Monday, May 24, 2010

The Germany Chronicles 4 (Final Chapter) - In which a visit was paid to Wiesbaden

Sorry for the fact that this post did not come as soon as I had hoped (or expected it to). The reason is quite simple: after my last post, I did not get any more access to the Internet. My aunt Uli (short for Ulrike) did not have any Internet at home and I did not have time to go before leaving Bavaria... Yet, there is lots (lots and lots) to say. So be prepared for a very long post.

Before anything, you must know that I am back in Canada. *sigh* Yes, back already. It makes me a little sad to have left the peace, beauty and serenity of Germany (for once I actually felt stress-free!), but it is also good to be returning to sunshine (though it is a little too hot here in Montreal). I did miss the sun: of the 20 days we spent in Germany overall, only ONE day was sunny. ONE! It was not fair! I had wanted to show Michael so many things, but the stupid rain (literally) drowned my marvelous plans. But we had loads of fun anyway...

I need to get down to my adventures in Germany now, or you'll find yourself facing the never-ending post (as opposed to the story of the same type).

Since the last post, the rain only got worse in Germany and there was no hope at all of ever seeing our trip turn sunny. Though, fun fact, during the only day of sun, Michael actually caught a sunburn (tee hee!... no, that was not funny!). Anyhow, on the Thursday, it was Ascension. So we went to the Catholic Church (of beautiful baroque fashioning) and sat through an hour of service. The service was sung (gregorian-style, by the priest!) and they had a wonderful choir and an ORCHESTRA (on top of the organ) that played Mozart for the festivities of Ascension. Also, the hunters (Schuetzen) of the town came in full traditional garb to the Church in order to get a blessing for the start of the hunting season. It was interesting and wonderful... Though cold... Churches are not heated and they can be a little draughty... But it was great anyway... I believe that the service we saw is not that different from the services they had back when the Church was originally built. Oh, and allow me to mention that the people of Oberammergau are excessively Christian. Some go to church every day. I kid you not: there are two services a day, so if you feel REALLY pious, you can go TWICE! It boggled my mind: you do not ever see that here in Canada...

On the Friday, we went to see the Passion Play. This is very interesting: not only is pretty much all of Oberammergau involved in this event, but also it attracts thousands of tourists a day, mostly because they are doing a sort of pilgrimage to the small-town in order to view this religious event. There is a whole history behind the play: in 1633, the Black Plague hit the town of Oberammergau really hard. So, the people of town got together and wrote (and signed) an oath to God that, if the Plague would go and if there were no more victims of the illness, they would present a Passion Play in thanks every decade. When 1634 came about, there had been no more victims at all, and thus the first Passion Play tradition was presented and a whole tradition began. Michael and I went to the Oberammergau museum and had a look of the chronology of the events. They even still have the signed oath to God that they would present it. It was decided, though, that the play would be presented at the beginning of every decade, which is why in 2010 we were graced with a wonderful presentation. It was fabulous (though cold: I pitied the guy playing Jesus who had to hang on the cross half-naked for 20 minutes!). It was a great presentation and, to my delight, Michael loved it!

On Saturday, we went to visit castle Neuschwanstein, the famous castle built by Ludwig II of Bavaria that inspired the Disney aberration... Much better than Disney World any day, because this castle is the real deal! I could have strangled the stupid American tourist who stood beside me while looking up at the castle. He said: "It looks really fake, like it was built by Disney!" My head shot round at this and I had to tell him that Disney was inspired by this breathtaking castle for his own trademark castle. The guy replied: "It looks plasticky anyway," a comment which made me seethe because it is OBVIOUSLY stone! Michael sort of dragged me away before I killed anyone. It was super beautiful, awe-inspiring and amazing... as always... But, also, as always, it is crowded - no, flooded - by moronic tourists, which kind of ruins the beauty of it for you. The rain also put a bit of a damper on things. Anyways... my favourite part of the castle is the courtyard at the front. It has a fabulous design and Saint-George the Dragon Killer is painted on the main wall. It is absolutely wonderful - my kind of fairytale castle. Disney is worth nothing against it. ... Bloody tourist!

