Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Preparation Day Outing to Johannesberg and Lohr am Main 10 October 2015

Snow White or the Queen?
Saturday, October 10, we joined a large group of senior missionaries for a trip to the village of Johannesberg and to Lohr am Main. Both are in Bayern (Bavaria), the northern part of which is in our mission. The first stop was Toni Sauer, a wood carver, in Johannesberg. This is a very small farming village -- a tractor passed by on the main road while I was in the wood carver's shop looking out a window. The carver is a family business that has been at the same location since 1795. The old house is on the property but is just used for storage and woodwork now. The couple who operate the shop have apparently catered to senior LDS missionaries for many years and were incredibly gracious. Of course, among just three couples they pocketed 2400€ (more than $2700), and there were several other couples there. We spent about 3 hours there because the place was like a museum of wood carving in addition to being a store. We were their only customers, and it was like a mini social. We talked with the couple, laughed, told stories, and looked at (and purchased) the beautiful handiwork. Herr Sauer showed us an unfinished piece and explained how they are made. Even though they make several of an individual design, each piece is unique because they are all finished by hand.
House on the left is original house from 1795 (renovated, of course)

Even the sign is a piece of woodcarving craftsmanship

The big pieces were way out of our price range, but beautiful

Love how Joseph is portrayed as protector -- this is a single piece

Janet was in heaven - we should have taken a few more pictures. There was one room of just nativity scenes of all sorts.
We left Johannesberg, which is actually on the ridge of a hill (a Berg, in German), and drove through beautiful wooded hills to Lohr am Main. Lohr is another village that is the seat of the Snow White legend. The story has some basis in fact, as there was a young girl whose step-mother was vain and jealous of the young girl's beauty and tried to have her killed.

We took a few pictures through the windshield on the drive to Lohr. This area is called Spessart and is a range of low wooded mountains in Bavaria and Hesse. The pictures here don't do what we saw justice. Wish we had better shots.

Fall has arrived in the forest

Small villages and farms amidst wooded hillsides

We met the other senior couples and found an old inn where we had an authentic German lunch. Janet has smoked trout, and Jeff had Schweinebraten (pork roast) with Spätzle (a sort of dumpling) with lots of dark brown bread. It was delicious, and the inn was completely charming. The wait staff was incredibly gracious.

We sat with Mike and Reneé Hart, Brad and Shirley's good friends from Clovis, California, and we enjoyed visiting with them. They arrived to find their apartment a real mess -- Elder Hart shared pictures before and after renovation. There was damaged flooring, mold, and assorted other damage, and the apartment was completely renovated over several months -- while they lived in it. We were amazed at their cheerfulness and aplomb in the face of that kind of situation. They are working with Young Single Adults in Nürnberg and helping in other ways there. All of these couples are really inspiring. Their attitudes are positive and their love for the Savior and the restored gospel are apparent. We want to be like them.

Rathaus (City Hall)

No one was sitting outdoors at the ice cream shop

We love how everyone's balcony is decorated with flowers

Elder Jarrard trying to dodge the crazy driver (Jeff)

A plaza in the old village surrounded by these ancient houses -- they look great, but most of them are at least 500 years old

Couldn't resist capturing this art in a park - is that Happy?
The inn was called Mehling. It had low ceilings and was paneled with wood. It was cozy and warm.
Wienhaus Mehling -- our inn for lunch
Studying the menu and enjoying the company

She looks a little sleepy

The Harts sharing pictures of their apartment renovation

Schweinebraten and Spätzle
When we emerged from a 2 1/2 hour lunch (restaurants in Germany take their time serving and expect patrons to stay for a while -- all evening if you go out to dinner. You have to ask for a bill) we found that all of the shops in town closed at 1pm. Saturday is a short day! Weird to us, but we suppose that people are used to this sort of early closure. By the way, stores are all closed on Sunday, unlike in the US where Sunday has ceased to be a day of rest and worship for the most part.

There is a castle in the village that contains a very nice museum, so we all went there for a short visit -- it was scheduled to close at 4pm and we got there at about 3:30, but the museum manager allowed us to linger for a while and he took his time closing up. The museum, we realized after the fact, contained exhibits that were about Lohr and the Spessart, but they were also all generally connected to the Snow White story. Snow White was a real person born in 1725 in the castle below. Her mother died, and her father remarried. You know the rest of the story, although there were no real dwarfs. There is a brochure published by the city for tourists (it contains the actual Grimm brothers story, and the ending is pretty grim -- stepmother is forced to put on a pair of red-hot iron slippers at the wedding of Snow White and the prince and dance until she drops dead - yikes!).

We wish we had had a little more time to visit, but we were just too late in the day.
Schloss Lohr - Snow White's Castle

On the moat wall surrounding the castle
Down to the cellar where Snow White was forced by her step-mother to work

Lots of ceramics were made in the area

These were very old wood carvings in the museum. 

Wood carving of the flight into Egypt

Home life including Jesus working with Joseph as a carpenter
One of the hunters who was supposed to kill Snow White. Looks like he ate well.
Glass and mirror work from Spessart

Janet is definitely the fairest in the land

The brochure describes the mirror in detail. Beautiful for something that was made more than 200 years ago


  1. Wow! One of the best updates yet. Would love to have been with you that day.

    1. Thanks, Jack. Glad you are enjoying these. And we would love to have you with us!

  2. my goodness those wood carving are made in my dreams! I'm sure mom would have bought them all if she could. How fun that you have so many other senior couples around to be friends with and show you around!

  3. We get pictures of you two from the Hart's, and see pictures of them from you! It seems so odd....
    Such a small world!

  4. We get pictures of you two from the Hart's, and see pictures of them from you! It seems so odd....
    Such a small world!