Europe - 19 City Tour

These albums are a foto journal of a month long, 19 city trip to Europe in June / July 2014. Three weeks was a guided tour with Rick Steves’ company that provided an opportunity to see a lot of fun and interesting places in a short period of time.

My goal for the foto albums is to give you a sense of having been there with me enjoying the sights and the unique feel, personality of each place.

>> click on an Album Thumbnail to open the Foto Album <<

A really interesting place not just for its historic canals and more than 1,200 bridges but also for the abundance of art in museums, on historic buildings and street art. The Netherlands is a country of tolerance with legal cannabis coffee shops (go to a cafe if you want food) and red light district.

Bicycles are the most common form of transportation ... keep your eye pealed or you might get run over. With 1.2 million bicycles, they outnumber the citizens.

This attractive small town formed in the 10th century is full of history ... medieval times through World War II.

Initially built in the 1400s, the Grote Kerk (Large Church) on the Grote Markt (Haarlem's central square) is an imposing building where services are still held today. The church is also known as St. Bavokerk. You can even go to a brewery that was a former church in central Haarlem (the Jopenkerk).

Open Air Museum is located near Arnhem with antique houses, traditional Dutch buildings, guides in costume, farms and factories from different parts and eras of the Netherlands. The museum was founded in 1912 and is 44 hectares in area.

This picturesque medieval, walled village located in the Rhine Gorge dates back to the 7th century. Located in an important wine making region of Germany, it provides great views along with good white wine.

Stayed in a 400 year old castle that is part of the village fortress wall that is now a hotel.

Dating back to 500 AD, the town of about 3,000 people is famous for castle Burg Rheinfels build in 1245. It is situated centrally on the Rhine Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002. If you like exploring castles, Rheinfels is a good one with a rich history.

This walled medieval town really does look like a place out of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Founded in 1170, the name means “Red fortress above the Tauber”. It has a rich history including how during WWII, a US General who knew about the historic importance and beauty of Rothenburg saved the town from being demolished by artillery shelling.

"May the example of those who were exterminated here between 1933 and 1945 because they resisted Nazism help to unite the living for the defence of peace and freedom and in respect for their fellow man." -- Message in several languages on a commemorative wall at the Dachau concentration camp memorial.

On June 14, 1738 tears were seen on a dilapidated wooden figure of the Scourged Saviour. This miracle resulted in a pilgrimage rush to see the sculpture. In the late 1740s, the Pilgrimage Church of Wies (German: Wieskirche), an oval rococo church was designed and built. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983. The artworks are quite impressive.

Reutte is a small town of less than 6,000 people. It is popular as a destination in part due to its proximity to famous Bavarian Castles and Ehrenberg ruins. One of the many things I like about Europe is that there is art everywhere. Even in this small town, the local cemetery is like an outdoor art gallery.

Near the village of Hohenschwangau are 2 stunning castles.

  1. Schloss Neuschwanstein, the inspiration for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle, was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and homage to Richard Wagner.
  2. Schloss Hohenschwangau, the childhood residence of King Ludwig II, was built by his father King Maximilian II.

Drove from Reutte, Austria to Egna, Italy via Fern Pass in the Tyrolean Alps in Austria. The country side is very scenic. This album is a sample of what you would see on this drive. Many photos were taken from the bus while it was moving.

Venezia (Venice) is made up of a group of 117 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges. It is one of the most picturesque cities I have visited and has a very rich history.

Firenze (Florence) is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. Noted for its Renaissance art, architecture and monuments, the city is a huge indoor / outdoor art gallery. It contains numerous museums and art galleries housing some of the world's most important works of art.

Rome is the capital of Italy with a history that spans more than 2,500 years. It is one of the most visited cities in the world due its many attractions including UNESCO World Heritage sites, Roman Forum, Coliseum, Pantheon, Vatican Museum and many more.

This ancient picturesque city dating back to at least 300 BC, is situated on the flat summit of a large butte of volcanic tuff. It is among the most dramatic in Europe, rising above the almost-vertical faces of cliffs which are completed by defensive walls.

The “Five Lands” is five villages - Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore - part of the Italian Riviera. The area is part of the Cinque Terre National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A boat ride along the coast from village to village is a great way to spend a day.

Stechelberg is a small village in the glacier carved Lauterbrunnen valley that sits at the base of Jungfrau mountain. The hiking and skiing villages of Gimmelwald and Mürren as well as the Schilthorn, are a short gondola ride up the mountain. The area is beautiful and includes 72 waterfalls in the immediate region. The album includes fotos of the countryside on the bus ride from Gottard Pass to Stechelberg. Gottard Pass connects the northern German-speaking part of Switzerland with the Italian-speaking part.

The wine capital of Burgundy and a town rich in heritage. The town is surrounded by some of the world's most famous wine villages. It is famous for its iconic Hôtel-Dieu from 1443 with its glazed tile roofs and its 12th-century Notre Dame Collegiate.

Founded in 3rd century by a Celtic people who named it Parisii, by the 12th century, it was the largest city in the western world. It is France's capital and a global center for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture. In addition to architectural landmarks including 12th-century Gothic Notre-Dame cathedral, Sainte-Chapelle (13th century), Eiffel Tower (1889), and Basilica of Sacré-Cœur on Montmartre (1914), it is home of the most visited art museum in the world, the Louvre.