Trip Start Oct 18, 2012
154Trip End Ongoing
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Not surprisingly, last night I had 11 hours sleep as I caught up on rest from the long haul day. We woke up late and had breakfast together downstairs before Steffie and I went out to go grocery shopping. Nearby is a shopping area with a few supermarkets and we went into ALDI. ALDI is a chain supermarket unlike any other I have been in and originated in Germany. It is much smaller than your regular supermarket and doesn't have shelves, but rather food is left in their packages and stacked on top of each other. You can only travel one way down the narrow isles and there isn't much of a selection, but rather the house brands. As everything is prepackaged it can be much cheaper, but lacks the soul of any other store.
After shopping, we returned home for lunch
We drove out to the local hockey arena carpark and Steffie let me get in the driver's seat. It has been many years since I have driven a manual car and although I drove the entire East Coast of Australia in one and rode a motorcycle, it still takes a bit of practice to get the shifting smoother. It wasn't so strange to shift with the right hand because I'm used to driving on the left hand side now after our roadtrip. Nevertheless it was good to get some practice.
Steffie drove home and we had an hour before we were going to leave for dinner. Every month, Steffie's mother has a big family dinner to catch up with her siblings and this month was at a Croatian Football Club in nearby Oftersheim. I wasn't as tired for dinner this time and had 2 hefe weizen biers
This morning, Steffie woke up with a sore throat and was coughing so she didn't want to do much. We had floated the idea of going to the Adler Mannheim hockey match until her father brought up that the DTM Final was in Hockenheim. I was still keen to go, but with Steffie out of the picture I had to find somebody else to drive me there. She called her brother Christian who agreed to take Steffie's nephew Sebastian and I along with Christian's daughter Leonie. They picked us up at 1pm and we drove quickly 20km south down to Hockenheim and managed to find a car park in the crowded and narrow streets.
Hockenheim is litterally a small town with a huge racetrack nearby. Motorsport is big business here with the track first opening some 80 years ago. Every second year they hold the German F1 Grand Prix and they have the opening and closing races of the DTM. DTM is the German version of the Australian V8 Supercars although with Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz instead of Holden and Ford. We joined the thousands of other Germans out to enjoy the warm weather and watch the race. I was a bit confused because I thought that the Hockenheimring was much longer and it turns out that a decade ago, the track was shortened drastically to appease the modern TV audiences. Nevertheless, it was good to be there and we had a great seat on the main straight directly across from pit row.
It was a bit hard to tell which drivers were in what position because the screens were far away and I didn't have a guide, but the racing was loud and fast
With so many people about, it took a while to get back onto the autobahn from the town. Christian dropped Basti off at his mother's house and then dropped me back home. Steffie was still in bed when I arrived having relaxed all day and her mother was out at the hockey. When they got home, we had an informal dinner and talked about the differences between geography, slang and culture.
Hopefully I can enroll in my German course and start speaking properly!