It’s been a while since I visited Germany and it was about time to hear a speak German again, do some reading, just enjoy. Weilheim in Oberbayern, south of Munich, is always a good target, gemütlich, has good beer and food, and is close to the mountains and Munich. The local politics are too conservative for my liking, but then, one cannot have everything (found some Trump supporters already, ho hum).
Munich has a fantastic little market, just off the tourist trail, where all sorts of little treats can be found, amongst others lebkuchen and glühwein donuts (Krapfen), which naturally had to be tried. The Christmas market was not really to my liking, too many people, so I went to the Deutsches Museum, which is for the sciences, engineering etc. with many hands-on demonstrations, especially directed at children (http://www.deutsches-museum.de/en).
The museum has many demonstrations, amongst others a glassblower and the uses of liquid nitrogen. The glassblower above did two separate apprenticeships over 6 years; apparently the story of glass balls started in a glassblower community when a glassblower could not afford fruit to hand on the Christmas tree, so made some decorative glass balls. Later, a man by the name of Woolworth saw these, took them to America and the rest is history. A demonstration of liquid nitrogen was very interesting; it is made by a cyclical compression process (a gas distillation?), forms a liquid at -196ºC and solidifies at -210ºC. Food frozen in liquid nitrogen does not go soggy after thawing, as smaller water crystals are formed during the freezing process; also shown were superconductors, including a “race track”.
A few days off for Christmas, with too much food and drink, even a visit to church, it’s been a while and for a convinced agnostic it will probably be a while before I willingly go again.
We visited the local Buchheim “Museum of Imagination”(Museum der Phantasie”; http://www.buchheimmuseum.de), which was donated to the Bernried, Bavaria, community by the author of “Das Boot”, Lothar Guenter Buchheim. An architectural and artistic masterpiece that contains all-sorts of crazy and beautiful artworks, such as those by Friedensreich Hundertwasser (http://www.hundertwasser.com/).
Oberammergau is a small town in southern Bavaria that is famous for its mountain scenery, skiing, wood carving, house paintings and the “Passionsspiele” (http://www.ammergauer-alpen.de/oberammergau/en), which take place every 10 years and are about the Crucifixion, to my understanding.
Shortly I will be on my way back to the UK. I always enjoy Germany, in small doses; it takes me back to my childhood, allows me to speak my mother-tongue for days rather than minutes, I meet up with family, and I eat and drink to much. However, it is too square for me, I could not survive here in the longer term. At the end of the day, I am an African, that’s home, end of story.