Dieburg, in Photos

| January 26, 2014 | 2 Replies

“Kari, you’ve never given us a visual tour of Dieburg.”

“What?  How rude!”

Well, today’s your lucky day.  (Note: LOTS of pictures, so if you’re on a slow computer, you’re just SOL.  If that’s the case, in my humble opinion, you should buy a new computer.)

The Butcher:

 Paul checking out the butcher

The Baker:

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The Candlestick maker:

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Recently, a fresh loaf of bread, two salami sandwiches, 4 donut holes, two rectangles of something oniony, and a gargantuan mountain of mousse pie amounted to a whopping 14E.  I love German bakeries.  

Yep, my mail really is delivered by bicycle (faster than by mail truck in America).  Post is also delivered by me if I find a package on the sidewalk and then follow my GPS on foot 19 blocks to a house only three blocks away to deliver it to your doorstep.  You’re welcome, December package recipient.

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This is where sleeping birds enjoy a better view than everyone living in Kansas.

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My street is “two-way” with a lane of parking.  It is not uncommon to see people drive on the sidewalks.

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You know who does get plenty of room?  Bikers and pedestrians.  I kinda wanna drive my car through here.

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On other roads, you take out someone’s side view mirror (not that I’ve done that), or a pole takes out your side view mirror (see aforementioned claim).  These candy-cane poles are the bane of my existence.

In December, I happened into town just as they were raising the Christmas tree in the Marktplatz.  Like any good German town, a Christmas tree goes up in the Marktplatz at the end of November

along with a gluhwein circle.  (Yes, that’s really just a circle of people drinking gluhwein.)

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In summer?  Out comes the Maypole, the fountains are turned on, and restaurants quadruple their seating with outdoor tables.  The only problem with outdoor seating?  A car might pull up to the back of your chair as you’re sitting there.  Eating.  It’s happened.

During Maimarkt, the town gathers along the creek for the rubber ducky races–to race their rubber duckies down the creek.  Which I’m totally doing next May.

Festivals might be the coolest part of Germany, and we get them in Dieburg.  The main focus of festivals: beer, gluhwein, bratwurst, crepes, vendors hawking their wares, big-ass cookies, fireworks, and kiddie rides.

During Martinstag, there are various town events besides just the festival of Martinsmarkt.  At one, a horse rides in so that St. Martin can give a poor man his cloak as the kindergarteners stand around with their paper lanterns.  Then the procession through town, to the kindergarten, where everyone sings and drinks gluhwein around a bonfire.  At the kindergarten.  This year’s procession for Sequoia’s first grade class led to a parking lot at the Berufschule, where children sang in the dark until about 15 minutes before people were due to start speeding into the parking lot for night classes, not expecting 6-year-olds to be gathered in song.

It’s always nice to catch a bird’s eye view of the town, to confirm you are living in pure charm.

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Now, I don’t know exactly what children are bussing to and from where, but I sometimes watch a small handful of kids get on and off the bus in the morning at Sequoia’s elementary school.  The bus is basically a motorcoach.  It is not the yellow schoolbus with torn pleather seats that kids are pulling foam out of and throwing out the crooked sliding windows onto Witmer Road (allegedly).

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Recently, Dieburg had a beautiful frost with the longest spokes of icy frost I have ever seen.

Looking for a Schnitzelburger?  Dieburg.

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My favorite building in Dieburg is the mill at the end of the street.  As I continue into town, I cross the street at the mill, and it turns into the cobblestone roads of a traditional town.

Part of an original Roman wall surrounds sections town, including the butcher shop.

After you leave our street, about two houses down, you hit the one-way street. 

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It’s awesome when you’re coming up that way and hit the two-way traffic.  Actually, it’s not.  What’s worse, driving up that street is one-way with the exception of bicycles and hordes of teenagers released from tech school.  There are times where you crawl past the two rows of parking with a bicycle coming straight at you; you wonder if (kinda hope that) the bike is either going to ride on up the hood of your car or take to E.T. flight before your eyes.  Instead, you end up at a full stop as it winds through you, and the parked cars that you’ve been attempting not to hit while fighting the urge to run over the teenagers sauntering 9-abreast toward your car.

The sidewalks are uneven and made up of a minimum of three types of stone/rock/brick.  Don’t wear heels.  Also, these sidewalks are narrow.  If you’re walking with your child, walk on her right.  Sacrifice yourself.

People bike everywhere.  Including the bars.

Toddlers, too.  Toddlers.

