First of all, I would like to mention Murphy's Law of Visitors and Weather. Before the Easter holidays, the weather was passable. Crisp and sunny, with evenings of weak sunlight and interesting skies:
|"Darling, the façade looks ever so dull. Columns are so last year."|
"You're right, my angel. Let's throw up a few classical statues for kicks and laughs.""Bravo, my sweet, bravo."
As soon as my visitors arrived, the weather became cold, dark and wet. As it does. Not that we had planned to do very much with them, but it is nonetheless quite annoying when even the simplest outing turns into an extreme sport. This was the case when we visited Mr Gingerbread's hometown, Regensburg.
We were well-prepared: the plan was to have Easter brunch with the in-laws, so I baked lemon muffins, decorated eggs and knit a bunny hat for my two-month-old niece (because, frankly, why have children if not to dress them up in ridiculous festive outfits and take photos of them that will be later pulled out when new boy/girlfriends come to visit). But the after-breakfast tour became a battle with the elements: I was cold. Coooooold. And Regensburg lies on the River Danube, so it's not the usual cold, it's the freezing, soggy, damp cold that seeps through layers of clothing and settles in your bones.
The Danube is a very scary river: it always looks angry, even in the middle of summer when the water level is low. I don't know how Strauss was inspired to write the Blue Danube waltz - this is not a civilised, gently-swaying body of water. It needs an Eminem song as its signature tune, or a piece of Death Metal:
So we sought refuge in various churches, like the Baroque St. Emmeram's Abbey. Now, I don't really like Baroque - I find it quite tacky. Gilded cherubs do not feature prominently in my décor. However, the Abbey has lots of interesting statues, like an almost-hidden wall panel of Queen Hemma (left) and several imposing panels featuring stout bishops or abbots (right).
Weirdest of all - for our modern eyes - were the relics of long-dead saints, laid out in saucily insouciant poses. I'm sure they were highly-treasured in their day, but nowadays they simply look quite creepy.
P.S. Thank you to Tecrin for the blogging award! This deserves a post of its own - I'll have to put on my thinking cap, as it requires my doing some homework ...