(Guest blog from the Perfesser,
because Mary Ann was still holed up in Berlin for the following events)
Time for a bit of history and culture: Welcome to the Wartburg castle. The East Germans named their "High-End" car after it. "OOH Jaa! Ze drivink pleasure of mein new Warrrrtburrg! Sounds sexy, no?"
It is a veritable ark of German cultural history. A countess secretly fed the poor here and was sainted because of it, Martin Luther translated the Bible here, and part of Wagner's Meistersänger is set here.
Not to mention the fact that it pretty much out-disneylands Disneyland.
Maddie on the cannon, defending the ramparts
Loads of groovy details like this Gothic tracery work
and a special flock of fan-tailed white doves because. . . . er, well . . ."Check me out in my hot Waaaarrtburrg! Viss mein fan-tailed doves!!!! I am not resistable, Ja?"
The group is starting to show subtle signs of wear and tear.
Real, authentic sword and shield used to kick real, authentic Medieval heinie.
The former ladies' quarters, converted to a shrine to the life of St. Elisabeth, feeder of the poor and patron saint of idealistic Democrats
Ye Olde Bling
A faux tapestry. Those rings and that swagging is all part of the tromp de oleil.
A nice view across Thuringia (Another catchy name. Mark and Ann: You missed your chance to name your child Wartburg Thuringia Purves. Your loss).
Maddie contemplating the importance of scriptures in the popular vernacular
Here is where the magic happened, the reason you don't have to hear "Agnus Dei qui tolis pecata mundi" from the pulpit unless you are into that sort of thing
Afterwards, a rainy tour of Eisenach. We got caught on the way down from the castle. "Storming" the castle is not fun, Mrs. Miracle Max.
The kids were troopers, especially when fueled by a piping bowl of their favorite Goulash soup.
The trip to Nuremberg to meet Mom again: everybody is toasted. With enough Doppelkeks and Gummi Bears, we are able to make it to the next city . . . barely. . .
. . . barely . . .
. . . barely.