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(Whereas if you’re from America, you were still teaching your 5-year-old how to ride a bike until you were shamed)

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There are bike paths everywhere, and they lead you pretty much from Dieburg to Africa.  Local bike trails lead to surrounding farmland and playgrounds.  Dieburg’s playgrounds have caterpillars you can plop half a dozen kids on, then tire yourself out helping them wiggle around and up and down on; arched see-saws; hedged mazes;

and Dieburg’s school playgrounds have these contraptions:

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Right now, our Schloss is under renovation.  As one cousin observed, the Germans are clean even on a construction site.  They removed a glass building that stretched between the old castle and another building.  I rather like what they’re doing now, with the old structure minus the glass.

Just a block from the old is the strikingly new: Sequoia’s school.

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Graffiti, Germany’s widespread, oddly-tolerated public defacing.  I personally like graffiti art, so this bothers me not.

Even the Marktplatz, like most towns, has distractions for kids, including a spinning cage you can plunk your child in while enjoying drinks at a bar 50’ away.

Kids are issued reflective safety sashes because everyone walks to school (most kids without parents, starting from 6 years old), and it’s dark almost every morning of the school year.  Oh, yes, Sequoia is in front of me walking to school in that last picture.

For those who do not want the inconvenience of walking into a store to buy their cigarettes, there are machines located conveniently along sidewalks throughout Germany.  At least they take the time to place large images of “our region” on the machines.  “Hey, Hans, this weekend we should cough our way Babenhausen.”

Dieburg sits along the nationally-recognized scenic byway, the Fachwerkstrasse, which means they take the time to maintain their Fachwerk because they care.

Once, when I could read no German, I had no idea that my child was about to join a political protest in the beautiful Marktplatz.  Fortunately, it turned out to just be a release of balloons in support of some kind of funding for kindergartens.  It reminded me of Balloon Day, just without nametags on the balloons, and with the governor on notice.

In Dieburg, kids walk to school in 6” of snow, then go outside and play in it.  Also, kids walk to school on 6” of ice, people drive around on 6” of ice, and a local American assumes they are going to die driving the child to an activity on a 6” sheet of ice, because that is how the American has been taught to react to 6″ of snow and ice or even the forecast thereof.

There are two public elementary schools in Dieburg.  On the first day of school, all of the children from both public schools gather with friends and family for a mass and public blessing from the priest.  Then they go to the public school and start learning religion.

Tiny doors throughout town cause one to consider whether magical gnomes come out at night in Dieburg.  Some lead down to bars; others open only during Karneval and lead to parties.

Dieburg hosts an annual Karneval.  There’s flying your Dieburg flag, a children’s Karneval, Karneval celebrations in the Kindergartens and schools, then Rosenmontag, then Fasching.  Then Lent for recovery.

Sometimes parades walk down the street, and you don’t know it until it’s happening.

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…and it is heading to the town celebration of 175 years of Karneval in Dieburg.  Which you celebrate with 7 beer tents, a couple champagne tents, 2 bratwurst tents, one kiddie ride, and a music stage.  Seven beer tents.  Because it’s Germany.

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Other times, you don’t quite understand your landlord, and the “parade” is actually a holy procession that isn’t really meant for people to hang out the window watching.

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In Dieburg, you can ask the butcher to get you a turkey from the farm down the road, then cook it for you.  You feel like Dickens should be writing about you picking up your fresh turkey at the butcher and putting it on the table for your Thanksgiving feast.

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It’s kinda cool to also buy your down comforters from the local farm.

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Throughout Germany, many establishments serve only one beermaker, from a fairly local brewery.  You’ll see a sign hanging outside a restaurant with just one beer on it–like our favorite restaurant down the street, where the beer of choice is Schlappeseppel.  (The restaurant is also known for apple wine when it’s in season.)

Going shopping?  You’re probably biking or walking, so take your basket or your rolling cart.

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Unlike most towns, we don’t have an old Rathaus.  We have a new building with a mean lady working in it.  She probably burned down the old Rathaus.

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We have 2000E worth of oil delivered to the house every few months to heat the house and make us wonder if we are reading the bill correctly.

You’re gonna find your prince in Dieburg.

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Dieburg rocks.

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Category: Germany, In Germany A Broad blog, Travel

About the Author ()

Kari Martindale is a writer and ESL instructor. She’s visited all 50 states and 37 countries, including many of the big cities of Europe and a ton of Christmas Markets. She spends her days straddling the fence between a sense of adventure and a sense of dread. She is married to what is clearly a patient man and has a daughter who, frustratingly, is just like her. Her academic and professional backgrounds are in linguistics and foreign languages. When she's not teaching ESL, she's writing. When she's not writing, she's thinking about her next trip.

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  1. Valerie says:

    Makes me miss Dieburg. A lot. It really is a great place to live.

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