Rob & Vanda

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Rob & Vanda

This blog is being created to chronicle Vanda and Rob's wedding and honeymoon trips for their family and friends.



Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Steingaden September 22nd 2010

You have already sojourned with us into the interesting world of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and his fairy tale castle of Neuschwanstein. After spending the better part of the day with Mad Ludwig and the gift shops clustered in Hohenschwangau, Vanda and I couldn’t let the rest of the day be squandered on a void in the itinerary. So a quick check of the Rick Stevens tour book disclosed that the Wieskirche pilgrimage church was 30 or so minutes away. Naturally, we beat feet for it. I remembered this church from my days in Oberammergau and that it was located in the middle of a field in the middle of nowhere. Sure enough, my memories hadn’t dimmed after 40 years. Upon arriving in the middle of nowhere, there was this huge church - the Wieskirche. ... read more
The "choir" of the Wies Church
Figure of the Scourged Saviour
Interior of the Wies Church

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Pfronten September 21st 2010

This will be my last post for this trip, as Rob and I have arrived home safely. Rob is working on his final post, as well; he'll be describing our visit to the Wieskirche (The Wies Church) in Bavaria -- without a doubt the most stunning church we have ever seen -- but I won't steal his thunder. Our trip to Germany met all expectations and more. Communicating was fun -- you know I like a challenge. "Sprechen Sie Englisch?" was the first phrase out of my mouth whenever we began a conversation. (Actually, that's not quite so. The first thing I usually said was "Guten Tag.") We were fortunate in that so many Germans have a better grasp of English than I do of German, despite many hours of German classwork almost 40 years ago. ... read more
Farm on the road from Wieskirche to Pfronten
Hotel Berg Panorama in Pfronten-Weissbach - our hotel
A place called Seeg

Europe » Germany September 18th 2010

Transport yourself back to yesteryear. It's Sunday, 7:00 pm. The family is sitting around the TV. The images appear on the screen. The familiar music and song begins: When you wish upon a star Makes no difference who you are . . . Tinker Bell waves her wand, pixie dust is scattered over the screen, the fairy tale castle appears and you are transported into the land of dreams. Where did Walt Disney find this castle? Did it exist? Lo and behold, the fairy tale castle does exist and it is located near the town of Hohenschwangau, in the state of Bavaria, in the land of Germany. It was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria between 1869 and 1886. He never finished it because he died under mysterious circumstances at the age of 40. He ... read more
Hohenschwangau Castle
Swan (Schwan) at crest of Hohenschwangau Castle
View of Hohenschwangau from Neuschwanstein Castle

Europe » Germany » Bavaria September 16th 2010

Vanda's experience The phrase "until the cows come home" took on real meaning today. While surfing the Internet to plan for this trip, I stumbled across a local custom in the south of Bavaria called "Viehscheid." Viehscheid is when the cow herds return from the Alpine meadows to their owners at the end of summer. The cows are herded from the mountains into a local village, which has its own Viehscheid celebration. The village celebrations, akin to fairs, are staggered so that two neighboring villages do not schedule this on the same day. I searched for a Viehscheid on the route through Bavaria to Switzerland to be held on our last day in Germany, and found only one - in a village called Kranzegg. So we made sure we incorporated this local celebration into our last ... read more
A lead cow decorated with flowers and a cross
Closeup of one bell type
Another type of bell

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Rothenburg ob der Tauber September 16th 2010

The Romantische Straße (Romantic Road) is one of several German tourist routes designated by different themes. This one runs from Würzburg to Füssen in Bavaria through several extremely charming and picturesque towns dating from the Middle Ages. Rob and I visited three of these towns (Rothenburg ob de Tauber, Dinkelsbühl, and Nördlingen), as well as visiting the King Ludwig II castles. Rothenburg ob der Tauber I had been looking forward to visiting Rothenburg ob der Tauber not for its historical significance, but for the Christmas shopping! As soon as I saw the town, however, I was amazed and fascinated - Rothenburg is a genuine medieval walled town with gates and towers and a moat, just like the pictures in storybooks. I didn't know anything like this still existed. It is not like Williamsburg; there were no ... read more
Street Scene in Rothenburg
Market Place - Town Hall in Rothenburg
Ratsherrntrinkstube in Rothenburg

