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Sunday, December 02, 2018

Family Trip to Germany - 2018

The Plönlein in Rothenberg ob der Tauber

Wednesday, November 29

Mom, Angela, Chris, the girls and I flew to Munich on November 27. Mom had wanted to go back to Germany this fall and told Dad before he died that she was going. After he passed away, she decided that the whole family should return again as we had all been there for their 50th wedding anniversary. From Munich, we rented a very large Mercedes and drove to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, where we met friends who used to live in North Carolina.

Our first stop in Rothenburg was lunch. We decided on an Italian place - it was close, it was convenient, and it had a bathroom. The pizza was delicious. After touring the sites of Rothenburg, we drove to Nuremberg and checked into our apartment for the week. That night, she, Chris and I went to the Bratwursthäusle. Mom and I had eaten there with Dad five years ago -- they have been making Nuremberg style Bratwurst there for hundreds of years. It was bustling - a German guy asked if he could sit with us and we said yes. We enjoyed talking with him, and mom wishes we would have gotten a picture.

In Behringer's Bratwürsthausl 

Thursday, November 30 

I think my sister Angela captured today pretty well in her Facebook post:

What a great day exploring Nürnberg! We took the train to the Dokumentations-Zentrum, the site Adolf Hitler initiated to be built in 1933 for the National Socialists Party rallies. This gigantic building project included a Congress Hall designed to provide space for 50,000 people. It was never finished but now houses the permanent exhibition called "Fascination and Terror." It deals with the causes, contexts, and consequences of the Nazi tyranny and the history of the Nazi Party Rallies held here.

On the #8 Tram

The chapel in the Castle
We then took the bus to Nürnberg's Imperial Castle where we able to tour the chapel, the hall of judgement, the sitting room, the Knights Hall, and their museum. My favorite part was the Deep Well, a shift going down nearly 50 meters into the castle rock. The guide illustrates its depth by candles in the middle descending all the way down as we watched.

We enjoyed dinner at Augustiner Zur Schranke and especially loved our walk home through old town Nürnberg as the city prepares for Christmas Markets to open tomorrow night. The lights are so beautiful in the city's streets and along the river. Couldn't go home without a Gluwein and a trip to the bakery before settling into our favorite spot in the apartment...the kitchen table.

Dinner at Augustiner Zur Schranke

Looking up at the castle from outside Augustiner Zur Schranke

Friday, December 1

My sister has done such a good job, I'm going to let her continue the narrative:

What a special day. We started with a little shopping in Nürnberg...Mom even found the Euro ($1) store. Then we visited St. Lorenz, a church that has been a place of prayer and a witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ for over 750 years. It is awesome in beauty and Glory. It uniquely unites art, theology, and piety.

The oldest work of art there is "The Beautiful Madonna" from around 1280. There were so many stunning altars and sculptures in this church dating back to to the 1400's depicting The Last Supper, the Passion of Christ, Mary and her mother, among many many others. Also so meaningful was St Lorenz's Advent Wreath, symbolizing this season of anticipation for the birth of Christ.

St. John's Altar in St. Lorenz, depicting The Last Supper, from 1420.
On our walk home we enjoyed a little food from vendors on the street opening for the Christmas Market. Nürnberg is famous for its Nürenberger, small roasted bratwursts. Catherine loves them!

In the afternoon we drove to Heidelberg, a town very special to us as it is where Mom and Dad lived when they were first married and he was serving in the Army. We have been here before (Mom, Dad, and Frank several times and my family joining them 3 years ago). But today was our first time here since Daddy passed away.

We had dinner with Horst and Inge Ludwig at Restaurant Makedonija - the same restaurant we visited with them on Mom and Dads 50th wedding anniversary. Mom and Dad lived in an attic apartment of Inge's parents home in Heidelberg when Inge was a teenager. She is very special to our family. A few tears were shed and lots of laughs tonight. Dinner was amazing, especially the Slivovitz mit birnenlikoer we enjoyed at the end. Cheers!

At dinner at Makidonija
We were back to Nürnberg in time to see some of the Christkindle Market lights before it closed for the night. So gorgeous!

The Frauenkirche at the Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt

Saturday, December 1

Continuing with Angela's account of the week (I helped.):

This morning we drove to Bad Windsheim, Germany to meet our cousins Hilde and Fritz Saemann (mother and son) and our friends Gertraud and Friedtich Nöth. We explored Fränkisches Freilandmuseum, one of the most beautiful and interesting places I've ever been.

In the late 1970s the museum was constructed by moving historical homes and buildings from all over southern Germany to this place. Stone by stone, brick by brick, and timber by timber everything was labeled and numbered as it was taken apart and then put back together here exactly as it was in its homeplace. There are over 100 structures.. houses, barns, a church, and mills completely in tact as they were from as early as 1599. There were details in every building about its history and significance in all types of German life... from farming to upper class hunting country homes to wine barrel making and breweries.

Delicious Lunch at Wirtshaus am Freilandmuseum
There were ladies in one house making traditional German baked goods and Glühwein. And there was a shepherd with his border collies showing us how his dogs herded the flock of sheep. There was even a painting in one room with the words from our family blessing on it in German. It's the prayer everyone in Grandma Paschall's family says before a meal, " Come Lord Jesus and be our Guest, and let this food to us be Blessed". The houses were incredible and the landscape completely stunning.

