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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's All About the Linens...

I'm joining Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch for her Tablescape Thursday. Be sure to drop by for beautiful tables!
 I'm sharing a table but highlighting linens. They were a very special gift from my cousin.
I'm so proud and honored to have these beautiful pieces.
They were lovingly made by hand many, many years ago.
I added a few of my things:
...my mother's silver pattern...
...and a few plates from one of my favorite sets.

Eike, thank you for this very special gift.
I'll treasure them always.

dishes: Lenox "Opal Innocence"
silver: International "Prelude"

Monday, September 26, 2011

Transportation...

In our travels through Germany, public transportation was a necessity.
My oldest son was an expert and filled us in on the "ropes" of how to ride the rail.
{The following are his pictures.}

There were schedules...

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and stations...


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and signs.


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Speaking no very little German, we learned to read everything very carefully,
especially train names and times.
There were different trains for different lengths and speeds of trips.
During our stay we traveled on:
city buses
regional trains
IC trains
and
Thalys trains


 This station was in Bonn, Germany.
Do you see the two tracks in this section?
  You had to make sure you were at the right place at the right time.
My first trip was stressful. I wasn't completely sure we were on the right train.
As it turned out, we were fine and on our way to our destination. 
On this particular train, seats could be reserved for an extra fee.
Our seat were not reserved.
We only got booted out of our seats once...
it wasn't bad, our replacements were very nice and showed us their tickets.
We quickly found new seats and completed the trip uninterrupted.

On the Thayls train to Belgium, our seats were reserved. Once we found our "wagon" we were set. The train must have raced across the country at speeds up to 200 mph.
It was quiet and smooth, really very relaxing.
Most times, it was very quiet, with small amounts of talking. A lot of people read or even slept.

On the regional trains and buses, no reservations were taken so you just found a seat.
No worries.


Riding public transportation was quite an experience for us, very efficient.
No wonder it's so popular!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Arnsburg, Germany

The main reason for our trip to Germany was for my husband's work.
I was able to tag along to see family and to hopefuly see new sights.
Arnsburg was the city in which we stayed in for two days...
he was working, I was sightseeing and exploring.

Our hotel was very modern and located in a forest.
The only thing different from the states was that each room was equipped with a heater...
no air conditioning.
If you needed cooling, you just opened the door.
No screens. No bugs.
Neat.
Luckily the weather was perfect. Cool and crisp.


The surroundings were beautiful, lush and green.
I took a stroll and found a path with a few surprises:




I had never seen bright orange slugs before. This one was quite healthy and active!


Mushrooms were plentiful.









There was growth everywhere.
After walking for a while, I couldn't help but think of Hansel and Gretel...
I was careful to find my way back home!



That evening we went to a carnival.
It was very similar to the states, ferris wheel and all!






However, I think the food was better!


That night we were so tired and slept really well. And of course, it was really nice to have our bedroom open to the outdoors. This was taken from our balcony.




Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Rhein

One of the things I wanted to do while visiting Germany was to take a boat tour of the Rhein.
My cousins graciously went along with us, I'm so glad they were able to make the trip too!
We had a such a wonderful, relaxing day.
Enjoy these amazing sights.



When we loaded the boat, we were amazed at how close the villages and castles were to the river.
There were trails and pathways along the river...what a wonderful way to experience all the beauty.
This is a shot of the top of the boat where most people were seated. The boat made several stops as people came aboard or exited...another form of Germany's transportation system.
We kept our spot up here for most of the trip. It was the perfect place for grand views.
There was even entertainment for small children!




There were a few other modern boats, but overall it was a very quiet ride.



Wouldn't this be a wonderful way to travel for a few days or more?



Village markers






This is one of my favorite shots...the castle and modern transportation.
Amazing.



 Notice the RV camping trailors...






The striping on the hillsides are vineyards or other vegetation.




This gives a perspective of the width of the river.



Train tunnels


According to German legend, there was once a beautiful young maiden, named Lorelei, who threw herself headlong into the river in despair over a faithless lover. Upon her death she was transformed into a siren and could from that time on be heard singing on a rock along the Rhine River, near St. Goar. Her hypnotic music lured sailors to their death. The legend is based on an echoing rock with that name near Sankt Goarshausen, Germany

"Lorelei" Encyclopedia Mythica. http://www.pantheon.org/articles/l/lorelei.html



Her statue is hard to see...she's sitting on the rock.





Rheinfels Fortress


Maus Castle


Marksburg Castle





Stolzenfels Palace



Elector's Palace in Koblenz


Our tour had sadly ended, our stop was quickly approaching.
It was an amazing, unforgettable day.
For more information on the castles along the Rhein, click here

**if you're a perfectionist like me and notice the spacing is off, i tried...for about an hour... for some reason blogger isn't taking my editing...ugh.

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