Late Thursday night,
my husband and I returned home from a wonderful vacation.
We took a Rhine River cruise with our dear friends
and saw some beautiful sights.
Cruising up river, even though we were going south,
was so relaxing and fun.
The scenery along the Rhine is amazing and the history we saw
and learned about was wonderful.
Here are just a few of the photos I took on our trip.
We started the trip by spending a couple of days in Amsterdam.
It rained and rained while we were there,
but we slogged and trudged through the storms
and saw some wonderful things.
It was too late for the tulips,
but we found these at the flower market.
A few of the many houseboats along the canals.
You can't go to the Netherlands without seeing the windmills.
There were 19 of these historic windmills in this one area.
They are on the historical registry and have to be maintained
by the owners.
The cathedral in Cologne, Germany was just beautiful.
Amazingly, very little damage was done to this cathedral during WWII.
Below is the cathedral at night from across the Rhine.
One afternoon we cruised up the Middle Rhine
and saw castle after castle after castle.
Some have been restored and are now hotels,
restaurants or youth hostels.
Marksburg Castle is the only castle that had never been destroyed.
Some look over quaint little towns with vineyards growing up the hills.
These vines are planted in vertical rows on these hills.
Some of the hills are very steep and we were amazed that they could grow like that
and be harvested!
Some castles looked over other castles.
This white one in the river was built to collect tolls from the boats traveling on the Rhine.
The Rhine River has the most boat traffic of any river in the world.
There were more beautiful, big churches than I could count along the way.
I love the little chapel on the hill, looking down on the town and river.
When in Germany, do what the Germans do....
We went on a Pub crawl and this is what you do when you don't
want another glass of beer.
In Heidelberg we toured a castle that had been added onto several
different times and was then destroyed by Louis XIV.
Three different centuries are represented here.
And then there was the architecture of the homes.
Half timber homes, old plaster homes...
all with gorgeous flowers in window boxes and pots.
I loved this building.
It held a pottery shop in the first floor space
and hung the examples on the outside of the building.
This is one of HUNDREDS of wineries in Alsace, France.
They grow seven different varieties of grapes and have to follow rigid guidelines
when making the wine.
These barrels are 90 to 200 years old!
The world's largest cuckoo clock can be found in the Black Forest of Germany
where cuckoo clocks are made.
There were some fancy clocks in this shop!
This is a stork!
Annabelle is her name and she lives in her nest on top
of the remnants of a church that was bombed in WWII.
Storks mate for life, migrate to South Africa and other places
and come back to the same nest year after year.
She put on quite a show for us this day!
On our last day we visited Colmar.
My husband is a bit of a WWII history buff and was pleased to be able to see this memorial
to Audie Murphy.
We went on a tour of the battle in Colmar and had an excellent guide.
It was a sobering afternoon.
We are adjusting back to east coast time, while remembering the
wonderful time we had on the river cruise.