We had two friends from the US (Tom and Barb Bilodeau) visit us, and some friends from Kaiserslautern (Stephan and Cym Porter) and their boys visit for Christmas 00. First, we met Tom and Barb in Rothenburg ob der Tauber and wandered around the city looking at museums and neat stuff. None of the museums let us take photographs inside.
|This is a view of the Rothenburg skyline at sunrise. (52kb)||Another nice shot, early in the morning, from the wall around the burg gardens.
|This shot shows the Tauber river down in the valley below. (29kb)|
|As the sun continued to rise and we walked, the skyline and valley shot became a little clearer. (69kb)||Tom, Barb, Debbie, and Tarythe on the inside of the Klingentor tower. (58kb)||A closer shot of the four hoodlums in the previous picture. Getting ready to walk the inside
of the walls.
|This is a shot of the outside of the Klingentor tower. (66kb)||Tom and Barb walking on the inside of the walls. (63kb)||Tarythe, in front of the huge Nutcracker by the Kathe Wohlfahrt factory store.
|A better shot of Tarythe and the huge Nutcracker. (42kb)||A night shot of the Rohtenburg market square and town hall.
|A fanciful display of teddy bears in a shop window. (59kb)|
We drove home from Rothenburg that night to be home for the arrival of Stephan and Cymberly Porter and their three boys, Christopher, Jonathon, and Nathaniel. Tom and Barb drove to Stuttgart on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning was a grand and glorious day of opening gifts and sharing friendship.
|The Porters, in our living room, starting to open presents. (77kb)||Jonathon, discovers a really cool train set, from Tom and Barb.
|Christopher watches Jonathon play with the new train set. (64kb)|
|Stephan added to Cym's collection of Christmas pyramids. (65kb)||Debbie gave Nathaniel a chocolate covered Lebkuchen cookie, which he got all over himself.
|And then thought it was funny when everyone wanted to take his picture. (69kb)|
The Porters went home on Christmas night, and we got up early the next morning to drive to Strasbourg, France. We visited the cathedral, the museum of l'Oeuvre Notre-Dame, and the Christmas markets. The museum had lots of wonderful displays offering a view of the evolution of art in Strasbourg and the Upper Rhine from the 11th to the 17th century. Of course, the chests and a folding medieval chair are what really interested Peter. For detailed photos of the various chests, go see Chests in the Furniture section.
|A really cool building near
the cathedral in Strasbourg. (57kb)
|The choir on the interior of the cathedral. (66kb)||An attempt to get a clearer shot. (66kb)|
|Last try. (76kb)||A 13th century chest from the Alsace, with strap hinges and decoration of iron forge work. (64kb)||A 14th century chest (also with strap
hinges and decoration of iron forge work) from St. Thomas church in Strasbourg.
|A 14th century chest with iron forge work, made of oak is from the province of Riquewihr, on the upper Rhine. (62kb)||Another shot of the same chest. (58kb)||A cool pair of shoes on an
effigy. Not the best picture, because I wanted to show the strap and buckle.
They are a little more visible in the big picture. (39kb)
|A very interesting coat of arms on the coffin of the same effigy. I am curious how to blazon the bottom half of the shield.||A 15th century chest from
Stasbourg built with a decorative facing over the main chest. You
can see the iron strapwork sticking out from behind the decoration.
|Here you can see the iron strapwork on the side of the chest and going behind the decorative facing. (57kb)|
|A 14th century chest bound
with iron forge work from the Alsace region. This fascinating strongbox
has three different locks on it, and even the underside of the lid has
an iron plate. (89kb)
|A 15th century folding chair from Switzerland and northern Italy. Made from beech. (37kb)||Same chair. (49kb)|
|The Christmas market in the Gutenberg plaza. The stall on the left with all the people in front is a mechanical display of the making of Milka chocolate. (61kb)||Some of the fancy Christmas
lights lining the streets. (48kb)
|The Christmas lights down a different street. (48kb)|