Portraits of those before us, and more, National Gallery, London

Culture is in the eye of the beholder and the artists of old captured the essence of all things great  in the centuries before us….and viewing them is free at the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square in downtown London.

A fabulous aspect of the National Gallery is the general entrance is free, which is great for those traveling on a budget like myself. I attended/viewed the Gallery a total of 3 times to get through all the exhibitions (not fully shown here). The exhibits are large, spacious, and overly awesome to boot. Why? The National Gallery offers era’s from classical to Renaissance to Modern, DaVinci to Rubens to Van Gogh to Monet to Post Modern Art. It is all very wonderful.

The Gallery also sets on Trafalgar Square, which in its own ways is always awesome, a full day or two of free adventures all in one wonderful location, well worth checking out and very friendly on the wallet (post cards of must of the art work is also available for those without a photographic eye or wanting to play “Where’s Waldo” postcard style).

Laufenburg and Leistal, Switzerland

What a wonderful adventure–driving through Freiburg, Germany (where we stopped for a Cappuccino), we continued on the #5 interstate, through border control/inspection, and into Switzerland!! We were able to change countries in a matter of about 2 1/2 hours, which to my American mind, is just outstanding and so surprising.

I, with passport in tow, felt giddy to be going to Switzerland and was anticipating a stamp in my passport. Alas, it would not be possible as the border control did not have a stamp and only did visual checks. Bummer, alas that is the rule. The inspector said that passport stamps are usually only available via the airport.

I gawked as we drove thru Basel, Switzerland, which is 2 kilometers from the border, inside Switzerland. Remembering, albeit too late, that Switzerland is neutral and not part of the European Union, I did not think to convert Euros to Swiss Francs but I was in luck.

Upon arriving in Laufenburg, already having crossed the Rhine (Rhein) River, we pulled off in the Aldstadt (historic) district, which in part borders the Rhine. Opening the car door, the scents of a Swiss Spring filled the air with beauty and grace and the air smelled of sweet things verses grilled sausages (which is often an occurrence in Germany.) The Videos tell the rest of the story and how I was in multiple places at once (and we went further into Switzerland and shopped in Leistal.)

I can attest, Swiss crafted cheese and chocolate are absolutely amazing!!!

Chocolate Cherries Compote on Apple Raisin Purses


Step 1 Line muffin tin cups with a crust, fill with apple mix (sliced apples, raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt and ground cloves)


Step 2: Cover each muffin cup with raw crust dough, pinching the dough around the edges, like when making a pie. Trim off any excess crusts.



Step 3: Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, brush melted over the top of each purse and bake for 10 more minutes, until golden brown.



Step 4: Top each purse with homemade chocolate cherry sauce–compote, serve hot. Delicious!!!



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Kirch & Kloster (Ruins) and town of Bad Herrenalb

Video Link

A fellow tourist summed it up perfect (excerpt from German Eagle)

The Cistercian monastery, origin of the town, was founded in 1149 by Berthold III von Eberstein and his wife Uta. It became economically successful, in the 14th and 15th century it prospered. However, the end came soon: In 1525 farmers plundered it, as a result of the Reformation it was closed down in 1534 and turned into a school. In the 30-years war the Swedish troops burned it almost completely down.

So, not much is left of the monastery buildings. The still existing choir of the former monastery church was incorporated in the construction of the ev. parish church. Best preserved is the so called “paradise”, the entrance hall of the former monastery church (pics 1 – 3). The “paradise” was built about the year 1200, in 1462 the beautiful gable in Gothic style was added. Portal and windows are still in Romanesque style. Inside are some old epitaphs.

The monastery grounds are still the heart of Bad Herrenalb. But nowadays you find things like the Kneipp bath (pic 4) and a monument (pic 5) on the grounds. Relics from the Cistercian era are also the parsonage and the adjoining house, some remains of the walls and a barn.

Access is free, always open. For the ev. church see separate tip.

