Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Schloss Arkaden

This is the Schloss Arkaden or Castle Arcade for those of you who want to hear it in English. Basicaly, it is a mall. It's not even as nice as the Providence Place mall, there is no m
ovie theatre and the food court consists of McDonalds, an Asian noodle bar (pretty good), a German wurst shop, a coffee shop and an ice cream shop. All good but the concept of a food court has filtered through with a few problems. The basic benefit of a food court is that all restaurants share a common seating area thus allowing each member of the shopping group to choose his or her food and all sit togethere to eat. There is no common seating area in this food court. In fact there is hardly and seating area at most of the eateries. Anyway, everyone knows the most important part of a mall is the shops within. The shops here are not bad but they are far from impressive. Most are duplicates of stores that already exist downtown. There are a few high end shops that only exist in the mall. However they don't impress me becasue they tend to sell labels like Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger for twice as much as in the US. Anyway, I would assume you are still wondering why my photos are so dark. I have yet to mention that those photos were taken around 6:10 am on March 29th, the Grand opening. Patrick made me get up at 5am to go to a mall and it wasen't the day after Thanksgiving! However, if I ever had enough commitment to shopping to wake at 5am on the day after Thanksgiving, I would imagine the atmosphere to be much like it was at the Grand opening of the Schloss. First of all, this is the biggest and one of very few malls in the area, secondly the facade was constructed to replicate an old castle and third the unemployment rate in Germany allows people to have more free time. In all seriousness, a lot of shops were giving away free things and there were some good deals to be found so most of the city was in the mall by 8am! It was seriously crazy. You could not walk against the crowd as the human trafic flowed around the ring on each of the three floors. The mall is set up similar to an American mall. The one thing lacking is an anchor department store. The closest thing to anchor stores are the stores located on the ends, none of which are department stores, those remain outside the mall. I did get some good deals on necessary office equipment and I got a nice pair of sunglasses and 2 glasses of champage and the most exciting shop in the mall is Starbucks, the first one in Braunschweig! Even though I ordered, of course, a caramel frappachino and they made me a coffee frappachino and couldn't pronounce my name when it was ready, the guy remedied the situation and I took my coffee cocktail to work at 10, a happy girl. All in all, I am impressed with the Schloss, not becasue it is a mall, but because it is practicaly across the street from where I work and uber convient.

No comments: