Castle Heidelberg Germany
We arrived home from Germany and France late last night. Today I am dragging anchor a little bit, but not too much.
View of Castle on the hill from the town of Heidelberg
To say we had a good time would be a gross understatement. When we boarded the plane yesterday in Frankfurt, we were both excited to see our son and our puppies, but sad to leave all that Europe has to offer.
Statue in the old part of Heidelberg
We got to see so many beautiful places, immerse ourselves in the cultures of two beautiful countries, and we even met some wonderful people along the way...and isn't that what vacation is all about?!
View from the castle looking down on old town Heidelberg
While Mr. Tide worked in Heidelberg for the first few days, I wandered the town, taking pictures and drinking in its beauty, which was everywhere you looked.
Cafe in Heidelberg, Germany
I stopped in cafes along side streets and sipped mineral water and nibbled on croissants as I watched the world go by.
Bridge in Heidelberg
By night, the city took on an almost fairytale like quality, and I kept my tripod and camera with me at all times so that I could capture the magic of it all.
Flower Market in Strasbourg, France
After our time in Heidelberg, it was time to take the train somewhere, anywhere...and just a day before we would leave Germany we agreed to go to Strasbourg, France...it was a very good decision!
Flower stall Strasbourg France
The city of Strasbourg is a lovely mix of German and French cultures, and because flowers are such a part of the French lifestyle, the flower stalls on Saturday were a feast for the eyes. I think I took 30 pictures alone of this one stall!
L'ill Canal which runs through Strasbourg
Strasbourg is another story book city, and in the evening, when the sun is low, it is truly breathtaking.
Beautiful Doorway in Strasbourg
You can lose yourself here, and feel as though you've been transported back in time. Can't you just imagine the people who have come and gone through this doorway for hundreds of years? I took a whole series of door pictures while in France...so many amazing details!
Ceiling above the altar in Strasbourg's Notre-Dame Cathedral
And speaking of amazing details...the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Strasbourg is almost beyond comprehension! I spent over 2 hours photographing it...both inside and out, on one of the days we were there! I think it is one of the most beautiful and painstakingly intricate structures I've ever visited!
Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle France
On our last afternoon in Strasbourg, we headed south to the fabled wine route in Alsace and stopped at the Castle of Haut Koenigsbourg. I will likely do a whole post on this amazing castle, but above is a glimpse at some of the intricately carved furnishings which grace nearly every room.
After our tour of the castle, we headed to one of the small towns along the wine route called Riquewihr. It was as if it had sprung right from the pages of Beauty and The Beast!
Flower box (with texture applied) Riquewihr France
Riquewihr is a charming village with narrow hilly streets and half timbered houses dotted with overflowing flower boxes.
Wine cellar in Riquewihr France
We were lucky enough to sample 3 different wines in a family owned cellar which dates back to the 16th Century. The wines were all delicious, and they are only sold in France, as it is a small winery...I wish we had had room in our luggage to bring back a few bottles.
Everywhere you looked there were beautiful flowers and bubbling fountains. I hope we can spend more time on our next trip to France just visiting these charming villages along the wine route in Alsace.
Tower Frankfurt Germany
After leaving France, it was off to Frankfurt to catch our flight home. Frankfurt is an interesting city with a mix of old and new. Historic buildings stand next to towering modern structures such as the space needle styled building pictured above.
Old Opera House Frankfurt Germany
The old opera house in Frankfurt is lovely, especially at night. We dined nearby and waited for the sun to go down so that I could get some good shots after dark.
Cathedral Notre Dame Strasbourg France
One of the most interesting and beautiful things we saw while on our trip happened purely by accident. I was taking pictures in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Strasbourg when a gentlemen approached us and asked us in French if we knew about the green light. I studied french years ago in high school, and let's just say that my speaking skills are rather lacking, but I am able to understand at least some of what is said to me.
The man went on to explain that each year during the equinox, the sun is at a perfect position to cast a green glow onto the Christ figure on a podium at the side of the church. The green color is caused by the stained glass panel which is perfectly aligned to do this just twice a year, and we happened to be there on that very day. He told Mr. Tide and me where to sit in order to get the best view of this special event. Apparently it's quite a big deal as there was a video camera crew and a speaker who explained the events which were about to unfold. There was a speech, and the organ also played several songs...very impressive as it's a huge pipe organ that reverberates around the entire cathedral.
I set up the tripod and waited, and at noon time the green light began to filter into the church and it began on one side of the podium and slowly traveled until it rested on the carving of the crucifix. Then after a few moments, it continued down the podium and onto the floor. It was a very moving thing to see, and I'm so thankful the man took the time to tell us, or we likely would have left, never knowing what we would have missed. This same man went on to take us around the cathedral giving us a sort of private tour full of interesting details about the cathedral and its meaning. I love these chance encounters which seem to happen to me each time I travel, they are so very special and will remain with me forever.
I took literally hundreds of pictures during our trip, and I will be spending the next several days trying to process them and choosing the best ones to send to the gallery and to share with all of you.
I hope each of you had a wonderful week while we were gone and that your week is going well so far.
Tonight I will be dreaming of France and Germany, and missing those two beautiful countries. I feel so very fortunate to live where I do, but also to be able to travel to other parts of the world and enjoy all that they have to offer.
I believe that it is through travel that we truly find ourselves.