Sunday, April 13, 2014

Upper Middle Rhine Valley July 2013

The Upper Middle Rhine Valley  narrows and there are hills on both sides.  The water is swifter here.  There are a string of Ancient Roman settlements, castles, and vineyards.  It seems around every bend of the river is a castle once owned by a Robber Baron who exacted a toll from traffic moving along the river.

There are a lot of barges that go up and down the Rhine.  The families live on the barges.  You can see the family car on the back deck.

Heidelberg July 2013

The next stop on our trip was Heidelberg.  Back in Germany now, we stopped at the junction of the Rhine and Neckar Rivers.  Home to Germany's oldest University, founded in 1386 and still in operation today.  Heidelberg is home to one of Germany's most magnificent castle ruins.  It was built over a 400 year period and shows several different architectural styles.  It was spared American bombs in WWII

Below are a couple of pictures of our "Long Boat"  (I couldn't get it all in one picture) and the ship's Captain in the the control room.

Strasbourg July 2013

On the boarder of France and Germany, Strasbourg was first founded by the Romans in 12 BC.  The city has passed between French and German control at least five times and today is considered part of France.  It is home to the European Parliament.  It is a city of beautifully restored mid-evil  homes and modern architecture around the Parliament.  There are lots of canals and flower boxes.  We happened to be there on the day that the Vintners Mass was being celebrated.  We got to see a lot people in their native costumes.  We even got to see the Wine Princess!  Much of Johannes Gutenberg's early life (inventor of the movable type and the first printed copy of the Bible) was spent in Strasbourg.  There is a statue dedicated to Gutenberg.  98% of Strasbourg was bombed in the final days of WWII.  You wouldn't know it today seeing the lovely city.