Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Germany Week 2 - Abroad Part Three - Heidelberg!

A trip to Germany wouldn't be complete for us without visiting Heidelberg - one of our favorite cities!

On the road again.

A trip to Heidelberg means a trip to our favorite bakery!

Shen picked a special ladybug treat.

There was a storm moving in... we quickly made our way to Starbucks amidst thunder and lightening!

We got there just as it started to rain.

After it cleared off again, we headed back outside.

We listened to this lady play!

Shenandoah and this little German girl had fun stomping in the puddles together. :)

We stopped at our favorite doner place for dinner - another must!!  These gentlemen remembered us from last year.

(I shouldn't have been typing this near dinner time :)

The kids had fun playing around this fountain.

There was a BEAUTIFUL double rainbow on the way home!!!  Two complete arches and so bright!!!  I think it was the best rainbow I've ever seen.

I love rainbows - such a beautiful reminder of God's faithfulness to fulfill ALL His promises.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Germany 2013 Week 2 - Abroad Part Two - Operation Market Garden Trail

Our next day out, we followed the trail of the 101 Airborne Division during Operation Market Garden. This was especially neat because we had already retraced some of there path last year with sites around Normandy and their foxholes in the Ardennes. We visited many of the bridges and some other historical sites. Another thing we did that day, was visit a couple more American cemeteries and memorials that we hadn't made it to last year.  It was quite a full day as we toured for about 17 hours!!! We ended the day with the adventure of finding and visiting our last bridge in the dark!!!

 On the road again!

I wish we could have gotten a better picture of this beautiful little valley!

German countryside.

The church steeples always stand out when you drive through a German city.

Our first stop of the day.

This gentleman did a wonderful job telling us the stories behind some of the men who are buried here.  This was probably one of our favorite cemeteries that we visited because he helped to make our experience so much more personal.

The map of some of the battles.

Doesn't this look like it could be a painting?!

A funny looking pine tree!!  We hadn't ever seen one like this before!!

Our second stop of the day.

Wall of the names of those who rest in unknown graves.

Reading about the medal of honor winners buried here.  There stories of bravery and sacrifice are so amazing.

We have a great responsibility to preserve the freedoms that so many have fought and died for.

Lunch in the car.

JOE's bridge, which became the springboard for Operation Market Garden, was where we headed next!

The Liberation Route follows the path that the allies walked during the liberation of Europe.  There are markers set up at important points across the continent and this is one of them.

We then headed to Eindhoven.

 Eindhoven was the first Dutch city to be liberated by the 101 Airborne Division.

There is a memorial there to honor them.

I thought it was funny to see a street named this in Holland!

Another street name.

We drove through Son, but had extreme difficulty finding the location of where the bridge would have been.  The coordinates led us to a house that wasn't at all close to the water. :)  After driving around for a while, we decided to head on.

While in Son, we stopped at a little Dutch market to try and find some cheese, but they didn't have any.  There were some delicious waffle cakes though!

Sint Oedenrode was our next objective.

You can tell you're in Holland when the crosswalk lights have bicycles in stead of people! 
(Look closed at the green light on the lefthand side of the picture.)

This house looked like it had a sod roof.

This almost looks like a gingerbread house!

We visited this "castle" which served as the 101 Airborne's headquarters during some of Operation Market Garden.

It even has a little moat!

This plaque was on the wall.

The courtyard inside the wall.

The surrounding grounds were pretty!

We headed off to Arnhem.

This bridge is named after Major-General John Frost, who commanded the British forces that reached and defended the bridge during the Battle of Arnhem in September, 1944.

This bridge was built in exactly the same style and place as the original bridge that was so important during the battle for Arnhem.

A memorial near the bridge.

This was another stop on the Liberation Route.

A neat looking church in Arnhem. 

We walked around the town.

We wanted to go into this church and see the paratrooper memorial, but unfortunately it was undergoing some massive repairs and wasn't open.

Can anyone spy the windmill in this picture?

Crossing the bridge at Arnhem.

Sometimes at a stoplight, we asked daddy to roll down his window and snap a quick picture for us!

We were trying to find the house where the "Angel of Arnhem" lived and helped so many soldiers during the battle of Arnhem.  We think this was it, but no one answered when we knocked on the door. :)

This was a little church close to the neighborhood.

An interesting tree.

There are many bullet holes in the church from the battle!

Sticking fingers in the holes.

On the way out of town, we ran into some construction and had to take a detour.  Following a detour in a foreign country can be slightly challenging!!  Especially if it confuses the GPS. :)

We got to get a nice country drive though and it all worked out.

Though it was not our original plan, we ended up at Remagen in the dark!!


One of the significant things about Remagen Bridge is that it was the first point at which Allies crossed the Rhine.  The original bridge towers have been preserved and now house a museum.