31 January 2008


I went to church today. For real! Usually when I say I'm going "to church" I'm going to listen to music or smoke a joint. I didn't attend an actual mass, but I got a schedule in case I'm so inclined. It's funny, but I have a much harder time praying when I'm in church than when I'm not.

Then I went for a bike ride over to Hopfensee (above), which is about 5km away. Well, at least that's what the sign said when I left town. But I swear I saw at least 3 signs along the way that all said "2km". It felt like a long ride, but enjoyable. I didn't do much, just sat by the lake. I kept hearing this squealing sound coming from under the ice. There must be otters or something in that lake. I took the train to Hopferau (very near the Hopfensee) a few weeks ago and as I was walking down this path under a bridge, I heard a barking sound. But it wasn't a dog. Then I heard it again today sitting by the lake.

The train whistle sounds sort of like a whale call from far away, so at first I thought that's what I was hearing. But no, it was much closer. Who knows, maybe there were some ducks trapped under the ice or something. What a horrible thought.

Pressing on...I got a call back from an ad I replied to. I have an appointment to go see this place tomorrow. It's at the bottom end of my budget scale, so that makes me happy. If it's not a hole-in-the-wall, and they let me have it, I'm taking it. I just wish I could remember if I mentioned the cats when I left the message. I'm pretty sure I did.

I ran another ad in the paper, also. The woman I'm renting from offered to translate, so she'll be fielding any calls I get. I'm finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I think. Let's hope.

I forgot to mention that I rode the bike to Weißensee on Wednesday, but the weather was so grey I wasn't inspired to take photos. Even though it was a very beautiful lake. Crystal-clear like the Alpsee. I'll be going back very soon because the sound of the waves lapping against the shore was a very peaceful sound indeed.

Here's a photo of the Forggensee from another angle. I rode the bike to the castles the other day and took this on the way back.
I had read that it was pretty much empty during winter, but I didn't believe it until I saw it from the east. It was a strange site. A desolate wasteland of small dunes and dead-still pools of water. Years ago there was a town here, which is what the Forggensee is named after. The Lech used to break off into a bunch of tributaries here years ago, but after they dammed it, this became the reserve for the overflow. They flooded the town in the process, of course. I'm just starting to read about the Lech and the various high-water catastrophes that have occurred in this region, so I don't know all the details yet.

29 January 2008

Inside of Kloster St. Mang/Füssen Museum

Not much to say. Just wanted to post the rest of the photos from the other day. Nothing new to report, unfortunately.

Good ol' King Ludwig II and the woman he smote:

The library of the monastery:

...and one creepy angel!

25 January 2008

Smoked Chopsticks

Weekends are a drag. The only time I feel really alone here is during the weekends. Not only because there's not much to do because everything closes early, but because everyone else seems to move in packs.

I went for my evening walk, which is usually through sparsely populated streets. Growing up in Chicago, that's a novel concept to me and I love it.
Tonight there were hoards of people. Shit, there was even a parade. And it was really cool. I very much enjoyed watching it. But what detracted from it was a mild feeling of rejection, which I know is silly. But I don't know if this town likes me yet, so I really don't wanna give it my heart. Like a schoolgirl crush without reciprocation. The point is, until I get a place, I just feel like another tourist. It's starting to suck.

I went to the town museum today, which is in the former monastery St. Mang. More fabulous baroque and rococo architecture, a huge exhibit about the instrument-making history of the town (which Füssen is known around the world for), tons of artifacts, etc. It was interesting, but since it was in German, I got the most enjoyment from the eye-candy of the structure.

I can't wait to start taking proper German lessons. Sure, my vocabulary is growing at a rapid pace, however, I don't know how to say or use many of the words I'm learning, so it's frustrating.

I bought a pack of incense, and when I translated the word on the package, "Räucherstäbchen", I found out that it literally means "smoked chopsticks". What the...?

Just a few of the pics from the museum (more to come later):

24 January 2008

Just hangin' out

The photos above I took while pumping gas on the way back from Wieskirche. Can you believe that?

Not much going on today. Just checking in and posting some photos I neglected to post before. Still haven't found a place, but I'm working on it.
I went to the Croatian restaurant last night. It was very good, but they didn't have Sarma (stuffed cabbage rolls), which I had my heart set on. Oh well.

Plansee on the way back from Schloss Linderhof:

Llamas in Germany?

Here's the place I'm staying at:

From the balcony:

21 January 2008

The Pilgrimage to Wieskirche

It's basically in the middle of nowhere. There's nothing but farms and tiny towns peppering the countryside. Thank goodness for GPS (more on that later).

The story goes that a farmer in the area witnessed his statue of Christ crying, so tons of pilgrims poured into town. Because of this, the local abbot commissioned a church. And what a church! It's a UNESCO listed site, and an excellent example of the baroque and rococo architectural styles.
The outside didn't look like much and at first I wondered why the heck I drove there. Well, my doubts melted away when the clock struck 8:00 and the doors opened.

That's all I can say about it. The photos should pretty much speak for themselves:

A stop on the road on the way there:

And here's the outside of Schloss Linderhof from the other day. Like I said, not much to see in the winter (relatively speaking, of course). I'll be returning after the thaw to see the grounds, hunting hut and artificial grotto. More photos then.

Here's the palace cat (I'm assuming) who greeted everyone as they came in:

Yes, GPS is my friend. I didn't want to like it because I'm a big fan of maps and adventure and getting lost and all that good stuff. But when it's the difference between seeing six attractions vs. two, I'm sold! And that's the case. I would've never, ever covered so much ground in those 24 hours I had the car without GPS. Especially because both Linderhof and Wieskirche are in the middle of nowhere, and you need to take single-lane roads part of the way to get to them. Well, maybe not single, but 1 ½ width. Meaning that when someone is coming from the opposite direction, one of you needs to move off to the side. It sucks when you're near a cliff or a lake.


Did I ever tell you guys that the crest of Füssen has (what appears to be) three severed legs on it? Know what I love about that? The fact that theoretically, not just one, but at least two people are lacking a full compliment of limbs in the wake of that crest. But that's my own morbid sense of humor. (although I suspect that a couple of my sick friends will share that twisted view upon reading this)

I've read a few theories about the origins of the name of this town, but none of them mention feet, which is odd to me since "Fuß" (Fuss) means "foot". I wonder if they just don't want to admit that the town is pretty much named after feet or rather, the "feet" of the Alps.

Who cares. I just like the idea of living in a town where severed legs are the symbol. It's reminiscent of Chicago.

Oh, and here's a panoramic from Partnachklamm that I forgot to post: