Sunday, 5 August 2007

Home, is where the heart is

The northern reaches of Germany are well beyond the scope of most itineraries. But my mother and I decided we would go and visit Leer and do some shopping. Sadly it was a disappointment. The shop we wanted to visit, Leffers, was being renovated. Still, I shouldn’t complain too much as I did find a nice skirt within the racks. But I wasn’t looking for a casual skirt, I wanted some new clothes for work as I do need to keep up appearances.
Leer is found in the area Germans call Ostfriesland (pronounced "ost-FREEZE-lant"). The English equivalent is "East Frisia". The area is not much different to northern Netherlands, Groningen. In either place, you’re surrounded by landscape that fits the stereotype for Holland: windmills, stately farmhouses, canals, flat wooded landscape, lots of agriculture, and small ‘’friendly’’ villages. The local dialect is ‘’plattedeutsch’’ or Low German because this is the "low country." To the untrained ear, it sounds more like Dutch (to be specific Gronings dialect) than German. Due to my Australian upbringing I haven’t mastered the German language, but I get by with my own version.
Leer is a town in the district of Leer, the northwestern part of Lower Saxony, Germany. See the northern province 'Nedersachsen' in the left upper corner of the map.
Leer is situated at the river Ems.
Leer lies close to the Dutch border; the district of Leer shares a border with the Dutch province of Groningen. And this just happens to be very close to my mum’s place. One hours drive away.

As we weren’t very successful in Leer we went back to the Netherlands and visited Musselkanaal, a small provincial village in northern Groningen. My mum knew of an other shop where I might be able to find what I was looking for. Sadly, I didn’t.

After a tiring day of shopping we went back to my mum’s village in Drenthe, a other province in the Netherlands. To get an impression, where every thing is, see this map:
You can find the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe in the upper right corner of this map.
As you may gather I didn't do any quilting yesterday :)

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