Monthly Archives: May 2014

This area is also known as Gascony. While cycling from Thuy to Marciac, we passed vineyards, orchards and fields of grain. Animals and plants thrive due to twenty rivers which originate in the High Pyrenees. Farmers specialize in garlic, goose fat, chestnuts, plums and foie gras.

Historically, the residents remain self – confident despite centuries of domination by Romans, English, French and the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy. The fictional character, D’Artagnan, from The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, was loosely based on a man born in the region in 1611. He remains an international hero due to books and over 50 films about his adventures.

Frauenkirche, Dresden, Germany

The Lutheran Frauenkirche was destroyed during the four bombing raids on Dresden’s city center in 1945. It was still in ruins as of 1991. It took an international campaign and seven years before it was consecrated in 2005.

Dresden was once called the Florence of the Elbe. Reconstruction of the Zwinger Palace and museums continues.

We ended a ten-day bike ride here and were inspired by this elegant Baroque church and statue of Martin Luther. We are reminded that healing from WWII is slow.

The Brothers Grimm

The German brothers, Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm, were poor as youngsters. Later they studied folklore and published stories such as Cinderella, Snow White and Hansel and Gretel between 1812 and 1857.

I spied this cottage near Torgau, Germany and wondered about who has lived there.

Did your favorite folk/fairytale s leave a message for you? Since I have often been lost, I’ve wished for that clever Hansel’s trail of bread crumbs. Eventually I learned the hard way, awareness is the key.

Martin Luther ' s Pulpit

Lutherstadt Wittenberg , Germany is the home of four UNESCO sites which honor the work of Martin Luther. The two churches, Castle Church and St. Marien Parish Church, are being restored in preparation for the five hundred year anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of his ninety five thesis or reforms.
Lutherhaus is a museum displaying his actual home and the manner in which his words spread across Europe. This wooden pulpit is
where he began preaching against indulgences.
At a time when only 10 % of the population was literate he had a talent for making his written words sound like a sermon.

Restored Castle in Lenzen, Germany

It’s easy to imagine life eight hundred years ago as you walk over the drawbridge and pass through the giant doors of the museum along the Elbe River in Northern Germany. Travelling by bicycle, we appreciate the slow pace of life still experienced in towns such as Domitz and Hitzacker, Germany. The half – timbered homes and creative landscaping heighten your imagination. Elves do appear among the flora.

Checkpoint Harry

We crossed the former border between West and East Germany. The Elbe River bike trail intersects with this historic site in Boysenberg, Germany. Since there was also a concentration camp there and four hundred Hungarian women died due to harsh conditions, the painting of the cheerful Germany soldier on the restaurant is incongruous.