Dambach-La-Ville and its Vineyards

We had come through this little town on our previous trip to the Alsace. Last fall, on our way back to Germany, we stopped here for lunch. That’s how we discovered it. It had been so quiet on that Sunday afternoon, which made us curious enough to return for a weekend stay this year.

There are very few cars here, no traffic lights, no screeching of tires, and no blasting horns, and the few dogs we encountered did not even bark.

This was the perfect place for a little get-away. On our Sunday morning walk, we only heard the church bells ring.

A combine for the grape harvest

Those yellow buckets will probably be put away until next fall.

A single red leaf sticks out in the morning sun.

Vineyards around Dambach-la-Ville

All views, taken from any slope, will direct your eyes to the church.

Autumn colors

The photographer is being photographed. 🙂

The Little Town of RĂ©ville in Normandy

The weather forecast called for 17° -19° C on most days in July. But with the sun, it felt more like 30°C, which can easily go unnoticed due to the constant breeze.

This food below is the reason for going to the French coast. So my husband can feast on seafood every day. My selection of dishes in seafood restaurants is rather limited, but the wine sure helps.

Every day, we took some short trips by car to visit other surrounding villages. Here we are in the village of RĂ©ville (population: about 1000), where we enjoyed some espresso, with the owner’s dog joining our table. I tried out my French on him. He walked away.

We also visited the local church and cemetery. I was very surprised to see sea glass used for decoration on graves. I collect it for other reasons…

A Grave in RĂ©ville, Manche, Normandy
Church in RĂ©ville

This statue by the famous French painter, Guillaume Romain Fouace, has a prominent place in the church. Fouace was born into a farm family in RĂ©ville in 1837. His tomb features a recumbent white marble statue of his daughter Beatrix (1875–1888).

Beatrix Fouace statue in RĂ©ville

The Town Hall of Reville is still decked out from D-Day, and for future activities to come.

Seafood platter are about € 25 – 30 on average.

Every evening, when we left the restaurant after some wining & dining, the boats sure look a bit off. 🙂

The Village of Tocqueville: Final Resting Place for Alexis de Tocqueville

The little village of Tocqueville (population: about 280) has erected a bust for the French diplomat, political scientist, and historian, Alexis de Tocqueville. Tocqueville himself was born in Paris, attended school in Metz, died in Cannes, and is buried in Tocqueville.

He is best known for his works ‘Democracy in America’ and ‘The Old Regime and the Revolution’.

Bust of Alexis de Tocqueville

This is the church and cemetery where he is buried.

Tocqueville Church

We combed the hole cemetery for his grave, and initially could not find it. With the help of a sight-map in the church, we finally located the grave next to one of the side entrances.

Alexis de Tocqueville grave

One of the many mosaic windows in the Tocqueville Church.

What to Do in Helsinki, Finland in November

The first notable thing we saw after getting off the Tallink Silja ferry at Helsinki, while walking from the West Harbor towards downtown Helsinki, was this statue. A bit grotesque, but I’m no art critique either.

This Bad Bad Boy is 8.5 meters in height, and his face shows surprise and shock, as if caught while urinating. It was part of the Mutatis Mutandis exhibition, which finished in October 2016, and since then, the statue has been moved to the city’s West Harbor (just outside the building housing of the Helsinki Computer and Game Console Museum). The artist Tommi Toija created this Bad Bad Boy statue.

In its new location away from the port, we walked about 5-10 minutes before we spotted him.  Again, I’m no artist, and I’m glad I don’t make my living from writing art critiques.

Bad Bad Boy in Helsinki

A more pleasant sight were these colorful seals, with a herring in their mouths.

Seals at the West Harbor Helsinki

More art and modern design is presented here. This is a wall of hundreds of tiny plaques, which you find walking from the West Harbor to the eastern shore of JÀtkÀsaari. The art project is called Horisontti, and bears the names of donors to the Keep the Baltic Sea Clean campaign.

After what seemed an endless walk trying to find the old part of Helsinki (good luck), or the modern downtown shopping area, we struck on the Stockmann department store. It was a nice warm place after a good 25-minute walk, especially being around the port area of Helsinki in November.

Stockmann shop window in Helsinki

Next, we looked for one of the Christmas markets. We found one in front of this white Lutheran church (construction was 1830- 1852).

Lutheran church in Helsinki

At the Christmas market, my friend and I shared a reindeer kebab. I had my share with all the extras a kebab can have – chili peppers, red onions, and sauce. The taste of game and the meat texture will make this a unique experience, and …remain unique.

We took another stroll through the lit streets of Helsinki.

Speaking of lit – most pubs were full by 5pm on Saturday. We could not leave Helsinki without having a pint, so we had it sitting outside.

Helsinki is a cool place to visit for a day – there are some good museums (which we didn’t go to) to visit, but we were more interested in shopping for souvenirs, its people, and the local culture.

London in March

We stopped by Southwark Cathedral (formerly St. Saviour’s parish), where Shakespeare’s younger brother, Edmond, is buried. His burial place is marked by a ledger stone in the choir area.

Church

From the Thames River looking at the Gherkin.

London and the Gherkin

 

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Tower Bridge, London

Around Camden

Chalk Farm Road in Camden

Dressed for cool days in London, we came in winter clothing. We had sunny days, and after the first afternoon, we left our warm clothing in the suitcase. The young man in the photo was the reason for our visit.

On the London Bridge

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