Tuesday, November 18, 2014

GERMANY WAS AFTER FRANCE!

After the art retreat week in the south of France
it was time for me to jump over to Germany to spend
some time with my "little girl", Skyler, and her wonderful family.
I stayed for two weeks which seemed to fly by and had such a great time.
Brian and Skyler went above and beyond to make my visit as comfortable
and easy as they could. Remember, I'm still in the surgical boot!
Below are pictures of my trip to Germany. It was wonderful
and we had some great adventures!
They live in a small village about 10 minutes from Rammstein
Air Force Base where Brian is stationed.
Starting with some of my German purchases, we searched high and low
for lace similar to the lace panels hung in the windows of not only the
older German homes, but of the homes in France. Do you remember that
window I showed, that I loved, in my French post??
Finally, in a German store with German speaking clerks (what else should one expect?)
we discovered just what I was looking for to do the windows in my living room!
#love!
Though there are three bottles of likor leaning against the Rammstein tee that 
Slyer felt I should buy, the rest is home grown honey and homemade mustards and
a homemade vinegar (I think) that I bought for my sister, the home chef - Joan!
She loved it all which is why I bought it all! 
Well, the cooking stuff was for her - the likor was for me. 
I felt and I was right, it is medicinal.
Ahhhhh, Adventure #1 and the one that had the most impact on me.
I think that's because Skyler had told me that I would be visiting at just the right time
if I was interested in driving over to Brussels to see the flower carpet that
was made and displayed for just a few days (each?) year. Why, of course, I wanted
to drive over to Brussels to see this piece of art!
The adventure started, we were on our way; Brian, me, Skyler  and Kinsley, 
their 2 year old. I asked Brian how far we had to go before we got there.
"4 hours."
"FOUR HOURS???"
4 hours there, 4 hours home with the carpet in the middle.
Needless to say, I was a bit taken aback at the thought of a FOUR HOUR DRIVE
for an adventure. He thought it quite funny!
Brussels is amazing. Old, big, gorgeous architecture and the flower carpet...
I love this picture of the homes near downtown.
The churches were awesome! All built hundreds and hundreds of
years ago. If you've never read PILLARS OF THE EARTH
because the title sounds boring, don't be fooled. The novel is 
fascinating and such a great read - you'll appreciate these 
churches to a different degree after you read it!!
Just look at the detail! Unbelievable. 
We viewed the flower garden from one of the churches around the giant square. 
This is the original, how do you say it, topping of the tallest spire?
It is displayed inside the church and holds such beauty.
The flower garden. It's made in four hours with the work being finished before dawn.
It is so big I can't even tell you how big it is. It's made entirely of flowers.
Lots of carnations and marigolds. I LOVED the fact that is was a rainy day
because I love the pictures of the garden surrounded by the people under the umbrellas.
It gives the pictures such a cool look - I think the umbrellas look like big flowers. 

The buildings were massive!
My palm camera takes great pictures but it was really impossible for my zoom to 
reach the length needed to show you the precise details of the carpet. But I think
you get the idea. It was so amazing!!
Also, while in Brussels I bought some 97% cocoa dark chocolate, tripped on a
loose cobblestone, fell gracefully and broke my new camera's viewing screen.
FOUR HOURS
The End. ;)
 Back to Germany. On Saturday we went to the market.
Though I thought I had the spy camera thing goin', I'm pretty sure the guy
with the hat caught me taking his picture. I also think he kinda liked me. Look at that stare.
It's says "rare beauty". Do you see it?




