What was particularly noteworthy was that the doorways to the houses were extremely low indicating that the people of this era were very short. They lived to about 40 years of age and this was due to extremely difficult living conditions with severe winters keeping them housebound. Open fires in the house would be flueless and hence parts of the house, including the kitchen would be filled with smoke and this would adversely affect health. The beds were all very small and were totally enclosed (box beds). Our students were bemused by the fact that chickens were kept in the kitchen to encourage them to lay in the winter as outside was far too cold.
King Ludwig was a big devotee of the French Kings, especially King Louis XIV and XV. The Herrenchiemsee was meant to be an exact replica of the Palace of Versailles. In fact it was that, but he only completed a third of the structure, hence the wings of the Palace of Versailles were missing. Nevertheless, we did a tour of the castle and our students were blown away by the ostentatiousness of the appointments within the castle. This was one self indulgent King.
Sadly we weren't permitted to take photos as the flashes would have compromised the paintings and would have detracted from the experience of other visitors with flashes going off all over the place. Another reason no doubt would have been so that they could make some money out of the production of souvenirs etc.
The weather was absolutely delightful as we made our way out of the Palace and back down towards the ferry where we passed the Benedictene Monastry which at one time housed monks and which lateer served as the residence of King Ludwig as he oversaw the construction of his monument to the French Sun Kings.
Once back on the ferry we were then conveyed to my favourite, the Fraueninsel (the Women's Island). This small island is a delight because of a number of factors, it is home to 300 residents, many of whom are artists, fishermen and nuns who still occupy the convent which was built in 791. The nuns also run a "Kloesterladen", a shop that sells various religious artefacts, books, locally made produce and art from the island in addition to their honey liquor and marzipans. One can walk around the island in about 15 minutes but it is a terrific journey that fills all the senses as one smells the smoked fish, sees the yachts and small fishing boats and then wanders the tremendous well kept cemetery. The entrance step to the church is almost entirely worn down due to the feet of parishioners passing over it over 900 years.
On Thursday October 7 the Aussie exchange students were involvedin an Art workshop conducted by Frau Peklo, the Wirtschaftschule Art teacher. The students were involved in Hinterglasmalerei, a traditional form of painting where the artist paints behind glass to produce their pieces. Historically the motifs were religious and honoured the Saints such as St.Florian the patron saint who protected houses from fire and St.Antonius the patron saint for returning lost items. Methinks he was smiling on Max and Elisha at various points.
The students produced their masterpieces through the morning and will be taking them back to Australia to families. I'd like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Frau Peklo's time, support and encouragement through the workshop.
Thanks to the Rutz family for providing a tremendous Barbie and great company as well. It really was good for the German students to be reacquainted with their previous Direktor (Principal) and for the Aussies to make their connection with Herr Rutz again after the Passau trip.
Later on in the afternoon we went to the Therme Bad Aibling which is a swimming pool complex that also houses various spas, saunas, and unique bathing areas. We thank the Mayor of Bad Aibling Herr Schwaller for sponsoring the Therme experience. Students were allowed the whole afternoon in the complex gratis thanks to the Bad Aibling Shire.
Friday night many of us watched Deutschland play Turkey in a European Cup qualifier. This match was played in Berlin and was particularly interesting because Berlin is the largest Turkish populated city outside Turkey. Germany won 3-0 and with about 20 minutes to go, half the crowd left the stadium.
Today, again we were greeted with fog and it fell like very light drizzle. By 2.30pm it started to clear up and we drove to Bad Feilnbach, a small village in the vicinity for their very famous Apfelmarkt. Bad Feilnbach is the Wandi of the area and the Apfelmarkt allows local producers of apples to showcase their wares. It was my first visit and both Michelle and I were really impressed with the market. They were selling and demonstrating just about everything including cars, solar panels, bathroom finishes and delectable local produce and foods such as Steckelfisch (fish on a stick), humongous trout slow cooked over hot coals.