Europe - May 2013
|   home   |   
Europe - May 2013

We had a GREAT 2-1/2 weeks in Europe with Mark and Becky in May 2013.  Here is a day by day of our trip.

May 15-16.  Left Salt Lake City at 8:30 a.m. Arrived Atlanta 2:20 p.m. Arrived in Frankfurt on the 16th about 8 a.m. Arrived 40 minutes early, but Mark and Becky had checked the flight status and were there waiting for us.  Took luggage home, then took the train from Illesheim to Nuremberg.  Visited the Steintribune where Hitler made his speeches, the Trials courthouse, and downtown to the churches.  Ate dinner in Rothenburg; very old, very quaint, walled medieval town.
Illesheim Train Station.  The base is just across the tracks on the north side.

Zeppelin Grandstand in Nurenberg where Hitler gave his speeches.
Nurenberg Courtroom #600.

Clock on Fraukirch in downtown Nuremberg
Dome of church in Nuremberg.

Main Street of Rothenberg.
Roman Viaduct west of Rothenberg.
The swing to nowhere!!!
May 17 - Left about 7 a.m. to drive to Cologne.  Visited the chocolate museum then walked to the cathedral. Incredible.  Ate lunch then drove to Amsterdam, but had VERY heavy traffic and rain.  Our tickets for the Anne Frank house were for 7:00 and we got to the hotel about 6:10.  Took a taxi and made it in time.  Drive was interesting... so many bicycles, so many close calls!  House was interesting, went to the Van Gogh Museum, and had a late dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe overlooking the river.  
Statue of Friedrich Wilhelm III in Cologne, Germany

Lindt Chocolate Museum

Gorgeous wisteria on apartment building.

Cologne church passed on the walk to the Cathedral.
Cologne Cathedral.  HUGE!!

Mosaic floor inside the Cathedral.
Anne Frank House.

Church near Anne Frank House.
May 18 - Slept in until almost 9 a.m.!! Took the train downtown and took a boat ride on the canals.  Our boat guide/captain was very informative and very cute. Then we drove to The Hague Temple.  The smallest temple we have ever seen.  Then to Keukenhof Gardens.  Absolutely beautiful.  Found a white tulip called "Maureen."  Had a pasta dinner there, then drove back to the hotel.  Took a walk along the river and through a local park.  Very interesting houseboats! Some very nice and new, some very old!
Amsterdam train station.

Floating Chinese restaurant.  Started sinking when it opened because of fresh water and heavy European bodies!

Houses along the canal in Amsterdam.

The Hague Temple in Zootermeer, Netherlands.
Keukenhof Gardens

Windmill at Keukenhof.
The Maureen tulip.

Tower of London in flowers!!
Left Amsterdam early to drive home, 425 miles.  Stopped near the Battle of the Bulge site in Belgium at a little German cemetery.  No trucks on the road, as they cannot drive on Sundays!  Started some laundry when we got home then went to dinner to a little Greek restaurant in Bad Windsheim.  
Little German cemetery in Foy, Belgium.
Farmhouse at Foy near Bastogne.  Bullet holes in wall still.

Belgian cows wondering what we're doing on a little dirt road!
Mark and Becky's house (the upstairs parts) in Buccheim.

Monday, May 20.  Left about 7 am to drive to Frankfurt to catch our flight to Rome.  Turned out it was a church holiday, so no trucks on the road again!  Got checked into our hotel then took a bus to the Rome Temple site.  Much larger than expected.  Ate dinner on the 10th floor listening to Barry Manilow music!
The Rome Italy LDS Temple.  Almost the same size as the Oquirrh Mountain Temple.
The Pines of Rome.  Trimmed up high, most were like this.

May 21.  Long day... breakfast buffet at the hotel.  Train to the Colosseum, almost first to enter for the day.  Walked through the Palatine excavation area then to the Capitol.  Pantheon, Trevi Fountain.  Much small than expected, packed with people.  Spanish steps.  Pizza for lunch.  St. Peter's Square, Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.  Lots of people, gorgeous displays, ceilings, paintings, tapestries, statues, etc.  Took a bus to another church outside the city center.  Ate dinner at a little cafe near the hotel.  Were going to eat outside, but it started raining.  Have 192 pictures from this day's activities.  Here are a few...
The Colosseum

Inside the Colosseum.  Much larger than anticipated.
Constantino Arch just outside the Colosseum.

Wall at the Palatine Ruins
Palatine ruins.

Detail of inside of arch.
Statue at "The Capitol."  Just like the one in Las Vegas!!

Monument to Pope Clemens X.
The Pantheon.

Concrete Dome of the Pantheon.
Trevi Fountains.  Yes, we threw in a coin.

Boat fountain near Spanish Steps.
Palace of Justice, Piazza de Tribunali, Courts

Castel Sant Angelo - Castle of the Holy Angel
St. Peter's Square, only it is really an oval!

Clock at St. Peter's.

Cute young Swiss Guard at the Vatican.

Huge copper pine cone with peacocks in garden outside the Vatican Museums.

Dome painting in the Vatican Museums.

Musician sculpture.

Mosaic floor in the museums.

Hard to see, but incredible lace detail in this tapestry.
Marble relief sculpture in the museums.

Intricate Porcelain.
Sistine Chapel.  Much larger and higher than expected.  Absolutely amazing.

Marquet Inlay table, about 4 feet across.  So many colors and patterns of marbles.
Spiral staircase at the Vatican Museums.

San Giovanni Laterno, east of Vatican City in City of Rome.
Ceiling at San Giovanni Laterno.
Painting behind altar at San Giovanni.