Directions: Central location in town

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Inside the church.Photography by Anna Potthoff.


.Photography by Anna Potthoff.

Turkish Delight–Döner

Döner Teller--amazing

Döner Teller–amazing


Locally owned and operated.

A definite ‘must’ in Karlsruhe–a family restuarant/locally owned business that is just simply amazing!!

Located on Kronenplatz, Karlsruhe, Germany, it is a must for any local or traveler.

The Döner Teller is filled with shaved, roasted meal,  a yogurt dressing atop a fresh salad,  a potato side with a orange sauce..incredible. The falafels were also a hit with our friends.

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Friends enjoying great food.

Friends enjoying great food.

Kneipp Bath


Splashing around in a Thermal Pool Together

Spending time with my sweetheart is such a joy–I asked a local woman what the open-air foot/leg bath and arm bath-trough was intended for–and she answered (with a smile) that it is for health and refreshment….exactly what we needed on a hot, hot summer day.

Thomas and I sluffed off our shoes and went for it. Wowser!! That water is cold but awesome–the floors of the pool (only about knee deep) is covered in bumps, creating a lovely, slighlty ticklish feeling…and it is truly refreshing… and it exfoliated our feet…no more callouses….Thomas is a trooper, for sure, willing to try anything and adventuring with my sweetheart makes it so much more enjoyable, laughing and trying it all.

Neither of us has ever been here before today…an adventure with laughter, beautiful scenery and soft feet after adventuring all day….it does not get any better than this–and it is a free venue located in Bad Herrenalb.

Thomas getting into the pool

Thomas getting into the pool


Thomas enjoys the ‘arm bath’–very refreshing on a hot day.

An exchange student and an American come together again

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Jenny F. with her 2 daughters and boyfriend

Way back when, okay, so in 1996 and 1997 my family hosted an exchange student from Germany–and we have kept in touch all these years.

Before leaving Colorado, I wrote to Jenny, telling her I would be moving to Germany–and she came to see me.

The last time I had seen Jenny in person, I was 15, she was 18. Now, we are older ( a lady never reveals her true age) and Jenny has two beautiful daughters.

Jenny and her family drove 6 hours to spend a weekend with us the Black Forrest and A joyous day makes all the difference.

We enjoyed the Botanical Gardens (Karlsruhe, Germany), Schloss Karlsruhe and so much more. It is awesome to get to see old friends and spend time together.

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Jenny, Thomas, Leoni, Sara, Marcel on the Rhein (German side, France across the river)

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Coffee with Old and New Friends, Waldbronn, Germany

Jenny and I wrote text messages back and forth over the past few weeks–and she has come down this weekend  see friends, myself included, as we all live in close proximity.

Jenny’s friends, whom she knew from travels and summers working abroad in Spain,  are hosting Jenny and her lovely girls and boyfriend this weekend, which is awesome, as we all got to meet this evening.

Ute and Heinrick, Jenny’s Waldbronn friends, invited Thomas and I over drinks this evening–what a treat. Ute and Heinrick have a beautiful home and are wonderful, nice people–I am so glad we all were able to get together!!!

Ute, Heinrick and the other guest asked how Jenny and I knew each other, which brought tears of laughter to our eyes as we reminisced about all the adventures and fun we had together when Jenny was an exchange student with my family in Colorado.

Leoni and Sara, Jenny’s teenage daughters, learned ‘interesting’ things about their mother when she was younger–and Marcel, Ute, and Heinrick laughed at the antics we once pulled in our youth together–a side of Jenny and I no one else experienced before as we had known each other the longest amongst the friends at the table.

Tomorrow is going to a great day as Ute and Heinrick are attending a wedding–and Thomas and I will be spending the whole day with Jenny, Sara, Leoni, and Marcel….and let the adventures continue.

Treasure hunting is so much fun–and it is helping to create great and awesome products on my eBay.