Mr. Diblik is probably from Dinkelsbuhl…..

It was raining this morning as we had to say good-bye to Sandra and the Haus Katrin, after another excellent breakfast. We would definitely recommend this pension to anyone travelling to Salzburg.

We headed out on the Motorway – which became the Autobahn when we entered Germany. It rained quite heavily, but eventually stopped, settling into an overcast day. Harv enjoyed the speed of the traffic, cruising at about 140 km/hr and hitting a high of 200.

The fall foliage was wonderful – brilliant yellows, oranges and reds. And for those of you who know us, you will know that we are connoisseurs of fall foliage.
20131016-212523.jpgWe arrived in Rothenburg ob der Tauber and after manoeuvring through the gate in the town wall and the narrow cobble-stone streets, Petula & Harvey deposited us at the Kreuzerhof Hotel. Walter, our host, met us and got us all settled in. We then set out to explore Rothenburg.

Rothenburg is Germany’s best-preserved medieval walled town. It was a major trading stop from 1150 – 1400 and today, exists as a tourist haven. However, despite the tourists, it’s charm is undeniable. Luckily, it appears that this is not the time of year for major tourist traffic, especially later in the day.

We just wandered around the town for a couple of hours, including a walk on the town wall. Around each corner was another amazing scene. Here are just a few of the 104 pictures I snapped.
20131016-213514.jpgFor dinner, we stopped at a restaurant recommended by Walter. Debbie, Larry & I all had the pork ribs with salad while Harv ordered the sausage & sauerkraut (knowing that I will never offer sauerkraut once we are home). All of the dishes were great, as were the wine, beer and the skewer that a new friend of ours’ from Florida received. 🙂

20131016-214333.jpg We returned to the hotel to enjoy the sparkling wine provided by Walter & Heike.



Now That WAS Brilliant . . . and We Know It

Here’s Debbie, back with another theatre review.

Of the top 10 things to do in Vienna, attending a classical concert in a church that dates back hundreds of years is high on the list.

As fortune would have it, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was advertised at the Karlskirche during the time we were in Vienna. Serendipitously, Karlskirche (St. Charles Church) was a mere five blocks from our rental apartment. Once again, we scurried for tickets, laying out 25 Euro, or about $36.00 each for the most affordable seats which we felt was most adequate given our collective lack of musical ability. We picture beautiful strains of music in a grand cathedral with a large and knowledgeable audience.

Again, we eat supper early for our big night out. It is a dark, cold, rainy evening. Once again, we arrive early to get the best of the poorest seats. We enter through the magnificent marble entry into a gorgeous, stately, white and gold domed cathedral with ornate and intricate paintings on the walls and dome ceilings. We find our seats in the pews in the front of the back section. The cathedral fills up with a majority of locals (some dressed very well for a classy evening out) and a few tourists.

The 10 musicians and one vocalist entered the front alter area and, precisely on time, the concert began. For one and a quarter hours, beautiful notes swirled around the cathedral, some energetic and some slow and soothing, I suspect to reflect the emotions of the four seasons. Now, let’s be honest – none of our party could really identify Bach from Beethoven from Mozart from Vivaldi. And none of our party could really identify if the musicians were ‘tight’ in their performance. But we do know that, to us, this concert was perfect. On a cold, rainy night in Vienna, we were all together, in an amazing cathedral, listening to classical music, feeling soothed and peaceful.

We exited the cathedral with clarity of mind – there was no doubt after this concert. It was brilliant!

Well, That Was Interesting. . . . . Probably Brilliant – But Maybe Not

You may recall that we attended a Black Light Theatre presentation in Prague. Our theatre critic, Debbie, provides us with a review of the production. (She reserves her talent for such matters of importance.)

Black light techniques were first used minimally in ancient China to enhance artistic productions, but it was the Czechs who perfected the art and introduced Black Light Theatre. The Czechs thought that a different kind of production was needed to trigger imagination (probably an antidote to all that ancient classical music and jazz). By chance, we saw a black light theatre production advertised in Prague – “Yellow Submarine or a Small Story From the Great Time of the Beatles”. Our favourite, the Beatles! In black light! We just had to go. We scurried to the ticket outlet and laid out 550 Czech kroner each, about $30.00 each.

Picture a huge packed auditorium with hundreds of plush seats, one Beatles hit after another, amazing light and sound effects – Utopia! We ate supper early in order to be the first ones at the gate wanting to choose the best seats but not in the first four rows as that was known to diminish the artistic effects.

We entered the single wooden door . . . picture a dark little theatre with a total of 120 seats (wooden chairs) with an audience totalling 17 people, all tourists. Picture dusty puppets on the walls and a crumpled curtain with holes in it. The production began with a rather lengthy slide show of the Beatles before the combination of floating yellow submarines and big floating lips, two main characters acting and dancing, a backup ensemble of loosely termed ‘dancers’, about five Beatles hits, and some strange artistic effects. The show progressed in story format, starting with an elderly couple playing some LP’s and whirling back in time to the origin of the Beatles and time travelling through the main historic occurrences of the Beatles’ reign. At one point, Bev burst out laughing and commented that this was one of our stranger adventures, not to mention the skill, or lack thereof, of the backup dancers. Larry became quite appalled and reminded us that “all you need is love.”

Barely one and a half hours later, including a 15 minute intermission, we exited the theatre, a little bewildered. Was that an amateur money grabbing performance or was that sheer brilliance? After ruminating on it for awhile, we decided that the two main actors were very good, the backup dancers were amateur, the black light effects were great, and some of the techniques such as John Lennon’s death were brilliant. The whole production certainly made us think and forced us to use our imagination to reveal the story lines behind the strange portrayals.

We do not regret our black light experience and it certainly achieved the original Czech aim of triggering the imagination. My view is that our pre-conception was vastly different than reality, and I think we would get a lot more from the production if we were to watch it again.