As we are getting settled at home, without anyone to prepare our meals or bring us our coffee or tea, or take us on long walks and explain everything to us (oh so sad!), I am finding some bits of information that I had intended to include in the travel blog.
On the impressive pedestrian/train bridge in Cologne, someone had hung a skeleton sculpture. It was done anonymously overnight and the city grew fond of it, so it wasn’t removed. It was added to a pre-existing beam.
We were taught that if a structure or city’s name ended in “berg”, it meant it was a fortress such as Heidelberg Castle. If the name ended in “burg”, it meant is was a smaller town, such as Wurzburg or Rothenburg ob der tauber.
One of the items we purchased from the glassblower was a rooster. My collection of roosters is small: a Navajo rooster, a Maui rooster, a Minnesota rooster, and a NC rooster. Now I have a Wertheim, Germany rooster to crow with the others.
The temperatures seemed so cold to us while we were in Amsterdam, Delft and Bruge. Of course, there was a wind to go along with them. When we checked our maps we found that we were at the same latitude as Juneau, Alaska. No wonder!
I always intended to show a steeple with a cock on top indicating that it was Lutheran. I took many pictures, but had a hard time getting a clear shot because the steeples were too high. Here’s the best shot. It was a pretty church in Rhein, Kamp-Bornhofen, Germany as we sailed by the castles.
Our trip, with the pre-trip and post-trip bus excursions, included 21 cities. Our memories are unclear about what happened where, so I added some brief commentary to each city on the list mostly as a memory aid for us. It is our memory cheat list. They are listed in the order we visited them.
1. Prague, The Czech Republic: Praha, Charles Bridge, Palace, St. Vitus Cathedral/Anton Mucha style; dinner out on our own overlooking Charles Bridge, Palace and Cathedral. Astrological Clock; Jewish Quarter; Wenceslas Square; Anton Mucha Gallery; Norm climbed the clock tower and took pictures while I had coffee at a street-side cafe.
2. Bratislavia, Slovakia (I never thought I would be in Slovakia!) Great little walkable old town with many humorous sculptures; noon meal included at the politically-elite restaurant
3. Vienna, Austria: guided tour of city; learned about Cici and Franz Joseph
4. Melk Abbey: not really in the town, but located between Vienna and Passau. We toured the abbey, but did not dock in Melk. We purchased Wachau Merillan (apricot) chutney and a sample of Merillan aperitif. Wachau Valley is also known for its wines: Gruner Veltline or Riesling; Zweigelt (red)
5. Passau, Lower Bavaria, Germany-Dreiflüssestadt-City of Three Rivers; first city actually in Germany; the Danube River is the border with Austria on one side and Germany on the other; and we rode on the sundeck enjoying the scenery of classic paintings of Wachau Gorge; free Organ concert at noon in the baroque style St. Stephen’s Cathedral
6. Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany-home visit to Beilsning; oldest bratwurst stand; dinner at ump pa pa evening dinner out at cruise expense at Alta Linda; it was Sunday so the cathedral’s bells were ringing;
7. Kelheim-Memorial on hill above city overlooking Rhine River; visited a monastery/brewery???why???
8. Nuremburg-Justizpalace trials and Hitler’s Zeppelin field; Frauenkirk Cathedral with clock figures; *best* bratwurst in Bratwurst Cafe
9. Bamburg- houses along the river; great downtown shopping square; bought scarf and sketches; had Flammkuchen (pizza like); selfie on the bridge by the mural painted buildings; finally found an apotek (drugstore) for cough drops, aspirin and bandaids.
10. Rothenburg ob der Tauber-buildings on the square and houses; oldest medieval town; walked the wall; Christmas shops; St. Jakob’s Lutheran Cathedral with tall wooden sculpture; Mihai’s 94 year old friend-owner of shop, so alert and talkative; small building with a street on each side. Included lunch in authentic restaurant.
11. Wertheim- coin operated bicycle inner tube dispenser; narrowest building in Franconia on the square; Castle above-rode the tram to get there and scrambled all over it totally unsupervised – it was a great castle to explore; great overview of Wertheim; went to small festival (Octoberfest) and tried the bratwurst and beer.
12. Rüdesheim-We didn’t do the late afternoon tour because we were too tired after touring Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
13. Offenbach-didn’t tour at all. It was just a docking point.
14. Heidelberg-crowded castle; too many tourists, but an impressive castle and overlook; Palmbraeu Gasse restaurant included mid-day (alley restaurant); hot chocolate later at a small cafe that had gorgeous big cakes. It was raining and cold.
15. Wurzberg-walkable right off the gangplank; Residenz and Fortress; same day as Heidelberg? We didn’t tour Wurzberg as it was evening by the time we returned from Heidelberg? Some took the option to stay in town and tour in the evening.
16. Koblenz- end of the castle run on the Rhine; clever sculptures;
17. Cologne- pedestrian/train bridge; large Dom Cathedral; fish market houses; Kölsh Beer Tasting
18. Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands-Rijkmuseum; canal tour; houseboats; bicycles; city seems so large compared to the ones we’ve been visiting.
19. Delft, South Holland, The Netherlands-De Candelaer Factory Handprinted Delftware and shop; Henry Willig Gouda shop
20. Ghent, East Flanders, Belgium-impressive number of cathedrals; not enough time but good exposure; stepped gable roofs
21. Brugge, West Flanders, Belgium- lovely walkable city; canal tour; 1000+ Belgium beer wall; French fries with mayo; movie The Monument Men filmed here. Only Michelangelo sculpture outside of Italy – angel