I couldn't take the threads in JM anymore, so I went for a ride today. I think that's the way it's supposed to be. I've never been to the Rhine, and since moving to Luxembourg earlier this year, it has become a reasonable target. But first a few shots of Luxembourg. For those of you who don't know where it is - that's OK. It's pretty small. A lot of Americans can't really find it on the map. It's where Belgium (10 minutes from house), France (15 minutes from my house) and Germany (30 minutes from house) meet. And it's a way cool place. For one thing it has a Duke. And when it's the Duke's birthday, the whole town celebrates - festivals through the night, fireworks, streets are closed, everyone celebrates. Very cool. Here's a shot of some gypsies performing in one the squares downtown: Now gypsies aren't the most popular ethnic group - for one thing they park their caravans in a place and when they leave the area is completely trashed. also, some say that they put on these shows to distract you, so other kids can work the crowds and pick pockets... The politically correct term these days is to call them Travellers. I will say this kid was genius on the accordion. Luxembourg is part fairy tale and part Kafka. big impressive government buildings and beautiful dark, winding cobblestones streets with great restaurants: I love it here - you get the organization of the Northern Europeans and the food and joie de vivre of the French. This is the area where my office is - it is called Grund: But enough about me, on with the trip! On that note - do you like my new boots - by Vanucci - I'm feeling almost stylish" So I head East into Germany, past Trier - Germany's oldest city an famous for the Porta Nigra built around 200AD. Just past Trier I get into the real countryside. It reminds of the Tennyson's "The Lady of Shalott" On either side the river lie Long fields of barley and of rye, That cloth the Wold and meet the sky; and thro' the field the road runs by to many-tower'd Camelot; And up and down the people go, Gazing where the lilies blow Round an island there below, The island of Shalott. An English professor in high school once said he thought those were the most beautiful lines of poetry ever written. As is customary these days, my first view of the Rhine was this: The world through the eyes of a Garmin... Also didn't pay attention to the means of crossing, and few minutes later the Garmin says: "In 400 meters, board the fairy". Well I like ferries, so here we go - a whopping euro 2.50 gets me across the mythical river: With the dutiful Garmin ever precise: The Rhine was pretty much what you 'd expect: Vineyards and castles and barges Cool churches Quaint villages Beer gardens on river overlooked by ruins And lots of bikes; A good day trip If I missed anything in JM, perhaps someone will fill me in Peace out.