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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Stuff of Which Dreams Are Made Of~

Our trip to Germany brought us down the Rhine and to the south of Germany to Fussen, a small village where people gathered throughout the centuries to work the land of their Monarch, Maximillian the II.

Later, his son, Ludwig II claimed the throne. He is responsible for the undertaking and rebuilding of Europe's most famous castle, Neuschwanstein Castle~

I had heard of this castle through the travels of friends, and had seen the posters sold at the castle at one of our German delis. I proudly said that"we were going to go here", as I pointed to the pictures and sighed...

The dream came true~I love it when that happens. It is sort of like a happy ending to the story instead of a quirky turn of events at the last that surprises you and leaves you wanting the story to end in "'happily ever after"~

Sadly, this story doesn't end in 'Hapily ever after', but I am getting ahead of myself..

~ King Ludwig lived in the summer palace just down the mountain where the family was entranced with the story of the "Swan Night"~ Maximillian had murals painted throughout the summer palace,(No pictures , please.) Darn!!

At the age of 12, Ludwig heard the opera 'Lohengrin', an opera written by Wagner. This captivated him, and began his vision of romanticism.

The castle is both breathtaking inside as out. Walt Disney vacationed here and brought back the vision for 'Sleeping Beauty's castle that we see today in the parks at Disneyland.~

The entire inside of the castle is painted with murals depicting the romanticism evoked by Wagner's music. Throughout Ludwigs's life he became more introverted and secluded using the music to company him. He did not intend for anyone to view the inside of this marvolous work.

Ludwig was engaged for a time, but shortly broke off the engagement. This is sad, as I wonder what the circumstances were, since he was a great romantic... No one is left to tell~

Soon before the castle was completed, Ludwig was committed insane.

Nothing points to this, yet two days after his committment, both he and his doctor were found drowned in the lake.

Such a sad tale ~Ludwig identified himself in his later years as the Swan knight, Handsome and romantic, loving Wagner's music~ As I walked through the gorgeous rooms amazed at the beauty and emotion evoked..( No pictures Please)! Darn!! I hummed the theme music to 'Sleeping Beauty' and wondered what it might have felt to be a resident of this richly entwined 'Golden Robe' that has stood as a beacon of romance upon the mount~

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Germany~ Dreams of Castles on the Rhine River and Half Timbered Villages~

We took the train from Belgium to Kloblenz, Germany and then on along the Rhine River to Bacharach, a little half timbered village situated along the Rhine.

We took a 1 hour Rhine boat cruze from Bacharach to St. Goar.This provided us a lovely view of the river and villages situated along it's banks.

The castles are placed upon the tops of the mountains that hang over the river so as to protect the lands they oversaw. Protection for the people and reigon was their first concern as well as their land, and with the wide vista they had great vantage points to see the enemy approaching.

Up we climbed to view the ruins of Castle Rheinfels. Beautiful views were enjoyed as well as the lovely cruse along the river~The landscape is vineyard terraces which made lovely patterns along the hills.
the village of St. Goar and Bacharach were charming with their construction of half timbered homes and buildings. Most buildings were adorned with beautiful wooden window boxes spilling over with geraneum flowers that welcomed you to take as many pictures as you were willing. This area is well known for the cuckoo clock and in many shops thery were on display. So many to choose from little Bavarian maidens dancing around,to your usual birdie bobbing his head to anounce the time.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Wanderings of Dreamers~

Today we aere taken away to a beautiful Chateau in the country with our beautiful hosts. The Chateau de la Hulpe, the home of a famous chemist, Solvay, who donated his estate to the city for all to enjoy.
As you enter the estate of the Chateau, the long drive invites you to wander further and discover the beauty admidst the manse of trees that have stood centuries and lakes with swan and geese and water fowel gently a float giving the sense of a peace one searches for in life.

