Reflections of our time in Kiel, Germany

We wanted to let you know more about our time in Kiel.  As you can see from the above photo, the city is beautiful.  It’s fairly modern – we were told it was partially destroyed in WWII; hence a lot of newer buildings.  We lived on the 2nd floor of a “walk up flat”.  It was different living for us; we have never lived in an apartment building in an urban setting.

Bicycles are everywhere!  There are special bike lanes set aside, and NEVER walk in them without fearing for your life.  Bicycles have 1st right of way, then pedestrians, then vehicles.  Everyone has a dog, and dogs are allowed everywhere – including in the malls & restaurants.

Food is fairly inexpensive.  Since we didn’t have a car (which was a blessing!), we walked to the store often, only buying as much as would fit in our backpack or carry bags.  We did go out to eat several times, as eating out was also inexpensive.  We had a hard time finding real German food!  We asked why, and we were told that German food is in the Southern part of Germany.  Kiel is more Scandinavian & European.  We ate delicious food from Thailand, Greece, Turkey, China, Italy.  We did find German food twice!

This is Linda on the balcony of our apartment.

Finding furnishings when you first move into a new apartment can be as easy as walking down the street.  On week-ends, people pile their discards on the sidewalk for folks to take.  We’ve seen books, toys, vacuum cleaners, and this desk & chairs.  They are usually in really good condition.

 

Speaking of things on the sidewalk, here is a photo of a car on the sidewalk.  Being in a urban environment, parking is at a premium (that’s why it was a blessing to NOT have a car!).  Sometimes the folks just did what needed to be done to find a parking place!  Our apartment is just down the road on the left side of this sidewalk.  The car is parked in front of an elementary school.

Since we walked everywhere we went, we saw lots of interesting things.  Below are just a few of the sites we came across:

On the last Sunday of our time with Kiel Church, 39 countries had been represented in the congregation.  We had a political refugee from Syria; a Christian from Iraq; a medical doctor from Kenya; a graduate student studying the cultivation of wheat from Switzerland; a woodworker who made furniture from New Zealand; an optician from Russia; a professor of international criminal law from U.K.; students from Albania, India, U.S., Thailand to name a few; a professor of international economics from Nigeria by way of Italy; a Christian journalist from Sweden; 2 business men from Singapore who were only in town for 3 weeks.  We enjoyed several people at church who were from Germany, as well as a person from Romania, and someone from Peru (we got to practice our Spanish).  These are just a few of the people we met.  What is amazing is that these folks found the church on the Internet.  Pastor Nico has done an excellent job of creating an Internet presence for the church.  These people come because they have sought out the church – they walk, ride a bike, ride a bus or train.  Some with cars drive over 1 hour on Sunday afternoons.  All who want to attend an English speaking church.

Our time in Kiel came to an end on Tuesday, October 9, 2018.  On Monday night, we were invited to spend the night in Hamburg with Pastor Hartmut & his wife Irene.  Both are pastors for the Methodist Church of Germany.  Pastor Irene made cheese fondue, using cheese she had brought from Switzerland, her home country; it was amazing!  It was a pleasure to spend our last night talking about Kiel Church and the many wonderful things that’s happening in the lives of the congregants.  We are often asked what was our favorite part of Germany.  We have to say the people.  Everyone we met was warm, engaging, and inviting.  We were invited into homes, and to have tea or coffee at small pastry shops.

This is a place we’ve worked that we would definitely consider working again!

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our blog about our time in Germany.  If you have any questions or comments, please drop us an email, or respond at the end of this section.  We look forward to hearing from you!

 

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