An Adventure A Day

Because "life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all" – Helen Keller

Apples in Belgium and Pumpkins in Germany – we celebrate the harvest season European style

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Friday Photo: Face

May 20, 2016


This week, the WordPress photo challenge takes a look at getting to know people as an artist by studying their Face. This week for the photo challenge, I thought I’d take a look back at some of the faces I’ve come across in my travels.

Many works of art masterfully depict faces to convey a message, an emotion, a brief snapshot of a period in time. I love to stroll through the galleries and piece together the past through the work of the great artists, marveling at their ability to capture so much within their canvas. But for this challenge, I decided to look at some of the faces of folk art and art in public spaces I encountered in Germany.

For me, the great art provides a glimpse of the epoch, the themes that prevail on the larger scale. I find that the art people make, the art that they keep in their homes and erect in their communal spaces, allows you to see the individuals. It shows you how they choose to honor what is most important to them.

As George Bernard Shaw famously wrote, “you use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.”

In Pfullendorf, a small town in southern Baden Württemberg we see the faces of the past in the local cemetery.

And in the water park, we see the faces of the future.

In Burglengenfeld, a small town in Bavaria, we find the faces of the people in the local folk art.

And the faces of the community in the public spaces.

And a glimpse into the soul as we view the faces in the Kunstwald.

To find more Faces, head over to The Daily Post challenge – Face

 

 

Let me take you back in time to a cold midwinter’s eve early in 2011. It is early in our second calendar year living in a small German town in Southern Baden-Württemberg, and we are in the midst of our first pre-Lenten celebration in Germany. It is the last night of Fasching and the witches are jumping over a bonfire. …

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Friday Photo: Vibrant

February 5, 2016


Most people consider the long winter months after Christmas to be dull, grey and dreary. While I have always loved the cold winter months, it was living in Germany that made this my favorite time of year.

Even though the days are short and often grey it is the most vibrant time of year in Germany. From unexpected schnapps drinking visitors, to colorful decorations throughout the streets, to parties, costumes and revelries, the deepest winter days mean one thing – its Fasching Season. Fasching, known as the fifth season, officially begins on November 11 but the biggest events are on the days leading up to Ash Wednesday. This pre-Lenten celebration is unequaled in vibrant displays of costumes, colors and music. It will always be one of the things I miss most from years in Germany.

In my former German hometown of Pfullendorf, the festivities have already begun. On Schmotziger Donnerstag, the day begins at 5:00 am – with whips cracking outside your window. Today, everyone wears a costume. You will run into clowns, cowboys, fairies and pirates everywhere you go. Early in the morning members of the various Fasching Clubs will free the children from the schools and kindergartens, take over the town hall and raise the Narrenbaum in the town square. The festivities have begun.

Over the course of the weekend, there will be balls and parties and on Rosenmontag (the Monday before Ash Wednesday) is the giant parade – a highlight of the festivities, where the schnapps flows freely and spectators and participants alike are fully costumed. Tuesday you’ll find the Preisschnellen in the Marktplatz – a whip cracking competition in the main square, and that evening you’ll find the hemdglonkerumzug mit hexenverbrennen – the nightgown parade with a witch burning.

The burning of the witch signifies the end of the celebrations, the next day is Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten period. But the vibrant memories of the Fasching celebrations are enough to last you through the remainder of the dark winter days.

Here are a few pictures from Fasnet in Pfullendorf.

The first thing you notice are the Vibrant decorations throughout the town. Brightening the darkest of winter days.

 

Head over to WordPress to find more examples of Vibrant

After I’d written the first part of this story, I knew the tale was incomplete. My shopping habits have changed dramatically since I first moved to Germany in 2010. I no longer rely solely on the grocery store for the bulk of my needs. This is becoming even more true the longer I am living …

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Believe it or not, Oktoberfest kicks off in Munich this weekend. Yes, it actually kicks off in mid- September. What began as a celebration of the marriage of King Ludwig I to Princess Therese in October 1810, has grown to a beloved cultural festival. From mid-September to the first weekend of October, a festival is held at …

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This week, the travel theme over at Where’s My Backpack takes a look at Youngsters, a wonderfully appropriate theme for springtime. Of course, the best place to catch up with youngsters in the spring of the year is at the Zoo. Last year, we took a trip to Tiergarten Nürnberg. The Nürnberg Zoo is a lovely day trip, …

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It was a beautiful day, the first day in a week that everyone was healthy and the sun was out. Over the week prior, sick children and foul weather had left us housebound. We were running out of things to do. We were ready to explore. Earlier in the week, I noticed a list of upcoming Easter Markets, …

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How would you like to spend the day in the Stone Age? Walk on wooden streets, suspended just above the water. Visit the tiny huts and larger community buildings people once called home. Would you like to discover how these families lived, ate, and survived? Along the Northern shore of the Bodensee (or Lake Constance), …

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I’ve been neglecting this space for the past couple of weeks, I’m terribly sorry about that. You see, I’ve been getting in a bit of family travel. My children are on the German holiday schedule, and here in Bavaria we’re just finishing up a two-week Pfingsten (Pentecost) holiday. It was a very busy two weeks. First we spent a …

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