Ella loves playing Jenga. When I arrived at her relatives’ house on Wednesday morning she was carefully stacking the game pieces one-by-one. I jumped in and started maneuvering the wooden blocks with her. Once the tower was built, I thought that we would play the game in its traditional form, but, no, Ella had her own method; first she tried to blow down the tower and then she pulled enough of the blocks away from the bottom so that the column tumbled all over the kitchen table. Ella loved this, laughing and clapping her hands as the pieces clattered to the table top.
After breakfast I had the pleasure of touring Amberg with my own private tour guide. She explained the history of the city, that, in the Middle Ages, Amberg was the most fortified city in Germany–the main part of the city is enclosed by a high wall equipped with turrets and gates. I also learned about the smallest hotel in the world, The Wedding House. For hundreds of years it was custom that a man must own property in order to marry a woman. An entrepreneurial Amberger had the brilliant idea to build a small one bedroom house that could be “bought” for only one day. Now the cute red house is a hotel and many people spend their wedding night there.
I reconnected with Ella, Jo, and Andreas for a boat ride on the Vils River. It was a relaxing cruise where we saw swans, waved to people who were fishing from the shore, and passed a large swimming complex. There was a cute little girl on the tour with us and Ella was immediately drawn to her–she loves children. This little girl was only one year old and it amazed me to consider the vast age difference between the two ladies.
That evening there was more prosting at the Kirwa party in nearby Lintach. Ella was welcomed warmly by the local kids who performed a traditional Bavarian dance for the festival goers.
I was given a special gift, a gingerbread heart cookie necklace that said, “You Are Really Cool.” It also smelled very good and I wanted to eat it. The night ended with Ella intently watching the Bayern Munich football match on the festival’s big screen. She fit right in with the much younger crazy soccer fans who had clearly been drinking many more big beers than she had.