Behind the Scenes

RingCon 2014, day one.

Like I’d mentioned in my previous Book Stats post, I would be going to RingCon in October. RingCon – from the same people who did HobbitCon, in the same hotel – took place last weekend from the 17th until the 19th of this month. And here I am with my first post of this amazing weekend! The first day, a traveling day actually, I got up very early. This time, we’d be going by car because it was easier and cheaper, but Tanja had to go to school first. So at half past nine, we left my house and went on our way to Leiden. After a bit of a traffic jam, we arrived there and while Tanja went to her class, I sat down in the cafeteria and decided to finish the book I am reading (The One, of which I have posted a review on Friday).

A little past eleven, Tanja came back again and said she was done for the day. She’d originally thought the class would take about four hours, but she was done early so we could leave for Bonn even sooner than we’d planned! After having a small breakfast in the car and setting up everything (including the navigation system), we went on our way to Germany!

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We got through to Nijmegen easily without any trouble (perhaps a bit of rain), but after we’d crossed the border, ‘hell’ started. We went through I think at least three or four traffic jams, and at some point it began to rain so hard we could hardly even see the car in front of us. We couldn’t see the stripes on the road anymore, and none of the cars behind us (so changing lanes was a nightmare); because NO ONE had their lights on.

Anyway, when we FINALLY got to Bonn, we spend another twenty-or-so minutes waiting in ANOTHER traffic jam because apparently the road ahead was so busy. Eventually, we saw the car behind us driving backwards onto the highway again and we decided to follow, so we could take the next exit into Bonn (the one we were actually supposed to take). Then, we realised we’d been literally two minutes away from the Maritim; the hotel stood on the other side of the highway kind of mocking us. After another five minutes of driving around, we found the way towards the hotel, parked inside the garage and went upstairs to check in. I think we actually cheered when we saw the hotel coming closer.

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After checking in, we got our stuff from the car, and made ourselves comfortable in our hotel room. That meant unpacking, testing out the beds and mainly the pillows (they were a lot better than the last time) and of course trying out the free wifi they had now. After that, we decided to think about dinner. The previous two times we’d gone to McDonalds because that was close to the train station and probably the only thing that was open at that time (because it was Easter and the Friday before Easter is also special and then all the shops are closed). This time, there was nothing special happening so we figured the shops might still be open (though it was close to six and in our town the shops close at six every time).

We decided to go anyway and see, and luckily the shops were still open by the time we got there. We walked around, but the only shop we really entered was a little British shop. They had all kinds of lovely things, including Jelly Babies and Doctor Who Magazine (only it was a bit expensive); but eventually I just bought a mug with the Welsh Dragon on it in glitters (as you can see on the picture). We also found a Haribo shop, which made me extremely happy, and there I bought a tiny Haribo bear and a bag of smurfs.

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For dinner, we decided to go to Pizza Hut, which was delicious and a very good idea. Our waitress was very good at English, which made me happy seeing as my German is not so good (I can understand it when people talk slowly or when it’s written down (but not always), but I can’t speak it); they even had an English menu! After the delicious dinner, we went back to the hotel to prepare for the first Con day at RingCon! We had originally planned on a Lotr/Hobbit cosplay on the first day, but we decided to throw it around and do Luna Lovegood (me) and Korra (Tanja) on the first day!