European Street Performers


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I’m always amazed by the number and of the variety of street performers that I have encountered when I go traveling.  They are so unlike anything that I see here in the states and they fascinate me with their performances.  They have never failed to entertain and I love taking their pics whenever I have encountered them.

IMG_0576-XLI was told that the European custom is it’s good to leave a coin or some coins as a token of appreciation of their art and especially if you take their picture.  I have no problem with leaving a Euro coin or two.  It’s all great fun.

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Holy Blood altarpiece – St. James’s Church, Rothenburg ob der Tauber


IMG_0068-XLI’ll leave you to research who Tilman Riemenschneider was, when he lived, when he carved this masterpiece and how it somehow managed to survived all of the wars that it witnessed.  I’ll leave you to wonder how he came to be called “the Michelangelo of wood carvers“.  I’ll let you find out which of the apostles was carved in Riemenschneider’s likeness.  I know but I’m not telling.  No, all of these details could be boring to some whereas it’s fascinating to me and I was off on a mission once I arrived in Rothenburg.

It was a cold December day.  The air nipped and bit at any exposed flesh when you were outside.  The snow crunched underfoot as I walked on cobblestone streets.  But I found the church and it cost me all of one Euro to get inside.  I spent another Euro to light a candle for Grandpa while I was there.  I finally found it with some effort and I sat and marveled at it. It was there before me and I had it pretty much to myself for quite a while.  My pictures don’t do it any justice.

I wondered why I was only one of two Americans who went looking for it.  And then I wondered why the others didn’t want to be bothered.  How much painstaking effort and patience went in to carving this?  How much sweat?  How many hours?  How many errors and mistakes were made?  And how many times did his wife say “Tilman, come to bed.  You can work on it in the morning.”

I’m going back some day to marvel at it again.  It’s one of these pieces of art that you can never get tired of looking at.

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Munich 2009


PC040051-XLIt always rains on me when I’ve been to Munich with the exception of one and only one day that I was there.  I’m sure the sun comes out because it did once and not every day can be gloomy.  But it’s always been grey and wet and gloomy the rest of the time that I’ve been there.  And it’s a cold rain.  One that goes straight to the bone.  “Munich Rain” is what I call it.   It somehow manages to trickle down the back of your neck and your back suddenly clenches with a “OH SH*T!” reaction.

Yeh.  Munich Rain.  Take your umbrella when you visit.  That and someone that will warm you up to help drive that chill out of your body.