We had a friend of a friend offer for us to visit them in Germany, so we thought 'why not?' We literally rocked up at their door, 5 kids in tow, and were welcomed with open arms - gotta love Aussies!!! We loved them so much that we ended up staying for a whole week. It was so nice to be amongst friends as we continued to recover from the shocking ordeal of getting to Europe!
Our new friends live in Bavaria, so before we arrived we thought we should make an effort to see something on the way. A quick check on Pinterest confirmed that we were on the romantic road.
Oooh, the romantic road, how romantic!
Well, as much romance as towing 5 kids around Europe can afford. We made a stop in the beautiful city of Augsburg for a few hours. It is actually Germany's third oldest city, and as an Australian, that is extra impressive. Having come from a country where a building is commemorated if it hits the auspicious mark of being 100 years old, I can only feel true awe when gazing at any structure that is hundreds, let alone thousands of years old!! There is evidence of settlements existing here at least 7 centuries before the birth of Christ. The Roman city of Aelia Augusta was founded in the first century. There are remnants from the Middle Ages and beautiful buildings and paintings from the Renaissance period. History was all around us!
So we headed to the information centre and got directions to the town hall. We didn't have a ton of time but I did really want to see the town hall with its golden ceiling. This outing to Augsburg was good for us as a family. It was sunny, summery, and it was such a beautiful town to wander through. The Augsburg Rathaus ( town hall ) was lots of fun. Other than more 'shushing' from us to our loud, expressive and energetic children, we didn't cause too much damage and we did all enjoy gawking at the beautiful intricate gold ceiling.
So this was my kids first exposure to....ah.....nudity in art. It was such a whirlwind just to arrive, that no, I had not taken any time to discuss different forms of art appreciation and expression. I have however taken plenty of time over the years to talk about modesty and respecting our bodies. No touching, no flashing, no peeking, no grabbing....you know, the usual! haha
We are religious, and we teach our kids to dress modestly, but despite this, I am actually quite liberal with art. I love to see and appreciate it in all its forms. I studied some art in University and I love the theory, history and expression that goes with it. I guess I had been too busy just getting through life that I forgot to instill any of that in them. Oh well, no time like the present. It was pretty funny to see my kids having a fit about every little nudy picture they saw. Clearly their life had been severely lacking in classical art, lol. Rushton thought it hilarious to see this painting of someone peeing. We though it was funny too, but we did clarify that it was NOT an invitation.
Once we were done at the beautiful town hall, we wandered through Augsburg. The magnificent Augustus Fountain was erected in 1594 in honour of the Roman founders of the city, such a beautiful piece of art and history. Do you think that my kids were in awe of this slice of history, art and culture that we were admiring? Ah....no. They were too preoccupied with the fountain water pouring from naked nipples! Their faces were priceless! Bahahaha!!
After this amusing crash course in art, we wandered through the street and were very happy to discover 1 Euro ice-creams! This was the beginning of a summer long love affair with delicious dairy in Germany and Austria. We enjoyed the sounds, smells and tastes of the old part of the city. It was probably the first time that we really began to relax a bit and enjoy the travel. Even Bo got into the rhythm :-)