Saturday, May 14, 2005


Several days in Köln now, with much time spent in the Dom, which is an amazing Gothic cathedral begun in 1248 and completed according to its original plans many centuries later. Awe-inspiring. When I first glimpsed it, as I exited the train station, it brought me up short in a way few things have ever done. I remarked to Ms. rorschach that it reminded me why I had remained Catholic as long as I had...

Today was spent in the modern art museum here, which has a truly remarkable pop art collection, with many Warhols, and Jasper Johns, and so on. Also, a temporary exhibit of art made of chocolate, which was amusing. Especially the tea set made of dark chocolate, with each cup filled with what I thought was white chocolate but turned out to be porcelain.

Also, the food. What to say? Sausage, and bacon, and pork, and potatoes, and sausage, and schnitzel (which is also pork).

And glorious Kölsch. How many glasses of Kölsch have I had, you ask? How the hell should I know?


Thursday, May 12, 2005


Anyway, we spent a lovely day today in Hildesheim (I think that was the name), eating and drinking and checking out churches and such.

One very interesting one was founded as a Benedictine church-monastery around 1000 AD, then was taken over by the Lutherans, who still left the monastery part to the Catholics.

And it was bombed and rebuilt-the 12th century ceiling was saved--and now is a joint Lutheran-Catholic cathedral.

Good stuff...In case you couldn´t guess, blogger is bloggered, so I cannot post. I´ll move this up when I can.

Meanwhile: Tomorrow: Köln!!


Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Okay, so we have finally made it to Germany, and the lesson I am learning just now is that their keyboards have the "y" and the "z" reversed, plus easilz (so to speak) accessible umlauts.

Glad to have finally gotten out of Memphis, my wife and I made it to Amsterdam (I´ll leave aside the trans-Atlantic drinking, which was extensive), rushed to a different terminal there (not wanting to miss yet another plane) and just made it in time to catch the shuttle bus that took us to the location at which we could cross the tarmac and climb up the stairs to board the prop-driven plane.

Once again, the airline had screwed up and seated us apart, but I switched which a kind old woman, who wound up with a vacant seat next to her, so that her sister-in-law could move seats and be with her. All karmically very good.

But may I just say that flying into a country you´ve never visited, in order to stay with relatives of the new wife and meet other relatives whom you´ve never met who are clearly checking you out, after over 24 hours of sleeplessness and an unexpected layover in Memphis, can be...

rather trying?

It is.

And to be informed upon landing in Hanover that you´d be driven half an hour to Gronau, my mother-in-law´s village (which is the only place you can get Lockstetter, the best after dinner liqueur ever), that you had 3 hours before the big scheduled dinner with the whole family?

I was more than a tad tense. More than a tad freaked, in fact. But I lay down my head for an hour, gathered my thoughts, and had a very good time tonight. I also learned that Schnitzel done well is damn fine eatin´.

Also, on the planes I learned from the Wall Street Journal that we should stop undercutting the immense successes of the Allies during WWII. And, from The Guardian, that we should stop viewing WWII in such a rosy fashion, ignoring the over 10,000 rapes perpetrated by the Allies.

The latter, I think, has more resonance today.


Sunday, May 08, 2005

Memphis Blues

Northwest had us sitting on the tarmac for two and a half hours, meaning that we missed our connection and get to spend the first day of our vacation in Memphis.