North America, Europe · 20 Days · 207 Moments · July 2018

Europe 2018

21 July 2018

Auf Wiedersehen!, Addio!, Au Revoir! Goodbye until we see you again! Today we are flying home from Germany. We have had a wonderful time in Europe exploring new places and seeing our European family members. 💙.

20 July 2018

Solms, Germany Today was our last full day in Europe. We visited the Kloster Altenberg in Oberbiel this morning, a local church that dates to before 700 AD and was once a monastery but is now a nursing home and nursing school as well as functional church. Frauke’s parents were married there and her sister baptized there. Following a wonderful lunch prepared by Nicole, we traveled to Frankfurt for our final goodbyes with Frauke and her mother. We have settled in for the night at the Hilton at the airport in preparation for our flight home tomorrow morning. It was a wonderful trip and we are so lucky to have so many wonderful “Family” now all around the world!!!💙💙💙💙
Last goodbyes
Exterior garden of Kloster Altenburg
Can you imagine how cold this 1500 year old church is with stone floors, no heat and drafts like this around doors?😱
Wedding chapel in Kloster Altenberg
Kloster Altenberg Altenberg Monastery
Kloster Altenberg (Altenberg Monastery)
Kloster Altenberg Altenberg Monastery
Schloss Braunfels from yesterday from the Altenberg Monastery and Beth and Frauke after Frauke had to disentangle Beth from a rose bush following her castle photo shoot😂

19 July 2018

Germany Leica Tour, Schloss Braunfels & Lahn River Sunset dinner We started the day with a tour of the German Leica camera factory (I’m working on him but Jeff doesn’t seem to want to buy me a $30000 camera 🤪). We then toured the Castle Braunfels which is in the area near where Frauke lives. The evening had a relaxing end with dinner in Wetzlar along the Lahn River.
Paulaner River Walk😂
Karlsmund Wetzlar
Memorial and view above Frauke’s town of LEUN
Village Braunfels, Germany
Alternate views of Braunfels Castle in Germany
Castle Braunfels and the village of Braunfels
Inside Castle Braunfels
Braunfels Castle
Braunfels Castle
Leica camera factory in Wetzlar

18 July 2018

Germany We had a whirlwind of experiences today: castle viewing in Weilburg, dom viewing in Limberg, and dom and city tour of Wetzlar including dinner. We also went to see Frauke’s college in Giessen. Check out all of the wonderful photos of today’s adventures!
Yep, a Jeff bier photo 🤦🏽‍♀️. At least his photography skills are improving!👍
Wetzlar Germany at night during dinner
Frauke’s college in Giessen, Germany
Wetzlar Dom
Wetzlar Dom and City
Wetzlar, Germany Wetzlar Dom (Wetzlar Cathedtal). It is a shared Catholic and Lutheran Cathedral.
Castle Weilburg
Photos by Ralph
Mountain cold water pool to improve circulation
Germany second to last day- I swear Frauke made me post Jeff & Tom sleeping pics but then Tom made us take them off🤪
Limburg Dom (Limburg Cathedral, Germany)
Limburg, Germany
Limburg, Germany The gold “kicking stone” is a memorial to a Jew who died in the Holacust of World War II: these stones are in many cities in the counties of Austria and Germany we have visited on this trip. The stone marks where records say the person lived before being taken away to concentration camps, etc.
Weilburg, Germany
Schloss Weilburg (Castle Weilburg)
Weilburg, Germany
View from Peter home in Leun, Germany

