Friday, October 30, 2015

People Watching, Dogs, Bikes and Street Musicians

Fussen, Germany Boy in Lederhosen
Fussen, Germany Medieval Band
Nothing like getting out on foot to explore a city. Central Europe with its old medieval town squares is a perfect place to do just that. Along with some fantastic people watching, a little dog watching and plenty of street performers to throw in a little ambiance. 

One of my favorite pictures from our trip was this one of a young boy fully decked out in Lederhosen complete with suspenders. The pants are long, heavy leather (not the traditional shorts). You can see by how he stands that he was feeling quite proud of his outfit. I love how Dad is left holding the pack back because it just didn't go with the assemble. 

Fussen, German Bike Scene
So what was the boy and the rest of the crowd so intensely watching? Why a German medieval band of course. They were really rocking out with a very rhythmic beat getting lots of people in the crowd clapping along. In every city we walked there was music. Whether traditional, medieval, classical or otherwise. It was lively and festive and I so enjoyed it as we explored the streets of Europe. 

Accordion Player in Fussen
Notice all the bikes piled up there off to the side of the band? That was a curiosity as well. It would seem that Germans really, really (I could probably throw in another 'really' here) like their bikes. We saw groups on bikes, families on bikes, vacationers on bikes and well pretty much everyone seemed to have them packed on top or in back of their cars. I suppose with all the narrow streets it probably makes sense. 

Harp Player in Bratislava, Slovakia
At one point in our trip we were traveling from the Rhine River Valley up through a pass to the other side to the Moselle Valley on our way to Castle Burg Eltz (blog post on Burg Eltz). As we were cresting the pass and coming down into the Mosselle Valley an older German man was biking toward us and promptly jumped off his bike and starting to wave his hands at us up over his head. A universal sign for STOP. Which we did. Only to find out that he spoke only German, understandably since we were in fact in Germany. But he was speaking quickly and very loudly. Apparently he believed if he increased the volume it would help us understand him better. It didn't. After roughly 15 minutes of this we decided to roll up the window and continue on. As we started the steep decline into the Moselle Valley we realized that the road was completely washed out. Oh! That is what he was screaming about. However the road had narrowed to slightly more than a single lane of switchbacks with absolutely no shoulder to speak of. That makes for an impossible situation to 'K Turn' to head back the way we came. So what do you do? We put it into low drive and slowly, slowly back your way up through switchbacks backwards. The look of satisfaction on the German man's face as we passed him again spoke volumes.

Violins in Vienna, Austria
Fussen, Germany Dog Scene
We thought we were being very smart to bring our own GPS with us to Europe downloaded ahead of time with all the local maps. And it was incredibly helpful to have directions given to us (in English) along our drive. But it failed us when it came to all the local construction on the German roads. We lost several hours on this back tracking, but it was a beautiful place to get stuck!

One other thing we noticed was that dogs are very prevalent everywhere we went. People bring them out to pubs, to walk the city even in to restaurants. We would see waiters slip water bowls under the table for the dog curled up at the owners feet. That is one thing we always found difficult traveling around the US is that it is very hard to bring your loved dog with you on a family vacation. Not the case in Europe!


  1. Wow - all the beauty you've captured, along with the small-town cheer. Love reading about your adventures, reverse switchbacks and all!

  2. Well that reverse switchback story is certainly memorable! Stuff you can laugh about now! lol Looks like a beautiful place. My ex-h was stationed in Germany in the late 70s and loved it.

  3. What an enjoyable trip you've had! Well, apart from the road works not showing up in your GPS ;-) Street musicians really liven up the place!
    Btw, the city nearest my town is known as the "bicycle capital" - it is the most commonly used mode of transport here!

  4. Oh No! Please don't ask me to back up a car :/ That bicycle concept I like and that town seems very cheery :)

  5. That's my fear about going to a country where I don't know the language! Glad it worked out with the roads though! I love people watching and would love all the dogs too!

  6. I had an actual visual of that German gentlemen screaming at you - did you hear me laugh out loud in Virginia! I am sorry...but I did! In Old Town Alexandria, Virginia (where I worked for way too many years), dogs are welcome in many of the establishments. One of the local hotels hots a Happy Hour on Thursday nights - bring your dogs! And, many of the vendors in town (especially on the side streets) have a mailbox nailed to their front door with dog treats! I do love this about Alexandria!

    Thanks for bringing us along on your trip - I do feel like I was there! :)

  7. I've been enjoying your Europe posts so very much!!! Love this little fella in his outfit!!

  8. People watching is one of the best parts of vacationing in a foreign country! I have never seen a harp player on the street. That must have been beautiful. I love that people can bring their dogs everywhere there too. The canine pets can bring as smile to strangers faces too.

  9. I am so happy you were able to get out of the road being washed out! Driving backwards? You are talented! LOL! So nice about the dogs! Loving the pictures!

  10. Wow nice post!!!
    Have a good week!!! and my g+ for you!!!:)))

    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

  11. Fun seeing all the different instruments they play. And sweet that they can bring their dogs everywhere :)


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