May 22.  Got up early and took a walk around the neighborhood near the hotel.  After breakfast took the train to Civitavecchia to get on the cruise ship - the "Epic."  Spent some time at the pool.  Dressed up a bit for dinner to celebrate Mark and Becky's 3rd wedding anniversary, as well as Mark's promotion to Master Sergeant.
Elevator in the hotel, barely big enough for the 4 of us.

St. Maria Maggiore, near the hotel.

Apartments across from the hotel.  Loved the gardens!

Have to be an expert at parallel parking in Rome!

Vittorio Palace ruins.

Nicola Calipari Gardens.
Sailor and nurse statue (huge!!) at Civitavecchia.

Church in Civitavecchia.
Town of Civitavecchia.
Fun afternoon on the ship!

One of our constant companions while at sea.

Sunset on the Mediterannean.
May 23.  Woke up in Livorno, Italy.  Best thing about cruising, going back to your "hotel room" at night and waking up the next morning in a new town!  Took the train to Pisa, then walked around the town, climbed the tower.  This was a truly unique sensory experience, as going up there are places you feel like you are going down and vice versa!  Went to the cathedral, the baptistry, and the cemetery, which was inside with lots of stones in the floor.  Cirque de Soleil show on the ship after a wonderful dinner.
Arno River, Pisa, Italy

Multi-colored stone building, Pisa.
The Tower of Pisa, and boy does it lean!

Steps inside the tower, worn unevenly, depending on which side of the tower you are on!

At the top of the tower.

The Tuscan countryside from the top of the Tower of Pisa.
Cathedral from top of the Tower.  Baptistry in back.

Details of arch over the door of the Cathedral.
Dome of the baptistry.
One of the "headstones" in the floor of the cemetery.

Baptistry.  Incredible acoutiscs under the dome.  One man sang 4-5 different parts that echoed and overlapped each other.

Sculpture on the wall of the cemetery.
Friday, May 24.  In Marseilles.  Becky had arranged for a local guide to walk us around the town.  He was GREAT! Showed us the two oldest homes in Marseilles, the 6th largest cathedral in the world, homeless shelter built in 1707.  (The residents had to work for the city for their room and board!)  Not as many old buildings as in Italy. But loved our tour.
Notre Dame de Marseilles

The Opera Buildling
Street name in stone is wrong.  At one point the building got turned, so the street name is the old one, not the new one.

Rue de Panier, the "Basket" District.  Sailors would put their money in baskets to obtain the services of the local ladies!
Remains of one of the windmills in the "Moulin" district.

Marseilles Cathedral, dark and light stone, very Moroccan.
Wall mural on side of buildling - huge!!

Smaller mural showing the old windmills in their prime.
The Vielle Charite - Housing for the city's homeless in the 1700s.
Church St.  Laurent - the Sailor's Church.
Saturday, May 25.  Palma, Majorca (or Mallorca).  This was the most beautiful city of our trip.  So clean, so nice.  Walked to the beach, got our feet wet in the Mediterranean.  Walked around town and the cathedral.  After dinner went to the Ice Bar on the ship, 10°!
Palma Cathedral

Palma and the very blue Mediterranean
Detail of window on the Nuestra Senora

West entrance to the Cathedral.

Nuestra Senora tower
Sunday, May 26.  Barcelona.  The weather was cloudy and rain, so we bought tickets for one of the tour buses.  Got to see a lot of the city, but not as much close up or spend much time at some places we might otherwise have wanted to.  Visited the Sagrada Familia, very interesting, very BUSY.  Had lunch near "The Rambla." Had paella for dinner then went to Blue Man Group - they were awesome. Went back for dessert of Key Lime pie.
The Colombe (Columbus) Column

Sculpture at little city park.

Torre Agbar

Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia

Windows inside
Inside Main tower

St. Marc, top of column
Looking straight up inside Familia Sagrada.

Sculptures on south side, older part of the building, Holy Family - Sagrada Familia.

Biblical pedigree on west side.

Gate near the university.
Stones on the "La Rambla" sidewalk.  A true optical illusoin.

Tile wall mural,
Barcelona Cathedral, much more traditional architecture.

Sculpture along the street.
Sagrada Familia from the ship.

Customs building at the port.
Monday, May 27, Memorial Day.  This was our one "at sea" day.  Took a 3-hour tour of the ship, galley, laundry, theaters, bridge, etc.  It was very interesting.  Met with a small group of veterans and chatted a while.  Climbed the rock wall.  Ate dinner at Teppanyaki.  
That is a LOT of dough!!  They make all their own bread and rolls (even hamburger and hot dog buns) on ship.

That is a LOT of towels!!!  Oh my, yes...
Mark and Becky heading to the top.

Becky getting undone, Maureen getting hitched up for her turn at going up the wall.

May 28.  We docked early in Naples.  Watched the sun rise over Mt. Vesuvius.  Took the bus up Mt. Vesuvius then hiked the 5K round trip to the top and back.  Then bus into Pompeii.  It covered much more area than ever imagined.  So much to see, too little time!! Watched a Spanish dance show after dinner.
Sunrise over Mt. Vesuvius.

Church spires and domes in Naples.
Fun sculpture on the road up Mt. Vesuvius.

Part of the lava flow on north side of Vesuvius.
Vesuvius crater.

Volanic rock outcrop along the trail to the top of Mt. Vesuvius.
Walls of Pompeii.

Near the theater in Pompeii.
Wall mural/fresco.

Outside of the stadium/arena.
Marble countertop in a bakery.

Wall murals in villa.
Buildings and temples in Pompeii.

Body cast.  You can practically see the tears running down his face as he waits to die.

Buildings in Pompeii.

Detail difficult to see, but great.
More buildings and wall of Pompeii.

Very detailed brickwork.  
Mt. Vesuvius north of Pompeii, just waiting...

Now those are some BIG lemons!!!