Here are, finally, in person, the pictures of Germany!
Hi, and welcome to Excessive Photos of Foreign Countries by StarlingWings!
Well, I know you've all been waiting for pictures, and I must say, I am terribly sorry I couldn't get them sooner, but here they are finally!
I hope you enjoy
Here we are, arriving at the Keflavik Airport in Reykjavik, Iceland, after an eight-hour flight from Denver! It was around 6:00 A.M there, but around 12:00 A.M back home! But it was worth it.
We arrived at the Frankfurt airport around noon local time, it was already bedtime back home...But after we saw this waiting for us, all the tiredness disappeared
Yes, it was as good as it looks!
This is the view of the city (Homberg (Ohm)) where our host and hostess live from the highest point--the gates of the castle in their town. The views were amazing!
This is one of the old city gates in their town, which became a brewery.
Another fantastic view from the top!
Then, we went to Bonn. It used to be the capital until after WWII, when Berlin became the capital. There, I got to see Beethoven's house where he was born, which was quite inspiring. Here's the garden with various effigies of the great composer:
And the outside of the house:
On the way to our next stop, Koblenz, we saw this classic fairytale castle. It's called "Marksburg".
On to Koblenz, and the massive statue of Kaiser Willhelm II:
I did mention it was massive, right?
It is right on the "German Corner", where the Mosel river, flowing down from France, and the Rhine river meet. You can kinda see the spot where the two rivers mix, in front of the German flag.
We continued on to Boppard, a lovely little town on the Rhine river and went on some ski lifts to see the views of the vineyards, and the most complete curve of the Rhine river!
Majestic views tend to make one hungry, so we grabbed some lunch at a Turkish restaurant in downtown Boppard which must have not been that Turkish, since I ordered a very delicious plate of wienerschnitzel!
Then a walk was in order to facilitate digestion, of course!
We drove towards the next city, Bingen, which was where our hotel was and I snapped a picture of Katzburg, or "Cat Castle".
Getting to the hotel, we looked out the window of our room. You really can't beat this view!
As night fell, the Rhine river was illuminated by the lights of the city.
The next day, we drove to Frankfurt for some sightseeing, and on the way, we passed the airport, which, in case you were wondering (you probably weren't ) is the second largest airport in Europe, second to London-Heathrow.
I thought it was hysterical that all the taxis were classy cream colored Mercedes!
The "Old Town" center of Frankfurt:
These were taken on the Eiserner Steg bridge, where couples lock their locks symbolizing undying love and throw the key into the depths of the river below.
We went on Easter Monday, where the annual peace march was taking place.
Here is the famous Frankfurt Cathedral, which was the only thing left standing during WWII after Allied bombers totaled Frankfurt.
I couldn't resist the gorgeous cherry blossoms in bloom along the streets.
Aha! A city bird I liked her mutation, don't you think?
And lunch, of course. It's very nutritious to eat cake very single day for lunch. Extremely.
German sovereignty as a cohesive nation as well as a speech by John F. Kennedy took place here, at St. Paul's Cathedral:
Frankfurt: A Study
And back home to their lovely little town we go! Everyone in Germany seems to have an advanced knack for gardening
We visited a church in a neighboring town with such pretty stained glass! There was an old wall surrounding it which was apparently from year 5. Just 5. No zeros.
Caught another one! This one's a titmouse, I believe.
In honor of the week of Easter, the town was outfitted in the most darling decorations. Eggs!
Later that evening and back in their town, we took a "Geo Tour" which can best be described as a three-hour long walk through valleys, hills, forests, a basalt mine, and old Nazi outposts. This is a tower, called "Flugwatche", which means "flight watch", where they watched for Allied planes during WWII.
The next morning, we drove to Kassel, where the famous Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is located. It's a palace, now a museum, and then you climb to a monument of Hercules at the top. The Wilhelm guy who had this commissioned was really bored and also apparently fond of Greek mythology, which is why there's also a statue of Poseidon in the pond. During the summer, they put on a water show that cascades down the hill through waterfalls and aqueducts.
Here's the palace:
Here's the view near the top. See that super-straight road ahead? He built that, too. And it had to be perfectly straight, which is sad, considering during that time there wasn't advanced technology. Just string. And maybe a meter stick.
This is the Hercules monument. I spy Hercules up on top! They were repairing it for use in the summer.
On the way back, we stopped at a castle which is now used by the University of Giesen. It was quite a romantic castle!
We got home hungry and ready to eat tons of German sausages! And don't forget the potato salad
Next stop: Marburg, for a medieval castle museum, shopping, and yes, we did have more cake for lunch. The architecture was a classic!
