River cruising is not all fun and games, you know. There’s some serious sightseeing to be done and even though the crew does their utmost to take care of your every need, they will not do your sightseeing for you. So, we charged up the cameras and iphones, put on our ugliest comfort shoes and enough sunblock to make us look like lifeguards from the 70s and took to the streets (or, sometimes, just the upper deck. Still with the ugly shoes on.)
If you’re a dedicated armchair traveler (or just a light-weight masochist), I have many, many photos to share with you. But not here because I’d like to keep the two readers I still have. Here are a few highlights, with captions. (If I take a few liberties with historical or geographical facts, it’s my right as a writer (righter?).)
But, wait! There’s more! This little work of art deserves special attention:
The sculptor of this bas relief of The Immaculate Conception (which can be found ‘hiding’ on the outside rear of a church in Wurzburg) tried very hard to explain one of the mysteries of the Catholic faith. Of course Mary, in all her humility, is shown receiving the news that she is about to become the Mother of God from the Angel Gabriel. So far, so good. Above them sits God the Father, looking all ‘wisdom-ey’ and holding on to what looks like a long tube. Wait – it IS a long tube! And it goes from God’s beard directly into Mary’s ear! So, at first glance, you think “Okay, she’s ‘hearing’ this incredible piece of news from God himself and the artist really wants to drive the point home.” But! Look carefully as the tube snakes its way to Mary’s ear and you will see a tiny baby – yes! It’s the baby Jesus! So, THAT’S how immaculate conception happens! Thank you, German artist, for your fine explanation of this magnificent mystery.