Archive for June, 2012
For several years now, my cousin and I have been tracing our family’s ancestry. This is no small task given the immense size of our family. (Our grandmother had six children and she in turn was the youngest of eight). We finally pinpointed the birth place of our great-great-great grandfather to a small village in Germany.
My cousin and I decided to take a week’s vacation to visit our ancestor’s birth place and to do a bit of touring. I wish we hadn’t told the rest of the family because as soon as we did, everyone started requesting gifts from the motherland. I was surprised that there were more requests for German cuckoo clocks than for beer steins or other German tourist-y items.
For our ten year anniversary my husband and I treated ourselves to a vacation in the Swiss Alps. Not only was the skiing phenomenal, but the accommodations at our chalet were incredible. The architecture in the village we stayed in was stunning and true to the traditional building methods, we learned from a local guide.
I used up both memory cards I’d brought for our digital camera. The photos are evenly divided between images of the unreal landscape and the gorgeous chalets. After scouring through stores full of chalet cuckoo clocks, we finally settled on one that is now proudly chiming in our living room.
Some may argue that the Swiss are the best time keepers, but I think that when it comes to cuckoo clocks, German-made clocks are superior. After all, the German cuckoo clock, featuring a chirping bird, did originate in the Black Forest. Yes, the Swiss are excellent woodworkers, but the intricate wood and paint details on Black Forest clocks are equally impressive.
Some of the most notable examples of German cuckoo clocks are currently housed in museums. Exemplary by Johannes Wildi crafted in 1780 is currently housed in the Deutsches Uhrenmuseum. Other cuckoo clocks dating back to the mid 1700s are also on display in the same museum.