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July 15, 2005

Best of the Wurst (updated with photos)

Matt's mom and dad came to travel with us for about 10 days. It was fun-filled, action packed, and "wunderbar".

Matt's parents flew from JFK to Dresden, then got a rental car and met us in Prague, as we came to Prague from Vienna by train. It was really great to see them.

Prague was beautiful. It has been unspoiled by 20th century wars, and the architecture is fantastic. It has gothic, baroque, neo-gothic, neo-classic, and romantic buildings throughout. The castle and churches and the Charles Bridge (named for King Charles IV) lined with mostly religious statues, are all quite amazing. We all toured the popular sights, including the old Jewish neighborhood and the Old Town Square. The only disappointing thing about Prague was the lack of hospitality. The local people seemed tired and overwhelmed by the tourists, which Robin can attest has exploded over the last 12 years.

After three nights in Prague, we made a day trip to Plzen, the birthplace of modern beer, and we toured the famous Pilsner Urquell brewery, where it all began in the 1830's.

The next day we drove this car southwest into Bavaria and stopped in the pretty town of Oberammergau, where the buildings are painted with scenes of old tales from the Grimm Brothers and the Bible. We stayed for two nights in Reutte, Austria, just over the border. This was in a little valley surrounded by the Alps. It was hard not to yodel.

One day we toured some of the castles of the infamous "Mad King" Ludwig II: his boyhood home Hohenschwangau, and then his fairy-tale castle Neuschwanstein. Here are Mom and Dad at Hohenschwangau. Here we are in front of Neuschwanstein. We also stopped by the neighboring village of Fussen; on the way we saw some cows. We also saw the Weisse Church, a remarkable Roccoco style church, standing in a meadow. Here we are celebrating "Happy hour" after a busy day sightseeing!

Following Bavaria, we drove up to central Germany along the "Romantic Road" to Rothenburg, a walled medieval town which is well preserved with tons of original buildings from the 13 and 1400's. This town has a moat, an old church with some fantastic wood carvings, a great "Night Watchman's Tour", and some great Christmas ornament shops; most of the shops in town had great signs.

All throughout our trip, we had good food, beer and wine, stayed at comfortable guest houses with caring hosts, and enjoyed mostly good weather (Robin and Matt got soaked by a violent rain/hail storm in Prague). It was wonderful to be with family after being away from home for so long.

Thanks mom and dad for a splendid trip!!!

Posted by Matt & Robin on July 15, 2005 08:15 AM
Category: Europe

WOW some great pictures! Loved the before and after pictures of Matt's hair and the toiletries! Life can be wonderful with the simplest things.

Posted by: Brian on July 18, 2005 08:43 AM
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