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October 4, 2008

Written November 2

Dear Friends and Families,

After the quiet evening in Donauwörth, we headed a short way down the road to Günzburg, another old German town. Actually, it's even older than that, having been founded by the Romans in 70 BC to defend the empire's border along the Danube River.

Since then, it's had the usual parade of invaders and rulers, the latest being a 2002 invasion by the kingdom of Lego and the establishment of Legoland on the outskirts of town. (We'll save a visit to Legoland for when we have little kids in tow. Hint. Hint.)

Our biggest challenge was simply finding a place to park. We did our normal approach of following signs to the "center" but, when we got there, we were faced with a do-not-enter-pedestrian-zone. Seeing no alternative, we simply drove past the warning, being careful to not hit any people. After that, we wandered around until we found a parking lot that could hold our little car.

In America, finding parking isn't worthy of note in a diary. In Germany, it can be, especially if we have managed that most un-German of behaviors, ignoring signs.


Once settled, we headed to the Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche). We admired the ironwork on the old door since that is an interest we've developed after our own, limited reconstruction work.

Inside the Dominican church, we found a marvelous, bright interior that was a relief from the cold gray skies outside.

The civil holiday this weekend is "Reunification Day", celebrating the change of East- and West-Germany to a single country. The religious theme of the same weekend is akin to the American Thanksgiving, including churches decorated with samples from the bountiful harvest.
The bountiful harvest made us hungry so we enjoyed another German tradition: pastries-at-any-hour. We end up substituting these high-calorie "snacks" for a real meal, for obvious reasons. The practice of eat-dessert-first, even if it means no "main course", has become one of our favorite parts of the local culture!

So, one stop down for the day and, don't forget, brings kids and we'll have a completely different tour of this ancient town.


John and Marianne.


Legoland: http://www.legoland.de/?lc=en



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