I can read German. It says "mushrooms".
I'd move to Europe and live in one of these tall houses in a small village
if I could find one with an elevator. I would.
Adventure #2 - THE SCREAMING GERMAN LADY
I made Skyler pull into this parking lot when I spied the old bridge. We parked and walked
down the skinny road and took a couple of great pictures and then I saw it.....
the abandoned house screaming for me to take it's picture!
So we hiked up the street past the bridge and found 
ourselves looking at this great old house that shared a large bare area
of pavement with this yellow house that I paid no attention to.
It wasn't old.
Mmmmm, look at that window and the plaster falling away from
the brick!! And the dormers and the door!
I had to get a closer picture of the window - I could see something on the other side!
The angle was wrong for a zoom so I made my way into the empty bare area between
this wonderful old abandoned house and the yellow house of the.........
SCREAMING GERMAN LADY!!!!
She must have been spying on me, just waiting for me to enter the forbidden
bare area because I hadn't even raised my camera to my eye when she started........
SCREAMING at me in German through a closed window!!
Startled, I turned around and saw her. I swear she was waving a wooden spoon.
I only had this one chance and she seemed older than me......so I turned back
around, took aim over the SCREAMING, took the picture real fast and
then I booked it as fast as I could on a decline in a surgical boot.
I took a picture of this window from the street. 
And, I thought later that I could have really gotten her goat
if I turned around towards her with my camera up to my eye like
I was taking her picture. Oh, my, she would have had a cow!!
And I might be dead because then I thought, what if that wooden spoon
was really a shotgun??
The ruins of an abandoned castle.

Kinsley was very happy to see her Grameh Jam.
So absorbed. So precious!
Even more precious.
Oops! Precious was left back at the house!
Ahhhh, there's that precious baby!!
At the PX Kinsley and I thought we should get a cart because
of my hurt foot. I don't know who had more fun, Kinsley or me.
Kinsley, of course!
The 3rd Adventure - the best two days.
You're going to see pictures of Cocham, Germany, a small village at the base of
the hill where the Cocham Castle stands.
Enjoy!!
The Cocham Castle.
The square. 
I took this picture from our bedroom window in the German hotel where we stayed.

Skyler and I shopped in, this wonderful Likor shop, three times.
They make their own likors and they're stored in these balloon like bottles
with a spigot on the bottom. You can taste the likor before purchasing. 
Probably why we kept going back;)
I bought a whiskey likor for my dad's birthday (he has been drinking Jack
since the days of highballs) and maybe two different ones for me.
Medicinal, remember?...
LOVE!!
Across the river - those are grapes being grown for wine.



I waited FOREVER w/ my zoom on to get a picture of this kid! He kills me!!
The people in Germany take their dogs everywhere with them. 
I love that!!!! Here's five in a little cart though most are on leashes.
The German people love their dogs!
Even the panhandler had a dog! A well groomed Corky (I think). 
I loved this sweet little man. He didn't speak English but we visited for a second 
with our hands and eye contact. 
In the picture a darling boy is giving him a donation.
The windows open all the way and no screens, just like in France.
No bugs either AND I WILL SAY, both France and Germany, the parts I visited,
were very very clean. We could sure take a lesson here in America.
If I leaned out our bedroom window I was able to get some great shots of the castle.

At night.
When Styler made the reservation for our room in this quaint German hotel
on the square, she thought that she was renting a room on the "1st floor',
thinking about me and my boot....we had the best room in the hotel she was told
as she checked in. Great! ........It's on the 4th floor.
She wasn't quite sure how to tell me. 
We laughed and laughed!! And I took this picture looking down from the 4th floor to 
the ground floor to send her every August right before my birthday.
The longest, steepest, cobblestoniest walk I made my whole trip.
The only way to get up to the castle proper.
A view from the castle of what is left standing of the old Cocham security wall.

Isn't this just the greatest???





Another view from the castle.
My little girl. My sweet Skyler.
The last thing you see before you start walking back down that
adventurous cobblestone road away from the castle.

I hope you enjoyed my trip as much as I did. 
I sincerely hope to/plan to return to Europe when I'm walking in two shoes.
I loved it. I really really loved it.

                                              and I love you,

4 comments:

Angela Barribeau said...

What am amazing trip you had! WONDERFUL photos that I'm sure didn't do justice to the beauty that you got to see! So very glad you got to go! :)

Melinda said...

I can't decide which country I enjoyed the most, France or Germany! These pictures are just awesome, JT!! Oh my goodness - seriously. So glad you got to take this trip-of-a-lifetime! I can't believe you didn't snap a pic of the screaming German lady!!! Thanks for sharing!

Patty said...

What a fabulous trip, lucky you ! I can't imagine making the trip with a leg issue though. You poor thing! Seeing the picture of the pan-handler, I can't help wondering what his little cardboard sign said! Thank you for sharing your great pictures.

Vicki Boster said...

These photos are beyond beautiful. You truly had the trip of a lifetime!! Gorgeous pictures--
Vicki

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