Mosel River with the Preizlers - guest entry
Trip Start Apr 06, 2003
69Trip End Ongoing
We made our third trip to the Netherlands to visit Julie and Stephen, arriving from Chicago on March 19th and leaving on March 28th. We stayed at the Marriott next to Vondel Park, the very nice city park where we ran or walked each morning. The hotel is an easy walk to Julie's, through the city. The first few days we hung out with Julie while Stephen was at work (or so he claims). One evening we watched the Badgers play North Carolina in a final four game. Stephen got a great connection on the Internet, so we huddled around the computer until midnight (A'dam time). It was fun, but you must abide by Stephen's rules (basically no badmouthing the Badgers even if they stink). He also must wear his schmutzic "W" hat.
On Wednesday Julie took us by train to Gouda, about a 30-minute train ride to where cheese is the main product. We ate pannekuchen for lunch in a cute restaurant, then Lynn and Julie did a little shopping while I did some people watching. It is interesting that Muslim's have been migrating to the Netherlands and they are evident in Gouda.
On Thursday we drove in a rented car to a little town, Beilstein, on the Mosel River in Germany, about a four-hour drive, mostly on the autobahn. We stopped in Koln for lunch, a city that was nearly destroyed during WWII. Lunch was really great----sandwiches at Subway! Julie and Stephen advised that German food is bad (lots of heavy pork, meat, gravy), so we took their advice. The autobahn was our first experience with no speed limit. Stephen did very well, but it was somewhat nerve-wracking going 130 (that's Km) and having cars pass us.
We arrived at the little town of 200 people (it was 600 before the war, but many left or died, mostly Jews). We stayed at a very nice B & B called the Lipmann Haus, run by a family for several generations. The dinner, served in their dining room, and the local wine was very good.
The next few days we traveled up and down the Mosel and Rhine valleys visiting castles and site seeing in the numerous towns. (I'm sure Stephen has included great detail and many pictures of this trip). I commented a how the rolling green hills and river reminded me of Wisconsin (perhaps why so many Germans emigrated here). This was our first trip to Germany. We enjoyed the many new experiences and of course being with Julie and Stephen. I must admit, though, that it was somewhat strange being in a country that just 60 years ago systematically attempted to kill all the Jews. In the hills, one mile above the hotel, we visited an old Jewish cemetery with about 50 graves, a few of WWII vintage, but mainly of the turn of the century. This was a stark reminder of the dark history in this country; ironically we were there on Easter Sunday.
On Monday morning we flew back to Chicago. We will return for another visit on June 26th to welcome the newest addition to the Kantor family. Thanks to Stephen and Julie for always taking good care of us.