Sitting pretty

Hello All

For my last day in Heidelberg I decided to have a languid Sunday. After breakfast and blogging I strolled down the street to the Volkerkundmuseum ( Museum of Ethnography) where I was charged a reduced 5 euro entry because only one exhibition was open.

But what an exhibition. It held wonderful examples of South Pacific textile crafts, Tapas together with fantastic ceremonial masks from the same area.

As I was the only visitor (strange in a town of visitors but I’m not grumbling) the young assistants were keen to help me understand the exhibits. Tapas are made from beaten bark and while most of them looked like hangings and possibly floor rugs I learnt that the fabric produced by this method is infact very pliable and the texture is something like very very very soft leather so they are worn too. Sadly I could not take pictures but the Tapas varied in size – from 2 metres by 2 metres to smaller pieces just enough to be used for a short sarong style skirt – and were covered by designs (some of which resembled knitting pattern grids to me) which combined both hand drawn and block printed work. The colours were largely reddish-browns and blacks created through natural dyes.

Next door to the Tapas was a room of masks some almost as tall as me! These were both grotesque human and animal in form. The performers must practice a great deal and have superb balance to wear these creations even for a short ceremonial dance. Definitely no good for the Jitter Bug.

Back outside and watching runners finish a local marathon in the nearby square I was wondering what to do for the afternoon and came to the conclusion that nothing would be better that messing about in boats (sure someone has used that phrase before). I even went all Eco and chose to glide silently down the Celtic named Neckar on a solar powered boat.

What a civilised way to enjoy a Sunday afternoon. But just in case my halo needed polishing up I popped into the Heilliggeistkirch which sat diagonally opposite my hotel. Inside I was greeted by this wonderful scene.

And in case you are wondering,the organist here is quite safe. They have both feet on the ground. I have been getting quite concerned about these musicians it was a relief to find a sanctuary for safe organ stopping.

You thought I had forgotten didn’t you? But no I did get my Heidelberg ball of wool. I bought it from this lovely emporium on the ‘shop till you drop’ Hauptstraße.

We had a little language barrier to contend with but with a bit of face pulling and much smiling the assistant and I came up with Heidelberg green-mix. Wool is a universal language.

To be frank I am not sure about my overall collection of colours. They are beginning to look like the flag of some little known state. I hope I am not insulting anyone here but a flag was not the look I was really after. Luckily I think the Heidelberg green-mix will turn things around (ever the optimist) and I might end up with a wearable shawl-scarf-thingy at the end of my travels.

Too quickly it was time to say: Auf Wiedersehen Heidleberg it was lovely getting to know you.

Writing ‘live’ from the ICE1651 train …. I am relieved to tell you that on this latest leg of my journey I have managed not only to find the right train, the right carriage but also (fanfare please) the right seat…. No one is going to turf me out this time. I am sitting pretty and on my way via Frankfurt to Leipzig. Again I am looking at incredible amounts of wooded land … as soon as I wrote that we entered the longest tunnel EVER! That’s live blogging for you. Having escaped the darkness I can see a pastoral landscape peeking through the trees with pretty villages. I am intrigued as to what the old East will reveal. I will as ever keep you posted.

Until next we meet,

Moke xxx

2 comments on “Sitting pretty

  1. Heidelberg looks fab the only thing I knew about Heidelberg before your visit was printing presses courtesy of Frank Peters. Looking forward to the next leg your adventure. Love P and A x

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