Monday, May 9, 2011

Don't take the red if you're blau (blue)

We went on a tour of the city of Mainz today. Their blue street signs are parallel with the Rhine River and the red are perpendicular, therefore take you down to the river. To be "blau" in German (pronounced blue and means blue) can have a double meaning of being "dead drunk" or really drunk. So there is an old saying to never take the read when your blau, because a drunkard would walk straight into the Rhine River.

But moving along to the more interesting part of the day --- The St. Martin Cathedral.
It is 1000-something years old. They began building it in 976. 
One of the Bishops is located here and they still conduct their Catholic church on Sundays.
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So now, let me introduce you to our CRAZY tour guide. For some reason he would always look at me and speak directly to me. He would also ask me all of the questions, so I got to be the one looking dumb when I answered wrongly. I'm ashamed to admit that when he asked me what big event happened in 1776 I said The Constitution instead of the Declaration of Independence. (I'm such an idiot.)

He took us to a Baroque style church -- St. Augustine's. Nine of the windows were made by a Russian Jewish artist, Marc Chagall, just before his death. He never saw his work in this church in Germany due to Germany's history with Jews. The windows depict motifs from the Old Testament such as Abraham and Issac, Issac and Rebecca, Bathsheba and David and so on.
Next was Fastnachtsbrunnen, the Carnival Fountain. There is a story that on Crazy Monday (which is after Fat Tuesday and is celebrated throughout Mainz) that you get so drunk the cathedral starts to shake and you see the tower upside down. So, this art piece is the tower upside down and it has various statues representing different things. For example, at the bottom is a bob cat which stands for the saying "I've got a bob cat." That means "I have a hang over." Another is a purse washer. This is because once you've spent all your money on alcohol, you have an empty purse and you come to wash it. There are several other stories about all the people on the piece, and we didn't have time to hear them all. The fountain was so refreshing after all the walking in the hot sun all day.
Finally we rewarded ourselves with Italian Gelato! Which of course you know, is ice cream that is much better than what we have in the U.S.



After that we stopped at a little shop on our way back to the bus station to come home. Hannah bought her first piece of European clothes. They are these old school grandma shorts that I made fun of her for! She also has a very stylish camel toe in them! haha (She told me I could draw attention to that.) The photos speak for themselves.
 
I just tried on clothes because I was bored waiting on her. I didn't buy any yet.
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Here you can see more photos of the day.
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