Thursday, September 25, 2014

German Quick Takes

pretty happy funny real Germany

pretty- This baroque church is on the site of a Benedictine monastery founded in 505 AD. It is unusual because it has statues instead of a painting above the altar. if you look carefully, you can see St george defending a lady from the dragon.
happy- The kids were happy to be in Germany. it meant it was almost time to go home after a long summer without papa!

funny- We had a lot of fun at the falcon show. This vulture did make it up in the air, flying over the crowd and bumping into daughter #1 a few times. 
real- I could have a pity party that I stayed at the village with the little ones while the big girls spent the day in Munich with our hostess, but it was worth it. They spent hours exploring the city. The real 'real' is that they were able to visit the spot where Sophie Scholl and classmates studied and were condemned for their resistance to the nazi party. At the University of Munich, tiles depicting the pamphlets they published are a memorial to her and others.

Monday, September 15, 2014

7 Quick Takes- Romanian Summer

1- The Byzantine Catholic Church in Romania was legalized in 1990 after losing all their churches to the state church under communism. Most churches have not been given back, so they are constructing new ones. The icon screens are usually much simpler than in the old days.
2- Romania is well-known for its use of wood. Here are the little ones playing with a wooden slide at a trout hatchery restaurant.
3- Girl #1 is posing at the well at the middle of the Orthodox monastery in Barsana. She took the same photo four years ago- time flies!
4- We climbed the 'secret staircase' at Bran Castle, supposedly Vlad Tepes' castle (of Dracula fame) but really a fortress and then the palace of the royal family in modern times.
5- Boy relaxes on the balcony on the eighth floor in his grandparents' apartment in the 'new center' of the city.
6- We are lucky to attend the feast day Divine Liturgy and celebration of a friend's village in 'Historic Maramures,' northwest Romania close to the Ukrainian border.
7- Girl #2 loved all the kittens she found in the barns- heaven for our cat lover!
Bonus cuteness: our 5 year old cutie-pie

Friday, September 12, 2014

Pretty Funny Happy Real Romania

 at an open-air museum with country houses from different regions of Romania
happy- mama bunny at great-grandma's house gave birth and raised 12 babies in one litter!
funny- It was about 100 degrees and high humidity the day they helped grandpa with his 100 hives of honey bees. Funny? Probably not- but we are enjoying the honey now!
real- Compare the concrete plaza of the 'new center' of our city in Romania (population 140,000) with last week's pool/heaven complex photos of  'my' Austrian village (population 4,000). This is what communism and poverty does. This sidewalk was like this ten years ago. I'm not sure that anyone is really bothered by it- Slavs would say, "Je normalny." (It's normal), and Romanians say, "Asta e viata." (That's life)- As a privileged, middle-class American, their resignation peeves me, but "asta e viata!"
another way that Romania is 'real'- one is not separated from food sources. Even if one lives in a city, most likely milk, eggs and meat are bought from country contacts or family.