October 8, 2009

Daytrip to Augsburg

Sophie, a French wife of a BIS teacher, and I decided it was time to take a day out. Oh my, what a beautiful daytrip it turned out to be! Weather worked in our favor with sunny skies and t-shirt wearing weather in the afternoon. And the town we visited--Augsburg--was fantastic.
We arrived at the train station in the morning without a firm plan of where to go. Sophie and I had decided to get the Bayern ticket (which is a great group pass to go anywhere in Bavaria) and take whichever train suited our fancy. For me it was between a medievil city or somewhere in the Alps. In fact, Augsburg actually has history going past medievil times as it was established in 15 BC by the Romans. Sometimes it's easy to forget how close we are to Italy and Rome.
In any case, Augsburg is only 45 minutes by train from Munich. At first, we were a little lost, but upon finding the tourist info, we got ourselves situated. The main street shoots off of the Rathausplatz (city hall plaza) with its black stoned plaza, tower reaching into the blue sky, and tempting cafes lining the square. Walking down the main street was eye-catching as the buildings fronts spread out in assorted pastels and with unique decorative touches (see first photo above).

I was excited about an exhibit of Impressionist artists (incl. Cezanne, Renoir, Signac, Rodin, Monet, and many more mostly French artists). Lovely artwork and great to get the culture, but a touch expensive for our tastes.
We decided to skip the equally cool-looking Fuggeri museum in an oldest poor house (not sure the proper term--basically, where poor people have cheap housing... I don't think "the projects" has the same ring to it in German though ;-). So, not only do the poor people get to live in the ivy-covered buildings, but the rent is about 1 euro plus 3 daily prayers for the founding family's health (but since they were mostly dead, it's probably not that strenuous).

While wandering the streets after the exhibit, we found an American store! No joke - it had the kitschy country stuff, but also some cool old signs of Americana. I think Sophie secretly coveted the one that said "Rodeo Tonight." Sadly, it was closed so I could only half-heartedly make fun of the shop. I wonder if maybe I really haven't gotten as far from America as I thought... or if the Augsburgians just have a bizarre affinity for American decor.

Speaking of Americana, this building reminded me of a quilt with its colors and blocked pattern. It made me think of the beautiful quilts Greg's mom, Priscilla, made us, which are now awaiting our return in their basement.

After all our wanderings, Sophie and I hopped a train in the early evening, heading back to our normal lives after a day of being tourists.

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