Every year that passes seems to come wrapped up in complaints about it being the ‘worst year ever’, but 2020 has a better argument than most in a modern context. What a wretched year this has been, right? To make matters worse, the national team even conspired to lose 6-0 to Spain. 6-0! Whatever next, locusts? Loathsome sores?
We’re trying to stay relatively optimistic here at Kassel In Your Pocket, as positivity and a focus on the light is the only way to navigate the uncertainty and chaos that is the coronavirus world. Well, that and being aware of the rules, of course.
What are the rules? They are always open to change, but Kassel remains under tight restrictions as the country navigates its second wave. Or is this the third wave? Difficult to keep track, truth be told. Anyway, what are those rules? Most importantly, we should be keeping our meetings to a minimum. Avoid private parties and only meet with one other household. All meetings should involve a maximum of 10 people, although ideally that should be less.
Cafes, restaurants, bars, gyms and other services remain closed for the time being, although patrons are still able to take food and drink away from those establishments that offer such services. Public transport is working, but doors will open automatically and don’t even think about entering without a mask or suitable face-covering. With that in mind, keep your mask with you at all times. Museums and galleries are also closed, although an increasing number are offering online exhibitions and events.
These rules are scheduled to be relaxed on January 10 but that depends on a whole heap of things. It is pretty naive to assume that normal life will resume sooner rather than later, and Kasseler, Kasselaner and Kasseläner must prepare themselves for the worst.
To explain the transmission of the aerosols in various scenarios, from private gatherings over classrooms to restaurants and public places, this interactive tool from the German newspaper "Zeit Online" is the best we found.
How to stay sane in Kassel during these tough times? We’ve got some tips.
There is plenty of time for some deep thinking at the moment, and whether that is good or bad will depend on your point of view. We like to do our thinking with a beautiful view of a beautiful city in front of us and a huge Greek god for company, and if that sounds good then head to the Herkules monument as part of your exercise. Kassel’s most beloved landmark, the huge statue is a part of Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, itself a stunning expanse of verdant wonder. Hang out with Herk, do some thinking, then head home reinvigorated.
Gaze at charming castles
This is the very heart of Germany, so you better believe there are castles. You won’t be able to enter any for a while, but you can still gawp at stunning architecture and take some photos from afar. Löwenburg, found in Wilhelmshöhe, is one of the most unique in the country, one of the first pseudo-medieval castles in Europe and a quite stunning one at that.
Write a fairytale
Budding writers of Kassel, this is your change to get to work and finish that novel. Kassel is the city of the Brothers Grimm, iconic storytellers whose words have travelled to every corner of the globe, and the city is a fertile breeding place for creative writers. Turn the lockdown into a positive and get writing that book, although maybe avoid dystopian fiction for the time being. Life is hard enough…
A street art tour
Not an actual tour, but a personalised jaunt of Kassel’s excellent street art. KolorCubes is a crowd-funded attempt to jazz up the streets of Kassel, utilising concrete as canvas for a new generation of productive and inventive artists. Check out the KolorCubes website for the list of murals and see how many you can seek out.
A most artistic ending
Sticking with the creative side of things, Kassel is home to a cemetery specially for artistic folks, kind of. Now, it might not seem like the best time to be strolling around graveyards, but put aside that superstition and head to the Artists Necropolis. Located at the western edge of the city, this is a cemetery that allows the dead to design their own tombstones, leading to some extremely eccentric images.
A stroll through history
Did you know that Kassel is home to Germany’s first planned pedestrianised street? Okay, there are obviously caveats with that fact, but the city’s Treppenstraße (Stepped Street) is a 300 metre long charmer with flowers, shops, cafes and the rest. Obviously you can’t enjoy those shops and cafes for the time being, but there’s nothing wrong with a peaceful stroll through history, provided you stay the regulation distance away from your fellow humans.