Yesterday was my last day at the university for 2013 and it was at least partly consumed by trying to place the last remaining students for their teaching internships in February. Though I also found the time to attend the general university Christmas party. The English department Christmas staff party already was last week. I missed the student Christmas party, since it was in the evening and I wasn’t too keen on driving sixty kilometers home on lonely country roads in the dark.
When I finished working at noon, I went into town to buy some of the famous Spekulatius cookies from Café Burrichter (photos of the Café with its vintage 1930s interior may be found here) as well as some underwear at Leffers, since Vechta has one of the few survivors of the Leffers chain of high quality clothing stores.
I also took some photos of Vechta’s town centre and Christmas market all decked out in seasonal cheer, so enjoy:
Not Vechta at all, but the Golden Bridge monument at nearby Goldenstedt. The monument spans the river Hunte and refers to a medieval legend according to which the Count of Diepholz, another nearby town, happened to ride across the bridge and through Goldenstedt with his new bride, a Swedish princess. In order to celebrate the wedding, the Count and his bride cast gold coins into the cheering populace, hence the town name Goldenstedt (golden city). This monument by artist Alfred Bullermann was set up earlier this year.
A look across Vechta’s small Christmas market.
Santa has landed on the roof of a mulled wine stand at Vechta’s Christmas market for a relaxing cup of mulled wine.
A seasonally decked out sausage stand on Vechta’s Christmas market.
This bronze statue of a horse, which commemorates Vechta’s history as a centre of horsebreeding, finds itself stuck between a sausage stand (no horse sausage luckily, even though it’s a North German specialty) and a stand selling Feuerzangenbowle, a concoction of sugar, wine and hard alcohol sure to make you sick (trust me on this). In the background, you can see the spire of the St. Georg church. The local nickname for the horse statue is Kuschel BTW.
It’s not a German christmas market without a merry-go-round and here is Vechta’s. Note the seasonal decorations.
The centre piece of Vechta’s Christmas market is this gorgeous Christmas tree towering over a manger scene. Underneath the tree, you can see the three wise men and some sheep come to pay their respects to baby Jesus.
A closer look at the manger scene that was set up on Vechta’s Christmas market. The fire place in front of the manger doubles as a collection box for donations to the local church. Of course my coin missed the collection plate and landed between the (unlit) logs instead. Ah well, I guess they’ll find it.
Sheep and oxen at the manger. Note the heather plants in the foreground.
And here we have the holy family of Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, two angels and the trusty donkey.
On the other side of the road, these two sheep who didn’t make it to the manger guard a gift shop instead.
Seasonal display outside the Floreal florist’s shop on Vechta’s main street.
A neat bronze statue next to Vechta’s Victorian post office. In the background you can see the C&A clothing store.
Karsten Wilde’s perfumery on Vechta’s main street all decked out in seasonal cheer.
The bells are a permanent feature of Arthur Müller’s optician store, but the tree was set up only for Christmas.
Another beautiful turn of the century townhouse on Vechta’s main street. This one houses a branch of the Fielmann chain of low-cost optician stores.
The window display of this shoe store on Vechta’s main street is decorated with wind-up toy robots.
The late gothic St. Georg church, Vechta’s main Catholic church, with Christmas tree.
A rather gloomy view of the late gothic St. Georg church with bare trees.
The Old Kamponier, an ammunition depot built in 1706, is the last survivor of the old citadel of Vechta and towers over the Vechtaer Moorbach, formerly the moat of the citadel. Nowadays, the Old Kamponier is a venue for art exhibitions and cultural events.
A close-up look at the crenels in the walls of the Old Kamponier.
And finally here is the office at the university I share with another teacher (who is rarely in).
The bookshelves in my office hold a collection of school textbooks. Note that it’s still dark outside, even though I took these photos at approx. nine o’clock in the morning.
The other side of the office with door, coatrack, cupboard and a table for meeting with students. Here my Mom is seated at the table, since she wanted to go to Leffers after I was finished at the uni.