17 July 2018

Rhein Gau (German Wine Country along the Rhein River) Today we traveled to wine country along the Rhein river where we took a gondola to the top of a mountain above the local vineyards. Beautiful! We then went to a vineyard owned by the Peter’s cousin who gave a private wine tasting. Look up Peter Jakob Kuhn winery their wines are superb! We ended the day today with dinner at a local mountain restaurant where we had many options of schnitzels🙂
Dinner on Oberbeil mountain forest Beth & Jeff
Jeff’s Bier photos at dinner 😏
Rüdesheim, Germany Wine country along the Rhein River
Rüdesheim, Germany
Kuhn Winery
Kuhn Winery
Kuhn Winery
Kuhn Winery in Oesterich-Winkel
Park above Rhein river Beth, Frauke & Jeff
Top of Rudesheim mountain above the vineyards
Rhein River Germany
Rüdesheim, Germany
Village of Rüdesheim

16 July 2018

Frankfurt & Leun A fantastic rail journey today from Zurich to Frankfurt, Germany where our German exchange student, Frauke along with her mother and sister picked us up at the Frankfurt train station. We did a walking tour of Frankfurt and then traveled to Leun, Germany where Frauke and her family live. We were able to have a delicious dinner replicating their Christmas holiday dinner each year along with a fabulous birthday cake made by Frauke for Jeff. We had great company and were able to view a beautiful post rain sunset from the balcony. Tomorrow we are off to some local vineyards!
Jeff’s daily bier photo 🤦🏽‍♀️, and the fabulous birthday cake Frauke made for him 💙
Frankfurt, Germany In the one shot, it’s “the guys” taking a rest while Frauke and I walked over the bridge
Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt, Germany St Bartholomew Cathedral

15 July 2018

Widen, Switzerland Relaxing day in Switzerland. To help Jeff’s foot heal we stayed close to home today. We had lunch with John and Tom and Raphael’s family above Zurich and then a wonderful dinner in the evening with all of them and with the parents of Raphael’s girlfriend, Alessia. Delicious food and wonderful company💙. Tomorrow, off to Germany!
Raphael’s school in Zurich, the Zurich Business School
Mountain View from the Schuck patio
Lunch above Zurich in our last day Jeff, Beth & Raphael

14 July 2018

Rhein Falls and More Another perfect day and the weather has been cooperating nicely for us during our journeys. Today we went to the Rhein Falls in Switzerland, their version of Niagara Falls. It was beautiful! We also visited the Munot Fortress in Kauffhausen, which was erected in 1372. We ended the day with swimming and dinner with Heinke and Hanspeter who were perfect summer time hosts: they have a house in the countryside that looks like it is from a fairy tale story
Jeff’s wine
View of Rhein Falls from the falls boat ride
Like father like son Stefan and Raphael trying to catch fish in the Rhein
Castle above the Rhein Falls
Rhein Falls, Switzerland
Dinner at Heinke and Hanspeters
Relaxing at Heinke and Hanspeter’s home
Munot Fortress and view of the Rhein River
Munot Tower
Raphael and Stefan, Rhein Falls
Rhein Falls
Rhein Falls, Switzerland
Photos from Hanspeter at their home earlier today :)

13 July 2018

Zug and Lucerne Another splendid day💙. We began the day with visiting Stefan at his jewelry office in Zug, Switzerland : he custom designs pieces for people all over the world. His designs are simply gorgeous!!! He overwhelmed Beth with the surprise of a beautiful pearl necklace and gorgeous ring: she was nearly speechless and you know how hard that is to do!😉. In the afternoon we had lunch in Lucerne, Switzerland and did both a walking tour of the old city and boat tour of Lake Lucerne. The day had another perfect ending with dinner at a local pizzeria and dessert back at the Schuck home. We are so grateful for having such wonderful hosts during our travels 💙
An example of Stefan’s jewelry pulled off the web so you can all see how unique it is!
Boat tour of Lake Lucerne
Lake Lucerne tour
Lucerne and our boat
Stefan once lived on the top floor of the first building and worked down the street at the goldsmiths shop at the time
Lucerne brewery
A Jeff bier photo😂
Beth and Jeff in Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland
One of the necklaces Stefan custom made for someone with Beth modeling. It was gorgeous!
Schuck Home. Stefan made the whimsical rabbits for his wife Monika
Zurich and Widen, Switzerland Beautiful travels today from Milan, Italy to Zurich, Switzerland. Raphael and his parents met us at the Zurich train station and then we did a walking tour of Zurich. We also met up with Jeff’s brother John and his husband Tom. The evening ended in a relaxing note with a wonderful traditional fondue dinner and delicious desserts prepared by Raphael’s mother and the sister of his girlfriend. We are staying the night with Raphael and his family and having an early star tomorrow to Lucerne and Zug.

