Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wetzlar, 20 February 2016

Our last Saturday with Elder and Sister Stevens in Wetzlar
Germany is full of quaint cities. It is part of the culture to preserve the past. The most expensive places to live are generally in the "old city" where the houses are several hundred years old and the streets are narrow and often closed to vehicles. It's a little jarring to walk down a narrow cobblestone street lined with 15th century fachwerk houses and see H&M or some other chain store operating in the first level of an old building. In some cities, they have gone to great lengths to preserve the facade of a building that is ancient, but when you look in the back it has been converted to a modern building. I have been told that Germans really hate this. It smacks of movie set.

We stumbled into an organ concert in the church. It was meant to be a musical "Andacht" or devotional, and they passed out hymnals for a single hymn. A man sitting a couple of rows ahead of us sang with a beautiful deep baritone voice. He was an old man, as were all of the congregants. It is not "cool" in Germany to be religious, and young people (except in the church) have little use for churches or worship. They are good honorable polite people, but the second world war and the humiliating defeat with its attendant suffering and the guilt for the holocaust left a spiritual hole in the German psyche - okay, I admit this is just speculation on my part.

Other than the visit to the church and the organ recital and a quick stop in the Saturday market to look at produce and buy some bread and cheese, we did little in Wetzlar. We enjoyed visiting with our friends and had a nice lunch at an Italian restaurant. We talked to people we met about the church and handed out (as a group) a pass along card or two. We will miss Elder and Sister Stevens.

The exterior of the church was never completed. You can see the unfinished front over the market canopies.
Richly colored stained glass

The pews are old and narrow, but they are nicely painted. And the heat was on in the church. That's the first time we've been in a Catholic or Protestant church that the interior was not like a refrigerator. It was still cold.
Shops are only open until about 2pm on Saturday

It was wet and dreary - typical German weather this time of year.

We keep marveling that these crooked houses are still standing after 400 years or more.

It's leaning, but it is solid.

This house, connected to others, is right on the river.

This stretch along the river is beautiful. It will be gorgeous when the trees are green.

From a bridge over the river.
Had to throw in some pictures of sculpture in town.

The title of this one is "Blau Miau" or "Blue Meeow" but it rhymes in German.
Had to throw in this interior of a shop that my brother Brad would love - all kinds of analog stereo equipment -- prices were steep.