Thursday, 14 July 2011

Schools on the Grünen Hügel

The part of Bayreuth where the Festspielhaus is located is called the Green Hill, or Grüner Hügel and it's pretty much the northern edge of the town. Beyond Richard Wagner's theatre are a restaurant, a forest and a few schools, and it's the latter I want to mention, here.

A spread-out estate built up around the theatre in the 1950's, all the streets being named after Wagner's operas or characters therein. So we've got Tannhäuserstrasse, Dalandweg, Lohengrinstrasse, Amfortasweg etc. You get the picture. Just behind my street up here is not only a pre-school but a primary school and a vocational secondary school, or Realschule, as it's known, here. Beyond that little campus is a good Italian restaurant, the Bürgerreuth, and then the forest. Every morning I hear the children enjoying playtime and pretty much always cross them going home as I'm on my way either to or from the theatre. The wonderful thing is that even the youngest of these children walks home on his or her own. There is no danger, here. We're surrounded by fields, apart from the school buses there's next to no traffic and these little people wander home on their own at the age of five, six and seven etc, pausing to look at flowers or something else they've seen on the ground in complete safety. How wonderful to be able to start your life like that. I remember walking home from St. Martin's Infants in Salisbury on my own, but that was also the 1960's and life has, sadly, changed a lot since those days. With that in mind it's lovely to see young children still able to do that in parts of Europe. How sad that something so natural should now be seen as a luxury. What a sad indictment of the world we now live in.

This is what you see from the schools. It's not like that where the Fingernails go, I can tell you.

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