Leaving Bad Windsheim we drove to Weigenheim, the village where Mom's grandfather's family came from and lived before he came to America in 1884. Hilde, Gertraud and Friedrich still live there. It is a village of only around 400 people. We have been here and explored before, seeing the church our family attended and houses they lived in.

This afternoon we enjoyed Hilda's homemade apple desserts and other baked goods, coffee, and tea. Carrie and Catherine couldn't come here again without visiting their horses, Sally, Danny, and Xena. It's incredible to be able to see your family heritage in real time - to walk the streets your great-grandfather and his grandparents walked and to spend hours with family who live thousands of miles away.

Hilde's beautiful table and delicious dessert. Notice the American, North Carolina, and German flags on the table. 

We had lunch at the restaurant there on the grounds. We also went into an exhibit that highlighted the history of German schools from the 1940s to the 1970s. This amazing place continues to grow and as one or two more structures are added every couple of years.

We drove back to Nürnberg for a night at the Christmas Market. It was so much fun and so many people! We had Nürnberg Brats again at Behringer's Bratwursthäusle who's been serving these famous brats since 1313. We couldn't miss making a wish at the Schöner Brunnen fountain in the main square... famous for making wishes come true by turning its golden ring. We each took a turn!

Before heading home we stopped at the famous Feuerzangenbowle, the world's largest punch bowl. A gorgeous day and evening and beautiful weather!

Sunday, December 2

On Sunday, we decided to enjoy the Nürnberg Christmas markets and do some shopping before we headed to Munich. It was much less crowded than it had been on Saturday night, and much more enjoyable.Nürnberg. 
Angela's account:
Leaving our apartment in Nürnberg today heading to Munich before flying home tomorrow. Had to get more Nürnberger brats, see the Heilig Geist Hospital - considered the largest "bridge" in Nürnberg and Schuldturn Tower built in 1323 as part of the Old City Wall and later it served as a debtor's prison. We walked through the Christmas Market, Carrie and I rode the 2 story carousel, we enjoyed a little Starbucks, Carrie said goodbye to the geese in the river, and we saw the accordian playing Santa! And Chris and Frank got one more Feuerzangenbowle.

Schuldturn Tower

As we were flying out from Munich on Monday morning, we decided to stay by the airport Sunday night. But first, we stopped by the Munich Christmas Markets for a bit before having dinner at the Hofbrauhaus.

At Marienplatz in front of the Rathaus in Munich

Last Dinner at Hofbrauhaus 

Check out the Wordpress version of this here. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

When I was in Peru in August 2012, I noticed that Cusco was a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It occurred to me that I had been to several through the years, and I wondered how many there were and how many I had been to. So I decided to do a post of all the UNESCO World Heritage Sites I had visited.

Since that time, I've continued to update this post. The most recent UNESCO site I've visited was the Angkor complex in Cambodia. Before that, it was the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, and the Qutb Minar and its monuments. Prior to that, it was Stelling van Amsterdam, or the defense line of Amsterdam, built between 1880 and 1914. Prior to that, it was Cape Floristic Region in Cape Town, Africa which I visited in April 2016.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a site designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to be of cultural or physical significance. There are presently over 962 such sites.

The 46 World Heritage Sites I’ve been to include:


• Stelling van Amsterdam (defense line of Amsterdam) in Haarlem

Fort benoorden Spaarndam, part of the defense line of Amsterdam


• Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg

• Historic Centre of Vienna

Vienna Opera House


• Sydney Opera House

• La Grand-Place, Brussels


• Rapa Nui National Park


• Rapa Nui National Park

Rapa Nui (the indigenous name for Easter Island)
• Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaíso



• The Great Wall

Great Wall at Mutianyu

Great Wall at Badaling
• Classical Gardens of Suzhou

• Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing

Temple of Heaven
• Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang (Forbidden City)

Forbidden City

Czech Republic
• Historic Centre of Prague



• Historic Cairo

Cairo and the Nile
• Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur
Giza and the Pyramids

• Palace and Park of Versailles
• Historic Centre of Avignon: Papal Palace, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge
• Paris, Banks of the Seine

Banks of the Seine

Town of Bamberg

• Würtzberg Residenz


• Agra Fort

• Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Station)

• Elephanta Caves

At Elephanta Caves

Inside the Elephanta Caves
• Fatehpur Sikri

• Hill Forts of Rajastan

Amber Fort in Jaipur

• Jantar Mantar --The Jantar Mantar, in Jaipur, is an astronomical observation site built in the early 18th century.

• Taj Mahal

• Qutb Minar and its Monuments

• Vatican City

The Vatican
• Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura

Ancient Roman Ruins

• Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama


• City of Luxembourg: its Old Quarters and Fortifications

• Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco

The Zocalo in Mexico City
• Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan
Climbing Teotihuacan

• City of Cuzco

Plaza de Armas in Cuzco
• Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu

Arriving at the Sun Gate with Machu Picchu below

Russian Federation
• Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow

At the Kremlin

South Africa 

• Cape Floral Region Protected Areas (Cape Town)

• Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada

La Alhambra

Inside the Alhambra in Granada (Spring 1999)

• Works of Antoni Gaudi

Gaudi's Sagrada Familia
Me inside Gaudi's Park Güell in Barcelona, 1999 

• Historic City of Toledo

Toledo, Spain

United Kingdom

• Old and New Towns of Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle

• Tower of London

• Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret's Church

• Statue of Liberty

• San Antonio Mission (including the Alamo)

The Alamo, 2009

(Updated December 8, 2018 from original post in October, 2012)

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