Another Weekend in Weimar and Erfurt

When we learned of the Mauerfall Spezial for 20€ tickets to anywhere in Germany, we jumped on it. We weren’t sure where we wanted to go, so when TQE graciously suggested we stay with him, we thought “Why not? He’s the one who told us about the special price, after all!”

So on Friday after getting my 40 hours in for the week I bolted out of work and Sarah and I headed “up North” (man, that term just feels wrong when it’s not applied to Michigan) to visit TQE and check out Erfurt. I’d been there once before, but Sarah didn’t get to explore it with me as she was departing for a shopping in London with pal Monet at the time. Erfurt is a neat-looking place with an intact medieval town center and a swell modern tram system. I’m glad to have seen it again and pleased as punch to squeeze in a visit with TQE.

We managed to take nine trains over the course of this weekend, and every single one of them was on time. I know how much it chafes when DB leaves you in the lurch, but this weekend, they met our expectations easily. Except, maybe in the translation department. Anyone know what the heck is going on here? It’s a small placard on a compartment in an ICE we took from Saalfeld to Nürnberg this afternoon:

Is that a (mis)translation from “Hahn” to “cooks”? Or just a misspelling (perhaps one ‘o’ too many and one ‘c’ too few)?

In other news, if you’re going to ask someone to send you barbecue sauce from back home in the states (because it’s just that good in your home area), make sure you have them package it as well as my mother-in-law did. This jar/bottle (not sure, haven’t opened it yet) of Rosedale sauce would have been a disaster if not for her clever use of an air-tight plastic bag. The other bottles and jars managed to not get seasick in transit, and had better seals to begin with. Only Rosedale’s crummy (non-existant?) seal was suspect and Susie’s instinct was straight as an arrow on this one (but not on the Bull’s Eye, thankyouverymuch).

8 thoughts on “Another Weekend in Weimar and Erfurt”

  1. G

    Since Hahn means rooster, aka c*ck, and since water*ock is the pertinent English word, I think they just misspelled it, as you suggest.

    Something I have always wondered- should I be using * instead of spelling certain words, as above?

  2. Tammy

    Way to go mom on packing the sauce!

  3. tqe | Adam

    It was thrilling having you visit. and I’m glad you got home safely!

    1. cliff1976

      Thanks for having us! Should your travels bring you down this way — even if it’s only as far as Nuremberg or something — let us know, please!

  4. Mom

    I love the bag o’ sauce! Suzie came through for you guys on that one. Plus, it might inspire a revolution in packaging: much less weight minus the glass bottle. That’s how people buy “bottled” water in some countries to reduce cost and litter.

    OK, is it silly to ask this? A water cock is just a shut-off valve. Looks like a sign-maker’s error to me. But what language is “water afsluiter”? Dutch? I think the look and sound of it make it some kind of onomatpoeic combo. Say it 3-4 times in a row and you can hear a drain emptying. I need more time traveling on German trains and then the signage would be familiar.
    Beautiful pictures again!

    1. cliff1976

      OK, but I get the feeling that term has been antiquated or stigmatized (perhaps for obvioius reasons). Like maybe the old guy at the hardware store would know what you were talking about, but everyone else would blush or get the giggles or stare blankly until you asked for shut-off valves, spigot, tap, or similar. Though, come to think of it, it’s got to be related to cocking a handgun (pulling the hammer back, getting it ready to fire), right?

      A quick search on the web for water cock, water-cock, and watercock wasn’t definitive for me, since none of the results that I found for English-language websites appear to come from native English-speaking countries (I found a fair amount of online plumbing retailers in China though). And the ones I found using — which compares German and English versions of the same websites to give you a better idea of context, instead of a traditional D->E / E->G dictionary — didn’t help much, because of the similarity G pointed out above. It was unclear to me whether those results had come from direct literal translation of the German term Wasserhahn.

      “Water afsluiters” looks like Dutch to me. “Afsluiter” looks like a noun based on the German verb “ableiten”, knowing what we know about F’s and P’s (and B’s), and I don’t know what sound the ‘u’ vowel combination makes, but I think I’ve seen that before in other German/Dutch pairs. “Ableiten” means “to drain off” or maybe “divert away from,” or more figuratively, “to derive from” or “to be derived from” (if used reflexively).

      I’ve been on 11 trains since Friday afternoon (not counting trams or subway); I think that’s a personal record for me for a Friday-Monday stretch.

  5. Jen

    My boyfriend was telling me about Erfurt and it’s definitely on our list of places to go. Your photos are just gorgeous. :-)

    1. cliff1976

      Thanks! Check out the Krämerbrücke when you make it there.

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