20 June 2009

My Parents' Visit

As with the previous two posts, I will mostly let pictures tell the story of my parents' visit in April. They arrived the day after I returned to Eichstätt and stayed for a little over two weeks. During that time we took in a great deal of Bavaria (though I have long realized that this region of the world offers too much to be seen in two months, much less two weeks) and even ventured over into the Black Forest and France. The following photographs from their visit are presented in chronological order and, not wanting to overload you, show the most memorable activities; scroll down and see how most of it all unfolded.

A couple days after my parents arrived so did Palm Sunday. This image shows some Eichstätters minutes before the Mass in the cathedral. Apparently Germans don't use actual palm fonds for the service, like I am used to, but colorful bundles of flowers and leaves instead.

A visit to Bavaria should not be without a trip to what is arguably Europe's most famous castle: Neuschwanstein. Unfortunately, time and popularity make renovations necessary to most man-made attractions, this castle included.

Me and my parents next to a lake located near Neuschwanstein.

Of course Eichstätt itself provides several sights to see. Here is a view of the grand staircase in the former bishop's residence.

Lunch with my friends Hannah and Eric in the courtyard of Eichstätt's castle.

Figurenfeld: Eichstätt's unexpected field of abstract sculptures reachable by a short hike from the town.

Another one of Figurenfeld's figures.

One day trip took us to the old Roman colony and modern German city of Augsburg, seen here from the window of it's city hall.

Our tour guide through the city was my friend and local resident Steffi. In this view she sizes herself up against a door in the city hall's Golden Hall, which is pictured below.

I find the name of the room well-fitting.

Walking through the Fuggerei (which I documented on my post from June 11, 2007), the world's oldest functioning social housing project.

Käsespätzle, a delicious specialty from Augusburg and, more precisely, the region of Swabia

On the Thursday before Good Friday, following a local tradition, much of Eichstätt attended a fishing ceremony at a short steam in town. The fresh trout were bought by the kilogram and carried away to kitchens around town. The following pictures show some other views from the event.

A walk along the northern valley ridge over Eichstätt.

On a day trip we traveled a little east of Eichstätt to the town of Keilheim. Here one finds the Befreiungshalle, or Hall of Liberation, built by King Ludwig I of Bavaria to memorialize the end of Napoleon's rule in Germany.

West of the above mentioned monument and upriver on the Danube is the Weltenburg Monastery. It is also the world's oldest monastic brewery, with it's monks beginning the brewing in 1057 and continuing today. After a hike from the Befreiungshalle, and a ferry-ride across the river, we ate lunch in the monastery's beer garden.

On the shores of the Danube River.

The Weltenburg Monastery beer garden.

From the monastery we returned downriver to Kelheim via a ferry.

The fire in front of the cathedral for Easter Vigil Mass on the Saturday night before Easter.

Inside the cathedral at the end of the Vigil Mass.

For the second week of my parents' visit, we rented a car and headed west. Our first stop was the resort city of Baden-Baden. Pictured here is the famous spa Friedrichsbad, where clothing is not an option. Most of the time the facilities are split between male and female, but not on the day of our visit. In order to prevent any awkward experiences, my parents entered more than an hour before me. The visitation consists of an ordered procession through steam rooms, saunas, and spring-fed pools of varying temperatures.


Inside Baden-Baden's elegant and renown casion, a tad classier than the slot machine halls of the Las Vegas strip. Case in point: we could only see the inside on a tour during the day; actually trying your luck at night requires black-tie dress and the rendering of your passport.

One can taste the thermal waters of Baden-Baden straight from the source, but be warned that strong tastes of minerals and phosphates await.

Baden-Baden from another perspective.

After Baden-Baden we skirted over the border to Strasbourg, France.

A series of canals surround the old town of Strasbourg, and tours by boat are available.

A house perched in the canals.

Strasbourg, France.

Back in Germany, we visited the city of Freiburg near the heart of the Black Forest.

As my parents shopped, I hiked up a hill and look-out tower to take in the views.

Black Forest cake in the Black Forest.

Driving toward Munich we stopped in the Bavarian town of Lindau on the shores of Lake Constance.

Across from Lindau's harbor, the Austrain and Swiss Alps emerge from the waters.

Lindau, as seen from the top of the lighthouse at the harbor entrance.

For the last bit of driving to Munich we followed the German Alpine Road, which led us past breath-taking scenery of snow-capped peaks and quiant farmhouses.

A last look at the Alps.

For the end of the visit, we spent a few nights in Munich and took in several sights. One such sight was the Spring Festival, a smaller version of Oktoberfest.

A bike tour through the core of Munich.

On the last evening of my parents' visit we strolled through the grounds of the Olympic Park, ate dinner back in the city center, and fell asleep in our hotel room.

The next morning my parents flew back home after a fun-filled visit. A few weeks later though my next visitor arrived for his own two-week taste of Europe.


B said...

The sky above Olympic Park looks so... peaceful?
And you should make a post about that other visitor of yours. (You could even use his pictures if you want.)

Anonymous said...

Nicholas, and what a Fantastic trip it was!! Mom and I are all ready planning our next trip over.
Thinking maybe you need to get a two bedroom apartment this coming year. Congrats on the job offer!!