Thursday, September 20, 2018

Where We Have Been Since 9-11-18

                                                                    A Dog-less House is an Empty House

The house is so empty with out them here.  And for the next two days they will sleep deeply and safely.  I called the vet (read Doggy Spa) this morning and told them to wash, clean ears, trim toes and polish them up and let me know when I can pick them up.

So we got up yesterday about 5 AM Munich time and caught an 11 hour plane ride to Houston.  We must have skirted the weather in the Atlantic because he took a much higher route back than he did going.  The trip over there was only 9 hours from Houston.

And we didn't miss any planes!  Marchita is definitely a good luck charm!

I am going to make the photos small but please click on them to make them larger on your computer.

I brought home my purchases.  Which includes a whole mess of chocolate.  I got some tea towels from the textile factory in Augsburg Germany.  They make the cloth on the old machines and sell them in the gift shop.  

From the Patchwork Festival I brought home some books and a couple of fat quarters.  Fabric is much more expensive in Europe but you can't go to the vendors at a quilt show and NOT come home with fabric, right?

All in all I took 232 photos on my phone and 2292 photos on my camera.  So I have a lot to show you.

Here is the quick overview of the trip.  I need to sort the photos and show them to you in the next week or so.

We flew into Frankfort, Germany and met the bus driver who has been taking Marchita and her groups around Europe for nearly 20 years.  He was an affable German guy who spoke well in English.  Although 6 or 7 of the group spoke fluent French, German and Suisse-German.  The Swiss speak 4 languages, 3 of which are combinations of French/Swiss, German/Swiss and Dutch/Swiss.

We were in the Alsace-Lorraine region in France.  This is where my grandmother and her family lived before they ended up in New Orleans at the turn of the century.   So it was amazing just to see the land.

Everything I am going to tell you about is amazing when you think about the number of building that were bombed in WWII.  Here in the US where we have not experienced that terrible history, we don't think of the destruction of national monuments.  Like what is happening in the Middle East today.

The first day we were in Strasbourg, France to tour the city and visit the Cathedral.  Marchita arranged private tour guides but she is a former professor scholar of Historical and Liturgical Art.  So she would tell us stories all through the bus rides.

We did a City Tour of Strasbourg

and visited the Strasbourg Cathedral which is the finest example of

Gothic Architecture in Europe.  It dates back to the early 6th century. After several fires buildings were rebuilt. The current building dates to 1225 and was revolutionary for the Gothic Styles at the time.  The building that was being constructed in the Romanesque Style was only finished to the Naves but it was torn down to begin the Gothic building.  IT contains the famous Great Rose Window that we are familiar with.  It also contains and Astronomical clock that was completed in 1571.  It stopped working in 1788 and was repaired in 1838.  The new mechanism has not stopped working since.  

We spent 3 days at the European Patchwork Festival 2018.  We stayed at a beautiful hotel in Obernai  France and drove about 45 minutes to the villages that held the exhibitions.  We walked all around the cities to historical churches, buildings and village halls that each held one or more artists and their collections.

Unlike most quilt shows that are held in one exhibition hall this one was scattered about 4 villages.  The villages that made up the Val d'Argent were Sainte Marie aux Mines, Sainte Croix aux Mines, Liepvre and Rombach le Franc.

There was over 1200 fabric based works of art exhibited.  And I think I took photos of about 90% of them!

The next day we drove to Mulhouse, France and toured the Musee de L'Impression sur Etoffes or the Fabric Museum. Mulhouse was the textile printing center dating from 1746 through the industrial Revolution and into today's modern times using the newest digital printing techniques.

The next day we drove to Ronchamp France to visit the Notre Dame du Haut or Our Lady of the Heights Chapel.  We walked the Pilgrimage Path to the incredible chapel overlooking Ronchamp.  The architect Le Corbusier was an incredible designer to conceive of the structure. 

One afternoon we went to a winery and sampled some really amazing cremora which is champagne that is not made in Champagne France so it can't be called champagne.  And 4 other wines.  

On Monday we Drove to St Gallen Switzerland to visit the Textile Museums there.  

This was the lace making center of the world from the 14th century to today.  They delighted in telling us that Michelle Obama buys so many of their very expensive textiles and fine laces for state events.    

We also visited the Abbey of St Gall in St Gallen Switzerland which dates back to 747 AD.  The current church was built in the 1500s and is the most important example of Baroque design in the world.  It is now a UNESCO Heritage Site.  Can't wait to tell you about the Holy Water Reflection Pool in there.

The building houses the most comprehensive collection of Medieval books in Europe consisting of over 100,000 books.  2100 of them are handwritten and 400 more are over 1000 years old.  

On Tuesday we drove through Switzerland and Austria to Augsburg Germany to visit the Textile Museum housing pattern books dating back to the 1700's from the Neue Augsburger Kattunfabrik (New Augsburg Calico Factory).  

I couldn't take photos inside where they had the machines and fabrics, but we wandered around the center for a while and these photos.  And the sheep were plaster, but I still wanted one to take home.

That afternoon we drove to Munich to stay at The Movenpick Munchen Hotel.  And we spent the

better part of the evening sitting in the BierGarten.

With Bier of course!

That is Monika, one of our fellow travelers.  She is a friend of mine from back in my dog trainer days.  She is also a dog trainer. And an award winning quilter!!

And from Germany!  So we really had an expert with us!

After I sort out the photos I can show you some amazing things and tell you some stories about the places.


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  2. You were in the same town of France that my 1st hubby's ancestors were from! Cool! Love your photos...and taking the trip with you! :)

  3. It looks like you had an amazing time! I can't wait until you post more. I would have wanted to take home one of those sheep too! It would look cute in my yard.

  4. Great write up!


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