I am always on vacation, but a trip during the summer tends to be labelled as such...
I have travelled to a foreign land: Bavaria. Some think that it is part of Germany, but its citizens think differently. The main political party, which is a sister party to Angie’s CDU, is about as far right as a party can drift without being called “Nazi”. In other words, they are very conservative.
But, the landscape in the state’s souther regions is very picturesque with the Alps as a backdrop. This is a lot like Switzerland, but for much less money. This explains the many cars with Swiss license plates parked in front of all hotels.
At some point, I will takes some photos and expand on my point.
Purely by chance, in the year of the 1500th anniversary of the Reformation, I am reading a book about the Middle Ages, in which the Reformation plays a major role. The book, An Age Lit By Fire, by William Manchester, gives an excellent overview of the period. One is happy to have been born well after this horrible time in human existence on this planet.
Human nature, being what it is, was not different than now, but people had less information, less technology, and less knowledge. Stupid people are stupid people in any age; and lying, devious hypocrites are lying, devious hypocrites. Only, in the Middle Ages the religious fanatics had more power, and the innocent suffered more.
As bad as life seems from daily views of the media, be happy that you live now...
Does any person not brain dead believe that the U.S. Supreme Court is not the supreme political body?
Foreigners Unsure Why Anyone Would Want to Travel to U.S. at This Point
By Andy Borowitz
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Shortly after the United States Supreme Court upheld Donald J. Trump’s controversial travel ban, millions of people from other countries expressed puzzlement that anyone would want to travel to the United States at this juncture.
In interviews with people from around the world, respondents said that the travel ban struck them as unnecessary, because the United States was not currently on the list of the top hundred countries to which they would consider travelling.
When asked to name the reasons they felt that a travel ban was superfluous, many of those interviewed cited the United States’s gun violence and crumbling infrastructure, as well as its broken educational and health-care systems, while others singled out its President’s startling disrespect for democratic norms and human rights.
Given those views, most of the foreigners interviewed said they found the news of the Supreme Court’s decision baffling. “When I heard that the United States was having a travel ban, I assumed that was to keep people from leaving,” one respondent said, echoing the sentiments of many.
There is saying about only stupid people not changing minds. Well, I must admit to having prejudices and changing my mind about one of those.
I have limited interest in and knowledge of cars. I appreciate a good car, but do not dwell on details. I know what I like, in terms of design and image, and what I do not like.
There was a time when Ford Galaxy was a station wagon, so in my mind it was. Not keeping up with a brand I do not like, I did not know about model name changes.
When I must rent a can, I generally use Sixt. They have the best cars with the most features. I needed a vehicle for 7 passengers. Sixt offered only a Ford Galaxy, so I was forced to swallow my prejudices and take that car.
First of all, it was better equipped than my (expensive) Audi. The ride was rather good. It suited our needs perfectly. I would be happy to own such a car…even if it is a Ford.
The only complaint I had was about how the car made me question spending more on a brand with a better image.
I took a boat trip on the Rhine River...so you don't have to. Fortunately for you (and me), the trip was on the most interesting portion of a very long river.
The river starts high in the Swiss Alps, near the town of Disentis; forms the border of Switzerland and Lichtenstein; empties into Lake Constance; flows out the western end to form the border between Switzerland and Germany; turns north at Basel; forms the border between France and Germany; slithers thought the Rhine graben; turns northwest near Mainz,;cuts through hills below Koblenz; passes Cologne and Dusseldorf; before entering Holland; and, finally, dumping its waters into the North Sea.
We boarded in at the town of Bingen, where the Nahe River joins the Rhine and disembarked at Boppard, taking the train back to our parked car. (A geography lesson for those that have heard of neither.)
The first of many freight ships loomed into our line of sight soon after leaving the dock, with the beginning margin of the Rhinegau vineyards rising from the distant shore. Topography is fairly flat, as the river leaves its easy path through the Rhine graven and heads towards rocky hills through which it must cut a narrow path.
This section of the river is interesting because of the narrow channel, steep slopes covered with vineyards, and human effects. Because this river has been a trade route since Roman times, tax collectors, toll collectors, and bandits have played a major role on building. The river is lined with castles, churches, and small towns, which hang on hillsides or cling to small bits of flat land beside the river. Tourist hotels now occupy many of the buildings.
To ensure that no penny slipped through the grubby hands of toll/tax collectors in the dead of night, the bastards even built a castle in the middle of the river!
The most famous point on the river is the Lorelei, a rock outcropping at the most treacherous spot on the river. Myths surround the nymph that supposedly lured sailors to a watery death; songs sing of her power and mystery. Of course, us realists know that sailors died because of incompetence or foolhardiness.
At many points, one is reminded of how important this river is, with all sorts of vessels using and/or competing for space on the water: freight ships, cruise ships, ferries, pleasure craft, or tourist vessels.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.