Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Düsseldorf and Schloss Benrath, June 10-11, 2017

Lovely grounds at Benrath
June 10, 2017, we went to Düsseldorf for a visit and to spend the night. We attended a concert by The Piano Guys in a large venue, but during the day we visited a baroque palace called Benrath. It is set in an enormous park with beautiful gardens and grounds. A large lake is in front of the palace. It was built over 45 years ending in 1770 and is grandly ornate.

The concert was amazing. The venue was packed - Germans apparently love these guys. There was a fairly large group of senior missionaries attending, including President and Sister Stoddard. Janet and I talked to people around us, and they were intrigued that there was a Mormon connection. Generally they did not know and just had seen the videos of Stephen Sharp Nelson and Jon Schmidt on Youtube. I gave someone next to me a pass along card.

After the show, we were given backstage passes to meet the guys, and that was fun. A young woman named Sylvia Nassauer whom Greg Jarrard baptized was introduced to the gospel through the Youtube videos and subsequent correspondence with Stephen Nelson. All of the LDS people who are part of Piano Guys came to sacrament meeting in the Düsseldorf Ward the following morning, and we chatted on the street afterward as they were waiting for their transportation (we had to head back to Frankfurt as well). What genuine, nice people they were.

Following are pictures from the Schloss (palace) and more:
Our dear friends and office companions the Markles

Friends gather - Elder Kay, Sister Steineckert, Sister and Elder Snapp, and Sister Markle

Elder Snapp, Sister Markle, Elder Steineckert with the cool folding seat, and Janet

Reflecting pool in the back
Lots of water and pathways
Our sweet friends Elder Jerry and Sister Dawnelle Mumm

A warm day - backside of the palace. Yes, it's pink
Janet's shirt matched the palace exterior - pretty in pink.
The lake and the front of the palace seem to be ideal for wedding photos
A few more shots of the grounds

Some interior shots.

Typical baroque interior decoration
Stairs used by servants
The purple stuff was some kind of weird modern art installation

Silk on the walls
The 18th century was not a comfortable kind of clothes era

Okay, the gnomes were just funny

We saw this type of paper theater in other places. It was a fad for a while and faded, but they can be very elaborate.

18th century clock with elaborate decoration

Detail of the clock decoration
Grand salon

Pink was apparently popular because red dyes and paints were hard to get and expensive - a way to display your power and wealth to otherss

Many doorways have these oils above them

One of the palace owners

The shadow looks like a crack. 
Lunch fare
Germans love "Spiegeleier" - fried eggs, and of course, fried potatoes

Schnitzel mit Pommes Frites!
A few concert photos
As you can see, the venue was full. The hall was sponsored by Toyota - yes, they sell branding in Germany, too

Sister Mumm and Sister Stoddard

Elder and Sister Snapp, Sister and Elder Nielsen, and Sister Markle
Piano Guys with Scottish pipers who were part of the show
One picture from church Sunday morning
Sister Markle with Sister Shelley

Friday, June 9, 2017

Coburg, Franconia, 3 June 2017

Veste Coburg, By Presse03 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6251198
Coburg is almost 3 hours east of Frankfurt in northern Bavaria. It is a beautiful old city overlooked by a fortress, portions of which date back to the 11th century. The hilltop was inhabited beginning in Neolithic times. The castle was hosting a special exhibition focusing on life in the peasants, priests, and knights. In particular, the focus was on Martin Luther who was sheltered here after being excommunicated and banned by the Roman Catholic church. The fortress is extremely well-preserved. A couple serving in Regensburg and isolated from everyone else joined us, and it was a wonderful day. We met some nice people on the street and shared a few pass-along cards. Our sweet returned missionary Libbie Bakker served in Coburg and recommended several things - she recommended more things than we could see. We won't have time to go back, but it would be worth it.
View of the fortress from the west - Von Störfix, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13257503
Just below the walls
Meeting up in the courtyard - Sister Aiken, Sister Mumm, Sister Snapp, Janet, Elder Aiken

Well in the interior courtyard. We had a perfect weather day.

Courtyard monument to World War I dead

One of the castle buildings from an interior courtyard

View to the west from a battlement
Part of the standing exhibit (we were not allowed to photograph any of the great things in the special exhibit). How about this desk?

Carved and painted paneling in one of the rooms

Ornate chest. These were used for sitting and storage

Beautiful inlays in this table

Carved wooden entry

Loved the carving on the door

Gilded ship model

Wood carving depicting Mary and Joseph's flight into Egypt with the infant Jesus

Spectacular wooden ceiling and carved panels along the upper part of the wall

Close up of one of the carved panels at the top of the wall
Original painting by Lucas Cranach (the elder or the younger) entitled The Unequal Pair - looks like her wealthy dowry could buy her a handsome young husband, despite her looks.
Portcullis in a tunnel leading into the fortress off a bridge over a moat (now dry)
Got this great shot walking back to where we parked the car (climb up a steep hill that left us panting a little)
Gate tower in the old city below the fortress
We have loved getting to know Elder and Sister Aiken
There was a market in the main plaza near the city hall. Elder Markle is ready for some lunch.

There is a sausage called a Coburger - delicious. Elder Neilson, Sister Neilson, and Sister Mumm
Janet liked her Coburger, too
Flowers for sale surrounding the statue in the center of the Marktplatz
Germans love to eat outdoors in good weather (and sometimes in bad weather)

Elder Dale and Sister Suzan Aiken

Can't beat the ice cream

Jeff went for the spaghetti Eis - delicious and cool
Apotheke (pharmacy) at this location since the 1500s

Picturesque end of the Rathaus (city hall)

View of the front of the Rathaus after the market cleared out

The front of Ehrenburg Palace (now a museum)

Another of the ornate buildings surrounding the market square

Tower that was part of a wall in medieval times
Tower of the Protestant Church of St. Moritz

In the church choir - an epitaph to a wealthy patron

Central knave

Faith, hope, and love

Baroque organ

Taken from the upper balcony
A handwritten choir book (bass part) from 1635

The group found a quiet place to sit down for a few minutes
Bust of Martin Luther. While in Coburg he preached a series of sermons in St. Moritz in the year 1530
Exterior building decoration

Whimsical fountain - labeled "drinking water" but we weren't that thirsty
Elder Snapp demonstrating how to use a slide rule - haven't seen one of these in almost 35 years