Monday, October 21, 2013

Amsterdam and Germany


We just got back from a lovely trip to Amsterdam and Germany. We spent the first three days in Amsterdam. I wanted to visit the Anne Frank House -- which was amazing to see! -- and I also wanted to see the red light district. The red light district broke my heart and I couldn't walk through there for very long.


Amsterdam as a city was very very pretty and charming. All of the canals, the beautiful old houses and the people riding their bikes everywhere... It was an easy city to get around and we walked almost everywhere. I started to miss my kids on about day two!




We then went on a river cruise down the Rhine.


We would mostly sail only at night and then would get off in different areas during the day. We spent a couple of afternoons on the France side and many days on the Germany side. My favourite part of Germany would be the Black Forest. So picturesque.


We had one afternoon on the ship, where we sat and watched castle after castle appear.





One of our stops was in Cologne. A city that Abby visited two years ago, when she went to Germany to visit a friend of hers. I loved all the cathedrals that I saw on this trip, they are so beautiful... and yet I started to wonder why so much money is spent on these buildings instead of going to help the people of the world... isn't that was Christianity is suppose to be about?




This church was an old monastery and the outside of the building was completely plain, but the inside was this...


So even though we were on a ship of old people -- nothing against old people, but the staff was quite amazed that we were there! -- it was a beautiful trip. And I even met some amazing women who were twice my age... An old English lady told me we were kindred spirits. Another lady (from Argentina) told me her life story, which was so amazing to hear!



And it is always great to get back home to all my kids!


Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

Beautiful! I have always wanted to travel down the Rhein. My husband is from Germany and so we go every couple of years, but going on a cruise down the Rhein isn't something you do with children, so it will have to wait! Happy you had the opportunity to go!

Dixie-Lee said...

awesome pictures and sounds like you had a great time. Thanks for letting us all enjoy these wonderful places with you.

Denise said...

Beautiful pics! Now that your home, we really need to get together!!

the meaklims said...

Looks and sounds like a fabulous trip, Paige. Love your photos. I especially love the first windmill one. Beautiful.
Oh, and your comment about putting so much money into Church's when we could be helping the needy, I could not agree more. So true. It actually gave me goosebumps.
So would you do a river cruise again? I've never thought of it before!

Marie said...

What a beautiful place! I couldn't agree more on the whole thing on how churches spend their money...and then I look at myself, and see that I am part of that church, and look at how I spend my money. Sometimes I get myself to the point of feeling guilty for buying a Tim's French Vanilla. lol! Trying to create the balance can be difficult, especially because we live in a society that tells us we deserve all these things cause we've worked hard for it. I've been praying that I will hear God's voice more and more as I learn to put Him first.

Monica said...

Welcome home! Haha, I had to laugh about you two being the youngest on the cruise ship. My mom has done river cruises in Europe and yes, I've heard from her that they tend to be a lot of older folks. But it sounds like you made the best of it and had some wonderful experiences.

Your photos are magical, Paige. I especially love that first one with the windmills

Patrick and Christina said...

Looks like you had a fantastic getaway for two! AWESOME photo's! I have had no desire to travel to Germany but the photo's are spectacular that I will have to re-think my bucket list! Haha.

I had the same thought about the cathedrals we saw in Spain which all look oddly similar to the one you posted. Even a plain exterior church would hous fantastic decor inside. I kept thinking what if all this money went to help the poor...I ventured to ask the guide and got this kind of response:

The awe and beauty one might experience inside with the sights and sounds would be awe aspiring, aspiring to believe in something better and bigger than themselves, perhaps moving them to make an internal change (at least for the moment they were in the building!) or helping them feel they were drawing nearer to the heavenly king. The cathedral demands reverence like a king/queen might. It would help frame the mind to listen keenly, the sound in the vaulted ceiling was to carry their song and prayers to heaven (truly awesome understanding of science to combine sound function and cathedral stucture into the architecture of these cathedrals). These cathedral's were fit for a King that was worthy of worship unlike most kings/queens of the day who didn't do much for the commoners.

It was an interesting perspective but doesnt' negate the issue around using money to help versus decorate. Some of our travels have really shown just how much the culture affected the Church of the day (one Catherdral was 1st Muslim, then Christian Catholic, then back to Muslim, then back to Catholic over a period of 300 years). Buildings were repurposed and people made due in where they worshipped. Really Fascinating.