We had a wonderful time in Germany with not only our daughter Shadee, but her father and Bonnie’s former husband Shahin as well, our time together stretching to a total of eleven days before we departed to return our car and fly back to the U.S. from Milan.  Much of our time was spent traveling around the German countryside and enjoying the amazing towns and architecture of surrounding Heidelberg where we stayed.  The profusion of medieval and sixteenth century timbered structures made for an other worldly atmosphere. Here is a sampling, mostly from the town of Rothenburg, about two hours northeast of Heidelberg.

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A Rothenburg Gate

As the gate above indicates, Rothenburg was, and still is, a walled city and like most, occupies the ridge of a significant hill.  Here is a look at part of the town as it stretches across the ridge, taken from the wall itself.

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We managed to enjoy some of the sausages the Germans love

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and also enjoyed the sunshine sitting out after lunch.

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We have to include a shot as well of Shahin, long known for turning to gold anything he touched, either doing the same or getting a recharge.

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Finally leaving Germany, we made our way across Switzerland and spent the night and the next day in beautiful Lugano, just across the border into Italy and perched on the gorgeous lake of the same name.

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Even in the night it is a beautiful city.

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The next day we spent time walking the wonderful promenade along the lakeside

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and ended up in a beautiful park which sits at the furthest point of the city proper.

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Much to our surprise, we saw diving back into the lake what must be either Lake Lugano’s version of the Lach Ness Monster or a whale that had somehow managed to swim up the rivers from the Mediterranean and into the lake.

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The next day we made our way to Milano and had lunch with a close friend from our days working in Europe whom we hadn’t seen in over ten years, then returned the car to Renault at the airport and flew off to New York and life in the U.S.A.

“Oh, one more thing,” Steve Jobs was famous for saying immediately before introducing something revolutionary.   While in Germany we spent a lot of time shopping for a replacement for our little Kangoo and yellow tent.  Our intention is to return to Europe for the month of October and again in the spring of 2015 to spend at least five or six months there next year and for several years going forward.  So we went to countless camper/RV dealers and must have been in at least fifty different models.  The diversity is amazing, but we wanted something that was relatively small that nevertheless had a full bath and kitchen, and could sleep a couple of guests as well as ourselves in comfortable beds.

We finally found what we think is the perfect camper.  It is called a Glucksmobil, is manufactured in Germany, is only 24 feet long, is narrow enough to squeeze through the narrow streets of European towns, and has a turbo diesel engine which is particularly desirable since diesel gets better fuel mileage and is less expensive than gasoline in Europe.

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Inside there is seating for six around the table immediately behind the driving cab

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and the kitchen, full bath with shower, and bedroom are to the rear.  The second bed literally drops from the ceiling above the sitting area and is bigger than an American double bed with a skylight immediately overhead and another to the side above the driving cab.

Will it be a little more comfortable than the yellow tent we camped in this trip?  You betcha!  We can’t wait to take it wandering in October!