Sunday, 22 August 2010

glass bottom boat

Over the weekend, I was visiting Bamberg.  We had a nice respite from the rainy, summer-smashing weather, bordering on too hot and unstirred, and decided to all take a leisurely drive through the Fränkische Schweiz in my parents fancy new convertible.  It was very nice to have have the breeze and the full panorama view of the tall old buildings of Bamberg and then the expanse of trees and mountains.  My parents had meet one another some thirty years before in Bamberg and really enjoyed the drive, showing me the spot where they had picnics and played frisbee and the rough cliff face at a place called Tiefenellern where they climbed up and found a little, secret cave.  Mostly, the landscape was unchanged and how they remembered it.  On the way back, we stopped at the manificent Seehof, the summer residence of the Prince-Bishop electors of Bamberg, in Memmelsdorf. 
This manor, when my parents first discovered it in the 70s, had been abandoned for 180 years and had fallen into disrepair.  My mother wanted to buy the neglected property, if she could, back then.  The gardens and grounds were impressive, and there was a water cascade, like the one at Linderhof, overlooking the artificial lake, that had a very ornate depiction of the exploits of Hercules.  I could make out the poor Nemean Lion and the foul birds and the golden apples, and Hercules being crowned by the Goddess of Fame.  I remember Hercules did not get credit for all these labours because he took short-cuts, like cleaning the dirty stables--he had help of two Rivers, here represented as the Main and Pegnitz, and as a result was assigned a harder task.