We spent today in Hameln.
As you can imagine, one story predominates.
From the minute we arrived, there was no doubt about our location. Even on the doors of the town hall...
Rats everywhere. Sorry about the sunshine.... (not!)
A figure of the man himself stands outside the Museum, where we started our tour.
Inside was a great overview ofthe whole story, together with a rich collection of ephemera and a contemporary interpretation of the tale in a small theatre.
If we hadn't known anything about him before now, we'd certainly have no excuses by the time we left.
There are so many interpretations of the story too. All open for discussion, for further investigation and critique...
The small theatre show was preceded by an exhibit of shelves of children's shoes. Chilling. What is it about shoes that make them so emotive?
By now we were well and truly familiar with the story, then, and finding it interesting to see all interpretations of it.
Yes, of course he appeared in story books, but on ceramic tiled ovens?
One of the original images had been on a stained glass window from the late 16th century.
And this bright, modern museum pulled no punches, for surely the juxtaposition of the Pied Piper and a Nazi parade was not accidentail?
There was even a reasonable explanation of how the rats became a problem in the medieval town as well - though we didn't get too close to those hyper-realistic rodents!
So many different variations on the theme, then.
Including the one which made me smile!
The theme continued well beyond the museum, needless to say. We resisted the bread dough rats.
We had no problem leaving these horrible things right there in the shop, too.
Though, in a way, we were following along in a similar manner to those who had gone before, because the trail of rats in the pavement led us around a route of interesting locations in the town centre.
I'll leave you with a collection of the sights along the way. You'll soon get the idea...
Overall, I think we were all glad we'd decided to stay in Hildesheim!