Friday, July 15, 2005


Watch on the Rhine*

From the travel files: June 4, 2005

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Rhine river views. Barges, tour boats, poppies --
and get a load of those vineyards in the background.

In addition to castles, there are cute tourist towns "every five meters" along the middle Rhine. They feature narrow cobbled streets, low sixteenth century buildings with exposed timber beams on the exterior and stone archways ....



tourist strips...


small public squares



... and interesting factoids! For instance, I bet you didn't know that Michael Thonet, the designer of the world famous "Bentwood" cafe chair, was born right here in Boppard on the Rhine. Uh.. you didn't know that Michael Thonet designed the Bentwood chair?

Darn -- we were a week too soon for Michael Thonet day
at the Boppard Museum!

And of course gift shops, with stuff that you can't get anywhere else. Okay, maybe you can get kuckoo clocks, but what about a Red Baron Beer Stein?

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I had to have the Red Baron beer stein, until I took a closer look at the price tag: 79 euros!

And where else would you find this tasteful "Cowboys and Indians" chess set? The Germans apparently have (or had) a long-standing fascination with the "American West" as portrayed by pre-1970s Hollywood.


Note how the Indian pawns are just looking, while the Cowboy pawns are shooting. And check out the Cowboy queen. It put me in mind of licensing a chess set design with the queen modeled after Courtney Love.

You can also find motorcycle gangs made up of not-very-scary-looking middle-aged people. But don't try to drive around them.



*Allusion to 19th century German patriotic song.

Wow. What great photos.
thanks jo(e). As you know, I consider you an ace photographer, so that's nice to hear.
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