One of my favourite Mayday videos is actually a commercial featuring the German coast guard.

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 19.25.47

When I was Pádraig’s age, Mayday, was the day I went to the Westfalenpark, Dortmund’s nudge to the workers in the steel factories and coal mines, a big, beautiful, out-of-this-world park. In the afternoon, when the demonstrations and ‘Kundgebungen’ were finished, the unions and cultural groups set up stands with food and music. It always was the first day to spend outdoors – no matter the weather.

Today, we borrowed the car of the Centre and went to Maulbronn, the best-preserved medieval Cistercian monastery complex in Europe and a UNESCO world-heritage site. Though Cistercian historically, it’s now mostly a museum site and used as a protestant secondary school (Gymnasium) and seminary.

It was a really nice afternoon out and about with Pádraig’s friend who had come over from France for the weekend. We walked around the site, discovered that the Cistercians has not anticipated visitors in wheelchairs (neither had UNESCO:), and sat down for a few beers, Weißwurst, Flammkuchen, Maultaschen and all sorts of other ‘strange’ food. A few things caught our attention, like the ashtrays on the tables (don’t think you’d see that in Ireland); a plaque saying that this ancient part of the complex was built in the 19th century (which is when the legislation was enacted in Ireland that regulates decision-making for persons with an injury like Pádraig’s – putting it all into perspective); and the lovely white and brown beer mats for ‘white’ and ‘brown’ beers: only in Germany:)

It was a really great Mayday – no demonstrations, no music, but great ‘ethnic’ food!