Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tip of the iceberg

The trip to Rothenburg ob der Tauber proved to be a bonanza for penguin ornaments, but that’s only the first half of the story. On the drive back to Prague, we went a little out of our way to visit another medieval city. Regensburg, while not preserved in the same way as Rothenburg, offers a lot of worthy historical features, including beautiful views along the Danube and the gothic Cathedral of St. Peter. It was late morning when we arrived, just in time for a pipe organ recital at the church, not a shabby way to take a break in the middle of a long drive. After the concert, we sat at a café across the plaza for a leisurely glass of wine or two. While my friend José finished his wine, I decided to take a look at the shops in the narrow streets behind us, just to see what might be there. It didn’t look promising, but I went down one more alley and found a little store filled with trinkets, some that looked like Christmas tree ornaments. I ducked through the small door and right behind me followed a short woman.
“Guten Tag,” she said.
“Hello,” I replied.
“Where are you from?” she asked me.
“United States.”
“Probably just looking, eh?” she half-asked and half spoke under her breath.
“Well, I see what I want.” I was pointing above her cash register, because at that moment I spotted this glass penguin ornament. My shopping mission was accomplished, or so I thought. Then the floodgates opened.

Glass penguin on a clear circle
Acquired: July 1, 2009, Regensburger-Tändlerei, Regensburg, Germany
Number: 0658
Size: 3 inches diameter
Price: 9.80 euros

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