A Brit in Bavaria – A Bavarian in UK
Good old times vs. modern times…
Part 3 – LINCOLNSHIRE
by Ralph Kratzer
My travel experiences continue. After part 1 – AUGSBURG (click here) and part 2 – LONDON-STANSTED (click here), in which was described what could go wrong in such a short trip, now comes the tranquil part of our holiday, Christmas in Lincolnshire, a rural county about 230 kilometers (140 miles) north of the English capital of London.
We, my girlfriend Sarah and I, had been invited by her daughter Liv and her son-in-law Ben to spend the holidays together with them in their house in Sleaford. Also on board were Sarah’s grandchildren Millie and Pippa, and the two dogs Mambo and Seth. Full house, so to speak! But it would become even better …
Unlike the Germans, the British do not celebrate on Christmas Eve, as we know, but on Christmas Day. Christmas Eve is used to wrap up the last gifts unhurriedly and put them under the Christmas tree. Unhurriedly? In Liv’s and Ben’s case rather not… both go to work, two small children, two dogs, shopping and preparations for the planned Christmas dinner and so on, there is only little time left for a rest, to be true. But with Sarah’s and my help (I had the responsible task to operate the scissors by cutting the ribbons!) the countless gifts were wrapped and lovingly decorated.
Christmas was then a big family event. To the festive dinner on Christmas Day, which traditionally began in the early afternoon, as well came Liv’s parents-in-law, brother- and sister-in-law, and on Boxing Day (simply known in Germany as the 2nd Christmas Day) additionally arrived Sarah’s son Tom and his wife and another brother of Ben, also with his spouse. For the two little children it was, of course, a seemingly endless exciting experience with real lorryloads of gifts! And, believe it or not, on Boxing Day there was snow in Lincolnshire, white Christmas!!!
But, despite all the hustle and bustle, time enough remained for my girlfriend to show me the environment and especially the capital of the county, Lincoln. And of course to visit some typical English pubs, which I had been looking forward to. I have had, as already mentioned in Part 1 of my travel report, some business trips to England in the past, but never the opportunity to learn about the country and its people.
I heard and read much about the British pub culture and the traditional English beer before, especially the so-called real ale. We Germans, and especially we Bavarians always think – since our monks are said to have invented the modern beer brewing in the Middle Ages and the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516 still being valid in Germany – we also produce the world’s best beer! Correspondingly, we look down snootily on the brewery products of other nations… according to the motto: what do they understand of the production of beer?! But I must confess, among the dozens of real ales in England there are quite a few to which I could get used easily. And many English pubs still give off the unique atmosphere of coziness, which they are worldwide famous for. As it happened very well, Sarah’s son-in-law manages Sleafords largest pub! So we had, after our daily excursions in the area, always a focal point to end the day comfortably and at rest.
The ancient university city of Lincoln with its 120,000 inhabitants, at the same time the County Town of Lincolnshire and the seat of the County Council, has really impressed me. It looks back, like my hometown of Augsburg (Bavaria), on more than 2000 years of history and was, again a parallel, a Roman garrison.
And to all who had told me before “Lincolnshire is a very flat area!”: Climb up the “Steep Hill” to the cathedral in Lincoln! Than you will know how flat the county is!
Of course, I can not fail to mention that we also visited the Harley-Davidson Shop of Lincoln, for me an absolute must!
New Year’s Eve and New Year we then spent with dear friends of Sarah, to make us on our way to London afterwards, where we should spend the last days of our holiday.
But more about this in the next and last part of my travel report …
Learn more about Lincolnshire by clicking here!