EXPATS AGAIN! Experiencing other cultures while enriching our global view.



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Munich, Germany
I am married to the love of my life and am finally able to shower him with all of the attention he deserves. I am now retired and living the life here in Europe. I am an American, he is an Australian, and this is our second overseas address. The first was Shanghai, China and now Munich, Germany. Come along and live the life with us as we continue our adventure of discovering all Europe has to offer.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

All In a Day's Bike Ride

Monday was a holiday in Germany, so Steve suggested we go for a bike ride to Amersee Lake, Southwest of Munich. To do this we had to ride our bikes to the train station (3 minutes), hop on the train and go west to Geltendorf. Then we began our journey through German countryside. We passed an abbey, a couple of forests, a pasture full of cows, a couple of tiny towns such as Turkenfeild and Landsburg au Lech, and a few rivers and streams. We stopped for lunch at a small village and had schnitzel and German potato salad in their outside beer garden. I had my first taste of "Hacker-Pschorr" beer and now it's a favorite.

We passed this fellow early on in the bike ride just outside of Graefefling. Across the was was an old water pump and trough with water flowing icy cold into a trough.

Here is Steve along the bike path leading our way through meadows and forests of the German countryside. All of Germany has such bike paths making biking anywhere a pleasure. We were just outside of St. Ottillilien when I took Steve's photo. Below is a photo of the abbey from the same bike path.

Steve and I did a bit of research and learned that St. Ottilien is where many of the Jews were sent after they were released from the Nazi concentration camps. St. Ottiliens' is the location where the U.S. Army had a camp that housed the survivors. Two American soldiers, Edward Herman and Robert Hilliard, who were stationed in Germany at the close of World War II, discovered the "horrendous treatment of displaced Jews," in this camp. They stole rations from their own mess hall and smuggled it to the camp. Next, they started a letter writing campaign that caught the attention of President Truman. He ordered an investigation and it let to the end of the abuse. Hilliard wrote a memoir about his experiences at it became a film. You can read about the film here: http://www2.bc.edu/~michalcj/displaced.html This film was recently featured at the Toronto and Boston Jewish Film Festivals.

You can listen to the bells at St. Ottiliens on You Tube by clicking on this link:://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH4_wI5zyzI

After leaving St. Ottilien, we headed South to Windach, a small town of 3,636 people. It was here that Steve and I had lunch outdoors at the Guesthouse of Johann Saxenhammer. The meal was beyond description. He recommended that we start with a cream of asparagus soup and then try the restaurants' famous schnitzel that everyone in Bavaria travels miles to taste.

After our meal, we noticed a church across the street. Steve saw a graveyard on the grounds so we spent some time reading the headstones.

We came to the conclusion that most of the people buried here were probably prominent citizens of this small town. What we saw next was something neither of us can explain.

BONES!! They were encased in a shrine on either side of the churches door. We have no idea why, nor whom they belong to. Just one of those mysteries you find on a days' bike ride! Below are photos of the inside of the church--truly spectacular!! There were frescoes, gilded statues, art, and religious icons that were so grand you would hardly expect to see them in a small town in Bavaria.

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