12 July 2018

View from the roof top balcony at Raphael’s home and dinner with his family. Traditional Swiss fondue
Zurich from a church tower
The hotel where John and Tom are staying
Zurich from a church tower
Lake Zurich
Coffee stop
Zurich- lake view, town hall, Alp Horn playing
Zurich, Switzerland
Beer on the train
Leaving Milan

11 July 2018

Milano Day 2 Our second day in Milan, Italy began with meeting Gentian, a student who was placed also in Ashville, Ohio the same year Pietro was with us: they were great friends that year. We meet Genti at the Duomo dei Milano followed by lunch at a local Italian pizzeria. Jeff’s foot is still injured, so the afternoon was spent with Pietro walking Beth around Milan’s city center to see both the ancient and more modern sights. It was a wonderful walk and opportunity to catch up with Pietro on his life in recent times. The evening was spent with Pietro’s father having arranged a special English guided tour above the Milano Galleria where we could learn more of Milan’s history and see the city from above. It was so beautiful! The evening had a perfect ending with some Italian gelato and Stefano playing Jeff and I’s wedding song by John Hiatt on the way back to our hotel. We will certainly miss Milan. 💙🇨🇮
Pietro and his father Stefano
Duomo dei Milano (Milan Cathedral) at night
Italian gelato
Milano at night
Inside the Milano Galleria at night
Jeff and Beth from above the Galleria with the Duomo square behind us
Dome of the Galleria from the walk way above with the guide
View of Milan from Above the Galleria
Duomo dei Milano
Walk with Pietro around Milan
Art Museum and school in Milan. Statue of Napoleon
Milan Stadium with Pietro: he has played there when in school
Arch of Peace built by Napoleon in Milan: mirrors Arche de Triumph he built in Paris: Beth and Pietro
Galleria from the Milan Cathedral square
Duomo dei Milano
Milano Galleria during the day
For Sam: the Ferrari store:)
Meeting Gentian at the Duomo dei Milano

10 July 2018

Milano Day 1 Our travels brought us from Munich to Milan this day. We did not walk a lot today because Jeff fell this morning and injured his foot. Pietro, our exchange student from 2015-16, and his father Stefano picked us up at the airport and took us to relax at and see their home just outside of Milan’s city center. It is a lovely loft and Jeff found a brother in spirit because Pietro’s father and he share very similar tastes in music! Stefano took us on an open air bus tour of the city and to a wonderful Italian dinner introducing us to new cuisine. It was a lovely day! Tomorrow we will see more of Pietro and his father after Pietro finishes some college exams in the morning. We are anxious to see more of Milan’s historic sites as they have an interesting past being occupied at various times by the the Romans, Spaniards, and Austrians. Buonanotte per Ora!
Beth and Jeff at dinner with Stefano (Pietro had to study for his exam)
Our hotel for the next two nights. Wonderful place to stay!
Common transport in Milano
Duomo: Milan Cathedral
Roman Ruins in Milano right in front of our hotel. They date to 497 AD. There is an underground museum there that explained a lot of Milan ancient history.
Eco apartment building with trees built into the architecture and Milan Central Train Station
Milano Castle

