Saturday, August 31, 2013


The last part of my whirlwind European tour was France.  It was my favorite part of the trip!

First stop, Strausburg.  Strausburg sits on the border of Germany and France, and is influenced by both countries.

The Strausburg cathedral

Souvenirs for sale in front of the Strausburg cathedral

More beautiful flowers!

Here is our gang!  Lana, Jennifer, moi, and Charlynn, our fearless driver.

We took a relaxing river tour.  We saw lots of stunning homes.

Here is an old bridge.  And tower.  I can't remember exactly what happened here or when.  It got to be quite humorous, what the tour guide included in his history of the city.  We learned about spots where you could be entertained by people being tortured, all while working on your needlework.  We saw an old hospital, famous for treating scalp diseases.  Come on, that must have been some pretty bad dandruff!  There was something about a man with red hair.  Okay, there was also some cool stuff about Mozart and Gutenberg.

I'll take this house!

Strausburg was wonderful, but we saved the best for last-- Colmar.  If you want quaint, charming, and enchanting, Colmar is the town for you!

These houses are hundreds of years old, and most are very well-preserved.
There is a song I kept humming the whole time I was here.  It is from Beauty and the Beast.
If Disney ever wanted to film a live version of the movie, this would be the perfect location!

I had never seen these Tudor-style houses where the wooden inserts were wavy.

Of course the roofs were a bit wavy too!

We spent the night at a great boutique hotel-- Le Colombier.  Charlynn did a fabulous job in planning our girl's trip to France.  Lana and I took an early morning walk and I fortified myself with a delicious chocolate croissant.

Why wouldn't I take a picture of the pink house?

I loved the curlicues on this building.

We stumbled onto this covered market.  This building served several functions over the years, but has been a market since the late 1800's.  Loved seeing all the beautiful produce.

I have never seen so many different kinds of pretzels!

Lana, in one of the prettiest spots in Colmar.

We took another boat trip in Colmar.  This was mostly because we were tired from all the walking.  This boat was little more than a rowboat.

Can't you just imagine Belle feeding the swans?

We passed under some very low bridges.  We had to really duck.

Ahhh!  It was a great whirlwind trip to Switzerland, Germany, and France.  So fun!  Everyone else was heading back to Stuttgart, but I was heading back home to Oman.  I had to get my kids registered for school.  I got dropped off at the Colmar train station.  It took three trains and two planes to get me back to Muscat, but I am here, safe and sound!
Thanks for your hospitality, Lana and Charlynn!  God bless!

Friday, August 30, 2013


 After the workshop in Zurich, I went with my friends, Jennifer and Charlynn, to Stuttgart.  Charlynn lives in Stuttgart and was nice enough to pick us up and drive us there.  I actually stayed with my friend, Lana, whose husband is the senior pastor at the International Baptist Church of Stuttgart.  I had a wonderful morning worshipping with them. 
Then came lunch.  I had lived in Germany as a child, and was looking forward to some good German schnitzel.  And I got some, at the Brauhaus, outside of Stuttgart.

So, I had one afternoon in Germany.  Where to go??  Lana and I decided on Tubingen.  (Lana told me there are supposed to be two dots over the 'u'.  Her keyboard might have those two dots, but mine doesn't.)  :) After several detours due to flooded roads, we finally made it to Tubingen.  I got a kick out of the signs in this butcher shop.  I am not sure I want a puten-burger.

This building was an old granary and wine press built around 1474!

I have never seen pegs in a building like this.

This is what I expect an old German town to look like.  Very charming!

I especially loved this town hall.

Can't you just imagine the town mayor coming out to this balcony and addressing the crowds in the square below?

Of course Tubingen has a castle!

Looking down from the upper section of the castle.

The inner courtyard

The town of Tubingen

More window boxes, as I promised.  :)

There were flowers everywhere.  Even on the lampposts!!

Every once in a while, you would see a building that was painted on the outside.  I thought these were so interesting.

A closer view of the building.

Look at those rainclouds!!  The rain threatened all afternoon, but we stayed dry.  Here you can see that even the bridges deserve to be beautiful.
I spent a wonderful afternoon in Germany, thanks to Lana.  Next stop, France!