You may have noticed a few bird pictures. Well, here's another one! This one is a European Starling, I'm almost positive. I figured I'd have lots of bird people to appease when I got back
Saw this fluffy boy outside the castle! Chickadee, maybe?
Ah, here we are at last.
I think good views are a given in Germany, especially when you're standing on a castle terrace!
Shall we go inside? We shall--Look at all the knights in shining armour
This belonged to a very important royal--probably Mallorn. Just kidding.
Hehe, there's another bird picture. A dove outside the castle walls.
And a secret door...Wherefore couldst it lead?
Found a store in the main city which sells only brushes. Only brushes, made of rabbit fur (don't ask me how that works, I have no idea ), hog's bristles, feathers, and used for hair, teeth, toes, there were shoe brushes and brooms (floor brushes?) and--Well, I'll stop there. But you get the idea. Only brushes, mind you.
We returned and had another long forest walk, in which it drizzled, I tried and failed to get more bird pictures, and instead, I snapped a lovely picture of a flower.
A magnolia bush on the way back...
Found another one of these charming birds!
The Ohm river, which flows through there town, and consequently, shares its name with the city.
That night was our last night, and to celebrate, we went to a traditional German restaurant. I ordered more schnitzel (yes, I know, I need to stop) and this was our appetizer. It's called Handkäse, or Hand-Cheese, and it's not really cheese. It's actually the stuff that's left over from making butter. So it's basically butter. And it was delicious.
Well, it's morning! We had our last breakfast in Germany and got to the Frankfurt airport for our four-hour flight back to Iceland. The police/security guys were different than they are here, so I took a stalker picture of them. Bonus, the guy was scratching his face! But that other one, he looks rather suspicious of me and my candid photos. Oh well, I won't ever see him again. Unless he's on Talk Budgies. That would be awkward.
Hellooooo Iceland! Oh, here's the thing. We were supposed to have a two hour layover in Iceland, but guess which airport was full of international traffic? Frankfurt. Guess who stalled on the runway for two hours in a traffic jam of planes? Oh, us. Guess who got to Iceland five minutes before boarding? Yep. Us.
We have landed safely and are waiting to get off the plane so we don't miss the next one But the weather was gorgeous on the wild Nordic moors
Well, we made it on. After a great deal of running. I'm upset, though, no tourist souvenirs from Iceland. And no food. But, when we bought it on the plane, I asked the stewardess if she could please possibly be so kind as to pay me back in Iceland money, because I just, wow, love her country, etc. Now I have some Iceland money!
This is the view of Greenland:
Next stop: Denver International Airport!
We got back to the States around 7:00, utterly exhausted but thrilled at having such amazing memories.
If you've read all of this, congratulations, you're the real MVP
I hope you enjoyed this mini-vacation! I'll be back soon with the Princess to throw in a few words There's probably some rule on the forum I've overlooked about posting too many pictures...Oops.
Well, it's been an absolute party!
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic
Last edited by StarlingWings; 04-30-2015 at 10:58 PM.
Yes I read every word. Absolutely beautiful pictures. I am supremely jealous. My GG Grandparents came from Heidelberg and I would so love have been able to go to Germany to see where they came from. I just drooled over the beautiful buildings and scenery.
I loved that thread! I went to Germany for vacation 6 years ago, in Cologne and stayed in Leverkusen. I am amazed by that country, I love the sightseeing and their culture! That's why I learnt the german language! I am planning to go again one day..
Thanks for sharing those amazing pics (I am jealous!) and for all the information!
Your European starling is a plain old Common Blackbird cock. Sorry! Our choice of wild birds is a bit boring most of the year.
Your chickadee is a great tit (chickadees are North American birds that don't live in this part of Europe, but they are loosely related). She's probably a hen, though I can't see her breast band well enough to be 100% certain.
From your picture, the titmouse is a (Eurasian) nuthatch (again, titmouse is a North American bird that doesn't occur here); should also be a cock; they're somewhat famous for their ability to walk vertically DOWN trees.
This is great, you're an awesome tour guide! Thanks for sharing your wonderful vacation pics with us!
EDIT: I forgot to mention that we also have the same coloured taxis here in my country and it's true most of them are Mercedes Benz.
All taxi cabs in Portugal used to be dark green and black in colour, but some years ago they changed for that cream colour.
Since they also have them in Germany, maybe it was some rule made by the European "big bosses in charge" to have the standardized cream colour.
RIP sweet Tito (Summer 2008 - January 17th 2013).
You are missed and never will be forgotten.
Last edited by aluz; 04-29-2015 at 10:39 AM.
Reason: Add info