Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Now We Have a Matched Set!

Sunday in Kaiserslautern we found ourselves a new German grandmother.  Today in Freiburg we found our new German grandfather.

Greetings once again from Germany’s sunniest city (except, of course, when we’re here), a day that was really cloudy & 20 degrees cooler than yesterday.  But the rain held off for the most part, so we’re not gonna complain and just take the win.   We spent the entire day just walking around the old town, seeing what there was to see, buying a few things, and having two amazing meals.

The day started off with a trip to the daily market right outside of  Freiburg’s Muenster.  This is a daily affair, filled with some amazing produce (especially strawberries, which are in season over here right now)--

And wurst stands.  Lots & lots of wurst stands–

We always joke that that particular stand belongs to Loraine's cousin, as it’s “Licht’s Wurst”, “licht” being the German word for “light”, which is Loraine’s maiden name.

Well, it’s funny to us.


The one thing they don’t have a lot of at the Muenster market is baked goods, and we’ve both been jonesing for some Schwartzwalder Kirschtorte. Or, as most of us know it, Black Forest cake.  Seeing as how we’re in the foothills of the Black Forest, it would probably be an insult to everyone around here if we didn’t eat any, right?

And we didn't want to be rude, or anything.

So a little searching around brought us to the Schmidt Cafe (celebrating their 100th anniversary; visit their website make your mouth water), where two pieces of art were wrapped up in this package–

Since Loraine, who’s always well prepared, just happened to have a fork and a spoon with her, we found a place to sit down and uncover said pieces of art–

And yes, just so you know, it tasted even better than it looks.

While we were eating it, I noticed that many people were looking somewhat enviously at us.  I even heard a woman tell the guy she was with something about “Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte”.  And then this old guy came up to us and said something in German.  When I asked if he spoke English he proceeded to say, with an amazingly straight face, “May I join you in eating?  I have my own utensils”.  He then held the look for a second before he burst out laughing, hitting me on the arm to let me know he was joking.  Loraine said he was welcome to dig in, but he just smiled, told us to have a good day, and went on with his business, leaving us to devour the rest of our Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte by ourselves.

And that’s how we met our new German grandfather.

If you ever come to Freiburg (something I highly recommend, by the way), there are a few things you should know.  First, it’s an amazingly beautiful place–

Secondly, it’s actually better if you don’t have a car.  They have a great tram system to get you where you want to go–

Thirdly, prepare to be wowed by buildings belonging to the Universitat Freiburg–

Fourthly, be aware that if you spend any time on the pedestrian strip that your sense of smell will be overloaded by two things–the scent from all the shops selling perfumes & colognes (and there are a TON of them) and by cigarette smoke.  It’s weird; you hardly see anyone smoking around here, but when you do, it hangs like a choking cloud in the air.  I have very little tolerance for cigarette smoke (in fact, when I was younger I quit several jobs because of it) and as I get older it seems to affect me more & more.  So just keep it in the back of your mind should you indeed ever visit.

And fifthly–beware the Bachle.

Bachle are these cute little canals that all the streets in Freiburg’s Alstadt have.  

They were originally designed to drain rainwater from the city hundreds of years ago; now, they’re a tourist attraction.  And there’s a local legend to go along with them, as well.  According to this legend, if you accidentally step in one of them, you will marry the next person you see.  Now this can be a bit problematic if you're already married, but Loraine & I have discussed this, and we’re hoping that SHOULD one of us step into one of the Bachle, we first look at each other and thereby stay married.

But, you know, if an accident happens and we happen to first glance at someone else; well, we’ve had a good run.

(I’m joking, by the way.  Although I do think our new German grandfather would quite enjoy the humor).

Oh, speaking of our new German grandfather, that reminds me of the other dish I ate today.  There’s a place here called the Markthalle, which is their old market building converted into a bunch of food kiosks.  You can get food from all over the planet, ranging from Persian to Thai.  Or you could just skip everything else, head to the Brazilian counter, and get the Bobo de Camarao–

I had this last time we were here, and I couldn’t wait to have it again.  It’s shrimp in a cassava/coconut milk sauce, served with vegetables on rice.  Every single mouthful was amazing, and it tasted just as good as it did seven years ago.

I’m hoping it’s not seven years until I get to taste the dish again.

I don’t want to make today’s musings novella length, so I supposed I should wrap this up shortly,  But there are a few more things we saw that I do want to share, including today’s weird chocolate combination (raspberries & panna cotta cheese?)--

It’s also election season in Germany, as voters are choosing representatives for the European Parliament.  I don’t think that every candidate is totally serious about running, as evidenced by this woman, who’s running as the nominee in “The Party” party, and whose campaign slogan, if I’m reading this correctly, is “LSD in the water supply”--

Finally, if you have a kid in your life who’s hard to buy for, how about this Play Mobil set–a construction worker, a newspaper, and a Porta-Potty.

Yes, that’s an actual toy in Germany.  You could not make something like that up.

Tomorrow, we head to a nearby town to visit with an old friend.  And to pick up a coffee cup he bought for Loraine last Christmas.


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