9 July 2018

Munich Specific As we have traveled to Munich in the past, we decided that today we would keep it simple. We journeyed across the city to see Charlotte’s performing arts school that she attended last year (Theater Akademie August Everding), visited Marienplatz one last time to get our Hard Rock shirts 😉, did some laundry, and had dinner at Charlotte’s favorite restaurant here, The Nepal House. Tomorrow, on to Milano!
The Nepal House Restaurant Munich
Girls dressing room at Charlotte’s performing arts college.
Another one of Jeff’s bier photos🤦🏽‍♀️
Theater from the stage at Theater Akademie August Everding
Charlotte at her performing arts college in Munich
Theater Akademie August Everding Munich

8 July 2018

Castles and More Wow! That’s all we can say about today💙. We travelled further into the Bavarian region of Germany to visit two of the castles built by King Ludwig II (the “Mad King”): Schloss (Castle) Linderholf and Schloss Neuschwanstein. Neuschwanstein is the castle that Walt Disney fashioned his Snow White Castle from at Disney Land. It was also one of the world sights that Charlotte and I had on our bucket lists so it was great that we got to see it together! The story of King Ludwig and his castles is very interesting and we encourage everyone to read about it. The village of Obbermagau was also one of our stops. It was very picturesque with many storybook houses and is the home of the Obbermagau Passion Play that the village has put on since the plague starting in 1634. It is something we have always wanted to see, so perhaps we will be back in 2020 since they only perform every 10 years.
Our hotel in Munich: very nice and modern!
Photos of Neuschwanstein Castle from Beth’s camera. Bucket list locations means we unindate you with photos:)
More photos of Neuschwanstein Castle from Beth’s camera
Alternate view of Neuschwanstein Castle
Alternate view of Neuschwanstein Castle
Marien brucke “Mary’s Bridge” The super photos we have of Neuschwanstein are taken from this bridge. This photo was taken from the balcony of Neuschwanstein Castle
Countryside views from Neuschwanstein Castle- if you look on a distant mountainside you can see his former family castle of Hohenschwangau (its yellow)
Alternate Views of Neuschwanstein Castle
Castle Hohenschwangau Bavaria Germany Family Castle of King Ludwig II and you can see it from Neuschwanstein. Hard to understand why the mad king wasn’t happy with the original abode, it looks pretty nice too!
Neuschwanstein Castle Bavaria Germany Beth, Jeff, and Charlotte
Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria Germany
Suicide bridge
Alps view Obbermagau, Germany : Home of the passion play every 10 years since the time of the plague. Seeing it is on Our bucket list!
Hansel and Gretel mural on the orphanage in the village of Obbermagau in Germany
View of the Alps from Castle Linderhof grounds
Castle Linderhof and it’s gardens built by Bavarian King Ludwig II

7 July 2018

Salzburg We journeyed today to Salzburg, Austria by rail. The view of the Alps was beautiful and the city full of art and history. Charlotte accompanied us today and watching her taking it all in was priceless💙
Salzburg Dom
Salzburg Fortress and the view of Salzburg
Salzburg Dom
Salzburg and Mozart’s birth home
Salzburg, Austria

6 July 2018

Munich Today we arrived to Munich by train. There we met Charlotte, our Norwegian exchange daughter from 2009-10. She came to meet us so we could see some sights together and so she can show us the school she attended in Munich last year. We arrived late in the day so we made our itinerary simple: we walked to Marienplatz to eat dinner at the Agustineer Bier Garten and walked to see the Glockenspiel in the square. We are making it an early night because tomorrow we have an early start to Salzburg!
Marienplatz, Munich, Germany- Glockenspiel
Marienplatz, Glockenspiel, Munich Germany
Dinner with Charlotte at the Agustiner Bier Garten in Karlsplatz
Entrance to Karlsplatz and dinner at Augustineer Bier Garten
Auf Wiedersehen Wien, Guten Tag Munchen! This morning we are traveling by RailJet from Vienna, Austria to Munich, Germany with a brief stop in Salzburg along the way🇦🇹🇩🇪

5 July 2018

The Freud Museum & Kahlenberg Mountain (Vienna, Austria) The highlights of today were a visit to the Sigmund Freud Museum and seeing the city of Vienna from a mountain above where Anni and her boyfriend Florian live. It was overall a relaxing day (except for figuring out how to activate our Eurrail passes😂). The perfect ending to the day was dinner with Anni and Florian at an authentic Austrian restaurant, a place that they love to frequent in their district. Tomorrow we say farewell to Austria and head to Munchen (Munich, Germany) by jet rail.
Another one of Jeff’s beer pics🤪
The Freud Park, Votivkirche (Votiv Church) near Freud Park, and the Freud Museum which was once the combined home and work place of Sigmund Freud.

