Gutenberg Museum

Day Three was filled with travel, lots of it. And by travel, I mean sitting on our asses in a car. That’s  because we drove 4 hours to the birthplace of Gnomes: Grafenroda.

But first, we stopped in Mainz, Germany, to visit the Gutenburg Museum. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a museum to celebrate Steve Guttenberg films. It is for Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press.

In Mainz, we also saw a huge farmer’s market in the middle of the square, and I saw my first German mimes. They were pathetic and spent more time pointing to where to put your money than actually miming. In fact, all they mimed was how to give them money. Not very creative if you ask me.

I had planned for us to visit a 3-story store that sold second-hand merchandise–Brockenhaus–so we could get some real German souvenirs. But amazingly, the place was closed that day, for a week. Of course. Why not?

Then, after much haggling with the GPS, we finally visited the birthplace of the gnomes, Grafenroda, where Philipp Griebel first invented them. We paid a couple Euro to self-guide ourselves through the pathetic museum. I had planned on buying a gnome here but the gnomes were really effeminate. None of them spoke to me … except the one with the vodka bottle, and what he said, I can’t repeat.

We then began the lengthy trek back home.

Did I say lengthy? I meant forever. Emily, the GPS, decided to take us another route than we came up, and the 4-hour trek home turned into more like 5-6 hours. One highlight though: we passed through the longest underground tunnel known to man. Really, it was several miles long. Frodo would be jealous.

We stopped for gas, and I used my first German public restroom. It cost me 75 Euro cents, but I got a 50 Euro cents voucher to use at the convenience store. So we ate at the attached Burger King, and I enjoyed my first German Burger King burger meal.

It tasted the same.

We arrived home somewhere around 10:30 PM and quickly passed out.

Things about Germany that are different:

  • – Their toilets have giant push buttons instead of levers.
  • – Their light switches are giant rocking buttons.
  • – They’re as fat as us.
  • – Their windows are cool as hell. Turn the handle one way and the window opens inward from the top, hinging at the bottom. Turn the handle another way and the window opens like a door, hinging at the side. Turn it a third way and it locks. Cool. But because the Germans have like 3 weeks of summer, they have no screens on the windows, and the flies know this.
  • – Nothing is open on Mondays because that is “family time.”
  • – And finally, Germans don’t like you to make Hitler jokes.