Nena: Book 5
by Maddy Bell
Copyright © 2008 Maddy Bell
All Rights Reserved.
"So what was that all about?" Den quietly enquired as we pulled away from Wolfenbuttel.
"Dunno, I think it was just chit chat. "
"Well I guess she might just be a talker."
"I hope so."
The remainder of the afternoon, it was after two now, would be in and around the town of Uelzen before returning to Lüneburg to eat. There was plenty of chatter behind us, just as well they were occupied its hardly hot on the scenery!
It was a thirty-minute drive to the town; we nearly missed the turn for the next pile of stones, having to do a full 450-degree trip on the roundabout!
"Up under the bridge, it's about a 100 metres further on."
"Here?" Den asked.
"I guess, at least there’s plenty of room to turn round."
Our charges exited the bus and waited for Jonathon to lead the way.
"Jonathon, do you need me here?"
"I think we can cope, something more pressing?"
"Finishing the clean up from lunch."
That seemed to stop him in his tracks, whatever he was about to say!
"Okay people, this way."
"Guh! I hope he's not like this all week."
“I’ll protect you fair damsel.” Den hammed.
“That’s all I need!”
Jonathan finally led his people back into the parking area nearly an hour later, twenty minutes ‘overdue’.
“Sorry we’re a bit late guys, Barbara got a bit lost.”
“No problem, its not far to the next stop, so hop on.”
Well maybe hop was a bit much to ask but we soon got them all aboard and Den eased Tiddler back towards the town.
“If we go back to that roundabout and straight over.”
“Okay, whatever you say madom.”
“Give over Sir Gushalot.”
“Ooh you cut me to the quick sirrah!”
“Just shut up and drive dopey.”
The drive to the bus park at Uelzen Bahnhof took under ten minutes.
“Can I have your attention please,” the general murmur quieted before Nena went on, “we’ll make this a shortish stop, it’s my turn to earn my pay though so if you can follow me please.”
“Think I’ll come too, I need the loo.” Den whispered to his colleague.
As a place to visit it didn’t look too promising, the bus station, a multi storey car park and one of those Edeka supermarkets. Nena led the way to the modern entrance to the railway station subway and into the dimly lit tunnel. From the mutterings behind it was obvious that the purpose of this stop remained unknown to most of the party. It only took a couple of minutes to make their way to the main station building, the steps up hinting at the surprise above.
Uelzen Hauptbahnhof is a must do visit if you are nearby and our little group of archaeologists were as amazed as anyone by the fantastical grottoes and lack of straight lines.
“Okay everyone, you can explore for a few minutes in a moment. Do you know of the artist Hundertwasser?”
There were a few sorts of grunts of recognition.
“Well as you look about inside and outside of this station you will see his work, there are lots of curves and baubles which typify his architecture. The people of Uelzen wanted something to make their town stand out and so when the railway company renovated the station they asked for Hundertwasser to do the design. Today fans of the artist and just curios people come to the town to see this place. So, you can explore a little, take some photographs maybe but please return to the bus by fifteen minutes as we have a further visit to make before we finish for the day.”
My charges dissipated and I took the opportunity to visit the facilities myself.
“I’ll see you back on the bus.” Den advised.
“Okay, I’ll stay and round them up.”
I found myself checking out the somewhat pricey gift shop.
“So Nena, did this Hundert whatever bloke do anything else.” Stevie interrupted my thoughts.
I was glad I’d boned up before the trip!
“Yes, he is very popular. There is an apartment block near to Stuttgart for example and also buildings in Wien unt Berlin.”
“It’s a bit weird isn’t it? Not very ordered.”
“I like it myself, it breaks from the normal erm, what is the word? Yes mould I think.”
“Well its certainly different, not what you expect.”
“There you are Stevie, Rob’s looking for you” Graham advised.
“See you later Nena.”
“She gets a bit intense at times.” Graham observed.
“Yes, I think so.”
“Harmless enough though, Rob usually keeps her in check. Anyway I’m gonna head back to the coach, don’t want to be last!”
“Yes I should round everyone up, Dennis will wonder where we are.”
They were pretty good I must admit, even the wayward Barbara hadn’t strayed too far and there wasn’t any searching to do.
“Interesting stop.” Jonathon noted as we waited for everyone to re-board Tiddler.
“You should thank Christopher, he planned this.”
“We all on?” Den interrupted.
“I think so, I’ll just have a quick count.” Jonathon volunteered climbing on board.
I followed and waited for his confirmation before closing the door.
Last stop of the day was a few minutes drive east of the town and the light was already starting to go by the time we crossed the Elbe canal. A bit of navigational help from Jonathon found us perching Tiddler on the verge at the end of the lane leading to Kahlstorf Hunenbett.
“You coming Den?”
“Nah, think I’ll make meself a coffee and have a read.”
“Okay, we should only be about forty minutes.”
I stepped down and started to follow the others along the lane.
By the time I caught up the rest were already assembled by the information board.
“Okay folks,“ Jonathon started, “this is our last stop of the day. Well we’ve got another typical north German great stone grave similar to what we saw first thing this morning. It dates originally from about 3000BC and was in use right through till the first century AD. When it was excavated in the late 1800’s they found a beaker dated to around 1000BC and I think it was six skeletons associated with Slavic migration of the dark ages. It was determined that the chamber here at the western end was used as an ossuary, no articulated bone was found inside, the Slav burials were placed towards the eastern end. Have I missed anything Nena?”
I quickly scanned the board.
“I don’t think so.”
“Well in that case I’ll let you all have a mooch.”
“Not too boring I hope?” Jonathon enquired once everyone had gone off to explore.
“A little but I am finding it quite interesting. I didn’t think of these places being in the countryside like this.”
“Its amazing what you can find if you look.”
“Like the Bahnhof too.”
“Where do we eat tonight?”
“Well there’s nothing booked, Chris suggests going into Lüneburg, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from.”
“Sounds good, lets get this lot back while we can still see.”
I took a last look over the ancient tomb; the sun was beyond the horizon already, setting on a pretty uneventful first day of Nena’s return.
Maddy Bell 17.11.08
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