Monday, September 4, 2017

Panzer!!! and a few other mechanical things thrown in for good measure

3 September 2017
Weekends tend to be more laid back here - just like at home.
Mathilda had a sleepover for a friends birthday last night, so this morning, Felix and Niklas headed together as father and son to the Backerii for our breakfast fare - this time croissants, pretzels and rolls.  Served with Apricot jam from Romania, rosehip jam (which is lovely as it is not so sweet - anyone at home got any rosehips I can make jam with??), Fruits of the Forest and the ever present Nutella.

About 10:30 the young one arrives home with excited news of staying up until midnight and all the 'special stuff' they did.  Now comes the decision for the day - to swim or not to swim?

The indoor pools here in Schwäbisch Gmünd are closed at the moment, but it is 'known' that the 'nearby' pool at Schorndorf is open.  So off Felix and the little ones go!  Steph will take the opportunity to have a bit of a rest and Michael and I are off to the Panzer Show at Seifertshofen today.  

Well, Michael is off to the Show, I'll read a book while he attends - I have NO interest in seeing panzers, tractors or any other mechanical beast. Steph and Felix have lent me a novel in English - Silence of the Grave - by an Icelandic author - a murder mystery in the genre of Patricia Cornwell - so I sit in the car, in the last of the summer sun and read.

Coming through the town of Eschach near our destination, we know we are on the right route.  Love how the Germans (and the French) use their roundabouts as artistic display areas!  As we get closer to the venue, we are starting to wonder whether it has finished early as there is a procession of tractors leaving - turns out, the tractor pull was done!
We park in a recently harvested corn field -maybe the tractors have run over the field first, but those 12 inches of remaining stalks claw very hard at the underneath of the car.

Michael sets off.  I lay the seat back and then hope that the idiot flying the helicopter doing joy flights doesn't come crashing down on me - he is doing some badass crazy moves for a helicopter.

The show finishes at 3 pm and by 2:30 pm Michael is back at the car.

The main event was the tank display where 5 tanks paraded through the muddy arena in front of an enthusiastic crowd,displaying their power and manouverability. They powered up, sped past, came to screaming stops and climber over the remains of vehicles smashed under wheels and tracks.

The event also included that tractor pull that we missed, static displays of war weaponry and might, aircraft and non-military farming and recreational vehicles. Michael was perturbed at the fact that with the aircraft in particular, the crowds were allowed to climb all over them and even in to the cockpits.

He reckons that the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum could teach these guys a thing or two about storing and displaying exhibits!
There was also the obligatory 'flea market' with bric-a-brac that included military memorabilia and a working forge.
We headed back the 15 kms to Schwäbisch Gmünd, coming in to the City from the opposite ridge. It really is such a pretty City. Steph had told us of an old church that was near the tunnel that now carries the autobahn traffic under rather than through the City. Today brings us right past it, so around the next roundabout I go and we head back to take a look.

St Leonhard's no longer appears to be used, but it is a stunning example of church architecture. There is mention of the current church as early as 1345, although in its current baroque form it dates to the mid 1700's.  The main link for this church is the adjoining cemetery - Leonhardsfriedhof - the earliest headstone we found was dated 1696 although the earliest recorded funeral is 1477.  In 1542, the plague hit and the cemetery was enlarged and in 1622, it was enlarged again.  After WWII, the cemetery could not be further expanded and a new cemetery was opened.  Leonhardsfriedhof is characterised by its mature trees, garden bed graves and military plots.

Near it stands the Herrgottsruhkapelle, a chapel that we think must be akin to our very own Mortuary Chapel back home. 

Coffee and apfel strudel in Schwäbisch Gmündfor afternoon tea - now THAT is a strudel - look at all those layers of apple! before heading for 'home' to Xaver-Bader Straße and barbeque for dinner.
Chevappi, steaks, 'kebab' (thin strips of meat laid with ham and pinwheel rolled on to skewers), barbequed corn, eggplant and garlic bread all balanced with a salad on the back patio in the last of the summer twilight.
Life is good!

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