Friday, August 17, 2018

Those Wacky European Signs...

As die-hard readers of The LG Report know, LG and The Wife recently returned from a European riverboat cruise vacation. You may also know that the wacky Europeans have signs and product names that would most likely not fly in the United States, but hey, they provide a bit of entertainment for Americans abroad so who's complaining?  

Here's a sampling of some of the kooky signs that LG encountered on his recent holiday. 

This establishment was in the Frankfurt airport. If LG had to guess based on the breads and cakes in the display cases, he'd say this place was a traditional bakery. Oh, wait, look at the sign...apparently they have truth-in-advertising laws in Germany. 

Afraid of getting Mad Cow Disease (also known by the catchy name of bovine spongiform encephalopathy) while in Europe? Then you'll probably want to take a pass on this restaurant. 

 This clothing store is reportedly a favorite shopping spot for Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump when they're in Prague. 

Hey fellas, trying to impress a young lady on a first date? You may want to take a pass on the garlic soup. 

The Clean Air movement in Germany has really taken hold. Anyone fahrting on the autobahn must exit here...

The good folks at Kellogg's probably don't have a problem with these "Corny Flakes" infringing on their copyrighted name of "Corn Flakes." They reportedly go well with a good bottle of Cokey Cola. 

Speaking of colas, this "Black Jack" cola in Austria would probably sell like gangbusters in America with its catchy slogan of  the "Original BJ." Please fellas, do NOT accept the imitation BJ. 

Again the European truth-in-advertising laws strike. Here's a clothing store owned by followers of David Koresh. 

When you see a book with the word "bastard" on the cover, you just have to take a picture of that bastard. PS We hear that Buch isn't actually a bad guy, certainly not a bastard. 

Calm down ladies, this restaurant isn't named after "Jack the Ripper," it's "Jack the Ripperl," with an "L" at the end. You'll be perfectly safe for dinner here. And may we recommend that for dessert you go next door to their sister restaurant, Jeffrey Dahmerl. Try the brain-flavored ice cream. 

Again, truth-in-advertising laws force this store to admit that it is "gross." At least you know that going in...

Kids in Austria don't have it too bad, they get to go to "biergarten summer camp." However, after drinking all those beers, ausfarhten is strictly prohibited in the bunkhouse! 

Do you consider yourself uncultured and not much of an art expert? We've got the perfect gallery for a schmuck like you...

Forget Compton, Salzburg, Austria is the real ghetto! Who doesn't think of hip hop when they think of Salzburg? 

Late at night you need to watch yourself here ladies, this bar can get a little sketchy. 

This is a souvenir license plate seen in Vienna. This guy tells all the women that he's hung like a Horst. 

Believe it or not, a lot of knuckleheaded tourists (not smart people like you who read The LG Report) go to Austria and ask where they can find kangaroos, confusing it with AUSTRALIA (notice the different spellings?) Thus, these t-shirts are quite popular in tourist shops (but not with the locals, who will also refuse to throw shrimp on the barbie for you and claim to have never heard of Crocodile Horst.)  

At least they give you a warning that these fiakers are going round fahrten (translation supplied by LG without reference to any external sources). 

In the United States the "Dorko" brand isn't likely to do well in any product area, except for maybe pocket protectors. "Hey dorkos, get your Dorkos here!"  

 Have you been eating a bit too much and skipping the workouts lately? Don't fret, we have just the shore store for you! 

Couldn't have effing said it better myself...

Hmm, seems like they're catering to the traveler who shouldn't expect to get his room damage deposit back...

And finally, when you need a retail store name that tells customers that it's open and eager to serve them, what could be better than "Closed?" It's brilliant, "Hey customers, we're Closed!" Apparently, the names "Bankrupt" and "Go Eff Yourself" were already taken. And with that, The LG Report will be closed until the next post goes up (Vienna and Salzburg).  Thanks for stopping by! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

European River Cruise 2018 - Germany

Image result for passau germany

The second and third stops on European River Cruise 2018 were Regensburg and Passau, Germany. 

The German people are generally warm and hospitable (well, maybe not Angela Merkel, but the others.) However, on the whole, they're not funny (Lousiville is funny, as you can see HERE) But that won't stop LG from trying to inject humor and snark into these Germanic photos. Jawohl! (Picked that up from Sergeant Schultz...)  

Regensburg - Steinerne Bruecke ohne Dom.jpg
This is the Stone Bridge, a pedestrian-only structure which connects Old Town Regensburg to what appears to LG to be the New Town, but is technically called "Stadtamhof." If anyone knows what that means, please leave a comment. LG guesses it means "Stadium where David Hasselhoff performs." E-Z Pass not accepted. 

 Cobblestone streets and sidewalks are everywhere in Central Europe. Pro-Tip: We know you hate to hear this ladies, but wear sensible shoes. Your dogs will thank you. 

