Thursday, January 7, 2010


Morgan I have just arrived back in Viterbo from spending a week with family friends, my Uncle Herman and Aunt Lisa in Germany. But let me quickly bring you all up to speed with my experience. From the minute we arrived, we were comsumed by german culture. Our first dinner: a delicious batch of bratwurst and potatoes dumplings. Later I watched a comedy that I couldn't understand on TV. Not only was there a language barrier, but I didn't understand why it was so funny. It seemed to me to be a bit scary. two people took turns yelling from the screen at the audience, in german. anyway, breakfast was fantastic- big and long, the exact opposite of an italian breakfast. Fruehstueckwurst, fresh rolls, homemade jams, fried eggs, austrian mountain cheese, fruit- it was delightful.
Then we visited Ronneburg castle, where there was a view of Frankfort from the top of the tower. One of the things I like about these out of the way places is that they let you do stuff you just can't at most museums. Like trying on the medieval armor, that sort of thing. After that we sampled the black forest cake and headed home.
Story about magic table, donkey, and baseball bat
Then we visited Gelnheusen where there was a castle of Fredrick the First, Holy Roman Emperor (the original Barbarosa)in ruins and early lutheran cathedral.
At Bad brueckenau there was a very interesting art deco church and bath complex- The story goes that one of the kings of Bavaria had a palace there, and built another for his mistress across a park. Whenever she wanted him to come over, she would put a candle in the front window. This distraction apparently caused him so much difficultly to perform his duties as king that the state could not function properly. They call the river that springs from the spring beneath the bath complex the "sin river".
At Kreuzberg we visited a fransiscan monestary located at the top of a mountain. They are well-known for the beer brewed there in the ice. After scaling the icy summit, we feasted on Frankfurterwurst and lentils, boiled sort rib, sauerkraut and maskedpotatoes, dumplings and gulash. Before leaving we visited st. Bernard breeding kennel they had at the monestary.
Finally I wanted to tell you a story that the Grimm brothers wrote down that was originally from Hanau, the city were we stayed. Three brothers were all kicked out of their father's house for being lazy, and so each became apprentices at different workshops in a town two days journey away. The first worked for a carpenter, the second for a miller, and third for a turner (someone who works with a lathe to turn wood). When they each completed their apprenticships, they received their rewards for their good work and went home. The first received a table, that when he said the magic words it would instantly be covered in food, sumputous enough for the finest feast. On his way home he stayed at an inn overnight, and hosted a feast with his magic table there. The innkeeper, who was a very greedy and clever man, replaced the table with a look-alike while the boy slept. When the first son arrived home, he gathered all his friends and family around, talking up the feast they were about to have. Needless to say, when nothing happened, it was a flop.
The second son reveived a donkey, that when you said the magic words, gold coins poured out of its mough, nose, and ears. Using said gold coins to pay for his stay, the innkeeper saw the donkey's value, and switched the donkey that night as he did the table. When the second son arrived home, he also prepared his family for a surprise, that turned out to be of little excitement.
When the last son arrived at the inn, with a big piece of turned wood (similar to our baseball bat) in a bag, the innkeeper was certain it must be of great value. More careful than his brothers, the third pretended to be asleep as the innkeeper took the bat our of the bag. Then the boy said the magic words and the bat proceeded to beat the innkeeper to a pulp. Sorely beaten, he confessed to his crime and handed the donkey and table over to the third son, who brought it all back home.

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