Friday, September 07, 2012

Frisky Sandwiches

We've been on holiday to Zurich, Salzburg, Munich, Berlin, Strasbourg and Berne and yet I'm wary of boring you all with a '...and then we did...' or 'then we saw....' style of entry.

Therefore, I'll let some photos do the talking. Or writing.

In the classic Aussie movie, 'The Castle,' the father, Dale Kerrigan, sings "We're going down to Bonnie Doon," over and over during the long drive with his family to their holiday shack on the river. It amused us to see a shop with the same name in French/German Strasbourg. 

"How's the serenity?"
Er, in a tourist-crammed heritage-listed medieval town, not so much.

'Bum' was on signs everywhere. Or was it a 'z' instead? We're not entirely sure and google translate has no idea what a 'schneck' is. 'Rothen' is red, so something was surely sore - a bum, a snail or a family business?

You may already know of my mother's proclivity to steal breakfast provisions in order to not to have to buy lunch, but the opportunity to try some frisky sangers in Salzburg had won over instantly.

Korma Sutra curry, on the other hand, didn't seem quite as appealing in Zurich. We ate a pretty standard (and dull) pasta meal instead and noticed that the Ladies of the Night started business early here - 6:30pm in fact - and right in front of our hotel.  Five of them had congregated to offer their sexual services but regular peeks from the third floor window of our hotel revealed that trade on a Monday evening was slow.

In Basel's old town, we found a drunken elf, lit up at night time (in more ways than one) indicating the 'Pissoir.' It means 'urinal' in French and German but is still a strangely light-hearted bit of whimsical signage for the serious Swiss.

In Munich, right near the town hall (appropriately named the Rat haus) was Wormland. It instantly took me back to the grim days of collections work at Wormald Security (now Chubb) on Racecourse Road in Melbourne during most of 1994. One annoyed debtor posted me a (later bounced) cheque made out to 'Wormworld Security.'  Here, perhaps, was where we should have shopped.

...I'd have loved to have found a t-shirt with the WORMLAND brand proudly displayed.  Shake in your overpriced shoes, Abercrombie and Fitch!

Finally, Lake Zurich. A hot 30C day, a completed bus tour and a vague urge to go on a cruise. "Oh look," Dad said. "This is YOUR boat, Kath!"

On closer inspection, the old bugger was right:

I love you too, Dad.


ropcorn said...

How fun! I love traveling around to different cities like that, you get to see so much. And I never get bored of reading, seeing or experiencing new places. So I am very happy you shared your holiday here. :p

drwife said...

I have discovered is a great tool for translations in French. I gave it a go in German and this is what I discovered.

Schnecke means snail in German so maybe it means the same without the e? Zum means "to the" or "at the". So maybe it is a sign meaning "At the Red Snail". He looks like a happy little snail.

Speaking of which, have you seen any giant slugs on that side of the lake? We have some absolutely huge and slimy ones over here that I keep having to dodge during my walks.

Andrew said...

I can see some very bonnie doons clad in tops in the shop window.

drb said...

A pity you didn't venture into Korma Sutra. Now I will never know whether the curries are exotic or erotic. Did you have a peep at least?

River said...

drwife is probably right about the Red Snail sign. I'd ask my German Mum, but Heaven (or Hell) doesn't answer phones.
When I saw the Bonnie Doon store I thought you'd hopped over to Scotland for a day.
"Frische" sandwiches are the best kind.
I love the drunken elf sign! Lake Zurich looks lovely and your Dad is right, that IS your boat.....

Nuttynoton said...

You always learn something from your blogs, the mind goggles on Korma sutra is it mild and erotic?? Some of these foreign signs are great and make me chuckle

The Elephant's Child said...

I am with drb. And can only assume that all of the curries on offer were hot.

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Bonjour Kath,

I spent a lot of time in Zurich with work and visited Munich many many years ago.

Never been to the other places though. It sounds like you are having great fun travelling round these lovely European cities.




Anonymous said...

A quick email to my ever lovin' German-born and raised better half gets the response

"I am going to work with it being not German, but maybe Swiss, or deep South German rather than a bunch of typos – in which case it might be “By the red snail”.

Roth being a southern (fairly old fashioned) German version of rot, and Schneck possibly a local abbreviation for Schnecke, or snail."


Pandora Behr said...

One of the best things about travel is just what you're showing in this post. Supermarkets and shop fronts provide hours of entertainment.

Great post.

Jackie K said...

It's many many years since I was in Zurich or Germany but I do remember having similar giggles at some of the signage.
One I remember we took a photo of was a little lane with a sign that said "Schmucks Passage" (I think).

I also chortled at Korma Sutra.

franzy said...

I've been to Munich Wormland before! And I totally have a photo to prove it. Which may be at home. But it's true!

I also understand the fact that 'fahrt' basically means 'way' in German can give rise to so much hilarity that it's a shame you didn't hit a German-speaking part of Switzerland. But then there'd be all the German speaking instead of lovely French.

ps. Zum Rothen Schneck does indeed mean 'to the Red Snail'. The clue is also in the picture of the red snail.

Wally said...

The "Bum" is actually "Zum" - it's an old fashioned gothic script Z, and Zum is "the" or "at the".

The Zum Rothen Schnecke is The Red Snail. It was probably a pub, at a guess.

Kirstie said...

Bonnie Doon! I'll have to send a link of this to my parents, they may never stop laughing :D

I'm amazed at how many hilarious signs you can come across in such a short space of time. I have to head over-seas again ;p

diane b said...

Signs in foreign countries are often a good source of comedy. Love the boat named after you. I never forget sitting in a Zurich restaurant waiting for our meals. Placed on all tables was the usual menu, salt and pepper and in this place there was a small bowl of grated parmesan cheese with a spoon . I happened to be watching a guy at the next table and was horrified to see that he was eating the cheese from the serving spoon, which the next customer would use to sprinkle on their pasta.

Red Nomad OZ said...

Perhaps business would have been better for the girls had they congregated outside korma sutra?!?! Then again, I can't think of any occasions when curry led to a night of unbridled lust ... or is that just me?!?!

wilbo43 said...

Zum Rothen Schneck ist old German. The word 'zum' literally translated means 'to.' So the inn is called 'To the red snail. In today's German it would be 'Zu der roten Schnecke.'

Baino said...

Ah the serenity is right! Glad to see you haven't lost your touch Kath. Love the peeing elf and frisky sandwiches!

Louise said...

Frisky sandwiches indeed, probably leads inevitably to the extra farts! i dont' know if I would have been able to bypass kormasutra.