This is a section of the Danube in Regensburg. Locals sunbathe on the shores while lamenting that Frau Merkel was not successful in buying an island from Greece. Luckily, Frau Merkel herself was not sunbathing while we were there. 

A tourist boat makes its way down the Danube at lunchtime. This is not a cruise ship with cabins, but rather a party boat with dining and dancing areas. David Hasselhoff was performing on board this day, singing "Stairway to Heaven" as the boat passed. 

Speaking of which...the crowd on our Avalon Panorama ship got pretty rowdy a few nights. The average age was 92.5, but nonetheless these folks could boogie (unlike an ocean cruise ship, there were no kids or teens on board). Here we see a conga line about to unleash its fury. There was a nightly dance contest with the winner receiving a month's supply of Depends. There were some singles on the trip and, believe it or not, some hook ups. Hearts and hips were broken.    

David vs. Goliath is depicted on this building in Regensburg. Nobody names their kid "Goliath" anymore, this guy ruined it for everyone. Perhaps if he had beaten David, we'd be talking about Goliath Hasselhoff today. 

This nice fraulein conducted a presentation on different kinds of beer on board the boat. It was actually quite informative. There was also a beer tasting component to the session. While the local German beers made a strong showing, Utica Club and Schlitz tied for first. 
Here's a view of Passau (not an LG photo, he didn't get one as nice as this.) Adolf Hitler lived in Passau for two years with his family (1892 - 94) but, as you can imagine, it's not something the tourist bureau advertises.  

This is Exhibit A in the rule of thumb that tour guides are generally full of shiiite. We were told by two or three tour guides that in  Passau we'd find "the biggest organ in the world." Turns out that it wasn't even in the Top 20. It's actually only the largest church organ in Europe. And, on top of that, this isn't even that organ, LG didn't get a photo of that one, this is a smaller organ in another church. See, even bloggers can be full of shiiite! Hey, if you want to see a big organ go watch some porn, this is a family-friendly blog. 

Not that you asked, but this is a view of one of the hallways on our boat. The vessel accommodated about 166 passengers plus crew. And the rooms were surprisingly nice. 

We close this segment of our European River Cruise 2018 blog series with another view of the Stone(r) Bridge in Regensburg (ignore those kids smoking pot on the left side). 

Next up: Wacky European Signs

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

European River Cruise Vacation 2018: First Stop - Prague - Czech It Out

The Wife and LG went on a European riverboat cruise vacation in late July. It's a quite different experience from an ocean-going cruise. The ship is much, much smaller (160 passengers vs. up to 6,000 on large ocean cruisers) and there are no shops, restaurants, casinos, game rooms, spas, pools, rock walls, etc. But there is the charming intimacy of getting to know a fair number of fellow passengers, as well the opportunity to see small towns close-up as you cruise past. And the rooms on our particular boat (run by Avalon Waterways, a competitor to Viking Cruises -- admit it, you thought of Viking first) were quite nice and, supposedly, 30% larger than the industry average. We did not survey other cruise lines' rooms so we'll take Avalon's word for it since their name is a town in New Jersey, so we trust them.  

We started our vacation in Prague (photos below) and then took a bus to Regensburg, Germany where we boarded the boat. Our boat's name was the "Panorama," which is cruise line code for "expensive."

We were supposed to get on the boat in Nuremburg, Germany but due to a drought, the Danube River was too shallow for the boat to pass. Avalon provided ample warnings on its website and in printed literature about the possibility of a low river forcing changes in itinerary. Apparently, it's a fairly common occurrence on river cruises. According to our cruise director (no, not Julie McCoy but her Dutch cousin) some cruise vacations were scuttled in their entirety this year because of low river levels. Pro Tip: If you go in late fall or early spring, the risk of low water is generally decreased. But the risk of bad weather increases. You can't win. 

Prague is a charming city, the capital of the Czech Republic. Annoyingly, though, the Czech Republic doesn't use the euro, it has its own BS currency (although most places do take Czechs!) You can actually pay with euros at many shops and restaurants but beware: The establishment will probably give you a very unfavorable exchange rate for your euro. It's best to get some Czech currency (the koruna) out of an ATM and then just constantly Google the exchange rate to U.S. dollars and grumble about it as LG did. 

So let's get to the pix, we know that's what you're here for...

 Image result for czech currency
Here's a 20 Czech koruna note. That might be satan on the bill, it's hard to say since LG doesn't speak or read Czech. Satan is definitely on the 666 koruna bill. The guy pictured, at the least, has a Czech-ered past.  

This fellow is NOT holding an instrument that symbolizes that he was double-crossed in life; rather, he's displaying what's known as a "patriarchal cross" (getting your learn on). More deets here if you're interested:

An avant garde work of art - two female figures searching for an expensive store in which to shop (Not pictured: the husbands sitting somewhere on a bench reading ESPN on their phones.) 

