Monday, August 26, 2013

Weekend in Rockenhausen

Last weekend, Hunter and I got to take a quick weekend jaunt to Rockenhausen. It's a small town of about 5,000 people, so there's no reason you would have heard of it. The only reason we had heard of it is because Hunter's Aunt Patsy* had found some distant relatives who live there. She was visiting them and we went to see her and also meet this new branch of our family. It's about four hours away and the train ride wasn't exactly pleasant. One of the trains we were on was sooo crowded. Hunter didn't get a seat but I did, presumably because of the baby.** Anyway we made it to Rockenhausen and ate dinner with our newfound relatives.  That night, I got a headache. I woke up at 0330 with a migraine and no medicine. It was upsetting because we had plans for an excursion on Saturday and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to go. However, after sleeping a bit and eating a delicious German breakfast, I was feeling better, so I was able to take the trip to Speyer.

Speyer is a city that dates back to Roman times and they have a very old cathedral where some emperors are buried. I managed to get a few phone pics:

A giant pipe organ. I really like organs.
Likeness of Rudolph of Habsburg. Apparently he was (one of?) the first to want his actual likeness carved, as opposed to just a model's face.

There was what was essentially a Renaissance Faire going on in Speyer while we were there. We sort of accidentally considered going to it, but it was pretty expensive to get in so did not. There is also a museum that we wanted to go to, but we had gotten off to a late start and so by the time we got there we wouldn't really have had time enough to see it.

On Sunday, we went to a service at a church where Hunter's ancestors (from waaay back) were baptized and married. It was the first German church service we had been to, and it made us feel like maybe we should just go to a German language church. For one thing, we can at least recognize when they say the chapter/verse of what they are reading and can maybe get a German/English Bible. Also since the songs are written out it's possible to understand a bit of those. Listening to the sermon, Hunter understood a few more words than I did, but I think that going consistently would help improve our German and also give us a motivation to study more German.

Church culture in Germany is interesting because not many people go. It's not like in the south, where it's a social thing to go; if people don't want to they just don't. So the churches are very small and skewed older, but you also get the impression that the people probably actually want to be there. It's an interesting difference.

Hunter and I both got to practice German a bit more over the weekend than we had before. Our hosts spoke decent English, but it was fun to be able to try to say things in German sometimes. Since we were visiting older Germans, I was a bit afraid things might end up going down like this:

However, the war was mentioned a few times without incident.

Overall, it was a nice weekend getaway and most likely the last one before the baby is born (and presumably for some time after).

*Which, if you follow that link you will understand why it was perfectly reasonable and acceptable to hear her say, "Last time I was in Tuscaloosa was with the Grand Dragon."

**There was also an elderly nun on the train who did not get offered a seat which made me feel kinda bad but also I really needed to sit down.


  1. Sounds like you had a very interesting weekend. How great to have more relatives!! Is Aunt Patsy Hunter's father's sister?

  2. Aunt Patsy is actually Hunter's great-aunt; she is his dad's aunt.