"One day it occurred to me that it had been many years since the world had been afforded the spectacle of a man adventurous enough to undertake a journey through Germany on foot. After much thought, I decided that I was a person fitted to furnish to mankind this spectacle. So I determined to do it. This was in March, 1878." Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad
And here is the Turkey Task Master (a.k.a. Pute Meister):
She keeps a close eye on the cook.
And carries a wooden spoon for extra motivation, when necessary.
"Pick up the pace! We've got a deadline to make!"
These days, Penelope's 'glass ceiling' is a real one. As in really, there is a piece of glass over her head that, despite her efforts, she cannot break through.
The little one is currently obsessed with our glass table. And once underneath the table, she becomes even more obsessed with the things on top of the table.
But for her this is a problem. Though she doesn't quite understand it as such.
A few weeks ago we traveled to the city of Worms (pronounced "Vuhrms" folks, and has nothing in common with the slimy, legless creature) to see the sights of the city and meet up with my cousin, Pepper, who was there on business (well, her name is really Lindsey, but I've always known her as Pepper, which is short for Culpepper, her middle name, which is also her mother and my mother's maiden name--sorry that was way too much information).
Anyways...we went to Worms for the day.
Although we had a great time that evening with my cousin, our afternoon in the city of Worms left us a bit unimpressed. The War completely devastated the city, and when they rebuilt, their focus seemed to be more on providing housing for the city population as opposed to reconstructing historical buildings. (Well, I guess you can't blame them.) Therefore, much of the city looks like this: newish, plain-looking apartment buildings with an ancient remnant of a wall here and there.
The other disappointment was the river. Worms lies right next to the Rhine River, and you would think there would be great places in the city to walk along the river. Not so much. We attempted to walk down to where the river is, but this is the sight that met us: construction and a maze of busy roads. The bridge/tower thing over the river looked cool, but this was as close as we got to it.
But forget the rest of the city. The best thing about Worms (and only, if you ask me), is St. Peter's Cathedral (or, Dom, in German).
The cathedral is over 1,000 years old, and it is known to be one of the finest examples of High Romanesque arichtecture in Germany.
Here is a view of the very opulent high alter.
This "Baroque extravaganza" was added in the 18th century.
Inside the Chapel of St. Nicholas.
And Martin Luther himself:
And let's not forget another reason the Dom is so widely celebrated--the Nibelungenlied! It is apparantly a super-long epic poem believed to be written in the 12th century about a dragon-slayer named Seigfreid who was murdered, and his wife's revenge on his murderer. The Germans embrace it as a mythological-ish depiction of how "Germany" came to be. Somehow over time one of the scenes in the poem came to be situated at the former entrance of the Dom, but this is historically impossible as the cathedral didn't exist during the time period when the epic takes place.
first experience with a petting zoo
I appreciate the effort at having the animal names and descriptions translated, but they seriously need some help with their English. Is it too much to ask a native speaker to proof-read them before they go into print?! Here is one of my favorite examples of poor translations. (I mean, can you really picture me saying, "Look Penelope! Look at that ass!")
This is my favorite part of the sign: read, "Hey Penelope, why is that ass so big and hairy?"
Penelope wore her bunny hat in honor of the bunny rabbits she hoped to see at the zoo. Unfortuantely they had already been put inside for the winter. She did get to see their distant relative--the kangaroo. She applauded their stupendous hopping ability.
A few minutes after we walked through the gate this black cat crossed our path--no joke!
It is thought to be the oldest Jewish cemetary in all of Europe. The oldest legible tombstone is dated 1076!
Don't think that I'm unusually morbid and frequently stroll through cemetaries or anything, but this place was one of the coolest places I've visited. It was both beautiful and eerie. The view of the old sunken, twisted tombstones set off by the colorful fall leaves was breathtaking.
It really seemed like we were walking onto a set straight out of a scary movie.
If you look closely, you can see the Hebrew words chiseled onto the headstone.
Evidently this isn't the Volcan Salute of Star Trek, but an ancient Hebrew priestly blessing.
She has successfully birthed two new pearly-whites, which she loves to show off.
She has realized that crawling on her knees is much more effective than scooting on her stomach.
And despite our best efforts, she manages to find every potentially dangerous item in our tiny apartment. In other words, when she's awake I get nothing done!
She is fascinated with pulling up on every piece of furniture.
And then celebrating when she conquers the big ones.