May Day

Yesterday was the 1st of May (Der Erste Mai, Tag der Arbeit).  It is a holiday in Germany but since it fell on a Sunday this year, it was pretty much like any normal Sunday with shops being closed.  The day is usually celebrated to welcome spring.  It is also called Labor Day, where groups make protests or demonstrations for workers’ rights.  I want to focus more on the welcoming of spring portion of the day! 

In parts of Germany, Bavaria especially the Maypole (Der Maibaum) is raised.  This is the Maypole in Munich.


In our area, the men deliver a maypole, a tree (or tall stick) covered in streamers to the house of a girl that he likes the night before.  There is usually is a big heart attached to the tree with the girl’s name.  Even though there were quiet a few decorated trees in our town, I forgot to get a picture, so here is one I found (source), so you can get an idea. 

Yesterday, I celebrated May Day by taking a long walk through Bad Honnef to look at all the flowers and trees in bloom.  I might have decided to practically only take photos of Cherry Blossoms!  The pink blooms are gorgeous. 

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When there is a breeze, the pedals fall down & it looks like it is snowing from a distance.  There was a little girl under one of the trees in the park, jumping around when the pedals were falling & trying to catch them.


There are a few parks just a short walk from our house.  This smaller one has a memorial to soldiers and a few of the cherry blossom trees.

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The larger park is closest to our house and is called Park Reitersdorf.  The ruins of the Reitersdorf castle can still be seen in the park.  It is mostly open green space with a pond.  There is a swing set & a little bit of exercise equipment.  Next to the park is Parkresidenz, which is a senior living community, so you will see many older people strolling around the park & sitting on the benches.

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Here are the castle ruins.

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I love to walk through parts of the town, where the older houses are.  It is quite a mix of architecture throughout.  Next to one building from the early 1900’s is another from the 1970’s.  I not only look at the buildings, but I look in everyone’s yard, to see what they planted!  I am always trying to get ideas for what will grow in our yard.

This is the Lutheran church in Bad Honnef, which is really pretty. 


Some of the houses on my walk.

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This is a physics building, run by the German Physical Society and supported by the University of Bonn and the state government.


In certain areas in Bad Honnef, between the houses & the Rhein are Schrebergärten or allotments or a Kleingarten.  Whatever you want to call it, they are plots of land that people can lease to use for gardening.  It is a wonderful way for people who live in apartments or in cities and don’t have any or enough space to have a garden.  You can read a little bit more about it here

This is one of the paths that lead to a group of isolated gardens. 


The gardens are usually fenced off.

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These gardens are right by the Rhein and can be seen from the bridge that goes over the highway & train tracks by our house.  This gives you an idea of the size.  Most people also have a little garden hut on the land as well.  Some are better maintained than others!


My last stop before heading home was the Rhein.  The water level has been high this last week due to all the rain.  And of course, the time I have my camera with me, there are practically no ships on the river.  They are all on holiday as well!

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Happy May!

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