Wednesday, May 16, 2012

sorry for the lack of updates...

but honestly, nothing too exciting has been going on lately! Festival season is starting to take off as carnival and festivals and outdoor markets start cropping up, trying to make the most of the nice weather. It's fun and always gives us options for the weekends. With all the nice weather I've been thinking about swimming or trying to find some body of water around here. I wouldn't mind enjoying the great outdoors while we can!

I've been dying to check out some of the flea markets around here. They have the coolest stuff! I used to love the ones in Berlin, you could spend hours there.

Fionn and I did some exploring around Bavaria last weekend and ended up visiting this small town with a castle on the hill. We hiked up to it and found it was closed but that once a month they put on tours reenacting medieval life. There's food, artisans, craftsmen, musicians, etc all costumed. It sounded pretty cool! We learned all of this from a guy who works there who asked if he could help us when he saw us looking around. We asked him why it was only open once a month and what they did with the castle in the meantime. "Oh," he replied, "here there are living people with, how you say, mental problems? This is why."

Fionn and I exchanged a look, and both looked at the castle with its huge, medieval walls. We thanked the guy and started walking back down the hill. "So, they keep mental patients locked up in a medieval fortress?" I wondered aloud. Fionn stopped and pointed to the small electric fence surrounding the fortress. "Makes sense, I guess. Gotta do something with it."

Talk about re-purposing historic buildings! Though I guess we do the same back home, we just don't have medieval castles at our disposal. We still thought it was all a bit strange, though we might come back and visit on one of the tour days.

It's funny, back when I studied in Besançon we had a big fortress atop one of the higher hills that was from the 1600s (one of the masterpieces of Vauban) called the Citadelle. It was one of the only landmarks in our city so we went there quite a bit. They had museums to the history of la Citadelle and also eras of French and Franche-Comtois history, but the weirdest part was they had made a large part of it into a zoo. So you'd be walking around and suddenly look down and see tigers or monkeys roaming around the old walls. Hey, whatever works ;)

Anywho, apart from that adventure we've been hanging out together at home. Last weekend we had a date night at a sushi restaurant and then met some friends at one of the beer festivals that was going on. We came in regular clothes and got scolded for forgetting our dirndl and lederhosen. NO worries, I'm sure there will be other opportunities!

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