Saturday, August 2, 2008

Newsletter #3

We finally took time to enjoy our host country.
Well, part of Germany that is. We decided that it was time to go castle hopping, so we spent Saturday driving up, across and back down the Rein River. Along the drive are at least a dozen old castles.
Some castles were a thousand years old. Most were badly damaged by the Medieval Wars, by the French. But a few still remain active.
In just 6 hours we saw hundreds of years of history pass before us, and a dozen castles. Some of them were rebuilt by the Prussian King. And, almost all of them are nestled on the hillside in the midst of grape vineyards.
The small villages along the Rein are enchanting. We stopped for lunch and again for dinner, just so we’d have an excuse to “mingle” with the natives. We really enjoy the German people. They always try to speak English, and that’s good because our
Germany is “nicht guten.”

We love the “Ginger-bread” houses in these small villages. This building is more than a Hansel & Gretel house. It’s a small restaurant/home in the center of a quant village. We just had to take a quick picture of a German dream home near a quiet market square. The village of Bacharach in tightly nestled between the Rein River and the mountainside. It quickly became one of our favorite villages. A large castle lingers over it, now used as a youth hostel.
The village is about an hour outside of Frankfurt, and a really pleasant place to return for a quiet dinner at a friendly garden restaurant on a narrow stone street. We look forward to doing just that! Wanna join us?

On the opposite side of the river is this beautiful view and another castle. It’s interesting how the French attacked and destroyed a castle on one side of the river and left the one on the opposite side nearly untouched

OK. Utah. This is what we mean by trees!
And we didn’t even need to go high into the mountains to find them. We had a nice stroll through the park to reach the top of the hillside and enjoy the view below. No snow, no rain—just a beautiful sunny day in Deutschland.

Behind and below, are the Rheine River and a line of small villages along the river, and vineyards running up the hillside. Way-y-y in the distance is Frankfurt.
We had a leisured Saturday and a nice break from work.

Then on Monday, back to work we go. This is Elder Durrance, better known as Papa Joe, sitting at his desk talking to our new friend in Amman, Jordan. Through the window—if you look
really hard—is our apartment building. You can almost see the windows to our apartment. Our office is just a step away from home. All we need do is walk through the parking lot and we’re home or at work. That makes going home for lunch very convenient. And, we’re never late for work, but somehow we’re always late going home. You can honestly say that we really put in a full day’s work. Today, we work for 12 hours straight. Though sometimes it’s a long day, we love the affects of our efforts.

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