Since I am away for parts of September and October I will write about our trips in lieu of a newsletter which will return end of October.
What a whirlwind we have been on, just now having time to put a few notes down about our trip so far.
Day 1 – Seems like a long time ago but just about two weeks ago we met our group at the Frankfurt airport for out trip to the Rhineland area. On our first day settling in to our hotel overlooking the Rhine, we got acquainted, had dinner and went to bed early. Jet lag!
Day 2 – But the next day what better way to appreciate this land where our ancestors came from than to cruise along the Rhine. We boarded our boat early for our 4 hour cruise “up” the Rhine to Rüdesheim. The day was a little overcast but eventually the sun came out. I try every sun dance and voodoo spell I
know for good weather. It is a nice relaxing second day as all you have to do is sit, take pictures, eat & drink and watch the castles go by.
We landed in Rüdesheim, which is filled with tourists but a place you should visit at least once. We made our way through the winding Drosselgasse street, which is filled with
tons of little wineries and restaurants. Very picturesque.
Then everybody went their own way to shop or whatever and Matthias and I,facing down our fear of heights, took the cable car up the mountain (small hill) to the statue of Germania, which overlooks the Rhine river. Great views of the river and the vineyards that climb the hills along the banks.
Day 3 – Boppard town tour, Evangelisch Archives & Historical lecture.
Another drizzly day but we headed out for our town tour this morning. Boppard is a marvelous town along the Rhine, not too big and more than enough to do, sit along the River at one of the numerous outdoor cafe’s on the Rhine
promenade, a main street with shops for those inclined and lots of history to see dating back to Roman times. Even the remains of a Roman wall.
We have a wonderful English lady who has lived in Germany for many years give us our tour and she was great, even with the added distraction of our TV crew! Did I tell you we were being filmed by a German TV company?
A journalist doing a story on Americans coming back to find their roots had contacted me a few weeks before we left and ended up following us around for a couple days, mainly a few group things and then they went with one of our tour members to her hometowns with her. Being on TV is not easy, they make you do things over and over sometimes, but we are anxious to see the finished product even though we will be dubbed in with German!!!
Then on to the Evangelisch church Archives, which of course contains the microfilms of church books and lots of Ortssippenbuch (family register books) and other information interesting to our kinds of people. Again, another fascinating tour as we get to go down into the stacks and are shown the original church books among other documents. A couple people found some of their family’s records. Exciting! Then we were joined by a
delightful gentleman who lives in Boppard who has written many Familienbuch’s for many of the surrounding villages. He gave us an impromptu lecture on how he goes about writing these detailed books. It was really insightful and I will write more on this later.
To finish off this long day, we were met at the hotel by a Professor from the University of Mainz who gave us a lecture on life in the Palatinate in the 17th & 18th centuries. Also lots of great information which I will write more about too.
So, I am tired again just reading all the stuff we did but it was so much fun!
Bis später! (until later)