Monday, May 25, 2015


The Germans have this great tradition of erecting blue and white May Poles in towns and villages indicating the services available. Every 5 years a new pole is erected by the towns men. It just so happened that my friend's village was replacing theirs this year and we went down to watch the festivities.

The gentleman on the far left is the Burgermeister or man in charge of overseeing the Maibaum celebration.  I asked how long the pole raising would take and he said up to 2 hours. I could not imagine why it would take so long and as you can see it was a rainy day and we weren't so keen to stay so long in the cold.  

 Then the action began. The townsmen gathered for some final instructions...
 then the priest came to bless the pole and men participating in the raising...
 and with the first heave, the action began.
As we watched these men pull the pole into position it quickly became apparent why it takes two hours; it is something of a dance. I took a lot of video which if I ever get around to editing, does a much better job capturing the scene.

 making progress...
 Getting closer...

Almost there, but we left before seeing it 100% erect. If you want to see the final position you'll have to visit my friends blog, she did a great job capturing the entire event and she's a much better photographer!  I love Germany, its quaint traditions and willingness work together for community.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Tough Decisions

 Photos taken in my neighborhood.  Celebrating Springtime and all that is green--something I won't get next year.

I haven't been posting much lately because despite having loads to share, I am simply overwhelmed with life at the moment.  We are moving this summer, July 1st to be exact and school (where I am employed full time) ends June 30, how's that for nuts. Not only am I trying to purge my house of unnecessary clutter, I am also getting a daughter ready to send off to college and preparing for another international move.

The plan was always 3 years in Germany (which turned into 5) and then back to the United States for a few years. Unfortunately for me, my husband's BFF got a job with Saudi Aramco and guess who wanted to hop on that gravy train?  Yep, you guessed it, so now instead of glorious trips to Target, strolling around with popcorn and diet coke in my cart I will be throwing on a black abaya every time I want to leave the compound and hailing a cab because women aren't allowed to drive. 

I can say all this with a bit of sarcasm now, but it took me many months to make the decision to support my husband in this adventure. Leaving our oldest in the United States--a 20 hour plane ride away--has been my biggest concern (among about 25 others), but I've come to a place of peace and so has my oldest (I think).  Amazingly enough, I've met several people who have lived in Saudi Arabia and loved it, so I am hopeful that our experience will be a positive one.  Needless to say, I am going to have to come up with a new name for my blog since I won't be out and about in Europe anymore. If you've got a suggestion leave it in the comments below.

Unknown Mami

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Unfinished Obelisk

This small quarry is home to the unfinished obelisk--it's important because it sheds light on how the ancients quarried these massive needles in the sky. The obelisk, commissioned by Queen Hapsethut was abandoned when a large crack split down the middle. The ancients tried to salvage the stone by making a horizontal cut, but alas they abandoned the stone altogether. 
The most interesting thing about the market where I photographed this stuff was that the sellers weren't pushy, as a matter of fact you might even call them lazy. Our guide said they are not really Egyptian--they were very laid back and sat in the shade on the sidelines waiting for us to approach them. It was kind of refreshing after 10 days of aggressive salesman.

Sunday, May 17, 2015


I love Spring and I love how small villages in Germany never disappoint with some wonderful surprise of color. 
Unknown Mami

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Island of Philae

Located between the Aswan high and low dams, the temple complex of Philae is one of the sites saved by Uneseco in the 1960's when the entire complex was moved to higher ground. It is quite an amazing story actually.  Due to rising water between the two dams the temple became flooded. Initially, the water would rise and recede, but eventually the only way to visit the temple was by boat. That's when Unesco stepped in. The complex was photographed then cut into 40,000 pieces, moved just a few hundred meters to a higher island and put back together like a puzzle. Check out the wikipedia page to see photos from 1908.

In the collage below notice the ancient Greek graffiti, Christian cross and original temple island.