Saturday, 13 April 2013

Easter with 桜子: Schwebebahn (feat. Iva)

When I heard that there is a town in Germany where, instead of trams, they use a monorail as public transportation, I was ecstatic! Meet Wuppertal, a small town so close to nature located in North Rhine Westphalia. Having heard of this place from Firu when he first visited the town's flea market, I knew I was going to visit this place eventually. But then I heard that my good friend, Iva, was going to go there to visit a friend with her sister and friend. It was definitely meant to be! You see, Iva lives in Nürtingen in Baden Württemberg, which is in the south. She has only gone out of that state a handful of times. And Wuppertal is located a little bit on the north side of Germany too. So her showing up on this nape of the woods was close to miraculous. We immediately made plans to meet up. And that's how this whole trip started.

This day was freezing cold! Firu, Saku-chan and I took off from Mülheim just in time for lunch. We went to lunch and to the flea market. It started to snow but the flea market was still going on. On Easter too! We all snatched up something for ourselves. I got myself a pretty long pleated green skirt, Saku-chan got herself a small retro '70s jar/chilli container while Firu gladly purchased a brand new water heater. Afterwards we headed to the main train station to meet up with Iva and her friends. We went there by the monorail. The kick is, the track runs over the train instead of under it, leaving the train hanging whenever it comes to a stop, thus the name - "schweben" means hang. It got me a little dizzy.

All the seven of us then boarded the train again to its terminal. It feels so nice being able to catch up with Iva again. Though we haven't seen each other only 2 months. We talked a lot I barely noticed we were there already. The terminal was like a show. The way the train swerves the track to turn back. Only in the terminals you can see the gears atop the train. There is a tale of the train among the folks. Once a long time ago, this train was used to transport an elephant from the local zoo. It was put to sleep but woke up somewhere along the way and thrashed around. It made the train unstable and fell down. But it was kind of incredible to know it can carry an elephant. There wasn't much else to see out here except for a three-wheeled clock which chimes at 4 o'clock. It is said to do a performance of Chronos and Death when it does but I missed it. There was also a population counter next to the clock, counting current world population. It's gone past 7 billions!

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