Day 5 - We took a walking tour of Venice , weaving our way through its many canal systems eventually reaching the Rialto bridge only to find it completely covered under scaffolding and ply wood.
Day 5 - We started our day in Venice with a glass blowing demonstration of the famous Murano glass. After a short shopping break we quickly boarded our boat taxi to go to Venice proper, St. Mark's Square!
10 July 2016
Day 4 - Stopped in at Innsbruck, Austria (the one with no kangaroos) for a bite to eat, a Sunday morning serenade, and some light shopping at the birthplace of the Swarovski crystal. Got some great pics of a giant crystal fly I intend to use in next year's forensics class!
9 July 2016
Day 3 - Toured Munich both this morning and afternoon. Our tour guide Monica was a real pip! Hung out near the Marienplatz for several hours soaking up the big city atmosphere. Tomorrow we head to Venice by way of Innsbruck, Austria, birthplace of the Swarovski crystal.
Day 3 - We took an early morning visit to Dachau, the first concentration camp established during WW II. Much of the history of the camp was documented in black and white, literally, all throughout the camp and the museum. It was a very sobering experience to say the least. It was impossible to walk those grounds without feeling the weight of what happened there. It tears at my heart to know that the ideas that permitted that atrocity to happen are still present in the world today.
8 July 2016
Took a morning drive along the Romantic Road on our way to Neuschwanstein Castle. Built between 1869 and 1886 by King Ludwig II, the castle was never finished due to the king being dethroned in 1886 by the Bavarian Lords' claims that he was in sane. He was placed in a psychiatric ward and one month later they found both King and Psychiatrist in the lake. His death remains a mystery to this day. Thoughtout the castle evidence of his love for Opera composer Richard Wagner and legendary stories of old.
Saying goodbye to Hotel Gasthaus Zum Hirschen and their wonderful staff! If ever you are in the Durrwangen area, this is the place to stay for quiet and serenity.
7 July 2016
Day 1 - We boarded our VIP bus at the Frankfurt International Airport this morning around 11:30. It continues to amaze me how our amazing bus drivers like Bello (nickname only because we can't pronounce his actual name) are able to puzzle piece everyone's luggage on board with room to spare. We started out on our 2.5 hour drive to Rothenburg. The weather is GORGEOUS and the little medieval town is chock full of great cafés, restaurants and shops. We enjoyed a quaint walking tour with our guide Kathi, during which we learned that the mayor of Rothenburg once saved the city from utter destruction in the 17th century by drinking a gallon of wine in one toss. This feat was made possible by the ill-placed bet of the invading captain, not realizing he was standing in the heart of wine country. Afterwards we all went off for a bit of free time. I chose to partake in a Durum Donner, a very yummy turkey wrap concoction, and do a bit of shopping with Emma.
On our shopping foray we found all manner of beer steins, cuckoo clocks, Stieff teddy bears, Christmas ornaments, Haribo gummy bears and painted tin hearts. I've got to figure out the story behind the hearts. Alas, all I ended up with was a new pair of Birckenstocks and a hedgehog, stuffed toy that is. Then is was back to the bus and on to the hotel. We enjoyed a nice turkey tenderloin and pommefrites dinner with soup and salad followed by a delicious ice cream dessert.
For most of the group this is our very first time on the Autobahn. Best thing about it, no speed limit for personal cars! We have arrived in Germany....many have already been to McDonald's, HA!, and now we are on our way to Rothenburg.
6 July 2016
We're out! Later U.S.A.! See ya in a couple weeks. Germany here we come!
Hooray! Our plane has finally arrived in Indianapolis.....yeah, we've had a small delay due to the weather. We are boarding soon ready to head to Atlanta then on to Frankfurt.
3 July 2016
We will be departing on our grand adventure through Europe in three more days. One of our first stops will be Rothenberg, Germany. So many of our beloved traditions got their start in Germany; can't wait for my students to discover what they are!!