Tuesday, March 27, 2007
A few weekends ago we decided to visit Regensburg, just to see it. I had heard it was a pretty town, but had never been there. It was a little over an hour to get there, and worth the drive. The city is situated on the northernmost point of the Danube river, and was founded by Marcus Aurelius in 179 A.D. There had been Celtic tribes there previously, but he made it official. At one point it was the capital of Bavaria, and then slowly faded into the background. There are portions of the Roman walls still visible, as well as an amazing cathedral, St. Peter. I had no idea they had such a huge cathedral there, it was built in the Gothic style. These are my favorite types of cathedrals in Europe, so interesting to look at all the details on the exterior. This church was begun in 1275, and not totally completed until the 1860's! We were also able to visit the treasury which is always fun to see all the ornate items they keep tucked away.
We also walked down to the Danube and saw the Steinerne Brucke, which was constructed between 1135 and 1146. This stone bridge still carries auto traffic, and our book said it is the oldest stone bridge in Germany. There is also a bratwurst restaurant next to the bridge that is one of the oldest places to eat in Germany. It was established as a kitchen for the workers of the bridge, and still serves wurst today.
Regensburg was also home to Johannes Kepler, an astronomer who died in the early 1600's. We didn't see the museum of his life, we saved that for another time. This trip was really just to see what Regensburg was like, and what was there. We were pleasantly surprised, and enjoyed just walking around and taking in the sights.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
I think I have run out of things to post about! We haven't been on any exciting trips lately, and with the gloomy winter weather we are mainly at home. Things are proceeding at a normal pace and I just don't have something that I think is of interest to share. Maybe just some normal catch up info for now...
Jacob's kindergarten had a breakfast this morning, part of their "health" month. It was really nice, and most children had at least one parent there. We got to watch the electric bread slicer in action, an essential kitchen appliance in Germany. We don't have one, I usually just have the bakery do it for me. If you want to make even slices of the hearty Germany bread, you really need to use one of those. Jacob thought it was pretty cool.
We are alternating weekends, Kenny comes here one weekend, we go to him the next weekend. It's working out okay for now, we will see how long we can all tolerate it. The hours for him are very long, so he really doesn't have time to miss us. Just time to eat, watch some TV shows on his ipod and sleep. His apartment is comfortable, and convenient to the work site.
Jacob is really doing well with his German at school, and enjoys going to school everyday. When we are downtown at our favorite cafe, he talks with the ladies there and they are quite amused at his German skills. Apparently he speaks German just like the locals, with the same dialect. We also work through workbooks at home to be sure he is keeping up with what he needs to return to the American system, so far he is doing fine with that also. He is reading very well now (in English), and enjoys it so much. We can't seem to make any improvement in his writing, perhaps because he won't sit still for long enough to practice. He likes to draw, paint, cut and glue, but doesn't like to color pictures. Superheroes are one of his favorite subjects to talk about these days, along with Scooby Doo and Star Wars. When I say talk, I mean talk! That boy can fill any quiet space with words! He starts every tale with "let me tell you" and goes on from there. All of his stuffed animals have background stories, about where they came from and what they do when we are sleeping.
The dogs are doing okay, Chloe is having back problems again. We are trying to make her as comfortable as possible, but the time between episodes is getting shorter each time. There is a vet in Nurnberg that can do some specialized testing, treatments for her back, that will probably be our next step. When she is feeling good, she is as playful as ever though. The other dogs all seem to be settling down with age, they are not as frisky as they all used to be. They spend a lot of time sleeping now! Here is Jacob in his long underwear and undershirt, hanging out with the dogs. You can see how gray Chloe's face has gotten, her paws are the same way.
So - although I wrote a lot, I didn't say much. When I resort to writing about our dog's gray hair and a bread slicer, things are pretty dull. That's it for now.....