Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Nightingales of Schweinfurth

When I was in the Army I was stationed at Ledward Barracks--die alte Panzerkaserne--in Schweinfurth am Main in Franconia. Schweinfurth was an industrial city that had largely been destroyed in bombing raids during World War II. It's name did not sound any more attractive in German than it does in English, although the Schweinfurthers have a saying: "Es konnte noch schlimmer sein, es konnte Pfortsheim heissen."

There were few tourist attractions in Schweinfurth, although for some reason I did recall the other day that I had once been told that the island there in the middle of the Main river was famous for its nightingales.

And yet I wonder about that, for I cannot recollect ever having heard a nightingale. I remember cuckoos, but never a nightingale.

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