Thursday, October 4

Our friends Linda and George picked us up at the airport last night at 12:35 am! That’s true friendship. (There were tire issues with our plane.) Anyway, it’s good to be home.

On to the laundry and the garden…



Tuesday, October 2

I’ve smashed my dirty clothes into my suitcase, which barely zips, and Lee has checked us in for our flight tomorrow from Frankfurt. We checked into our hotel early today because the weather has been unpleasant with wind, fog and drizzle. We did bundle up a bit and visited St. Elizabeth’s church, passing a silly wall.

Marburg’s castle is the site of a debate between two reformers, Luther and Zwingli, about communion. They never did agree about the nature of the eucharist. The quote below is attributed to Zwingli. I think it translates, “God alone is the rock upon which each building must rest.”

An organist treated us to a ‘concert’ in this Lutheran church.

Lee’s Tidbits

A fitting ending to our journey with rain, drizzle, wind, and temperatures in the 40’s, a sure sign that all fun times must come to a conclusion. Marburg is also where the Grimm brothers, the authors of the collection of the fairy tales, went to the University.

I’ve been practicing being a sardine in a can and preparing myself mentally for the flight home tomorrow. We’ve had a marvelous time, so the return is with mixed feelings.

One more blog after we return home to assure all of our safe arrival. Thank you for those who followed along faithfully or sporadically, as we knew it was a long stretch. Lee

Monday, October 1

We saw our first frost a couple of mornings ago, and we woke up to 35 degrees in Bamberg this morning. It must be time to head home. But first, we strolled around two little villages, Volkach and Dettlebach. They were dismantling the summer market stalls! I love how some houses have trained the grape vines over the front door. The leaves are definitely turning.

Here’s an almost 300 year old wine press.

We made it without incident to our hotel in Wurzburg, seeing a couple of beautiful churches and a maypole!

We just finished a palace tour, highlighting the restoration work done after extensive bombing in 1944. (No photos allowed!). They actually began taking pictures of each room and moving as much furniture and art as they could prior to 1941.

Lee’s Tidbits

We just got back from dinner overlooking the altebrucke (old bridge), although the bridge was apparently repaired after the Germans blew parts of it up in their 1945 retreat. You would be astounded at the parking place I squeezed into here with Jane’s expertise directing me from outside the car. Now we just need to back out tomorrow morning! Lee

Sunday, September 30

The church bells were so loud this morning! The Sts. Peter and Paul cathedral was calling people just as we walked by so we attended the episcopal service. It was full of maybe 400 people and lasted 1 1/4 hours. The only words we recognized from the sermon were: children, Africa, South America, and Nationalism. Plus they had a lovely school age choir.

We walked through Old Town, starting with the Rathaus. I circled its location on the Medieval map.

The house below was built in the 1500s. Some of the houses in this area had little sculptures by the front door.

We’re staying in the same hotel tonight as last night, but tonight there should be no loud birthday party, since the tavern is closed. Here is a statue of the sleeping disciples, taken on our walk before dinner.

Lee’s Tidbits

Just to keep you updated, we’ve walked 475,000 steps or 184 miles this month!!

We started our sightseeing through old town at 9 a.m., virtually by ourselves so picture taking was easy and reading about each site was enjoyable. Bamberg has 9 beer breweries, and considers itself the beer capital of this region, Franconia. I did try a beer last evening, albeit a mild Pils. It was better than American beer, but neither would be my choice of beverage. How the typical German can quaff down a liter or more at one sitting is beyond me.

Lots of students here, no doubt attending the University of Bamberg. But, no GI’s to be seen anymore. Lee

Saturday, September 29

We stopped at a Rococo style church on our way to Bamburg (our resting place for the night).

Outside, we heard a musician playing ‘Downtown’, and I ended up trying to explain to my husband about go-go boots. (My sister had a pair.) The music was a little fitting for the interior of this church, which felt a little like a movie set.

The alter was built during a time in history when visions were common (think Joan of Arc). A shepherd saw 14 ‘helpers’ protecting baby Jesus on this site.

But before this church, we stopped in Coburg, and a triple-walled fort there, originally built in the 11th century.

It was filled with the most amazing and beautiful things, like this chandelier. It functions like a wind chime.

And this was described as wood paneling, very unlike the wood paneling of the 60’s!

Martin Luther stayed here when he was summoned to another debate in Augsburg, so this chapel was added some time later.

A jousting knight!

Lee’s Tidbits

Our 2 nights here in Bamberg should be interesting as the hotel part of the establishment is above the pub/restaurant/brewery. It was very, very busy when we arrived at 2pm, but one could hear no noise when we got to our rooms. Bamberg is where FJ/MJ spent several years in the late 70’s, but the army base is no longer here. Off to see old town tomorrow. We’re doing one small load of laundry this afternoon as we discovered a waschsalon just across the street from our hotel and we needed one more day of clean clothes to see us through to the end. Lee

And if you don’t hear from us tomorrow, it’s because internet access is spotty!

Friday, September 28

This was for sale at the market in Erfurt this morning.

Luther joined the Augustinian monastery here (and preached at the cathedral), after quitting law school. His view of the market from the church must have looked like this: 😉

Erfurt is charmingly known for building its shops right on top of this bridge. So if you want to cross the river, you have to walk right between the merchant’s shops, without seeing the river.

Next stop, Wartburg castle. (I lost count after climbing 251 steps to get up here.) After Luther was excommunicated at the Diet of Worms he hid out in this castle. He translated the New Testament from the Greek into German while in hiding.

The castle room pictured below is all done in glass mosaic. From what I understood, a countess turned saint (St Elizabeth) has her story chronicled in the mosaic. I’m not sure this beautiful room was original to the castle.

Our hotel is in Eisenach, where Luther went to “high school” (see the picture of his house below).

My tour guide bought me a mini-cupcake here – the first cupcake I’ve seen in all of our travels.

Lee’s Tidbits

Our hotel tonight is on a hill looking over Eisenach towards Wartburg castle, which is on a higher hill. No weinerschnitzel or brautwurst tonight as we are dining in the fancy-pantsy hotel restaurant tonight. Lee

Thursday, September 27

Luther was born and died in Eisleben, our first stop of the day. We bought lunch at the market in the town square. For some reason, all these town markets seem to have stalls selling cheap, old-gal underwear.

We motored to Buchenwald, one of Germany’s largest concentration camps. The memorial is very large, and it probably can’t all be done in one visit. The larger setting is beautiful and park-like, so it’s shocking to see remains of fencing and barbed wire. The entrance gate says (roughly), ‘You get what you deserve.’

Paul Schneider was pastor of a protestant church in Berlin. His congregation turned him in for speaking out against the government. After his arrest and arrival at Buchenwald, he was killed for refusing to salute the Nazi flag.

On a lighter note, I suffered my usual anxiety pangs getting to our hotel in Weimar. (It’s right in the town square.) Composer Franz Liszt worked here; we toured his summer home.

The church has the most interesting sculpture, but I couldn’t find out anything about it.

And then we got ice cream!

Lee’s Tidbits

I’ve taken 2,378 pictures so far, so you can imagine how heavy my camera is now!

Weimar is a university town, too, and has had a history of famous people living here including Bach, Goethe (most famous German poet), Cranach (painter), Schiller (poet, including Ode to Joy), and others I’ve never heard of. In the church is a painting by Cranach which is centered on the Crucifixion, with Luther and Cranach looking on!

We’re on our last 6 nights here and we’re still going strong, although I’ve had to succumb to taking Aleve 4 times now for my hips, but it is working! Lee