I could be just like that person back in the day who would show hundreds of slides from their vacation to unlucky and completely bored family and friends. I did, indeed, take nearly 1,000 pictures but many were deleted and I promise to only show the best or most representative images.
This is a Maypole:
This one is from outside of Munich, but you can find maypoles all over Bavaria (the southern region in Germany). Click here to read more about the tradition but what I learned from Mario, our tour guide to Neuschwanstein, is that every community has a maypole and they are usually painted in blue or blue and white (the colors of Bavaria). The decorations on the maypole represent different guilds, businesses, or organizations in the town.
One thing I noticed right away, and kept appreciating, is that Germany is clean and tidy. You often have to pay to use public restrooms, but that money pays for people who are there to clean after every use. Let me just say that it was really nice. I notice in looking back at pictures of the city that the streets are clear of trash. Maybe I was just in the nice parts?
The other thing that hit me is just how new America is. It was not unusual to see buildings dated to the 1300 or 1400s and there were many older than that. Columbus didn’t get here until 1492!* Many buildings were destroyed in WW2, but much that is old remains, and we took pictures of it :-).
*UPDATE: Marty commented that there were people and civilizations in North America before Columbus arrived and of course that is true. I should have been more specific. I meant that the architecture that I saw in Germany was not also in America at the same time. The peoples that lived here did not build these sorts of structures or, if they did, I’ve never seen any. Columbus came to mind because of the dates on the buildings and it is a pretty simple historical reference point.
I might also add the Neuschwanstein Castle was built around the time of our Civil War.
This tall building in the photo below is the Rathaus (New Town Hall). The famous Glockenspiel is located in the center front of the tower. Every day at 11 a.m. (as well as 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. in summer) it chimes and re-enacts two stories from the 16th century. It consists of 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures and we were never there when it ran. (FYI: a glockenspiel is a musical instrument that has a line of flat metal bars of different sizes that are hit with two special sticks. I had to look that up.)
I could show you many more photos of lovely old buildings, but then I’d be that person who never knows when to quit with the pictures :-).
We visited gardens! These photos are from the English Garden in Munich.
This is a huge park. We were there on a sunny, warm day. It has been a cool and wet spring in Bavaria so there were lots of people out enjoying the park.
I’ll post more tomorrow.