The Chateau sits on the top of a rise, stately owning the property, and draws you to it's balcony to gaze over the vast property of green lawn and oak trees.
Squirles frolic and collect acorns to store for winter snacks, and we delight in this simple thing.
We were invited to investigate the gardens and further, the lake behind the estate.
Later~ we enjoyed coffee and chocolate,chaud on the patio of Lake de Genfal to reflect upon the day~

Wishes of Dreams Not Yet Made~

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

If It's Tuesday~ It Must Be Belgium~

That was the title of a movie years ago~
We have moved on to Bruges, a charming midieval city,full of enchanting archetecture and chiming bell towers, as well as beautiful lace and scrumtious chocolate! What more does anyone need?
The clip clop of the horses hoves on the cobblestone pavement in the old city takes you back to days gone by~16th century Europe. Now Bruges is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Her buildings being saved from wartime bombing.
Bruges is quaint in that there is are canals running throughout the area and darling bridges crossing that provide beautiful views of the old buildings.
The roofline seems as if stairs are provided to step across the eves from one home to the next. Add some potted flowers in front of the homes and you have a dream place in which to take hundreds of photographs, which I have managed to do~
Add chocolate, lace to the mix and you have a beautiful place to walk and explore.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A New Dream Begins~ Off to Romantic Paris~

Ice Cream Boquet

Park Notre-Dam and flowers

Notre-Dam Cathederal

Arrival at Notre-Dam

We arrived early afternoon to cloudy skies and mild temperature.

Once settled in our flat that we rented thru Airbnb we set out to see our dream come true, once again~ Paris~

We boarded the Metro and headed out to Notre- Dam Cathederal. There she stood stately guarding the Sene River as ever. Tourists gathered in the square in front of her massive doors beckoning them in to see her divine beauty!~

There is a calmness and a peace felt as you enter into her open arms welcominng you to come and feel tranquility and a time with the Lord if you realise that He is there amidst the throng of visitors looking for the beauty and joy the delight of the eyes captures. You take it all into your senses and thus into your heart. It is captured as if you are the camera lense, captivating it forever in your mind and soul~

After exiting, we head down the street to the park behind the Cathederal for a crepe and to sit and watch the children play in the garden along the Sene River. The flowers bloom beautifully there and the bees are singing praises for the nectar they collect to later turn into honey~

~ Ille De La Cite' where Notre-Dam stands was the first area of Paris built ~ Along with Ille Saint Louis in 1664~ We wandered it's small cobbled streets and peeked in store front windows,decorated to our delight so tastefully~ on to Amorino Ice Cream shop for a cone made to look as if you are holding a bouquet!

We then walked along the Seine River viewing the Cathederal and on along towards the Tour Eiffel!~

Her Majesty draws us closer and closer with the anticipation of splendor~ we are so delighted that she still stands, for the sight of the tower is incredible and simply delightful!~

We kiss directly under the base then look up to see her underskirts and marvel at the decorative art work of the ironworks that have held her up for so many people to climb~

We wait for the lighting of the tower sitting upon the grass at the Parc du Champ de Mars along with many more waiting to view the most beautiful sight to see, Sa Majeste' la Tour Eiffel~

~ So many wonderful pictures taken today and tonight! ~

But, ask yourself, how many pictures of the Eiffel Tower are too many? ~

Monday, September 5, 2011

Here We Go Again~

What better way to kick off another trip abroad than to celebrate at a friend's daughter's wedding!
We Blessed the Bride and Groom, dined on the finest cuisine, and danced the night away to an awesome band.
Dressed in our finest and with hearts ablaze with happiness and giddy with excitement, we enjoyed ourselves completely and look forward to the adventure before us in these next few weeks!

Europe ~ Here we come! Camera in hand and ever ready to capture that excellent shot.
Check in and see what we are up to along the way~
If you become a follower of Bella Italia, I will enter you in a drawing for one of the upcomming photographs!

France~ Belgium~ Germany~Austria~ Italy beckon to our hearts~ And we answer~
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