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Oberammergau September 16th 2010

Here we sit, on Wednesday evening at the hotel in Zurich and our honeymoon is almost over. Never knew time could fly so fast. We've had very long days, so blogging has been difficult as we've hit the hotels late, had dinner, and then sacked out so that we could get an early start on the next day. Vanda will take you through Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Dinkelsbuhl and Nordlingen, old walled cities from the feudal era that we visited during the two days following Leingarten. So I will pick up our travel journal with Sunday, September 12. However, one digression before I begin. Vanda mentioned that the press met us in Leingarten and were interested in my military service in Germany. My second assignment in Germany, from April to September 1971, was as the S-2 ... read more

Europe » Germany » Baden-Württemberg » Heilbronn September 13th 2010

I'm picking up where I left off with the story of our trip to Leingarten. I have already uploaded the photos that we took there. I'm typing this as Rob is driving on the A8 autobahn from Salzburg to Munich. Traffic is heavy and it is raining; there are a lot of trucks. My laptop is fully charged and ready to go. Herr Krieger drove us to the other side of Leingarten to the town museum, which he called the "Archives." It is housed in the former town hall, Rathaus, of the village of Schluctern. Schluctern and Grossgartach were merged into one municipality around 1970, when according to Herr Krieger, the German government had many small villages combined into new entities with new names. So the historical artifacts from Grossgartach are in this museum in old ... read more

Europe » Germany » Baden-Württemberg » Heilbronn September 13th 2010

Today I was on a pilgrimage, and my Mecca was the part of Leingarten, Germany, formerly known as Grossgartach. As a little girl, probably as early as age four, I would stare at the photograph of John Jacob's Link's home in the front of a large, green volume titled "The Link Family," which sat in our front room. In this photo of a medieval-looking house on Heilbronner Street in a village just west of Heilbronn, a woman holding a baby in her arms stared out of an upstairs window. The photo was taken around 1914, and the house looked run down. This place seemed so very, very far away from me in Martinsburg, West Virginia. I was fascinated by the tale of my immigrant ancestor, John Jacob, who in his fifties, chose to leave his home ... read more
Site of Link home
House on Heilbronner Strasse across from Link home site
St. Lorenz Protestant Church, Leingarten


Here we are again. It's now Wednesday evening and we are still feeling the jet lag. This morning after checkout from the Hotel Pfaff, Vanda and I were off to see the highest waterfall in Germany. It was located just across the street from the hotel, a nice uphill walk. The scenery was beautiful, very green, lush and misty, and it was absolutely worth the free admission. Due to time constraints, we chose not to hike to the very top. After the waterfall we had a big decision to make - visit the Triberg city museum or go to Furtwangen and visit the German Clock Museum (Deutsches Uhrenmuseum). Why was this a big decision? Because I wanted to buy a cuckoo clock in the worst way and Vanda wasn't nearly as keen on the idea. We ... read more
Cuckoo Clock Auto
Black Forest Clock Store
Figure at Black Forest Clock Store


Flight to Zurich, Switzerland Good evening one and all and welcome once again to the blog of the Happy Wonders - Vanda and Rob. It is currently 9:35 Central European Time September 7 for Vanda and me - six hours earlier for you on the East coast and earlier yet for those further west. Monday, Labor Day, September 6, started early for your author as his dear wife rousted him from a deep slumber so that he could go on-line to check in and get the boarding passes, mow his grass and finish last minute packing. Of course, true to form, Vanda was also mowing her lawn and rushing to get all the last minute details completed. Needless to say, by 11:45 we were on the way to Dulles and arrived with enough time to have ... read more
German house with bovine lawn mowers
Hotel Pfaff in Triberg
Landgasthof Engel




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