Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Germany is wonderful. Our inspiring daytrip to Badenweiler Thermal Baths. Also: parking garage secrets, turret porn, fall colors and Sabine!

Outside of a cafe. 
 This weekend was extended due to "All Saint's Day".  This is a day when French people honor dead ancestors.  They put chrysanthemums on graves and light candles to honor their dead relatives.  Of course, this goes way back from before Christianity's takeover  and was called Samhain.  This day marked the start of the dark half of the year and was the time of feasting and drinking.  It was also a good day to communicate with the spirit world.

Some festive chrysanthemums.

As always click on the picture for a better view.

I really, really miss living in the States as you probably already figured.  But oh my my my - when Halloween comes around, my pining away becomes really tragic.  But actually, it is after the day, when people post their Halloween pictures on facebook that I really want to get. the. hell. out. of. here.  Not to say that I don't enjoy seeing all the creative costumes my American/Canadian friends make for themselves and their adorable kids, but the idea of packs of kids going from house to house getting mini sugar blessings from the community just makes me flush with happiness.  When Sabine is older, we may just have to fly home just for this holiday.  We can see which city has the best airline deal and just fly there - trick or treat, and then come home!  Well at least this year, I made a new friend who invited us to her Halloween soiree, just in the nick of time.  And it was very fun too:)

           12th century Badenweiler Castle looks over the Spa Gardens containing exotic plants like oleander, hibiscus, magnolias, giant cedars and sequoias, bananas, lemons, palms, eucalyptus, bamboo.
Okay, well ANYWAY.... So, instead of celebrating this wonderful holiday, we went to the inlaws whom live about 20 minutes from the German border for 4 days and one of those days were spent in Badenweiler, Germany.  This quant village is at the foot of the Black Forest.  My previous experience with Germany is limited.   But knowing that some of my ancestors are German, I was even more intrigued with the people's faces and bodies.  So many tall women - at least compared to the itty bitty French ladies.  They had girth and strength and walked around with hiking poles.  Hell yeah! 

Here are some pictures that show incredible diversity of place, particularly when considering they were all taken in about a two block range!!!!!!!  First are the decadent thermal baths, I took all the pictures except the one indicated.  As I was snapping away, I was told that photos were not allowed.  I hate that shit.

A couple weeks ago, a friend and I went to see a clothing exhibit at Marie Antoinette's "little" château in Versailles.  All around us there were no photography signs and all around us were people talking photos.  Many of these people were rather blatant about it too, wearing their enormous cameras around their necks.  A couple of people working there were working hard sternly telling people to STOP with the picture taking.  Most of the staff couldn't be bothered.  I wanted to take some pictures, but would have been embarrassed to take pictures when it clearly states they are not allowed.

And so what if they did tell you? It is not like an unfortunate experience that occured when FIRST MOVED HERE and were in a huge French grocery store (Carrefour).   I thought it was so cool the employees were wearing rollerskates.  They glided around the store to check prices and clean up spills, I was memorized (I know, doesn't take much).  I took one of their photos (with her permission) - and apparently this was seen somewhere, by some video camera and I was suddenly surrounded by a trove of men making demands and asking questions.  I didn't speak a word of French at the time and played the innocent tourist card, pointing at the rollerskates, looking amused, you know smiling like a dumb American.  They were unnecessarily gruff and hostile, which I would come to learn that was rather typical behavior and must be responded with the same!  They seized my camera and deleted the memory.  Thinking back on it now, I would have reacted a lot differently then now.  Probably better that it didn't happen like that today, I might have gone to jail.  Oooooooh , I hate hate hate power tripping corporations who think they own the whole fucking world.  Okay, rant over - Occupy! Occupy!  Occupy!

ANYWAY.... There were no such signs at the thermal baths and so I figured it was fine.  Given the fact that the website itself says that it won the German Steel Building Prize and is considered by many to be the MOST beautiful domed thermal baths in the entire country - it would seem rather photo worthy, donchathink?

This wonderful place has a lot more going on than what we did, but those required 12 years+.  Soooo, we (Hicham, Hicham's mom, Sabine and I) stuck to the family family THREE different pool thermal bath area. 

We were fortunate to be in the water at the same time that some gorgeous music started playing and an equally stunning woman in her 60's got up and started leading the crowd from the side of the pool in water tai chi.  Hicham's mom really enjoyed taking part in it too.

  Another pool led outside:

I did not take this picture.  It is from

The outside view of the domed bath.  Next to the well preserved, glass encased Roman bath ruins museum.

Hot spring baths from 75 AD.

Golden golden golden gold.

What looks like a autumn colored hill park is actually the top of a parking garage.  Look closely at the tri-dome windows seemingly randomly placed.  They actually provide nice natural light underground. 
The parking garage.

Just had to share this architectural eye candy with you!  Look at the green shutters, the divine rounded windows, the most elegant carvings, the stained glass and the stylish turret .  It was built in 1586 and now holds art exhibits. 

For more info about this wonderful village and a cool areal shot visit:

 What is a post from Transition Kitchen without the kid?  I should mention here that even the German playground teeter totters, did indeed teeter better and certainly tottered with more side to side totter than the French ones which barely move and always seem dirty.  Ah, what a pleasant note to end on! 

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