|...on a hilly street in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany|
Although they eat substantial food (Nothing light and airy about German dishes.) plentifully served in restaurants and tantalizingly displayed in bakeries, the population exercises away any excess calories.
When hiking becomes boring, Germans take to their bikes. There are almost as many bikes on the road as cars, and innumerable special paths wend their way through lush countryside. Age is irrelevant--teenagers, seniors with gray hair and trifocals, and entire families with toddlers strapped on back seats believe in pedal power.
When Germans aren't eating or exercising, they must be raising flowers because we've seldom seen so many. Blooms decorate houses, climb around doorways, and even grow in former horse water troughs.
Germans are so clever they're even raising a new crop no one else has ever heard of! We saw solar panels on almost every roof top, and there are entire fenced fields stretching for a half mile or more devoted to nothing but row after row of solar power. Germans will undoubtedly be ready when the government, spooked by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, closes the last nuclear power plant at the end of 2015.
But for all they do right, they get three things wrong. Don't bother waiting for the water to warm up in public restrooms anywhere in Germany--it never will. Only cold water is available.
Asking for plain tap water with a meal is often futile. The waiter will want to sell, for almost $5, bottled mineral or gas water, so persistence is required to get what you want. Even then, persistence doesn't always work. A waitress in a charming little inn in Rothernburg told me they had no water. David and I wondered how they washed dishes, but we knew better than to ask.
|Flowers seem to sprout and grow everywhere in Germany.|