If a picture is worth a thousand words, we're averaging about a million words per day. Unsurprisingly, we're taking so many pictures that it's becoming impossible to post them all, or even a small subgroup that illustrates fully what we're seeing out here. Since we want to share with all of you our travels and the things we're seeing, we've set up a super-duper Flickr account that allows us to keep all of our photos up for you to see. If you're interested, the URL is http://www.flickr.com/photos/Meldrumhaus/. I'm not certain how Flickr's privacy settings work, so it may not work immediately. If you want to look at the photos and you can't get them to work, email us and we'll see what we can do. Now, on to the show!
Sara and I are in the middle of a five-day weekend between sessions of our German course. On Saturday, we took a day trip down to Koblenz, a city of about 100,000 people at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers, about an hour's trip south of Bonn. Koblenz, like all the other cool cities (e.g., Aachen) that we've been in, has an assortment of odd sculptures, restaurants, and monuments. One example is Sara next to these marionette-statues that are part of a fountain; their joints actually move.
There is also this fountain that randomly spits water well over its bounds at unsuspecting passersby. (He's allegedly the town symbol for Koblenz.)
Also, this frightening shot of a massive sculpture for Kaiser Wilhelm. I can't really express how big this sculpture truly is. And scary.
Here is a creepy little goblin-man-gargoyle on the side of a church that sits atop an ancient Roman temple. Sara thinks it looks like the fluffy creature Fizzgig from "The Dark Crystal".
And what ancient German city is complete without a collection of eight-foot petunia tower? Or, as I like to say, Towers of Flowers. (Maybe not quite eight feet tall. Curses that my 5'8" frame is standing right there giving a scale reference. I mean, my 7'6" frame...)
The remaining photos are too numerous to explain individually, so here's the brief rundown. This year, the city of Koblenz is hosting the Bundesgartenschau (BUGA), Germany's federal, biannual garden and landscaping festival. One you pay the admission, you can enter the main gate near the Rhine river, where there are beds of gorgeous dahlias, dozens of varieties of fuchsia, and fountains for kids to play in. Then you can take the cable car (gondola) across the Rhine and up the cliffs to the Fortress Ehrenbreitstein, a defense site dating back to 1000 BC, with the current fortress built by Prussia in the early 19th century. For the BUGA, the fortress and the grounds (a huge park area) were covered in flowers. The Flickr site has many more views of the flowers, but they were truly stunning. Quite reminiscent of Berkeley flowers, actually. There were vegetable gardens, rose gardens, flower beds 100 feet long, and, oddly, a cemetery/memorial/gravestone flower show/competition. (Pardon the multiple slashes, but I don't know really how to summarize what it was. Other than odd. And cool.)
In short, Koblenz was awesome. We had a fun time and decided that a cool city and a beautiful flower show is a good date for both of us--Sara had to ask me to stop taking so many close up shots of fuschias. They're my favorite!