Page 5 of buddymedbery Travel Blog Posts

Europe » France » Centre » Bourges June 21st 2016

Mostly, this was a day of getting from one place to another. It was prolonged because a major highway was closed, we think due to flooding or flood damage. This caused us to take another route that added 100 km to our trip. But we try to never have a day without doing something of interest, so today we stopped by the little town of Annecy, France. It has canals and a river runs through it, and is picturesque enough that it has been said to be one of the prettiest small towns in France. We wandered the streets, looked into the old chateau, and then Dean and Chuck and I stopped at a local brasserie and had cappuccino and waffles, while the ladies went shopping. We then drove on into Bourges, which we did not ... read more
Cheeses for sale in market - Annecy
Narrow street, Annecy

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Montreux June 20th 2016

All in all, this was one of the most unforgettable travel days we have had, not for action, but for simple beauty of the environment. Our course took us first to Lucerne to see the Kapellbrucke, then on through the Jungfrau/Eiger region of the Swiss Alps, and finally on to Montreux on the "Swiss Riviera". Lucerne is on the shore of Lake Lucerne, at the point where the river Reuss empties into that lake, and the object of our visit was to see the famous Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) which crosses the Reuss at a diagonal (never have found an explanation for that). It was built in 1333 originally, and is the oldest covered bridge in Europe. Since it is wooden, I am sure that much, if not all, has been replaced over time, and certainly major ... read more
Kapellbrücke, Lucerne
Kapellbrücke, Lucerne
Lake in the Swiss Alps

Europe » Switzerland » North-East » Zürich » Zürich June 19th 2016

Our Munich adventure came to and end with a phenomenal dinner Saturday night. It was at a restaurant where the chef-owner is the brother of Chuck's next door neighbor. I may do a separate entry on that. Today, we headed out Germany by way of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, drove almost the length of Austria, crossed Liechtenstein, and went on to Zurich. Along the way, we had two objectives: finding sapsago cheese in the beautiful Swiss canton of Glarus, and seeing the Glares thrust fault in the same area. Skunked on both. As we later learned, the local name for sapsago is schabziger,and although we did not see any in the store it may have been available if we had known what to call it. We grew up eating sapsago grated onto pumpernickel bread with butter. As for the ... read more
Tall waterfall
Typical bucolic valley

Europe » Germany » Bavaria June 18th 2016

since I have all my father's World War II maps with their route of march clearly marked, we were able to follow that route down the center of Germany into Bavaria. On the final map, he draw a circle around a bivouac area near Isen, and clearly marked "Finis". We finished our World War II tour there today (with the exception of our visit to the Dachau concentration camp minutes later). Today, Isen is a sleepy, hilly little village with narrow winding streets, and the probable bivouac area is a grain field of undulating swells. Leaving Isen, we went on to Dachau before going into Munich. I don't know what to say about Dachau that I have not said previously. It is similar to Buchenwald which we visited a few years ago. Unlike Treblinka and Sobibor ... read more
Moat and fence Dachau
Crematorium Dachau
Sculpture in front of museum at Dachau

Europe » Germany » Bavaria June 17th 2016

We started our day at the Documentation Center and Congress Hall in Nuremberg. Hitler planned several massive structures that were designed further the fuhrer myth and to force people to feel insignificant except as part of a larger whole. Most were not built. The current exhibition is in the old Kongresshalle. It is a first-class explanation of events. The Germans, more than most, have been willing to take a sober look at themselves, report history and the interpretation of that history honestly, and vow "never again". Our visit was somewhat prolonged because of the extent of the material, but it is beyond the scope of this blog to try to explain it all. In a nutshell, Hitler preyed on the fact that Germany had been ill-treated after World War I, and promised people he could make ... read more
At bivouac site - Isen
Dachau - Moat and fence around camp
Dachau - second and larger crematorium

