30 September 2006

Back Home

For the last two weeks, we have been touring the former DDR with my mom and step dad. Here they are on the Augustusbrücke in Dresden. We had a great time, but it was kind of exhausting for all of us. Over the next few days, however, I hope to have the log of our adventures online.

14 September 2006

Biergarten Season Winding Down

The Biergarten closest to our apartment, Hagenbucher, had its farewell party last night, despite the fact that were in the middle of a 2nd summer (August was miserably cold & rainy). The last weekend in July, we were at another nearby Biergarten, where we were educated about the history & significance of the Biergarten, thanks to this nifty card.

Biergarten am Park Menu

For the non-German readers, here's a quick & dirty translation.
It all started in Catholic Bavaria. In 1539, the beer brewers were only allowed to brew beer from September 29th to March 23rd. No beer in the hot summer months? Unthinkable! The tasty liquid would have to be prepared in advance. But where would it be stored and how would it be cooled? The solution was to put it into deep cellars that were shaded from the sun by chestnut and linden trees, and in these cozy places beer could be served in the summer. Times have changed, but you may still bring your own food to the beer garden. The legal definition of a beer garden states that this is so. Otherwise, it isn't a beer garden and is at best called an outdoor bar. Beer gardens fill an important social function because they have always allowed an unconstrained meeting point for all strata of society. Conviviality and coziness amongst the trees has become an ideal and irreplaceable pleasure.
Our Biergarten Am Park remains a traditional beer garden. We want to provide our guests with a comfortable and quiet place where they can relax and recuperate. Meet friends at this cherished institution or simply enjoy the fresh air and outdoors.
From the end of March to the sometime in October we would like to give our guests the possibility to spend a summer-like day here. (The German is more poetic than that, and I am at a loss of how to say it in English at the moment)
We wish you a pleasant stay in the Biergarten Am Park.

They will remain open for a while, it seems, but it is inevitable. Summer is nearly gone. Which means we'll have to have to while away our days in a cozy Besen instead of a convivial biergarten.

Oh well, either one works for me.

04 September 2006

Back from Prague

We just got back from a long weekend getaway in Prague. Had a lot of fun. while we were there, I couldn't help but think about the guy in my high-school who taught himself Czech. After spending just a short time in the Czech Republic, I have a lot of respect for him - it seems like a crazy complicated language. I think it would take a lot of willpower and determination to do. Too bad we didn't have him along. I am sure he could have helped us at times.

I took 485 pictures in less than 72 hours. OK, to be honest, Jeannette took several and so did one random woman who offered when she saw us doing the self-portrait thing. Anyway, that comes to about 6.75 pictures an hour, more when you consider we slept during some of that time. I am still sorting through these, but I hope to share the best ones with you all soon.