Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Germany November 2014 Part 2

November 14 Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber to Heidelberg

Walking to the train station dragging our stuff.  I like the clearly marked lanes for bicycles and people.

We saw lots of bikes on the train. This one is properly stowed but on lots of trains there wasn't room to park them because people were sitting.The owners stood with their bikes near the doors and moved them out of the way as people entered and exited. Very civilized!

The trains are well used!  I was grateful more than once that our Frankfurt hotel kept Johanna's 120 lb. suitcase for the week.  It would have killed us to drag it around and have to carry it up and down stairs at the train stations that didn't have escalators.

November 15 Heidelberg Castle, Church of the Holy Spirit, Heidelberg to Speyer by train

This tram took us up the hill to Heidelberg Castle, I was hoping for an antique train chugging up the hillside,complete with beautiful views of the valley and the rattle and sway of a real train ride.  Instead this was more like an elevator for 80 people: fast, efficient and quiet.

Inside the castle walls if you need something to eat or drink.

One of the kings commissioned this arch and had it erected overnight to surprise his wife on the morning of her birthday.

At one time the moat had bears in it, but they were eventually replaced with deer.

Little houses on the slope near the castle's walls.

A view from the castle.  We visted the church on the right.  Johanna and Nicole climbed to the top of the tower and Sam climbed most of the way.

The castle is immense!

A model of the castle we saw on the tour we took.

Follow the tour guide!

Really really big wine barrel.

And then there is one even bigger!

Really, really big knife.

Church of the Holy Spirit.  Free admission, but it costs to climb to the top of the tower.I paid
for the kids to go up. 
People in Heidelberg are under the impression this is what a horse looks like.

Bicycle parking at the train station. It's blurry but in my defence I was trying to avoid being run down by 3 under - 8 year old cyclists.

November 16 Speyer, Technik Museum, Basilica and DBahn from Speyer to Frankfurt

Everywhere we go, we go to the local "Science and Technology" Museum (London, Thessoloniki, Ankara, Istanbul) and I never want to go and I ALWAYS love it!  So many extraordinary things to see.  This museum was no exception.  I loved their Space building and also the building with all the models.  Sam and I were travelling buddies this day, so he's in most of my photos. The girls walked on the wing of a Lufthansa jumbo jet.  Thankfully, I wasn't around to see it!

Cam looking at the displays inside one of the buildings.

Sam having a look inside a helicopter.

Sometimes really big planes also have double decker crew areas.

Plane for transporting really big cargo! (Antonov 22)

The Speyer Basilica in the background. Amazing to have these two sights within walking distance of one another.

Sam and a Submarine.

Johanna on the catwalk after standing in the space shuttle.

Moon Rock

Russian Space Shuttle! 
Sam in front of a section of the Berlin Wall
After the morning at the Technik Museum, we stopped for lunch at a Chinese Buffet, where of course the owner spoke, German, Mandarin/Cantonese (sorry I don't know the difference) and English.  We had a good meal, something to drink and most importantly about an hour off our feet.  When the time came to leave, Sam and Cam headed for the hotel and the girls and I walked to The Speyer Cathedral, also known as the Imperial Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption and St. Stephen. 

The church opened in 1106.

There are paintings over the arches.  Nicole's grade 10 Social Studies came in handy. She was able to tell us about one of the scenes which was unfamiliar.

In the crypt are burials German kings and Holy Roman Emperors.

Johanna in the depths.

One of a two altars in the crypt.

The very impressive front door.

The ceiling in the entry way, with a glass portal which shows off the interior beyond.

The huge front door in this photo is dwarfed by the exterior of the church.

At my feet was a shell in the pavement, identifying this church as part of  the "The Way", a Christian pilgrimage route in Europe.

November 17 Frankfurt to Istanbul to Saros

It wasn't much of a holiday.  We barely had time each day to catch our breath, but we saw a lot of different things. Everyone came home exhausted and footsore.  It was a nice way to reconnect with Johanna, though and we've got some lovely memories.

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