Sunday, February 28, 2010


Since the oldest was at a Model UN conference in Stuttgart and the hubby is working in Munich for the 15th straight day in a row, the little one and I (well mostly I) thought it was time to get out of the house and go see something. We decided to go to Bamberg which is about a half an hour away from us.

Wikipedia tells us:

Bamberg is a town in Bavaria, Germany. It is located in Upper Franconia on the river Regnitz, close to its confluence with the river Main. Bamberg is one of the few cities in Germany that was not destroyed by World War II bombings because of a nearby Artillery Factory that prevented planes from getting near to Bamberg. Bamberg is home to nearly 7,000 foreign nationals, including over 4,100 members of the United States Army and their dependents. The name Bamberg is supposed to have its origin in the House of Babenberg.

We parked near the canal/river and made our way to the older part of the city with the pedestrian zone. We headed toward the "Altes Rathaus" (Old City Hall).

Of the bridges connecting the sections of the lower town, a very interesting one is the Obere Brücke, completed in 1455. Halfway across this, on an island, is the Rathaus or City Hall (rebuilt 1744-1756).

From the other side of the Rathaus:

Johann Jakob Michael Kuchel, designed the City Hall in the years 1744 to 1756 in the Baroque and Rococo style . John Anwander painted murals in 1755 on both sides of the building which are complete with allegorical scenes and architectural details, the typical illusion painting in this period. Small, indeed figurative elements designed to reinforce the eastern side of the spatial impression.

3D Detail!
Bamberg Dom (Cathedral)

Some building details...

Another view from one of the many bridges...

We did a little shopping among the many pedestrian streets...

A modern sculpture...

There is supposed to be an interesting kind of beer called "Rauchbier" (smoked beer) that Bamberg is famous for...I didn't get to try it. Maybe the hubby will return there with me some day.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Skiing, Take 2

We had gone on a school PTA sponsored ski trip to Austria back in January (blogpost to follow, waiting for the younger daughter to upload pictures), so we thought we would try something closer to home in February. So I googled "skiing near Erlangen" and got a hit for Fichtelsberg. Where's that? So I googlemapped Fichtelsberg and it said that it was an hour and 20 minutes from us. Great! It wasn't a big mountain, but that was okay. It had a variety of slopes.

So off we went....but as we started out the GPS said it would take 3 hours. Huh?
Well, it turns out that there is Fichtelsberg the town (which may have some sort of snow related activities) and Fichtelsberg the ski area and they are two different places.

We did make it there eventually. It was the grayest gray day that ever grayed.
If you didn't see the people you would think this was a black and white picture.

But lucky for us, it was "Skifasching". Fasching is what the German's call Mardi Gras or Carneval. It is a time for people to dress up in costume. Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera but we captured a few things on my blackberry phone.
Are these ballerina mice?
A little ladybug ?
There was a parade through town and a marching band that ended up at the ski lodge. They also did demonstrations like one guy skiied down as a house on fire and others skiied as firemen carrying a ladder.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I was at a Thai restaurant today and got a Glückskeks, aka Fortune Cookie. These are the first Fortune Cookie I have encountered in Germany, I think. We have only gone to one Chinese Restaurant and it was so bad it scared us off trying others. Thai restaurants seem to be very good, though, and we have been to a number of them. Mexican food is in the middle. Kind of blah.

Anyway, this was no ordinary Fortune ...this one was bilingual.
which of course means....

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Someone asked me if Valentine's Day was a big thing in Germany. I would say, no, not really...kind of like Halloween is here. The big holiday right now is "Fasching" (kind of like Carneval or Mardi Gras). Many stores had some displays of heart shaped gifty items or chocolates. I had to go to 5 stores to find Valentine's Day cards...there really aren't any "Card Stores" can get cards at the Drug Store or Supermarket or Bookstore.

But we did see a some unique German Gift Ideas for Valentine's Day:

Clockwise from Lower left:
  • Käseteller (Cheese Plate) with heart shaped cheese slices
  • Landliebe gift pack - assorted Puddings in heart shaped container
  • Heiße Herz - Breaded something with berries
  • Coeur du Valierie - some other kind of cheese

Only Germany would have Valentine's Cheese.

The little one made some Valentine's cards for the relatives... she used the standard method of taking 8 1/2 x 11" card stock and folding it in half and decorating them. We have envelopes that fit said cards. Evidently this puts the cards into the XXL size for the Post Office...they went from 1.70 Euros to 6.00 Euros to send to the USA! Ack!