Photo Blog: Meringen, Switzerland

Sam Stoltzfus and Peter Showalter at Ringweilerhof
Sam Stoltzfus and Peter Showalter at Ringweilerhof
Theophil welcomes us to Seinsfurt
Theophil welcomes us to Seinsfurt
Jay Lehman viewing the Kraichgau from Steinsberg Tower
Jay Lehman viewing the Kraichgau from Steinsberg Tower
Larry and Linda Bardel at Colmar-Ingersheim Mennonite Church
Larry and Linda Bardel at Colmar-Ingersheim Mennonite Church
Site where the Amish Church made the decision to go out on their own.
John Ruth and Sam Stoltzfus viewing Ohenheim, the site where the Amish Church made the decision to go out on their own.
Aare River where the Anabaptists departed as prisoners
Aare River where the Anabaptists departed as prisoners
Sam and John reading Haslibach song at Trachselwald Castle
Sam and John reading Haslibach song at Trachselwald Castle
Can you see the rainbow over Wurzbrunnen Chapel?
Can you see the rainbow over Wurzbrunnen Chapel?

Read the stories behind the pictures here.

Photo blog: Amsterdam, the Netherlands

JP, Wilmer, Markus and John at Emil Weber Coach Terminal
JP, Wilmer, Markus and John at Emil Weber Coach Terminal
Cherry Vendor enjoying the sales and visit
English Cherry Vendor enjoying a visit with the tour members and, of course, the sales
White Cliffs of Dover
White Cliffs of Dover
Corrie Ten Boom’s bedroom with hiding place
Hiding place in Corrie Ten Boom’s bedroom

Read the stories behind the pictures here.

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Luxembourg

Yesterday after checking in everyone from our European Heritage tour for their flights from Munich, Germany to North America, John Ruth and I traveled with Markus Becker, our driver, as he returned the coach to the Luxembourg terminal. The eight-hour drive was relaxing and enjoyable as we talked, read books and slept.

After dinner at Rebenhof with Jean-Paul & Stella
After dinner at Rebenhof with Jean-Paul & Stella

JP and Stella Weber and their family (three dogs and two cats) welcomed us to their home. We will be here for three nights while we wait for the Queen Mary 2 to arrive in Southhampton, England with the tour members for our next tour. The participants on our Amish European Heritage tour departed from New York City on Wednesday, July 6. On Tuesday we will travel with JP and the coach as we take the ferry across the English Channel  to pick up the group. They will arrive Wednesday morning, July 13.

Last evening we had a delicious meal enjoying each other’s friendship at the Rebenhof owned by the three generation Jeger family. JP reminded us that he has worked together with us for 26 years. We have enriched each other’s lives as our friendship has grown.

John and Wilmer at Mennonite Church in Luxembourg
John and Wilmer at Mennonite Church in Luxembourg

This morning JP took us to worship with the only Mennonite Church in Luxembourg in the village of  Rosswinkel. It is built on the Noffsinger farm. The cows in the meadow next to the building welcomed us along with members of the congregation. We were not the only guests; there were also persons from Russia, Africa, Japan, Germany and the Netherlands. We were given earphones as the sermon was interpreted into English for all the visitors. JP thinks wherever we go we get coffee and refreshments following the service. Today was no exception.

Markus Becker drives as the second driver on our tours on the days when JP must take off. He wanted us to meet his family.

Wilmer with Markus, Yasmine and Lisa in their home
Wilmer with Markus, Yasmine and Lisa in their home

They invited us to their home in the afternoon for tea. They have a beautiful daughter Lisa who enjoyed being with us and practicing her English. Her mother says she has an English friend with whom she plays.

Tomorrow we will relax and get caught up on our bookwork. Early Tuesday morning we need to depart for England. We don’t want to be late meeting the Amish when they arrive on Wednesday morning.

~ Wilmer Martin

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Photo blog: Our final days

Our home away from home, Hotel Turmwirt
Our home away from home, Hotel Turmwirt
The house in Augsburg, Germany where 88 persons were arrested on Easter morning in 1528.
The house in Augsburg, Germany where 88 persons were arrested on Easter morning in 1528.
Memorial to those who suffered and died in Dachau concentration camp.
Memorial to those who suffered and died in Dachau concentration camp.
Tour Group worships at monument of 12 stones. In Memory of Jacob Hutter and 11 other Anabaptist martyrs.
Tour Group worships at monument of 12 stones, erected in Memory of Jacob Hutter and 11 other Anabaptist martyrs.
Saying goodbye at Hotel Turmwirt
Saying goodbye at Hotel Turmwirt.

