Big cheese, tiny churches, and tall mountains

We are still learning new things with our friends in Germany.    Like many countries Germany has areas of strong regional differences that can seem like countries within countries.  This part of Germany has a big dairy industry and a strong industrial base.  It also has amazing hiking and skiing trails – not just in the mountains but between the smaller towns.

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Beautiful Allgäu Germany

After Zurich we were very fortunate to be  invited to the Allgäu region in southern Germany within sight of the mountainous border of the Allgäu and Bavarian Alps.  This sounds like I am so knowledgeable but I actually just looked up in Wikipedia what I saw with my own eyes.  Our host Ariane took us around her home town of Weiler-Simmerberg.  She likes to hike and she took us on gradually longer hikes of her favorite places.

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Surrounded by mountains without my suitcase – Zurich

We had arrived in Europe knowing only Atum – from 30 years ago. However, attending Atum’s conference in Assisi allowed us to meet many other wonderful people. (He only attracts wonderful people).  We had left room in our itinerary to be open to an invitation from anyone at the conference that might not live too far from our planned route (Italy, Spain, France, Scotland, Ireland.  We received four invitations and three of them worked into our schedule.  We were so happy! However none were one our planned route as the invitations came from Switzerland and Germany.  So what?  We changed our route and started out in Switzerland.

A view of a few of the mountains that surround Switzerland.
A view of a few of the mountains that surround Switzerland.

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The Most Beautiful Mosque – The Mezquita in Cordoba

Ariana standing at a former doorway to the Grand Mosque of Córdoba.
Ariana standing at a former doorway to the Grand Mosque of Córdoba.

After being in Seville for a week and a half we decided to take a 45 minute train ride to Córdoba to see the Mezquita or, and here’s the long title: “The Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption” (they are one building). But first we had to negotiate the Spanish Train system.

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Seville’s Beauty in Tiles

Just a few apartment gates away we found small, hidden courtyards with magnificent tiles and fountains.  We had read that Seville was a beautiful city but we were continually surprised by beauty tucked into the corners.  Unlike the Cathedral and the Alcazar (which I will write about soon these are considered ordinary.

An apartment entrance. Not uncommon in the older part of the city
An apartment entrance.  You can just make out the open courtyard in the back.

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Our first days in Sevilla (Seville, Spain) – the Mushrooms

We entered Sevilla late at night by cab and could not be driven to our apartment as it is in an area with streets so narrow that no cars are allowed (or possible).  We were met by our wonderful Airbnb hosts Simbad and Marta who walked us across the Plaza de la Encarnacion to our shared apartment.

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