Has it really been two weeks since I was in beautiful Roatán? Where did the time go? Faced with another wintery day with cold temps and possibly more snow later today, I think a reminder of a warm day is in order. Anyone else with me?
On this last day of July, I wish I were walking the streets of Old Town Prague after a lovely shower. I can never get enough of those red tiled roofs and quaint cafes. Where would you like to be today?
With multiple days of triple digits draining all of my energy, I thought a nice breezy day image watching the waves before they reach the shore might help my crispy- fried psyche. Just staring at this gets my mellow on. Well that and the fact that the air conditioning was on at oh-dark thirty this morning. Oh, to be able to walk on that beach. Sigh.
Can you picture the wind in your hair, the damp sand between your toes? How are you handling the dog days of summer?
It’s already Wednesday so grab a cuppa whatever and let’s enjoy a quick trip to Aachen, Germany which is where I wish I were today. Aachen (also known as Bad Aachen or “Aachen Spa”), is a spa and border city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The westernmost city in Germany, Aachen is located near the borders of Belgium and the Netherlands, approximately 61 km (38 miles) southwest of Cologne. Developed from a Roman settlement, it became the preferred imperial residence of Charlemagne (“Charles the Great” and who is often referred to as the “Father of Western Europe,”). Over 30 Holy Roman Emperors were crowned king of the Germans in Aachen from 936 to 1531 at the cathedral.
While I did not visit this beautiful cathedral due to time constraints, it is one of the most visited sites in the city. Built on Charlemagne’s orders, construction began in 796 AD and was completed in 798 AD. It was the largest cathedral north of the Alps. Charlemagne’s remains were interred in the cathedral and can still be seen there. The cathedral has been extended several times over the ages, combining multiple building styles and is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Aachen is one of Germany’s most innovative cities with industries of science, engineering and information technology being prominent.
Hope you enjoyed a quick trip to this fascinating city. Hard to believe we’re halfway through the week already. Where has the time gone?
One is struck by the combination of old and new together when you wander around the historic Market Square in Mainz, Germany. Punctuated by the 1000 year old St. Martin’s Cathedral looming over the market, it is often referred to as simply “the Dom” and located near the pedestrian Market Square. Combining the original cathedral on the site, St. Albans, the largest church in the area, a cloister and a smaller freestanding church, St. Mary’s Church with a connecting colonnade, the Dom is located on the left bank of the Rhine River. Three naves incorporated over the years in subsequent additions resulted in the various architectural influences seen today.
This image seems more fascinating by showing a portion of the church with a piece of modern art in the foreground. One historical note relating to this beautiful Romanesque-style church, it’s burned seven times during its history while being constructed mostly of sandstone. Alas, fires were nothing new to the church, having suffered extensive damage even on its inauguration day in 1009 but then it was completed (again) by 1037.
Happy wandering. Before you know it, it will be Friday so chop, chop…the weekend will be here before you know it.
While Sam and I are returning to West Pines today to bring smiles to mental health patients, I really wish I were in Hamburg, Germany. One of the most iconic symbols associated with this northern German port city. The Wasserträger Statue, has a colorful historic legend associated with it.
Before the city of Hamburg introduced the local water system in 1848, Wasserträgen (literal translation: “carrying water”) was a popular profession. One of those water bearers became part of local legend.
Johann Heinrich Bentz in was born in 1787 and was called Hans Hummel by local citizens. It’s believed that Bentz acquired the nickname once he moved into the former apartment of soldier Daniel Christian Hummel upon his death. The original Hummel was well-loved by the local children for his kind nature and thrilling war stories. The children teased the ‘new’ Hummel who was described as somewhat ill-tempered and grumpy compared to the ‘real’ Hummel and began taunting him with ‘Hummel, Hummel’ whenever he passed by with his filled buckets. Local folklore suggested some of the children mooned him knowing he couldn’t chase them with his heavy load. Hummel’s response was to yell back in the Low German dialect of Plattdeutsch, ‘Mors, Mors!’ a blue phrase which roughly translates to kiss my ‘you-know-what.’
Hummel lost his job in 1848 and died six years later in a poorhouse. But since that time, the phrase ‘Hummel, Hummel!’ and its response, ‘Mors, Mors!’ have been a popular salute in Hamburg. There is even a sports connection with the phrase. When one of the city’s two popular football teams (HSV) scores a goal, the stadium announcer calls the name of the scorer, then ‘Hummel, Hummel!’ to which the crowd replies, ‘Mors, Mors!’
Hamburg used to be home to many of these colourful statues and were spread throughout the city. An outdoor city-wide exhibition took place until 2006 after which most of the pieces were sold to private collectors. The proceeds were donated to Hamburg’s homeless. There are a few remaining colorful figures still around the city, though they are mostly found near the Rathaus, (city hall).
We’re moving closer to our favorite day, Friday but till then, ‘Hummel, Hummel!’