Saturday, August 8, 2015

Neustrelitz and the Orangery

After two days of rushing about, Sunday was rather welcome for most of the travelers. On Sunday, for the most part we relaxed, taking a break from the frenzied sightseeing of the past two days to breathe in the German Air and get some much needed sleep. And then came the afternoon, in which we all met up as a group of campers once more for sightseeing in Neustrelitz. That was interesting, led at a slightly slower pace than the other two days this weekend.

It turns out Neustrelitz had been a pretty important place in the Dukedom of Mecklenburg at once point, and was home to a princess at one point in its history. It also had an Orangery.  The tour in general focused largely on the architecture of the town which was simply amazing, and culminated at the church in the center of the town. Still active, it’s a protestant church with a six story tower. You can bet we climbed up that tower, from the inside.  It was steep. It was exhausting. It was worth it. The view from the top was absolutely amazing, and very beautiful. You could see the lake in town, and the old church on the other side. You could see the geometry of the town, designed to have a major road in all eight directions of a compass.

It was beautiful.

High places often are.

I’m lucky to have seen it! We headed back down one by one, taking the stairs down slowly. It was, after all, very steep. People wearing sandals, or in one case heels, took them off for the route back down, and we met in the church before going to the big event of the day.

The Wine Tasting at the Orangery.

This was excellent.  If you don’t know what an Orangery is don’t worry. I don’t either, and I’ve been to one. The dictionary tells me it is a conservatory like building where oranges are grown.  I saw no oranges, but I did see an awful lot of casts from famous statues, some multiple times. It seems the one time owner was very fond of classical art, Greek frescoes, and Greek statues.

You of course, likely want to hear about the actual wine we tasted, I am sure. There were six wines total, three whites and three reds.  One white and one red was from each country officially represented on the trip. This meant Germany, South Africa, and the USA. Unofficially, of course, we had Germany, Italy, India, Finland, Indonesia, and the USA. I think having two wines from each for that though may have been a bit of overkill.  The whites were all very good, and the reds weren’t bad either, though I always prefer white wine, I confess. None of it was from a local vineyard, of course, but it was still very tasty, and very different than the last wine tasting I enjoyed in Germany. The wine was beautifully paired with the food though, and the food, whatever it was for the most part, was simply amazing. I would eat there again, if I thought it was anywhere near my budget. We also got the other grand piano they had there played for us by one of the campers. Wow oh Wow! He was good, and played two songs from memory, singing along with the second. Wow oh Wow. It was nice!

I walked through the Orangery at that point, only to be pulled back for a group photo. After this, we were off! Off for what, you ask? Well, it was up to you, but I went with the group that was going to check out the tomb of the dead but much beloved princess.  It was a nice enough tomb, I think, but I have one very serious question.

Why the devil do you put windows in a tomb! Seriously though dudes, the people can’t see in because they are too high, and, you know, the dead can’t exactly see out. Some things I just don’t understand.

Still, it’s all been tons of fun, and I enjoyed it all so much.  The lectures have been good, and the projects pretty challenging.  For this camp, I totally give it an A+! I had fun.

I think my only real complaint about the German side is that if they see you searching for a word in German, they automatically switch to English! It’s very nice of them of course, but I had hoped to use my German more than I did here. Oh well! That just means I’ll have to return to Germany in my travels, so I can use my German more! Or you know, any German speaking country could be nice.

One Final Byte: Travel should always inspire more travel to happen.

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