S: Germany and France - July 19 - August 3, 2005
FC: Germany and France July 19 - August 3, 2005
1: Day 1 - July 19, 2005 Today Jenn and I embarked on our two week journey to Germany and France. While we went to meet her family, we also set out to explore parts of Germany and France on our own.
2: Day 2 - July 20, 2005 After a brief rest in our attic bedroom, we were ready to tackle Germany, starting with the surrounding area.
3: The town of Hausen
4: Then Chrissy took us on a brief tour of the towns along the Rhine River.
6: Day 3 - July 21, 2005 Today Jenn's cousin Chrissy took us to the Altstadt in Mainz. We explored the town square and then went into the old church.
8: After the church, we walked around the old town square to see Gutenberg's statue and the Fink store, a German shoe company.
9: Day 4 - July 22, 2005 Today we left on our first mini-trip. Using our Eurail Pass, we made our way to the small town of Fussen and then on to Munich.
10: In the small town of Fussen, Jenn and I stopped for a quick lunch and then climbed the path to Neuschwanstein Palace. Unfortunately we did not have enough time to go inside.
11: Once we made it to Munich, we found a cheap hotel close to the train station and set off to explore. Our hotel also happened to be fairly close to the main shopping avenue, Marienplatz.
12: After getting settled in, we decided to take a look around. We went to a church in the Karlsplatz, and then we walked through the shops in the Marienplatz before heading back to the hotel for the night.
13: Day 5 - July 23, 2005 Today we got an early start so we could see a few of the sights in Munich before heading back to Chrissy's. Our first stop was Louis Vuitton, followed by the Residence Museum.
17: After the Residence Museum, we made our way to the old Olympic Soccer Stadium. A religious festival was taking place, but once the guard learned we were Canadian, he let us in briefly to take pictures. Then we made our way to the train station to head back to Chrissy's.
18: Day 6 - July 24, 2005 Today was a day to relax. Jenn's family made it over to Chrissy's and we had a traditional German barbecue with schnitzel and apple cheesecake. | Above L to R: Dani, Sven, Holger, Jenn, Karola, Stefan, Rudi, Chrissy, Laura, Matthias, Lisa, Karin, Jenny, Simone Left: Me holding Otto
19: Day 7 - July 25, 2005 Today we took a short day trip to the university town of Heidelberg on the Necker River.
20: At Heidelberg Castle we saw the old ruins, the wine cellar, including a very large keg, and the courtyards. Afterwards we walked through the old town square to visit the shops and the old church.
21: Day 8 - July 26, 2005 After a few relaxing days at home, Jenn and I set off for a couple days in Berlin, capital of Germany. We got off the train and made our way to a hotel before checking out the sights around the city.
22: From our hotel window we could see this amazing church, the Kaiser Wilhelm Church. It had been slightly destroyed during WWII and was set to be reconstructed in the near future. At least we got to see it!
23: Our next stop was Schloss Charlottenburg. Unfortunately we were not able to take pictures inside, but the gardens were just as nice.
25: After the palace, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe for a bite to eat, and along the way we saw a huge Berlin Bear, a symbol seen around the city. Little did we know that Munich also had lion statues around the city as well.
26: Day 9 - July 27, 2005 Before heading back to Hausen, Jenn and I decided to check out a few more sights in Berlin. Here we are at the Potsdamer Platz, a very modern building in the heart of Berlin.
27: Brandenburger Tor | On our way to the Reichstag we stopped at Pariser Platz to see the Brandenburger Tor. The square even had a Starbucks!
28: Although the line to get into the Reichstag was quite long, we got great shots of the outside of the building.
29: Our final stop before heading to the train was the Pergamon Museum, filled with treasures from Ancient Greece and Rome.
33: Day 10 - July 28, 2005 Today Chrissy took us to see the German town of Rudesheim. It had a beautiful landscape surrounded by vineyards and the traditional statue of Germania.
35: Day 11 - July 29, 2005 Today we set out on our last mini-trip to Paris, France! We hopped on the train and reached the city by mid-afternoon, plenty of time to check out Prada and a few other famous sights.
36: Naturally our first major tourist stop was the Eiffel Tower. We got there only to find that the lines for the elevators were incredibly long, so we opted to take the stairs to the first platform. There were a lot of stairs and they were all numbered, but once we were up there what an amazing view!
38: Our second stop was the Arc de Triomphe in the center of a star-shaped traffic circle. On the inside of the arch are the names of soldiers who died in battle and there are various carvings on the sides of the legs. We decided not to climb to the top.
39: Next we climbed the 200 steps to see the Sacred Heart Church.
40: Day 12 - July 30, 2005 On our second day in Paris, we began the day by briefly stopping at the Pantheon, a crypt for some of France's royalty.
43: Our second stop was the Hotel des Invalides, where Napoleon Bonaparte's coffin is held, as well as many of his relatives.
46: Next we made our way to the parliament buildings and Sainte-Chapelle Cathedral, a church Louis IX had built in 6 years. Beautiful!
47: Then we made our way over to the famous Notre Dame Cathedral and its statue of Charlemagne.
49: Our last stop of the day was the Louvre, the famous museum where the Mona Lisa is held. Unfortunately it was closed so we could only walk around the square. We will just have to go back one day.
50: Day 14 - August 1, 2005 After a long train ride back to Hausen, Jenn and I spent the next day with her family in Frankfurt. We did some shopping and checked out the town square with the opera house and beer hall. We also went up onto the roof to check out the cityscape.
51: Days 15 and 16 - August 2/3, 2005 Our last couple days were spent relaxing in Germany before heading back to the reality of work and school. It was an amazing trip and a teaser, making me want to go back to Germany to visit my own family and the other sights the country has to offer.