Read the stories behind the photos here.

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Photo Blog: Innsbruck, Austria

The Susstenpass
The Susstenpass
Three preachers at Preacher’s Street
Three preachers at Preacher’s Street
Hannah and Anja Kenagy at the Rhine Falls
Hannah and Anja Kenagy at the Rhine Falls
Wilmer Martin, Nancy Hess, Diane Gundersen and Marie Assad at the Schleitheim Monument
Wilmer Martin, Nancy Hess, Diane Gundersen and Marie Assad at the Schleitheim Monument
New Job for Wilmer. Road control in The Silverettapass.
New Job for Wilmer, road control in The Silverettapass
Karen & Lawrence Rush- Silverettapass, Austria
Karen & Lawrence Rush at Silverettapass, Austria

Read the stories behind the pictures here.

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Bern, Switzerland

Harold and Carol Frederick at Peace Museum, Remagan
Harold and Carol Frederick at Peace Museum, Remagan

On Thursday, June 30 on our way to Boppard to board the Rhine River cruise, we stopped at Remagen, the site where General Eisenhower and the US Army crossed the Rhine which changed the course of WWII. The bridge was destroyed and today a Peace Museum stands here with a profound peace message from the Mayor of Remagen, as well as a sculpture of the Madonna.

The Rhine River is 12 feet higher than normal due to all the rain. This time we walked up the gangplank to board the ship; we normally go down the plank. Before boarding the boat Wilmer took us to his favorite butcher shop in Boppard and most of us enjoyed a Bratwurst for lunch. However we saved room for Apple strudel and coffee on the ship.

Joel & Mary Kulp at the fountain in Wolfsheim
Joel & Mary Kulp at the fountain in Wolfsheim

On our way to visit the library and archives at the Weierhof, we stopped in Wolfsheim to visit the Kulp homestead. Tour members with Kulp background were pleased that the lady from the Kulphof came out with the guest book for us to record our visit.

Friday, July 1 was our day to visit the east side of Rhine River. We stopped first in Worms to visit the Luther Monument. We noticed that it is refurbished to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Luther in 2017. Wilmer reminded tour members to watch for the TourMagination tour in May which features this event. Check the website for details.

Group in front of Steinsfurt Cellar
Tour group in front of Steinsfurt Cellar

In Steinsfurt in the Kraichgau where 53 persons were arrested as they began to sing a hymn in the cellar of one of the friendly local residents who invited them to use her home, we sang, “Heart with Loving Heart United,” in memory of this event. John Ruth read the list of family names (such as Landes, Groff, Miller and many other familiar names.)

We enjoyed the drive through the Black Forest. The density of the trees create the darkness. At the Herr House of Clocks everyone enjoyed eating Black Forest cake with a cup of coffee. Many souvenirs were bought. When Mr. Herr came on the coach to say goodbye, he reminded those who bought a cuckoo clock to remember to feed it every day so it stays healthy. He told us the cuckoo bird lives in the Black Forest.

Yesterday John Ruth explained to us as we traveled through the Alsace the origins of the Amish. This afternoon we visited the church in Erlenbach where Jacob Amman, the founder of the Amish was baptized as an infant.

Jon and Sheryl Shenk Sunday Morning
Jon and Sheryl Shenk Sunday Morning

This morning we worshipped with the Mennonite Church at Langnau in the heart of the Emmental. We shared communion with the oldest Mennonite church which has had continuous worship since the year 1530. This was especially meaningful for the Shenks since they were invited to stay with friends at the Longenacker farm. Following the service we were invited to visit the farm and share a delicious soup lunch and were offered wonderful hospitality.

This afternoon we drove to the Yoder Hill in the Emmental where we walked on the hiking path through the hillside to one of the caves where we know our ancestors worshiped in secrecy as they searched the scriptures for religious freedom. This cave is known as the robbers’ cave as this earlier group used it for a different purpose.

Tomorrow we will drive over the Sustenpass on our way to Zurich. We look forward to seeing the snow-capped Swiss Alps in the sunshine.

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