Around here are a few streets with "half timber" buildings. They look alright. We've seen better.
Going somewhat off-piste, beyond the moccasin and dagger vendor, there's a church not marked on our map so we assume despite being prettier than the big one, it's insignificant.
Also, ball house square. A square with balls, and a ball house. Honestly. Ballhofplatz and Ballhof and balls.
I can't remember the story behind all the balls to be honest. I'm sure the internet would enlighten you if you're interested.
Nearby there was meant to be a castle. According to the map, it was the building just up the way, with pillars out front and otherwise covered in scaffolding. Didn't look much like a castle to us. In fact, I declined to believe it was and instead suggested we go down schlossstrasse, because of schloss and that. Lo and behold, a poor excuse for a moat and some other non-castle-looking building frontage.
Hannover is really starting to feel quite poor, and deserving of its reputation. But wait, what's that on the floor? It's the red thread! We had no idea it was an actual adornment on the pavement. Perhaps things would start to look up!
First, things would start to look left and right and north and south and east and west and everywhere, as we struggled our way across an enormously confusing 6 way junction of both roads and cycle lanes.
Past a beer garden whose location I committed to memory, we approached what sounded like an interesting museum - also, hopefully, a source of air conditioning. Why the fuck is Germany hotter than Mexico or Costa Rica?
The museum, of course, was shut. It doesn't open on Mondays. This reminds us of the fail we had when visiting Moscow for Helen's birthday and every museum we wanted to visit was shut. Sometimes we're good at this tourism lark, but sometimes we really fucking suck.
Thankfully, next door was the rathaus. A bona fide attraction, or is it? Apparently it's a "top 80" attraction in Germany. Surely no-one claims to be "top 80" unless you're 80th? Whatever. In we go: it's a working town hall and also decent piece of architecture and that. Plus, there's a bistro cafe with lovely views looking out over the garden and lake behind, except of course the entire rear is covered in scaffold and there's no view at all. DAMN YOU HANNOVER.
Anyway, the rathaus itself is cool, in two meanings of the word. In the main atrium there are 4 scale models of Hannover in different years. The difference between 1939 and 1945 is sobering.
We wandered around the hall a bit, up and down the stairs, taking photos. Frankly we were just glad to be out of the sun. The room full of crap art off to the side was a bit, well, crap though. Nothing in English to let us know why we should appreciate it either.
Back on the ground, someone needs a pint (and someone else wouldn't mind one either). So, past what seems to be a nazi police station, through a lovely small park, and into the Waterloo Biergarten. It's a typically excellent beer garden serving typically excellent beer, only to ruin it with cherry concentrate if you make the mistake of ordering the hefeweissen kirch.
Heart rate back to normal, we're constantly checking the BA app for news of delay to our flight home. It's fluctuating between on time and 25 minutes late. Meh. We've still got a while to kill and the seats here aren't comfortable, so let's set off back to Ballhof because there were deckchairs there.
Again with the arguments about directions, as powered by 2 beers I'm now entirely able to direct us correctly even via underpasses and streets we've never seen before, while Helen wants us to go an altogether separate way. I win, and just past what actually looks like it might really be an actual real bit of a castle, we're on the deck chairs.
The driver doesn't speak English so the only communication is when he asks if I want him to drive us through the town, or the schnell highway. I opt for the latter, which is probably quicker but also much longer and the journey ends up costing us an eye watering €50 on the nose. Ouch. But at least we're at the airport now, 90 minutes or so before the flight. Time to get to the lounge.
It's a weird one. It's landside, and when we first enter there's no-one manning the desks, but very soon a woman appears. It's not a huge room, but there's plenty of space for more seats than there are. The provisions are pretty dreadful: a fridge full of 200ml bottles of ropey lager, some plastic shrinkwrap cheese slices, a few spirits, some 1.5l bottles of soft drinks, 6 slices of bread and a few hot dogs.
I spend most of the time here eating sausage, drinking an accidentally huge glass of Jim Beam, and tracking the inbound plane on Flightradar24 like the fucking nerd I am.