We are back in the States after visiting my family in Germany for 12 days. It was great, we had wonderful weather, and took a lot of pictures (like 2500!). I intend to use some of them to produce studio paintings in the near future.
My kids, my sister and her sons, and my dad.
We met with my whole family at my dad's 70th birthday party, and visited many cities, looking at castles, churches and museums, and drank lots of beer.
Town of Weikersheim, near Wuerzburg, which is in northern Bavaria.
The local brass band played some songs at my dad's birthday party (my whole family is very active in the local music scene, both traditional brass band and also cover bands), and the rest of the day was spent eating, eating and more eating... Leberkloesslesuppe, Venison, Black Forest Cake, and more!
We went to Munich for 2 days and visited the city, churches, beer gardens, the concentration camp in Dachau, and met with one of my high school friends.
Town hall with market place in the center of Munich.
Back home we went to the public swimming pool in Wuerzburg, where my kids jumped off the 10m (30') diving tower. We also visited the townhall in my hometown of Wittighausen, where my paintings are displayed. The town recently purchased all 5 of them as a set, yeah! I also was interviewed about my art and life in the USA by a reporter of a local newspaper, will post the article when it comes out in a few weeks.
A visit to Wuerzburg, where I went to high school. The famous view from the bridge with St. Kilian's statue to the castle Marienburg, and a view inside the main church, the Dom.
While visiting the castle, we met some local clubs in traditional costume that shot muskets from the castle walls above the city, to commemorate St. Kilian's birthday which started the local fair downtown. How lucky were we! It was awesome!
On one of the last days we visited Rothenburg, a small town with the fortified walls around its center still intact and walkable all the way around. It is very quaint and picturesque. Below a sampling.
Some interesting notes: Gas was $9/gallon! We had a small Renault which we only gassed up once (thank God!), and pushed up to 175kmh (110 mph) on the Autobahn, while being passed by Mercedes and BMWs. Driving on the autobahn is very strenuous because of the tightness of traffic, the speed, and the curviness and small size of the lanes. Driving on the small roads between towns is like driving a go-cart: in a small car, curvy, and fast - fun!
Beer is about the same price as water in the restaurants, and there are usually no refills. We ate a lot of bread, rolls and sausages - yum! We also did a lot of walking, so nobody gained a pound! There are a lot of beer gardens, and cafes where you can sit outside and enjoy the sunshine. Most people speak English, especially the young generation. During the summer, each little town has several festivals with big beer tents, and music. We were lucky enough to visit two of them and see my cousin Dominik perform with his band Lost Eden.
A farewell look into the sunset from my parents' balcony into the town of Unterwittighausen. Tschuess!