed the bright blue parking signs and squeezed our sponsored Mercedes (by Jannsen + Maluga Legal by the way) down a narrow street and tucked ourselves into a parking space. Car parked we walked in the direction of the old town and to our delight this is what we found:
The old town here is a charming warren of narrow cobbled streets surrounded by old buildings that have a Tudor look about them (dark timber frames and limewashed walls). In the nucleus was the town square and the church. So often as a traveller you take a risk on where to go and what to see and with this chance decision we felt we had scored as we walked into this old world wonderland.
The second score for the night was the fact that a festival was taking place in the old town. Throughout it there were stalls selling sausages, beer and fried delights which were interspersed with vendors selling arts and crafts. In the town square a stage had been erected and when we arrived the Big Blast Company was playing live jazz. People were drinking beer and gently bopping to the beat – I felt the urge to Lindy Hop not that I can but that’s the power of live music for you.
The third goal for me came in the form of a delicious curry wurst and fried sweet bread. The last time I was in Germany was in 2005 and after seeing numerous signs in Berlin advertising curry wurst I succumbed only to find it was a plain sausage with curry powder sprinkled over it. The curry wurst after the kebab is the most popular German fast food or snack. I was very disappointed with my curry wurst in Berlin but decided to give it a second chance after Thomas and Thorsten suggested that I should try the version found in this region. My sausage was barbecued (not plain boiled) and smothered in a tangy and slight spicy sauce and came with a little brotchen (bread roll). It was oh-so-tasty but after that savoury hit I was in the mood for something sweet…when we first stumbled into the festival I spotted something that looked like little fried doughnuts and when I tried to ask a lady who had bought some what they were she offered me one. I had to go back and find them and find them I did except this time I opted for its bigger brother. This was lighter and fluffier than usual doughnuts and had some raisins in it.
The Hattingen Youth Symphony Orchestra were setting up to perform at this stage – it took a while because they had to cobble together a higher platform for the conductor. The MC said something which must have been very funny because it got a lot of laughs but eventually they got their act together and we enjoyed one performance before agreeing to head home to Dusseldorf.