Living in Europe was like time travel; I lived in the present, but it was as if every history lesson and fairy tale about the past had become real and accessible. I measured distances not in miles or kilometers but rather in travel time. Three hours to Munich, 6 hours to Zurich, 10 hours to Amsterdam...every weekend was an adventure, every trip was a wonderful opportunity to explore and experience the past in the present.
Here is a small sampling of some of the places I visited.
Driving across the gently rolling countryside on the
plains of Salisbury,
you round a curve and suddenly there it is, in the middle of nowhere -
Stonehenge. Instantly recognizable it is but a pale shadow of the original
structure which comprised multiple rings. As the picture at the top of the
page illustrates, the largest slabs of stone are huge and only 1/2 to 2/3
of the vertical stones are visible. The large stones average nearly 30 tons
and 30 feet long and were cut in quarries 24 miles away. Scores of "smaller"
stones, each weighing over 6 tons were quarried and transported to this
site from hundreds of miles away...all without the assistance of wheeled
vehicles. Through the years since its construction from approximately 2000
to 1500 B.C. Stonehenge has accumulated much myth and legend, even as
scavengers have slowly diminished the physical structure for other buildings.
Canterbury. The name is familiar for Chaucer's Tales
and for the Cathedral
which has nearly 1400 years of history associated with the name and structure.
Resting place of Thomas of Becket until his body was removed and destroyed
during the reign of Henry VIII, it still serves as his shrine. Stained glass
making is an art shrouded in the secrecy of the guilds whose methods and
processes were so carefully guarded that many are unknown, lost in the past.
Notre Dame Cathedral is built over the ruins of an old
Roman temple located
on a small island on the Seine in the heart of Paris. Vandalized during the
French Revolution and used for public entertainment, Notre Dame is the site
where Napoleon I crowned himself Emperor in 1804.
Built for the Paris Expo in 1889 la tour Eiffel is 984
ft. tall. You can walk
or take an elevator up to the second deck and elevator only from there to the
top. There are kiosks and restaurants on the first and second decks and a
weather station on the observation platform at the top. On a clear day you can
see a view of the French countryside up to 85 miles away.
On a nondescript canal/street in the heart of Amsterdam
is this ordinary
looking brick house. Inside is a museum dedicated to the memory of Anne Frank.
There you will find most of the original building, and secret annex where
the Frank and van Pels families survived almost to the end of WW II.
Arrested in August 1944, the families were separated and sent to concentration
camps. In February of 1945 Anne succumbed to typhus while imprisoned at
Bergen-Belsen. Her diary, written almost entirely in this building, was saved
by family friend Miep Gies and given to Anne's father Otto - the sole survivor
of the 8 people living here in hiding. Severely edited by father and publisher,
the original 1947 publication created such a strong demand that another edition
was immediately produced and eventually the entire diary was published and has
since been translated into several dozen languages.
Overlooking the city of Heidelberg on the Neckar river,
Heidelberg castle has
been razed and raised several times in its 700 year history most memorably its
final destruction by armies of Louis XIV of France. In commemoration, the
sacking and burning of the castle is recreated with hundreds of red flares.
On the original steps in the old Stadt of Hameln, the
Pied Piper plays his
merry tune and lures the rats and children of the town through the narrow
streets and into legend and iniquity.
Located South of Salzburg, Castle Anif is surrounded
by water and meadows.
Built by the Archbishop of Salzburg in the 1500's, today it serves as both
museum and residence.
There are many other places to share and I will add some of them to these pages as time permits. Back to home page Images Sound Words Links Professional