Being abroad clears up the mind and invigorates the spirit. And it was comforting to see that even the German trains don't run on time.
But the disappointment upon arriving in the former Western German capital of Bonn was still the most overwhelming impression from my latest journey: an anonymous train station, no shopping street and the sense that you were in a village more than a city.
A German soon explained the mystery for the unhistorical Norwegian: When Germany was forcibly split by the Allies and the Soviets into east and west after the Second World War, some (French?) voices in the former bloc thought that a sentralised and strong Germany had proved not to be a very good idea. At least not for its neighbours. So administration didn't end up in Berlin or Frankfurt, but in Bonn. When the capital was moved back to Berlin after reunification, government, embassies and commercial life also left the city in the Rhine valley.
When I got around to seeing the city a bit, Bonn wasn't actually that bad. Beer was cheap and tasty, the disco I visited didn't play too loud, and the the city isn't in Eastern Germany. The kebab I had on my way home from town to my youth hostel was also terrific. As for the elections, it could seem that the Christian Democrats'll win. We'll see tomorrow morning.