Family Pictures 2013

Reformation on the Rhine

Many significant events in the Reformation happened along the Rhine River, and you can listen to a talk Dan gave at hour house here:

You can download the slideshow here.

Rhine Cruise - Day 7, Amsterdam

Today we had a canal tour and bus tour of Amsterdam after lunch. I took a lot of pictures of the countryside and windmills on our arrival, but didn't notice that it was not in auto mode (the last pictures were taken at night), so they didn't come out since I didn't check them. This was the coldest day, about high of 46, and while I was adding layers for our tours, I was reminded we would be inside a boat and bus. Unfortunately, we forgot that all bus tours include about an hour of free time for shopping (or walking outside), so I was a little chilly. After dinner we went for a walk, fully bundled up. Although Holland was the last Protestant country in Europe, today it is very perverse, and they are proud of their tolerance for aberrant lifestyles.
Old City Gate

You can see more pictures from the trip here.

Rhine Cruise - Day 6, Cologne

Today we were in Cologne, Germany and it was the Sabbath. Some of you have asked, "What do you do when on vacation on the Sabbath?" Well, we rested. It is a feast day, so we ate on the ship (it is valid to partake of hospitality when traveling.) We found an English evangelical church to visit, but their service was held before we docked in Cologne. We prayed for our church families, took a walk in town without our camera, then listened to part of a sermon and discussed the passage in Isaiah Scott preached on today. During our farewell dinner the ship departed for Amsterdam.

Rhine Cruise - Day 5, Rudesheim

Grape vines
We arrived in Rudesheim while eating breakfast, then we boarded a tram and took a short walk to the gondola station. It was rather cool and windy, but our first sunny day, which Kendra appreciated. We rode over the grape vineyards to see the Germany Unification Monument, then we walked through the vineyards to town, then walked back to the ship. The history and torture museums were not open, but we enjoyed our walk.

Germany Unification Monument
Vineyards & Monument
Vineyards with house & old tower
We had traditional German food for lunch after returning to the ship, then we started cruising the scenic castles along the Rhine, which were built to display the wealth of the landowners and collect tolls along the river. The river was the main way to transport goods. The Rhine Valley is known for its grapes and wines, predominantly Rieslings. This was Kendra's favorite day of the cruise, and the afternoon cruise was her favorite part. We were on the sundeck of the ship, it was very chilly, but beautiful. We got to try the new audio linked to the GPS with our headsets. It could have used more historical details, but it was a good idea.

Oldest standing castle on the Rhine. They put chains across the river to stop boats for tolls.
Most glorious rainbow we have ever seen. We saw both ends on the ground. Actually a double rainbow.

We arrived in Koblenz about dusk and had a quick walking tour.

Rhine Cruise - Day 4, Speyer/Heidelberg

View of Heidelburg from Castle
Today we arrived in Speyer while we slept, so after breakfast we boarded our tour bus for Heidelberg, Germany. We toured the Heidelberg Castle, which is sliding down the hill toward the university town. The town is where the Heidelberg Confession was written.

View of Heidelburg from Castle
Monument opposite town from Castle
View of Castle from University Square
Cathedral in Heidelburg
Oldest building in Heidelburg
After dinner we walked to the Speyer Cathedral and through the old town. I think Speyer is where the Reformers were first called Protestants.

Speyer Cathedral in the rain
Pilgrim statue

Rhine Cruise - Day 3, Strasbourg

Strasbourg Cathedral
Today we arrived in Strasbourg, France while eating breakfast, and started our bus tour after breakfast. Strasbourg has transferred from German to French rule many times, and now houses the European Union Parliament and Place de la Republique. We visited the Cathedrale de Notre Dame, or Strasbourg Cathedral, with the famous astronomical clock. Dan climbed the 335 steps to the spire of the cathedral while Kendra went shopping. We saw a couple of other cathedrals where some famous reformers preached, ate a pretzel for lunch instead of going back to the ship, then boarded the boat for our canal cruise. This was Dan's favorite day of the trip.

On the way up the cathedral spire
City Gate Towers
Tanner's business & house on left
Gutenburg Statue
View from Church Spire

Rhine Cruise - Day 2, Freiburg

Model of Medieval Freiburg
After lunch we boarded a bus for Freiburg & Breisach. By the way, we cruised with AmaWaterways and they provided QuietVox headsets in our cabin which we used on all of our walking tours and recharged them in our cabin. They also provided umbrellas, robes and slippers for our use onboard. Whenever we returned from touring, they had hot towels, hot mulled wine, and hot peach tea, and no security to go through. All in all, it was more pleasant than the large ocean cruise ships, not to mention the complimentary soft drinks, beer, and wine for lunch and dinner, and it was never hard to find a table to sit at.

Freiburg Munster (cathedral)
Inside Munster
On our way to Freiburg we saw the Black Forest, grape vines, American barracks (soon to become much needed apartments), and strawberry and asparagus fields. First we toured the Munsterplatz, then the history museum, and saw the customs house. I almost bought some crystal antique wine glasses, but when I found out they were from France, they didn't seem like a good souvenir from Germany (I forgot we would be in France the next day - ha! ha!)

Custom House
Breisach Cathedral