Category Archives: Germany

Winter Walks – Osterseen (Bavaria)

As usual, the snow did not come at Christmas. But last night, it came.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Advertisements

Schloss Nymphenburg

Nymphenburg Palace was the summer residence of Bavaria’s rulers, the Wittelsbacher family. The gardens, which are largely woodlands, are enormous and contain, in fact, five palaces, one big one and four teensy ones. Well worth a visit if you happen to be in Munich with an afternoon to spare and a hankering for a dose of nature.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I had a delicious plum crumble, but wolfed it down too fast to take a photo…

Deutsches Museum – A Quest For The Quirky

I want to go to the museum.” Those were the words I never thought I’d hear. Ever. Not from the mouth of my brother. But he said them. And off to the museum we went. To the Deutsches Museum in Munich, to be exact, whose ample bowels are a splendid repository of science and technology paraphernalia. Germany has come up with quite a lot of this stuff over the years.

I won’t bore you with the fascinating details of the various exhibits (not being sarcastic for once, I love all that stuff!) – my photo hunt was rather aimed at the quirky side of things.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Like this staircase! Without…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…and with people on it 🙂

Or these windows reflecting a building site:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Knitted coral reef, anyone?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

How about some knitted…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

MEAT?!?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Meat oysters” – don’t ask…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ditto. So much for “the food of the future”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Abstract art? No, mum and bro as seen by a heat sensor camera

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Structure of a crystal

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Can’t remember… something do to with microprocessors

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ship’s propeller

Some rooftop views:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Beautiful Munich 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

People swimming in the Isar… it was a hot day!

 

I shall leave you with some famous last words (as displayed on a wall behind the knitted coral reef):

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Burghausen – A Long Trip To A Long Castle

Nine hours on public transport. My heart sank when the Deutsche Bahn lady printed out our itinerary replete with bus and train changes. This had been my Mum’s idea, this trip to Burghausen, an end-of-train-line town near the Austrian border, overlooked by “The world’s longest castle”. The world’s longest schlep more like.

In the end, despite all the platform hopping, it turned into a great day out.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Burghausen’s Coat of Arms

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Part of the castle that goes on forever

 

Inside the castle complex:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Not canon balls, but catapult missiles, in case you’re wondering

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Will they pass Mum’s inspection…?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I sat on that one…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

A few pictures of the town of Burghausen:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

No cake. There was an ice cream… but the forces of greed got the better of me on this occasion and pulled my fingers faster towards the spoon than to the click button.

 

 

 

 

 

There’s Sculptures In My Woods!

Today’s plan already seemed like the perfect plan: A cake outing, preceded by a walk through the woods around a local lake. But little did we know that there had been an invasion of the weird and wonderful:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What the…? This is when we twigged that something wasn’t quite right…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nature sure is amazing, but we’d never seen any of THAT colour before

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Flying tropical fish?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A giant clothes peg, anyone?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Delta-7 Jedi Starfighter prototype

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wolves or wild boar?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Not a sculpture, but pretty 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Awww, someone was worried about her…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And a delicious Apfelstrudel for me at the end 🙂

 

Pea Soup Productions Presents

Snow on New Year’s Day, they said. Proper Winter to make an appearance, finally, at the crack of 2016, they said. What we’ve got instead is fog, grizzly drizzle and all the cheeriness of a Siberian laundry  with the heating up the creek.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

P1030236

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

WW1 Memorial in my village

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Have I depressed you quite enough yet..? Welcome to the club!

Wait… maybe some spiritual guidance to lift our mood? I’ve got just the thing: Last week, while the weather was still nice and sunny, I came across this saucy lady on one of my walks:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This being Bavaria, there’s thousands of Madonnas everywhere, perched on pedestals, squeezed into grottos and stuck to the lower echelons of crucifixes, but they don’t usually wear bright red undergarments, nor red lipstick, like this one. Whory Mary…!

This is how my village looked last year at this time of year: What a difference!

Germans Like It Explicit!

Everyone knows that Germans have a set of rules for everything. And if there’s no official rule consecrated by some recognised authority, then you will usually find detailed “suggestions” not only on HOW to do something, but also WHY.

I spotted this little gem on the notice board in the block of flats where my mother lives, right next to the Hausordnung (house rules):

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Someone’s got a Phd in Laundry Room Physics… 

Translation:

Please note:

The drying of laundry in the basement leads to high air humidity.

This, in turn, causes already semi-dry items of clothing to re-absorb moisture as well as any newly pegged-out washing to dry more slowly.

For this reason we would like ask you, during times of high humidity (i.e. when a lot of washing has been hung out to dry), to open the windows in the drying room for a short duration of time in order to allow the air to circulate.

Please do not forget to close the window again afterwards.

If only the Kyoto Agreement had been drafted by my mother’s landlords, it would never have failed…

Here’s another example of instructive cajoling, fresh from my village green, aimed at the pooch-owning general public:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Translation: Dog owners – BE CONSIDERATE! Just in case…for now or for later. Pull bag. [Some hooligan has slapped a parody FC Bayern München sticker right across the pictorial guidance, but at least it matches the dispenser’s colour scheme]

What gets me is the utterly redundant “just in case… for now or for later”. I mean, not even German German shepherd dogs plant their malodorous pine cones like clockwork every day at the same hour in the same spot. So, if you’re walking your four-legged poop machine and you ain’t got a poop bag and you see a poop bag dispenser, you’d know what to do, right?

I suspect that the company was so proud of its word play, that it just had to get it out there. Let me explain: The word “Fall” in the idiomatic expression Im Falle eines Falles (= just in case, or, literally “in the case of a case”) has another meaning: fall/drop. So, in case something happens to…erm… drop from your dog unexpectedly… ah haha… ha.

As you can tell, I didn’t have to go very far to find both of these examples. They are everywhere. But WHY?! Do Germans really think that their fellow human beings are not smart enough to work these things out for themselves? Or do they just enjoy being patronising?

I think the issue is two-fold. First of all, Germans are, on the whole, a bunch of pragmatic realists. As such, they accept that about a tenth of the populace consists of morons. What Germans do not accept, however, is that those 10% are let off the hook on account of being dimwitted. Therefore, they resort to stating the bleedin’ obvious. On every noticeboard, on every street corner.

The other reason is linked to their compulsive drawing up of rules for everything. Rules have to be pretty watertight, not only for the benefit of the cretins, but also for the 10% situated at the opposite end of the spectrum, namely the very special breed of German Smart Arse (“Klugscheisser”). If a German Smart Arse flouts a rule, their first recourse is to poke their sausage finger at an omission or ambiguity in the rules.

This gives rise to the need for detailled written instructions for even the most common-sense behaviours meant to ease communal living. It’s the German way of creating social pressure for a special sub-species of the German Smart Arse, aka the Lazy Arse Klugscheisser, by obliterating their first line of defence, which usually goes something like this: “Wo steht das?!” (Where does it say that?!).

[For some more Germanalysis, see this post: The German National Character Explained in Three Culturally Loaded Phrases ]