Despite a day of mostly rain, we made the best of it in touring around some scenic spots during our visit with friends/hosts Lena and Peter from the town of Rosbach, Germany. This is the artsy (raindropped) view through a window of Peter's car.
A hillside of grapevines beckons in the view from our window seat in a very nice (and equally expensive) stop for lunch at Johannisberg, where the neighbors include an old and very large home (the type called castles, but the castles as we know castles are called kastels) and a Catholic church dating to around the year 1140. It has held up quite nicely.
This is a street scene in the Rhein River town of Rudesheim. Above the town, on the highest peak, rises an enormous militaristic monument to Prussian might erected around 1870 -- and perhaps only slightly smaller than our Statue of Liberty. (Wonder what the old gal might look like holding a sword....)
Another view of the grape crop at Johannisberg, with the river flowing past. (Did anyone say 'Riesling'? We bought some here. The Riesling cost about $10 for a full-liter bottle.)
There's lots of German towns with the word 'Bad' in front of their names. This shot was taken in Bad Nauheim, but it really wasn't bad in the bad/good kind of way. Here, Bad means 'spa,' and this is part of the spa at Bad Nauheim -- a wall through which the local salt-laden spring water drips, and the salt slowly coats the exterior planted surface, producing a supposedly healing atmosphere for visitors to breath as they sit on benches or stroll by on an elevated walkway. It smelled salty -- a little like the aroma at Utah's Salt Lake, but much less putrid. The water is pumped to the top by an old wooden waterwheel.
Belgium has many a pissing statue. Here in Bad Nauheim, they favor spurting breasts -- but about those legs....
Our group poses for Bonnie in front of the central square fountain in Bad Nauheim. Shown, from left, are Silviu (originally from Romania), his German wife Ute (they first were penpals, and their courtship was by pre-Internet mail); Peter and Lena; friends Elaine and Gene from California (who had arrived a day earlier in a nonstop flight from San Francisco to nearby Frankfurt.
An old marble and tile bathtub in one of the historic spa buildings at Bad Nauheim. There were photographs of the spa's many distinguished visitors, including a young Franklin Delano Roosevelt around 1890. (For seemingly unrelated reasons, he later declared war on Germany.)
Our friends Peter and Lena own an athletic club (including several clay tennis courts, indoor courts, and a couple of spacious rooms packed with high-tech workout equipment), and an indoor playground called Hully Gully where the children's bouncing platforms include this toothy critter whose mouth opens and closes. Kids can climb in, get swallowed up, and come out the back somewhere.
Members of the athletic club meet with a personal trainer to create a workout regimen that is programmed onto a memory card they insert like a key into a slot on each machine, which then operates with precise weights and pressures. At periodic intervals, the patrons have an evaluation by the trainer and their cards are updated with any revisions in their workouts.
The dinner table at the home of Peter and Lena showing, clockwise from left, Bonnie, Silviu, Ute, Lena, Peter, Elaine, Gene and David.
(All photos by Bonnie, with captions by David -- in case you hadn't guessed)