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ABCs of GTL (F to K) July 26, 2011

Posted by Layla Marshall in Travel Log.

F:  Füssen, Germany—castle country.  On the third weekend, I traveled to Germany to see my first castles.  Schloss Neuschwanstein, the actual “Disney castle,” is one of two famous castles near Füssen.  I got to take guided tours of Neuschwanstein and its neighbor, Hohenschwangau, both of which were built by King Ludwig II.  My favorite part about these historic places, other than the fact that they’re castles, is the many references to Richard Wagner, the famous German composer and good friend of King Ludwig.  The rooms in Neuschwanstein are decorated with the themes of his many operas, and Wagner played the piano in Hohenschwangau when he visited.

G:  Gardens.  Europe has so many beautiful garden areas.  From Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park in London to the gardens of Versailles and the botanical gardens of the University of Basel in Switzerland, I’ve gotten to see many impressive landscapes.  I approve of Europeans’ dedication to preserving green space, even in the biggest cities.

H:  Hackenberg Fortress.  Another GTL fieldtrip was to the Hackenberg Fortress, near the village of Veckring on the border of France and Germany.  This fort was one of the largest fortifications of the Maginot Line, and it changed hands between France and Germany throughout WWII.  We were given tours of the network of underground tunnels, and our guide demonstrated the workings of one of the turrets used for defense.  After Hackenberg, we went to an American cemetery near St. Avold.

Amphitheater in Pompeii

I:  Italy—from Pompeii to Florence.  On our five-day weekend in the middle of the summer, we went to Italy and started our adventures in Naples.  We wandered around the ruins of Pompeii for a few hours and saw Mount Vesuvius from afar.  Next stop was Rome, but I’ll talk more about that later.  We went through Florence on our way back to Metz, where we visited the Medici Chapel, the basilica, and the Piazza Michelangelo, where we watched a beautiful sunset over the city.  The weather was wonderful and the gelato was delicious!

Florence at Sunset

K:  Kebabs.  It’s like in “I-Spy” books when you get to the end and there’s a clue for the object that has been hidden in every scene—only this one’s not exactly hidden.  Kebabs (my favorite are chicken) are the extremely convenient European fast-food equivalent, and I’ve enjoyed several throughout the summer.



1. Andy Barrenechea - July 26, 2011

I like your “ABC’s of GTL”…very creative, Layla!!

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