Germany - My Family Travels

            This past summer my family and I toured southern Germany. My mother’s side of the family came from Germany and I was very excited to see where some of my family was from.
           We left Omaha on July 7, 2009 and landed in Frankfurt the next day. After we landed we headed off to Wiesbaden on the autobahn. It was my first experience ever on the autobahn, I found out that it is all relative. Your speedometer might say that you are going 120 kilometers per hour but so is everyone else on the road so it feels just like you are keeping up with the traffic.
          We first stayed in Mientz, across the river from Wiesbaden. Since it was my first time in Germany I had a hard time believing that it was real. It all looked like a fairy tale. The waddle and dab construction, the high arches in the churches, to the narrow lanes of the streets made it very hard to believe that it was all really there.
One of the places that we went to in Mientz was the Dom, Dom is another name for a cathedral or large church. The Dom was first built in the thirteen hundreds and then was occupied during the World Wars by invading troops. After the second World War it was burned down and has been rebuilt to its present state by the people who lived in the area of Mientz at the time.
           We also went on a “castle cruise.” We rode up and down the Rhine River and on each side of the river we found layer upon layer of Germanic and ancient Roman ruins. At the head o the river we got off the boat and walked around the Burg Rheinfels, or the castle Rheinfels. Burg is the German word for castle of fort. The Burg Rheinfels was not in total working order, the majority of it was ruins. Even though it was ruins we were allowed to guide ourselves on our own tour, and take our time around the Burg.
Our next stop was in Keus. We stayed in there for a week. It was so beautiful, right at the heart of the Mosel River Valley, the middle of Germany’s wine country. The Mosel River split the two towns, Berncastle and Keus. Berncastle being the older more traditional village and Keus on the other side of the river was more modern and more built-up. My favorite place in Germany is about a twenty minute walk from the heart of Berncastle. It is a small chapel built out of stone. It is on the side of the mountain that sits next to Berncastle. The chapel was built for Pope John Paul II. It was very small and only had room for a two person pew and a small alter for offerings. When I walked inside I could not believe the peace that I felt. I will always remember that small chapel in Germany. 

       We were only in Germany for fifteen short days. I wish that we could have stayed there longer. I wish even more that I will have the chance to go back again someday. To me it was not just like going on a vacation, to me Germany felt like a second home. Deutschland ist in mein herzen für immer.

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