Feeling so uncultured with a country only 200y/o!

Trip Start Jun 11, 2006
Trip End Jul 12, 2006

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Flag of Germany  ,
Sunday, July 2, 2006

Stayed in a stunning campground 60km south of Dortmund with tiers of camping levels overlooking the lake and the sunset and automated bathrooms where the fans and light come on when you close the door (simple things amuse small minds I know!). Went for an early morning swim and was surprised how lovely and warm the water was.

Stayed near Dortmund in a house...which was weird to watch dvd's, live in a house (stay in a deep basement and with so many fantastic german gadgets for the kitchen and house to play with), cook, and it was nice to run in the forest and swim again....as my clothes are getting mighty uncomfortable with this lack of exercise traveling routine! Very frustrating how no one knows how to swim in a straight line, follow the black line at the bottom of the pool (IF they have one), know which side of the lane to swim down or do anything but the nominated breast stroke senior citizen pace stroke making it difficult to go against the flow with freestyle! (yes I know...I sound pedantic...but I suppose I get a bit fussy about swimming etiquettes after having swum for so many years!). I had diving competitions with the boys....it's funny how inflexible and scared you get the older you become....got the biggest red mark on my leg after trying to do a somersault from the springboard!

One of the highlights of this trip was actually listening to Hanna (the owner of the house) talk about the war, her family and Germany in the past. How her town in Heidelsteim? was bombed and was once the Nuremburg of the north. She showed us all her heirlooms and antiques dating back to 1450's....exquisite leather bound books sewn by page and handwritten with beautiful hand drawn pictures inside, silver coins of all the UK kings that came from Hannover in Germany, Persian rugs that are walked over every day and still look fantastic being 150 years old. I'm not sure if I mentioned this before but to speak about Nazism, Hitler etc people can be prosecuted...I'm not sure of the specifics but I read it somewhere and I have been told a few times not to mention the word nazi a few times when referring to the Seinfeldt 'Soup Nazi'!!

I'm sure for people to be German the prerequisite must be that they are fantastic gardeners! There are so many exquisite and intricate gardens for such small yards...all over germany! So funny to see sections of tiny plots of land dedicate to your own veggie garden or just flower garden. I think they have them in the UK too...as there's not enough space...you have to go to a plot near ie. a train line and that's where you can have a garden. When I first saw them...I thought they were people's holiday huts...tiny tiny tool sheds with a few metres squared garden areas and I thought...people get a life! Until I found out they were your own personal garden patches! Some people get very into them....with themes...pretend pig farms with wooden animals...just weird stuff! Then again...I'm in Germany...a place with no fashion sense (knee high socks with sandals...everyone walks around with their hiking sticks even if it's on a concrete footpath...and some very weird music!!) lol

The gang went to the semi final in Dortmund with Germany vs Italy and got their pic taken by the ABC:
Photo number 50! With the caption "It should have been us playing Germany!" ha haa
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