Germany's a biker's paradise, because there are trails everywhere, and odd little things to see even in the country's dullest backwater. As proof, here are a few photos I took last weekend, when the sky was uncharacteristically illuminated for a few hours by a gigantic, glowing orb last seen about 3 months ago. First, a piece of graffiti under the Fleher Bruecke – featuring Street Denglish!
You know, I'd say that with that caramel-colored angora bodysuit, free-floating teeth, and multiple pupils, he actually does look "alike" a "psyco murda."
And now for something more dignified: a roadside altar from 1706.
I think the inscriptions's in Dutch. Anyone want to help translate?
An interesting abandoned factories seen from the front (note the odd stepped platforms)…
And from the rear:
If you were wondering where the jurisdiction of the Dormagen/Zons Dike Association ends and that of the Uedesheim Dike Association begins, here's your answer:
You'll notice that nobody has removed the brown object on top of the post, whatever it is (I didn't try to find out). Probably because it's in the legal dead zone between the two associations' territories. I wouldn't be surprised if there have been screaming matches at meetings of the Uedesheim-Dormagen/Zons Jurisdictional Issues Joint Sub-Committee about who should remove the "unidentified brownish matter" on top of the border post.
After that, it was a short ride through the Hannepuetzheide, a small nature reserve which proudly advertises the fact that it's one of Germany's only stretches of inland dunes. Here is the Altar to St. Roch that you find in the middle of the forest:
And here is the relief found within:
St. Roch, a plague survivor, is the patron saint of plague victims. He is usually pictured pointing to a plague sore on his leg, as here. For some reason, this charming naif relief made me thing of J.G. Ballard's Crash. I need help.
Perhaps the high point of the trip is the Jewish Cemetery (g) near Zons, a well-preserved medieval town along the Rhine. Germany has many Jewish cemeteries, most of them abandoned and partially overgrown. The Zons Jewish cemetery's official address is "Am Judenberg" – roughly, "on Jew Hill." It's entirely enclosed by a thick cement wall. Here's the entrance:
A view inside of some of the 24 graves located there:
From graffiti to abandoned factories to Catholic saints to Jewish history — all in the space of one short bike ride. Interesting place, Germany.
I will shortly be flying back to the States for holiday-related festivities, so blogging will be sparse. I hope everyone has a splendid time, and will be back to more-frequent blogging as of early January.