Berlin is the capital of Germany, but we did not visit it. The German currency was known as the Deutschmarc, which was worth approximately $.50. The national language is German. Germany is a Republic which is ruled by an elected Chancellor, currently Gerhard Schroeder.

In Germany, we did not visit the largest cities. We stopped in Cologne where we visited the Cologne Cathedral. There we saw the sepulchres of the Three Kings.

We ate a delicious lunch of roast pork and saurbraten in a restaurant which had a glockenspiel out front. Flaky apple streudel was the dessert. It was interesting to discover that dogs are welcome guests in German restaurants.

On our cruise down the Rhine River we passed many vineyards. The region is known for its white wines such as Liebfraumilch and Riesling. There are numerous castles and picturesque villages along the river.

We passed through the University city of Heidelberg. Bicycles are a major form of transportation for students there.

We visited the remains of Heidelberg Castle, heavily damaged in a war with France during the 17th Century.

We drove through Bavarian villages on the way to the beautiful Black Forest. The Rathaus is the Town Hall.
A tornado which struck the region in January of 1995 uprooted many of these majestic pine trees.

Our lunch was bratwurst sausages with delicious Black Forest Cake for dessert. It is a rich chocolate cake, filled with dark cherries and topped with whipped cream.

We saw a demonstration of the process used in making cuckoo clocks in a shop which actually was a working cuckoo clock itself. Nutcrackers and music boxes are other popular products from this area.

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Oberammergau is a small village in which a world famous reenactment of the Passion of Jesus takes place every ten years. This play was begun in 1633 at the time of the Black Plague as thanksgiving for saving the people of the village. Most of the villagers take some part in the play, either as cast members or helping with costumes and scenery. Many of the houses in the village have religious scenes painted on their walls.

Linderhof was one of the castles of King Ludwig, known as the Mad King of Bavaria. He was friends with the composer,Richard Wagner and built a Grotto in which he hoped that Wagner's operas could be performed.

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