Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt

Last weekend in Columbia, MO, I tried Tiger Ice Cream at MU. It was quite tasty and the scoops were the biggest I’ve seen in awhile.
Last night we went to Andy’s where I had my favorite––a concrete with raspberry topping (which means the topping is all mixed in). Delicious.
But my all time favorite is the ice cream I had in the little town of Wilster, Germany, at the Eiscafe Rialto across from the church. It was a dish called Spaghetti Ice Cream; looked like real spaghetti with tomato sauce! Tasted fantastic! I loved the combination of looks and taste. And if I’m ever back in Hamburg, I will definitely take the train to Wilster for more ice cream at the Eiscafe Rialto.

Inside the Old Walls of Nürnberg

cobblestone street in Nürnberg

The first photo shows the cobblestone street––notice the width of the street––and a modern wall that is boundary of someone's house/yard today.

outer wall of old city walls in Nürnberg

The second photo gives a better look at the outer wall.  The tower has the door which is an entrance to the upper walkway of the wall.  Here I can imagine the men, whose duty it was to defend the city, walking their assigned stretch and keeping a close surveillance of any activity outside the city.

Entering the old City of Nürnberg

This is one of the more interesting entrances to the old city.  It curves inside the wall and is more like a tunnel.  You can see the curve in the middle photo.  The third photo shows the exit into the city, but it also gives a feel of how dark it would have been without lights.
Most of the old German cities have only a small section of their old wall remaining, due to the horrific bombing of World War II.  Some tore down remaining walls because the openings were too small to allow fire trucks into the old section, or they felt they needed to widen the streets for modern traffic.  I'm so glad that Nürnberg did not do this; being enclosed within a city wall is the only way you can get a feel for the size both of the city and the thickness and height of the wall.  It emphasizes the fact that everything is within walking distance, and helps give a feel to life "back then."
I was awed to think that both Albrecht Dürer and Maria Sylabilla Merian walked this town and through this entrance.

Washing Your Hands?

old German stand for washing fingers

Old German washstand for washing fingers,
not hands, before eating.

Shown here is one style of what we would call an old washstand.  These were used in Germany in the 1600’s for washing your fingers before eating.  Yes, I did say fingers instead of hands. You didn’t wash both hands, instead you washed only the first two fingers and thumb of each hand.  No housewife wanted to waste water, and the first two fingers and thumb is all you use when eating. (Notice next time you eat…this is true!)   And, I’m sure that if you are the one who has to go outside with a bucket, draw the water from a well, and then lug it inside to use, you don’t want to be making a lot of trips to the well.

Inside St. Sebaldus Church

These photos are from inside St. Sebaldus Church in Nürnberg, Germany.  Besides being another lovely old church, this one has special meaning for me.  This is the church Maria Sybilla Merian attended, and where her second daughter, Dorothea, was baptised.
When I learned that the statue of St. Sebaldus is easy to recognize because he is holding a church, I had to photograph it!
I was also interested in the very old baptismal font in the church.  It is the original one, made around 1430, and is the one used when Dorothea was baptised.  How awesome is that!  When our country is less than 300 years old, I just find it incredible to see something still in existence and over 550 years old–something older than the US.  (And as luck would have it, on this particular day, a baby had just been baptised when I entered the church.  You can see the photographer snapping pictures of the family.

Artists’ Pigments

The sole reason I toured Albrecht Dürer's house in Nürnberg, Germany, was because I had read there was a display of his paint and where it came from.  Now Dürer lived 170 years before Maria Sybilla Merian did, but things were slow to change back in those days; I figured the source of paints would still be the same.  I had already spent two and a half years researching the old paint recipes to find a few which would be usable in the classroom during the study of art in the Middle Ages.  (I was bored with the time period and needed a way to "liven it up" 'cause it's a sure bet that if the teacher's already bored, the students will be triply bored, and the last thing we need is bored kids in the classroom.)

I was delighted to see that what I had read was confirmed here.

pigments used by artists at Dürer Museum

The blue pigment in the picture on top is azurite; the powdered form was kept on the half shell, it's source is the azurite rock behind.  The red pigment was new to me–it is called Drachenblut, or Dragon's Blood.  It comes from a red resin from the fruit of a palm tree found in Asia.

pigments used by artists

The center picture shows a pigment made from roots of the Rubia plant–also new to me–on the left.  On the right is a dish of cochineal bugs which, when crushed, make a purply-red pigment.  (And, yes, the dried bugs do stink if you get your nose too close to them!)

pigments used by artists

The bottom picture shows the beautiful bright red pigment derived from Cinnabar rocks from Spain.

One added note:  most rocks lose their color when crushed and cannot be used to make paint.  Those that do retain their color make very lovely paint, indeed.


This bit of architechture is a famous landmark in Nürnberg, Germany; it is called a chörlein.  This one was built in 1513.  Looks to me like an elaborate 3-sided bay window held up by an elaborate stone column attached to the side of the house.  This house is where the pastor lived.  
The other building in the background is the St. Sebaldus church, the one Maria Sybilla Merian Graf attended, and where her second daughter, Dorothea, was baptised.

Before Streets Had Names

CornerCorner figureKnight
In the old city of Nurnberg there are a number of these figures, each one placed on the corner of a building at a street intersection.  They are not only lovely sculptures, but sculptures with a purpose.  Well, they served a purpose back in history…back when city streets did not have any names.  These figure served as reference points for people trying to find a certain shop or house.
It's another indication of how much larger our cities and towns are today.  Can you imagine trying to give anyone directions today without using street names?  Or numbers?

Entering the old city of Nürnberg

At last I get to see what it is like to be in a city surrounded by its old protective walls.  (These walls were completed in 1452.)
The photo on the left is of the entrance I used most of the time when entering and leaving the old original part of the city since I stayed in a small pension outside of these walls not far from the train station.
The photo on the right is a typical view of what the walls look like from inside the old city.  The square towers each had a door which provided access to the top of the wall.  Here it was easy to imagine men patrolling the covered walkways and keeping a close watch on any activity outside these walls.