One of the many squares in Prague. The sculptures in the center, dating from 1544, represent tourists who can't find their way back to their hotels and they have no wifi connections for GPS. 

Another square and church. As most of you know, European cities are comprised mostly of churches, squares and castles. But each unique and worthy of your tourist dollars in their own way. 

This is from the Sex Machines Museum (yes, true, you can Google it) in Prague. This photo was taken from the entrance area, we did NOT pay to go in. LG won't explain what's happening here, you'll have to enlarge the photo for yourself and figure it out (if you do, you are certifiably a pig, sorry). 

Nothing quite as fun as being herded around like cattle as part of a tour group. Not audible: Soft mooing sounds of the crowd. PS It as hot, in the 90s every day of the vacay. 

This sculpture is at a place known as Prague Castle. The Castle is the only site in Prague where a medal detector was used; the country's national legislative office buildings don't even use them. Shows you how popular tourism is in Prague. LG's response when the tour guide said there were no medal detectors at the legislative offices: "Of course not, all the crooks are already inside!"  The population of the Czech Republic is about 11 million people and the country expects more than that number of tourists this year. Everyone is Czeching it out.   

Part of Prague Castle. 

Looking out from the Prague Castle courtyard through gates into another stately area (where we weren't allowed). There were a lot of stately areas in Prague.  

Triple bang for your buck here, part of Prague Castle, a courtyard and a statue. The gentleman in the foreground with the backpack is suspected to be D.B. Cooper, the famed hijacker, and he may have his illicit money in that backpack. That's what some homeless guy told LG anyway. 

The church associated with Prague Castle. Many cathedrals have souvenir shops, which does not surprise you, we know. 

See explanation below. 

According to our tour guide, it's a popular practice for brides-to-be, especially from Asia, to get wedding photos in Prague with its picturesque backdrops even though the weddings themselves are going to take place on another continent. We saw quite a few brides posing for professional photographs throughout Prague. Of course, LG tried to photobomb as many as possible. Brides-to-be don't generally have a good sense of humor about those things.  

Every European country, it seems, has its own version of the rigid and silent Buckingham Palace guard. This guy at the Prague Castle was no exception. LG walked up to him and said sternly: "No soup for you!" The guard then stepped out of character and exclaimed "I love that episode! I also want serenity now!" Shortly thereafter, he was hauled away in chains for violating his duty. Oh well.   

This is a depiction of something called the Astronomical Clock on the Old Town Hall in the Old Town Square of Prague. It's under renovation currently, so the good people at the Prague Tourism Bureau decided to paint a facsimile of it on a canvas outside the actual clock in order to placate landmark-seeking tourists. When our tour guide brought us to this spot, LG cracked: "I heard it got it's name because the repair costs are astronomical." She said she'd incorporate that into her spiel going forward. More deets on this clock at:  

Tourists in a frenzy to take photos of the burlap covering the Astronomical Clock. Note: These are actual tourists, not painted likenesses on burlap. 

The un-captioned photos above are from Terezin, a Nazi concentration camp about 30 miles north of Prague. Many children were held at this camp and artwork that they created while there is on display. Visiting it was a very sobering, somber and moving experience. More details at:

This photo is of an area known as the "Venice of Prague." A copyright dispute is now brewing as Venice seeks to create a "Prague of Venice" section of its city. 

The Vltava River and part of a castle wall. Calm down. 

A tower of the famous Charles Bridge, completed in 1402. It was built under the auspices of King Charles IV (hence the name) and connects the main part of Prague with its Old Town and the Prague Castle. E-Z Pass is not yet available but they're working on it. Actually, it's a pedestrian-only bridge, but not a pedestrian bridge in the artistic sense. You see what LG did there.  

More of the Venice of Prague. For a better depiction of Venice, go to Venice. 

This is on the Charles Bridge and yes, those are Hebrew letters. For more deets:

This is a statue of a holy man contemplating nature, thus the bird on his head. Trained birds take turns sitting on this statue in 3-hour shifts. 

More Charles Bridge decorative ironwork. 

Another incongruous bridal photo. This couple is getting married in Antarctica in 2021. 

Prague's manhole covers are nicer than most U.S. museum pieces, so take that you ugly Americans! (That's LG's interpretation, anyway, of the Czech writing on the manhole cover.)

Graffiti is considered an art form in some areas of Prague (when confined to those designated areas) and John Lennon is a particularly revered figure. 

This is one of the Czech national parliament buildings. LG was thinking of running on a "Make the Czech Republic Great Again" platform, but then reconsidered since he had more cities to see on this holiday. 

Next up (and coming soon): Regensberg and Passu Germany. We know, you can't wait!