Sunday, November 30, 2014

Visit with my German demo

Sunday morning we headed for 
And my stay with Christine. You read the background for this in My Travels post. 
It was like no time had passed at all when we arrived at their house. They welcomed us in and put my luggage aside and headed off to church. It was a short walk away. The church was very different from the ones that we have been visiting. It is quite small and very modern.

We held our song books and pretended to sing along. The highlights of the homily were given to me by Christine on the way home.
Her husband, Achim, had a wonderful dinner for us when we got back. There was a pork roast and the baked potatoes that I requested because they were so good last time. There were also several veggies and gravy. Excellent! 
Then we all got into two cars for our sight seeing tour. Jonalee and Nathan wanted to leave right from the castle rather than coming back to the house. 
No elevator at the castle! 
We started up the hill. Then there were steps. Many steps! 
The steps ended but the steep path continued. And continued. I stopped to catch my breath several times.

 Of course, Christine and I were chatting all the while. Hey, we haven't seen each other for four years! 
Finally, we reach the castle. It is cold and windy up there.

Christine bought the tickets for the tour. 
We needed to wait for the guide so we chatted and took pictures. Pictures are not allowed once we got inside the castle. 

Christine and Achim

Christine, Achim, Julia, Janina

Janina, Julia, Carolee

When we got inside we had to put huge, one size fits all, slippers over our shoes to protect the floors. It was fun to watch the whole group "skate" around. 
I could understand the guide but she sounded interesting. 
We did have a written guide in English but, true to life, I wasn't always on the right page. 
Then went around the gardens, the chapel and down the hill. 
You would think that down would be easier but when it is that steep you have to be careful that your body doesn't go faster than your feet. No, I didn't fall!
Jonalee and Nathan left for the condo and I went home with Christine and family.
More tomorrow! 

A treasure from Christine

When we returned from the castle tour Achim built a fire in the fireplace and we all visited and exchanged the many gifts we had for each other.
We got to talking about ancestors.
She knew that we were going to go to the village that mine came from in Germany.
She pulled up the family name on the computer. 
We picked one with a first name that is common in my family and she called him! 
He didn't sound very interested and said that someone else had come but we aren't related. 
When she translated the conversation with him, I remembered that another cousin had come here to visit and told me they had spoken with this man. 
Christine then brought up the home page for the village and saw that the Mayor had a personal email address. She sent an email.
Not much later, we had a reply.
By this time we are in her stamp room and chatting about our passion - stamping! 
The Mayor, Monika, was interested! 
A few more emails.
I was going to meet with her on Tuesday after J and N picked me up.
Remember that book that came along because there was room in the suitcase?
It is at the condo.
There is info in it that I want to send to the Mayor!
I emailed Jonalee and waited.
Then I messaged her on FB.
Nathan sent a pix of the pages I had asked for but wasn't sure they were the right ones.
Before I could answer, my iPad was ringing! FaceTime!
He resent the one that I wanted to send to the Mayor.
No wonder Jonalee loves him. He is so thoughtful.
We sent the page to the Mayor and Christine was afraid that I was going to wish the next day away with my excitement about the family history.
Nope! That was for Tuesday and I still had time with her.
Her daughter's each have a craft thing coming up at their schools so I had cut several of those cute little reindeer that I posted. I worked on putting those together while Christine worked on a project she had to donate to the cause.
Again, I stayed up too late.
No alarm was set and I slept so well that Christine got a lot of work done right in the next room and I never heard a sound until I woke up at 9:30!
We had breakfast and went back to our projects.
She made a potato cake for lunch. Very good. It reminded me of potato pancakes.
She cooked some apples to go with it. Yum!

The girls came home from school and we ate together.
They did their homework then we headed downtown for the Christmas Market.
It was a nice forty minute walk. All down hill. Some was quite steep but not a bad as the castle path.
No worry. I knew we were going to be picked up by Achim.
The lights were beautiful.

This tall tree was in the Mall.
Janina, Christine, and Julia

 Carolee and Christine

There was an ice skating rink there and the little ones had these cute little penguins to keep them steady. 

There were booths for many crafts and food and they were all so pretty.

The big banner over the street.

Janina and Julia were so much fun to be with for the evening.

I said good bye to the family before they went to bed as they would be off to work and school the next morning when Jonalee and Nathan came back to collect me. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Travels Day five

While we were at Kloster Bentlage I took some pictures through the window of the Kaus Hack sculptures exhibit that was advertised.

This one was taken out of the back window of the car.
Many of the roundabouts have sculptures in the middle. This is just one of the many I saw.

About 10:00 we were off to

Here they are at work. There are two large side altars with three of the shrines in each one.  

The wood carved altars are so beautiful! This one had an organ way up on the wall.

Another wood carved altar. This is the hanging statue right in front of the altar.

Side view of the hanging statue. It is Mary holding Jesus. There is one view facing the front and another facing the back. 

This is one that we visited on our last trip. The tour guide at that time told Jonalee not to take pictures close up. This time...the custodian had to leave and told us he would be locking up but would be back in ten minutes and we should just keep taking pictures!

Had we arrived a little later than we did, he would have been gone and the church would have been locked! We have been blessed with timing the visits.

About 12:30 we left there for

We had also visited this one last time and the church was being renovated then so many things were covered with tarps. We did find one small shrine at that time.

The shrine on the right is the center panel under the picture on the altar in the picture on the left.

The other, larger one was out from behind the tarp now. The church is big and beautiful.
These churches are so old and yet they are so clean and beautiful because they are so well cared for here.
This large altar had three shrines in that bottom panel.
It was rather dark and hard to photograph in this part of the church.

We were supposed to arrive at the condo about 6:00. The GPS had a different idea! I wondered why it was taking us on such a scenic route but figured the roads were better that way. We are staying in a forested park area and there are many narrow winding roads to get here. When we had reached our destination, Nathan went into the gas station to ask where we needed to go to register and they told him we were in Luxembourg! Jonalee and I both got out to be able to have our feet on Luxembourg soil! Nathan reprogrammed the GPS and we arrived at our real destination about 8:00.
We checked in then went to a nearby restaurant and had a typical German meal. This is the one you probably saw on FB.

 They had very cute wood sculptures for sale.

We got settled in and I repacked to go to Christine's. I wanted to take only the things I needed there.
I had a nice hot bath, wifi, full tummy, comfy bed and stayed up too late!
Excellent night's sleep even with my excitement for the next day!