Michael and I spent the Sunday traveling up to Wiesbaden. Now, Wiesbaden is a city much farther to the north than Bavaria, not so far away from Frankfurt. We went there because that is where my aunt lives (in the most gorgeous apartment I have EVER seen! It would make even the gods jealous! I kid you not!). We got up at 5 a.m. (German time) to take a train (and switch trains a couple of time) and we basically were on a five and a half hour train trip to the north. It was a fun trip, though our compartment was PACKED with Chinese people. I do not know for sure, but I think they were a whole family or something traveling together, because they all seemed to know each other. My issue with them was that they were being very loud and eating smelly foods (the lady behind me was feasting on a box of hard-boiled eggs! eeek!)

Wiesbaden was beautiful! It is a gorgeous city with a Roman wall that dates back to the 4th Century A.D. It was impressive! So many vestiges left by the Romans! Also, Wiesbaden is on top of a great number of hot springs, so you can smell the sulfur in the hot water. They have fabulous healing baths there. The hot springs are naturally 66 degrees (Celsius)... which is really, REALLY hot if you put your hand beneath it. We also went on to the Neroberg (a pretty mountain with a vineyard and a Russian Orthodox Church (also a tomb)). There was an amphitheater up there and Michael took the occasion to serenade me in Italian from the bottom of the amphitheater... His voice rose up so beautifully, he even got applause from the people around. Michael also found himself a new girlfriend: a blood-hound named Berta. She was super cute, but I was getting jealous of all the attention Michael was giving her. We also went along the Rhine a little, Michael enjoyed skipping stones there and I enjoyed the solitary swan swimming on the river. We finished off our evening around a bottle of wine at an Italian restaurant with my aunt, my dad, and my uncle. It was very enjoyable. I ended up with a flush to my cheeks caused by the wine and stories were told around the table that I hope will only come up again when I get married. I will say no more about these.

Also, I have determined I would live in Wiesbaden later... Not only is is a drop-dead gorgeous city, but I gave me the biggest squee of all. They had a store there, called the Korsetterie!!! *Insert biggest fangirlish squee you can imagine here* I could not buy any corsets because they were too expensive, but they were also GORGEOUS. Some were designs by Bibian Blue, my favourite corset designer. I could live anywhere with such a store...

And that's how the trip concluded. Wonderful nights eating Italian... My dad and my uncle brought us back to Canada on Thursday the 20th. It was good to be back in the sun, but I could have stayed longer. Now I need to stress out about work and about moving and stuff... Not looking forward to the move at all actually - I do not feel like dismantling my Ikea wardrobe AGAIN!

Also, I went up North to my dad's cottage upon my return to Canada. My father promptly stepped on my glasses which have faithfully served me for five years. Catastrophe appalling! It was not a great start to my day, if I may put it that way. So now I'll be moving using crazy-glued glasses and I am going out to buy new ones next week... I hope they'll have nice ones.

I'm looking forward to the move being over. Now that I am back in Canada, you can expect more frequent posts. Also, I shall be posting pictures very VERY soon. I still have to sort through them though: I have about 2200 of them! I cannot wait to show them off!

And for now, my faithful readers, that is it. I hope this has put at least a glimpse of a smile on your lips. I am, alas, exhausted: the jet-lag has not been merciful to me. Blog you later!

P.S. Michael and I just finished Power of Three by Diana Wynne Jones and it was AWESOME! You should read it; it's loads of fun!


  1. I did TRY to keep it short! Forgive me for the length! Best,

  2. Haha, I enjoyed anyway. I once broke my glasses the same way and ended up supergluing them. It wasn't too pleasant. See you soon.


  3. Oh my D8 sorry for your glasses )8 And hope you enjoy your new apartment XD

    Good you still enjoy germany, even if it was rainy XD And glad Michael like it 8D

    OOOOH by the way, I got your postcard!!! I lol'ed (<- oh yeah BD) so much when I saw the dragon <D OMG THANK YOOOOU <D

    Ryu =3

  4. Hi Julia! Glad you liked it. Mine are superglued too at the moment... though I am hoping to get new ones tomorrow.

    Hi Ryu! I am so happy your liked the postcard! I was desperate because I couldn't find one with a dragon! I am glad it made you happy!

    Best, Naria