Germany Local Custom Tips by balhannah
Germany Local Customs: 322 reviews and 362 photos
If you happen to see mention of a Wasserschloss, then you can expect to find a Castle surrounded by water and moats. They are also called a "Water Castle." These Castles are mainly found on flat land, so the moat was added as a defense mechanism. Usually, there only was one entrance, and that was the drawbridge. Some of these Castle's were more like Fortresses!
The surrounding ditches were also used as a source of water when under siege or during periods of drought.
I love these Castles, mainly because of the great reflection's on the water surrounding the Castle on a non-windy day. These days, it makes the Castle very attractive.
On our holiday, we drove through the Thuringia Slate Mountain's. This was something different, especially when we came across the Town's in this area. I have seen slate before, but never like this!
Slate is known as the blue gold
The landscape is dominated by the slate, and you will see many varied buildings
All the villages are blue-black, all the home's, shop's, Roofing, siding, walls and roads are often made from this material.
This is a great tradition in Thuringia!
The Franconian-Thuringian Slate Street extends between the Thuringian Forest, the Vogtland and the Franconian Forest.
Maypole in Bavaria
As we were travelling around the smaller towns in Bavaria, we noticed these tall poles in the villages. We asked a helpful local, and were told they were a Maypole or Maibaum [May Tree] in German.
On May 1st, it is raised to welcome in Spring.
The Maypole tended to vary a bit in height, but all were faily tall and made from either a Pine or Birch Tree trunk. Ribbon's, flowers and carved figures adorned them, sometimes there were other decorations. We mostly saw them in the Town sqaure, but really, anywhere there was some lawn for people to gather, there was a Maypole in the Village.
We were there in June/July, and still the Maypole's stood, only we were too late to see the traditional dances, music, and folk customs associated with the Maypole. I really would love to be there then!
In most small towns, nearly the whole Village turns out for the ceremonial raising of the Maypole and the festivities that follow
Whenever we saw one, I had to take a photo, and have many photo's of Maypoles. You see, each Maypole is different, and a lot of the wood carvings are typical of what kind of work people do in that Village. This is what I enjoyed looking at, plus, who ever carved them, did a brilliant job!
So next time you see one, be like us and just take a few minutes to have a look at the carvings, they are a work of art!
We were travelling by car around Germany, probably on some roads that perhaps Tourist's may not frequent. These were Mountain roads in Bavaria, high up with great views and really not much traffic.
These routes had tolls, which looked to be run by a private person.
On one road, we had to pay 2 euro, and on Route 307 to Wallgau, it was 3euro's.
Not a fortune, but just unexpected!
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