4 July 2018

Durstein, Melk, & Shonbuhel Today was a beautiful day for taking a tour to the Austrian countryside. We travelled the “Romantic Road” along the Danube River in the Wachau Valley and made our first stop at the village of Durnstein, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We walked the quaint streets, spent some time at the “blue” church, and were able to view Durnstein castle from a distance. We then travelled via boat along the gorgeous Danube River where we saw many villages, churches, castle ruins, and the Shonbuhel Castle. We ended the day’s tour at the village of Melk at the Melk Abbey, a Benedictine Monastary situated along the Danube River. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Wow it was worth a days journey! After returning to Vienna, we hit the Hard Rock Cafe and walked the Vienna city center near our hotel before retiring for the night. It was a day with multiple “forever” memories💙 Please note: Beth did take one of her better cameras and will upload when home!
Vienna city center in Stephansplatz near our hotel. In the 4th photo our hotel is in the building in the right of the photo and you can Stephansdom in the background!
Melk Abbey, the village of Melk seen from the monastary, and views of the Danube from Melk
Schonbuhel Castle viewed along the Danube
Our bus and Beth standing along the Danube River
Durnstein Village and the Blue Church in Durnstein
View of Wachau Valley from Durnstein, and Durnstein Castle ruins

3 July 2018

Wonderful Day exploring the city center of Vienna. We went to see the inside of Peters Church and Stephansdom, had lunch with one of our previous exchange students, Anni, who then graciously showed us around more of Vienna for the afternoon. We ended the evening with a lovely dinner with Anni, and her mother and sister Caroline who introduced us to some local delacies at a street cafe followed by a beautiful stroll through more of Vienna. It was a lovely day and we are thankful for Anni and her family for their gracious hospitality 💙!
Caroline (Anni’s sister), Karin (Anni’s mother), Anni, Jeff and Beth in front of Karlskirche (Charles Church) in Karlsplatz Vienna
Jeff, Anni and Beth in front of the Vienna National Library
Vienna city
Stephansdom interior
Peterskirche Peters Church

2 July 2018

After dinner we went to take some photos of the inner city around our hotel. We especially love the Stephansdom Cathedral (the one with the spires) and St Peters Church )the church with the dome) at night. Tomorrow we can’t wait to see them inside!
Before dinner sightseeing around the hotel and first Wiener schnitzel of the trip :)
The Hotel Royal where we are staying
Our afternoon luncheon at a street cafe in the Vienna city center
Our afternoon walk about in the Vienna city center
Music, Arts, and History Today we arrived in Vienna! It is beautiful and you can see the history in it’s gorgeous architecture. We plan to take it easy today and walk around the city center where our hotel is located. The highlight of our travels was that Jeff arranged for a driver to pick us up at the airport and take us to our hotel (he promises it was the same cost).
It’s a bad photo but the first is our driver holding up our name placard at the airport.

1 July 2018

Upgrade from premium to business/first class! Wow! I was joking with Jeff earlier that my one dream was that someday he would fly me first class 😂😂
Waiting for our Paris flight in Detroit
Today we start our travel overseas to Paris, France via Detroit International airport. This is just a stopping point for the last leg of our start in Vienna, Austria. We are super excited and can’t wait to keep our friends and family updated on our journey! Check in daily to see where we are and the wonderful new experiences we are having! 🇫🇷 jusqu'à ce que nous vous voyions agajn!