Sunday, January 11, 2015

Surprise day-trip in Germany!

About a week ago, Sally, a good friend of mine, sent me an email asking what my plans were for this upcoming Saturday.  She suggested we take a day trip to visit a town in Germany for the afternoon, one I had not had the chance to visit.  Having been here for over a year now, she is a firm advocate that I should make a point to see more of Germany while I am here ;-) and I agree with her.  So I gave her an enthusiastic yes as my response for Saturday.
Sally would not reveal where we were going until I actually met her at the base of platform 11 on Saturday morning at 10am.  It was then that she revealed our destination.  A town called Mainz.  I had never felt any interest in visiting this town, mainly because I knew nothing about it.  But I was pleasantly surprised!!  Mainz was incredibly charming.
We spent the morning walking around while Sally pointed out various landmarks to me and I took lots of photos of the beautifully decorated buildings and charming roads.
We stopped for food and enjoyed a lunch of hashbrowns with vegetables in a light cream sauce.  This was quite tasty.
And then we headed on over to the Gutenberg Museum!  Gutenberg is the inventor of the printing press.  He revolutionized the printing process in terms of books.  You can read a bit more about his invention here.  In exploring the museum, we were able to view original copies of Gutenberg bibles from the 1400s.  You can read more about these bibles here (you will not believe how much they are worth nowadays!).  What is really neat about these bibles though is that when made using the printing press, the first letter of each new paragraph was left a blank space.  Then people filled in the letter themselves using intricate color and designs.  This was just gorgeous.  I have put in a few photos of these below that I found via the internet.  The bibles we viewed were kept in a vault!!!  Pretty cool.
Anyway, it was a great day overall.  I really enjoyed the city of Mainz.
We saw a marching band walking down the street upon our arrival!!
St. Stephan Church
The windows inside the church.  These windows are actually unique in Germany.  Russian Jewish artist Marc Chagall created the nine windows in luminous blue that depict scenes from the Old Testament.
This was such a cool street, with the church on the right and the traditional German building with the timber frame.
LOVED this square.  Whoa.  Gorgeous.
Another stunning square filled with market stalls and bustling people.
This was pretty neat.  This column is made entirely of nails!!!
Up close view.
The buildings surrounding the square where the large market was taking place.
This hen was just hanging out on the stall there!!!
The lettering I was referring to in the Gutenberg bibles.  Lovely isnt it?

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