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Nuremberg June 16th 2016

On November 8, 1895, a 50 year old German physicist was experimenting with Crookes tubes (evacuated globes with a cathode and an electrode between which a current can be passed). He was primarily interested in the light produced, but when he covered the tube with sturdy paper he noted that a platinobarium screen 9 feet away glowed, a result he had not predicted. He immediately recognized that he had discovered a new type of rays, which he called x-rays (for "x" the "unknown".) Over 7 weeks he performed meticulous experiments and began to define the properties of the new rays, including the ability to pass through human tissue and outline bones and metal. In 1901, his work was recognized with the awarding of the first Nobel Prize in physics. His discovery was adopted into use with ... read more
Courtroom 600, Nuremberg Palace of Justice
Correspondents covering trials included a young Walter Cronkite and the Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck
Outside Röntgen's laboratory

Europe » Germany » Baden-Württemberg » Heidelberg June 15th 2016

On March 7, 1945, a call came in to the Goldenrod Cafe in West Point, Nebraska. The caller, a reporter from the Omaha Herald, wanted to speak to one of the waitresses, Mrs. Mary Timmerman. He told her that her son, 2nd Lt. Karl Timmerman had just been the first man across the Remagen Bridge over the Rhine. Mrs. Timmerman was a German war bride from World War I. Her son had just become the first officer of an invading army to cross the Rhine River since Napoleon. The Rhine River represented the last great barrier for Allied troops heading into Germany. The Rhine is a wide, deep, swift, and cold river with high bluffs for banks in most areas, and was a formidable challenge for crossing. The Germans had destroyed most of the Rhine bridges, ... read more
Remagen bridge - eastern towers and tunnel entrance
Repeler Ley heights above site of Ludendorff Bridge
Last remaining approach stonework for Ludendorff Bridge

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Cologne June 14th 2016

We started the day driving up the N421 which in a smaller incarnation was the road known by the World War II Americans as they Skyline Drive, because like the road in Virginia it follows the ridge line with land sloping off to either side. It was the scene of intense fighting for the first 1-2 days of the Bulge battle. We went back to Baugnez, but the museum was again close, although we did locate the memorial to the massacre, including a rose garden with roses donated by the rose growers of Tyler TX. Nearby is the Hotel du Moulin where an American general was nearly caught by Peiper's group but left his lunch on the table and managed to escape. Eight of his soldiers were not so lucky, and were summarily executed behind the ... read more
Baugnez area  01 061416
Hotel du Moulin, Ligneuville
Baugnez massacre memorial

Europe » Luxembourg » Luxembourg City June 13th 2016

Early on the morning of December 16, 1944, some alert sentries in the American lines in the area of the Losheim Gap in Belgium heard the low roar of engines. There was some clanking of armored treads. Suddenly large searchlights from the German side were directed up into the low-hanging clouds, reflecting their light downward. In many instances, this revealed to the sleepy Americans that their lines had already been infiltrated by German infantry soldiers, and many died shortly after making the discovery. Germany's Operation Wacht am Rhein ("Watch on the Rhine") had begun, and would develop into the biggest battle the US Army has fought, known to the Allied side as the Battle of the Bulge. Anyone who is familiar with the Band Of Brothers series knows about the feats and travails of the 101st ... read more
Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial
Cleaning crosses at Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial
Grave of Gen. George Patton at Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial

Europe » Luxembourg » Luxembourg City June 12th 2016

Almost all generalizations are inaccurate to a greater or lesser degree, but I have always thought of the Normandy invasion in terms of large aggregates of men engaged in fights to take it to the enemy in weather that was tolerable. I have always thought of the Battle of the Bulge as smaller units, unorganized groups of men, and brave individuals performing heroically from defensive positions against a charging, well-armed enemy in weather that was beyond awful. Today's journey was our first day in the landscape of the Bulge. But it started at the sites of lesser well known but devastating battles at Aachen and the Hürtgen Forest. The connected battles to take Aachen and the Hürtgen Forest constitute the longest battle ever fought by the US Army, lasting from September 19, 1944 to February 10, ... read more
Tank tread embedded in ground along Kall Trail
"Dragon's teeth" in the Siegfried Line
Looking upslope at Lanzerath Ridge

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