Once upon a time we were out in a field of wildflowers looking up at a giant white castle in the German countryside. Only it was real life! Neuschwanstein is absolutely lovely. According to Nadja it’s not a “real” castle because it’s too new because it’s only a little over a hundred years old. I explained that by that logic our country is barely a real country… Honestly it’s like claiming dragons aren’t real or something. After spending a day recollecting ourselves after Venice, driving to Fussen to see this lovely site was perfect.
So.many.pictures. I just have to add a disclaimer right now that obviously I didn’t take all of these pictures. This has been the collaboration of 5 cell phones, 2 cameras and one polaroid camera. We were a bit excessive.
Like I said. Excessive.
After seeing Neuschwanstein we continued to Memmingen. Memmingen is where I stayed when I was there as a high schooler and where Nadja’s family still lives. We came at the perfect time because the next day was Fischer Tag-a huge holiday in the city.
All of the men of Memmingen gather with large nets and catch all of the fish in the river that runs through the town. It’s a tradition that dates back to the 1500s and has grown and developed since then. The river that currently runs through is man-made and they empty it every year after fischertag and clean it. After cleaning they refill it with river water and stock it with small fish to grow until the next years fischertag.
They all wear hats with their registration tags on them-each year they get a new tag and just add them to the stack and everyone has the Memmingen moon on the backs of their shirts.
After all the fish are caught they’re brought to different stations for weighing. Whomever catches the biggest fish is made the Fischer King!
Afterward we headed to the closest backeri for more pretzels!
In Memmingen Nadja’s parents own a little jewlery shop and we were able to go visit.
Currywurst is so, so good. It’s sausage cut up and sprinkled with a curry powder. And they give you 2 sausages on a hot dog! I love Germany.
That afternoon we headed out on a canoe ride with Nadja’s family. They were so kind to set it all up for us-and canoeing through the German countryside was incredible. We saw flocks of swans, cute countryside homes and gorgeous scenery.
We were also very, very tired at this segment of our trip and started to also get very, very silly, making canoeing an interesting task. To say the least Captain Gingerbeard threatened to turn our canoe around more than once, we worried excessively about it raining (you know Germans and their fear of rain), we searched for Dragons (who according to Nadja only come out on Sundays) and j-stroked our way powered mostly by Spezi.
We stopped for a picnic. It was delicious. And magical. And sometimes as I write all of this I wonder if it was all real.
We returned to Nadja’s home to bbq, German style.
Looking at the pictures from Memmigen especially warm my heart. I loved this place and still very much do. Her family is so special to me and I’m so glad I got to see all of them again.
The next morning we woke up to see this very ornate church.
And go wading. My first time in Germany I learned about this and assumed all Germans participated. It turns out this tradition is specific to Memmingen. A doctor/priest decided that wading in cool water aided digestion so handlebars like this one were installed in all of the rivers and creeks throughout the neighborhoods of Memmingen. After meals Memmingers can be found wading to aid their digestion. Even where Nadja’s family lives out in the country, a wading area is available to them!
Water fights ensued…initiated by Nadja’s brothers and her Mother!
That afternoon we participated in a favorite Sunday tradition: afternoon cake. On leisure sundays germans have cake and coffee around 3 pm. I like this tradition and would like to instigate it within my family (with hot chocolate, of course)
We left Memmingen to visit Ulm on our way home to Munich. The Ulm Münster is the tallest church in the world and an impressive and intimidating site to see. We climbed all 768 steps to the top.
Of all the churches and cathedrals in Germany, this one is my favorite. It’s simple, huge and beautiful.