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16 June 2011 / leggypeggy

Bonn, Beethoven and surprises

The door to Beethoven's birthplace.

We made a surprise visit to Bonn. Our day-trip rail pass was good for all of the North Rhine–Westphalia state, so after having a good look at Cologne, we decided to go on to Bonn for a few hours.

Situated on the Rhine River, Bonn was a surprise choice to become Germany’s temporary capital in 1949. About 40 years later, when Berlin reclaimed that role, many people predicted that Bonn would become a ghost town. Gosh were they wrong. The federal government ingested 1.7 million euros to ensure than Bonn didn’t revert to some lonely and neglected backwater. Now it is home to many international organisations and companies, as well as about a dozen arms of the United Nations. There’s a great university atmosphere too.

I was also surprised to come across various tributes to Ludwig van Beethoven, who was born in Bonn in 1770. We found his house, a statue and some wall paintings too.

Beethoven always reminds me of my elderly cousin, Lilian Conybeare. Many years ago, Lilian was given a record player for Christmas. She loved classical music and was keen to purchase some records. So she visited one of the music shops in Omaha, Nebraska and asked for ‘something by Beethoven’. The teenaged salesgirl disappeared for quite some time before returning to say, ‘I can’t find anything. It would help me a lot if you could tell me what group he plays with!’

Lilian was gobsmacked (although she didn’t know that great Australian word for ‘stunned’). She also thought it was funny, and submitted the story to the Reader’s Digest. She was surprised and disappointed that it was rejected, until it dawned on her that the magazine probably decided many of its readers might not ‘get’ the humour.

Beethoven -- not looking all that amused.


Leave a Comment
  1. Sy Seltzer / Jun 16 2011 11:58 pm

    Ludwig Van Beethoven I believe belongs to the “YouTube Group”…. LOL



  2. leggypeggy / Jun 17 2011 7:28 am

    Good one Sy. LOL


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