Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Straubing, Germany

Straubing, with a population of 45,000, is the size of place I like---not too big--not too small. This preserved medieval gate still stands guard.
 This eight-story fire and watchtower in the city center dates from 1316.
Atop there's a dwelling for the guy who was responsible for watching for approaching bad guys and fires in the forest.
 This medieval fortification guarded the approach to one part of town.
I spotted this stork nest atop a building. Initially I saw two storks in the nest but saw one get booted out. I think the female yelled at the male and said, "Harry, don't come back until you bring us back some food---and I don't mean anymore of those tasteless worms!"
On some buildings you gotta get close-up to see the fantastic detail on the gargoyles.
 As you know, I'm a little strange. I love checking out cemeteries. This walled-in complex contains a church, caretaker's home and lots of tombstones.
 This is inside the church.
 I have a marvelous time walking around trying to read the tombstones.
 Many date from the 1700's.
 The grass not being cut means the caretaker is slacking off or it's the natural look.
 Candles are lit.
So, I'm walking around the outskirts of the town center and come across this huge, massive, gigantic, monster-size parking lot. What the heck?
I make my inquiries and guess what? It turns out Straubing is home to Gaubodenvolkfest. So? After Munich's Oktoberfest this is the second largest festival in Bavaria. This big whoop-de-doo was founded by Maximilian 1 Joseph, King of Bavaria in 1812 and takes place every August for 10 days, Last year 1.35 MILLION people showed up to drink beer and enjoy the festival! They erect six very, very, very large tents (seating capacity 25,000).

Don't worry about showing up during the festival and having to drink Budweiser. Beers only from Straubing area breweries are allowed. 
No wonder I saw so many beer ads around the parking lot.

 This is a nearby water tower.
So, it's no wonder Germany has such a high rate of smokers. You think kids buying candy from the two lower machines don't associate the cigarette vending machine atop with candy? 
Walking through a neighborhood I came across this miniature version of Straubing in someone's backyard.

I happen to catch a neighbor who spoke English and she explained her neighbor wanted to build something to show his love for his hometown. If you look in the window to the right you can see the face of an elderly gentleman peering out. I gave him the two thumbs up and he waved back at me.

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