[Welcome, Lemmings!]Lemmings in Bavaria

Skip the text and gimme the pictures!

Welcome, Lemmings! Let's go on a tour of southeast Germany, as it appeared to my jaded sensibility in August 1999.

First we decided to go to Germany. Only then did we even start to decide what kind of thing we wanted to do in Germany. But even this was complicated by communication problems in late-night, half-asleep phone calls, by the number and intensity of other distractions, etc. Here's the most crucial extract from these careful deliberations:

"North or South?"

"Oh, whichever you like."

"No, really, whichever you like."

"Oh well . . . south then."

[thinks of a place in the south that's definitely big enough to have an airport] "We could fly to Munich."


And thus Munich it was -- whereupon I immediately thought of enticing places to the west, such as Freiburg, and wondered why I hadn't suggested either starting or finishing at Stuttgart.

Thus it would be a loop starting and finishing at Munich. We planned -- if "What about blankety-blank" / "Mmm, good" counts as planning -- various attractions from there. Constrained by various impossibities and dislikes, we ended up spending most of the time in a very orthodox tour, looking at the kinds of worthy artifacts that Baedeker, the Blue Guide, Nagel and Michelin would praise, rather than actually doing anything. (That's middle age for you.) But, in our rather staid way, we managed to enjoy ourselves. Or at least I did; I hope the others did too.

The other pages (linked to at the foot) have more pictures of this or that place; this page has the odds and sods.

[Friedberg] [Friedberg] [Miscellany]

German guesthouse style (yes, there should be a coffee-table book about it). Left: the head of a wild boar, as photographed in the staircase of an otherwise sane and normal building. (Another resident of the building was about as spooked to encounter me photographing it as I was when I saw it first.) Middle: chair upholstered by somebody surreptitiously practising hangul. Right: just what you need 24 hours of the day: a vending machine offering a choice of beer, beer, coke [ugh!], beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer or beer.

And those are about the only photos of this kind that you'll see on any of these pages. The trouble is, the camera only has direct, in-your-face flash (fine if you're Weegee, cheesy for most other purposes), and also it only has automatic focusing . . . and half the time there isn't enough light for it to be able to focus.

<moan>It's no help at all that, even without a viewfinder, I know perfectly well that, say, "1m" would be fine. The camera mustn't have manual focusing even as an extra -- that ability might perplex Joe Q. Normal in the showroom. (Cf the kickstart on a motorbike.)</moan>

OK, OK, I was just too lazy and incompetent to attempt to take interesting pictures indoors.

Being outdoors, as I was, it wasn't too much trouble to take pictures of buildings, people, and vehicles. But I'm wary of photographing people without their permission; and photos of people taken with their permission all to easily become wooden. (And I'm too lazy to ask for permission.) So we're down to buildings and vehicles. The buildings are on other pages. Vehicles, which more often than not are just one species of street furniture, are mostly here.

[orange beetle, exterior] [orange
beetle, interior] Years ago, a minor pleasure of a trip to Germany was seeing (and being stuck behind or overtaking) various oddball cars that were little exported. Messerschmidts, Goliaths, Goggomobils, that kind of thing. Amongst the BMWs and Mercedes, I wanted to find a plebeian-looking car. There were very few contenders, though I did spot a Goggomobil. The genuine beetle is now less common than the millennium bug (a Golf with a rounded body); here's a particularly jolly example of the former.

[Trabant]Here's about the closest you'll get: a Trabant (or "Trabi") from the DDR. But negative snobbery is as chic as regular, boring old snobbery -- though more fun, and cheaper. (How about a Czech example with leopardskin seat covers?)

[three-wheeler with naked ape] You might as well go the whole hog and enjoy ultimately sybaritic (and sexist) tastelessness. Never travel anywhere without a nubile nude female.

[smart in Friedberg]OK, one more little car. This one is called "smart" (the small "s" makes it one degree cuter). They're very small and they're cute -- so why are they almost unknown here in Japan?

[beer in Friedberg]

Beer is an essential part of a lemming's trip in Germany.

[tourist in Munich]

Even if you stay in the cities, you can see wildlife. This handsome chap was a fellow-tourist in central Munich.

[horseless carriage at Zweikirchen] [horseless carriage, interior] [pathetic attempt to look properly bourgeois, with horseless carriage, Friedberg] [unidentified person with horseless carriage, Forchheim]

The proper bourgeois lemming must tell all and sundry about his vehicle -- after all, he has little identity without it. Well, this is a Ferrari Testosterone, um no an Alfa Romeo 156. I think the engine was 1.6 litres but I didn't open the hood, let alone poke around with a ruler. Very comfortable, if a little dangerously easy to accelerate to and cruise at 170 km/h (still legal in Germany, of course). (And who are these people? Sorry, nothing personal on any of these pages.)

Any comments? Corrections? Write to me (Peter Evans), or tell the whole world.

Augsburg | Bamberg | Dinkelsbühl | Forchheim | Freising | Friedberg
Landshut | Munich | Regensburg | Straubing | opticians

Other snaps


First created -- in home-devised cookie-cutter style (batch files and lean, mean software) -- on 27 December 1999. Last fiddled with: 27 March 2000. My thanks to Norman Havens for digitally de-dazzling one of the above snaps.

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