Gregorian Chant in the Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos, Spain

We drove over gorgeous rolling countryside in the early evening of May 20 about thirty kilometers from Lerma for the evening Vespers at the Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos. The monastery has a long tradition of singing Gregorian chant. The monks of Silos became internationally famous through the album “Chant,” one of a number […]

Today in Olite, Spain

We stayed at the gorgeous and historic Parador at the former 14th century palace in the center of tiny Olite, Spain last night. It was a night to remember. The Paradors of Spain are government-run hotels that help to preserve what might otherwise be a derelict structure. Our rooms were massive, with fireplaces large enough […]

Courtroom 600 in Nurnberg

The new museum dedicated to the trials following the end of World War II is a new “must see” in Nurnberg. The room known as “Courtroom 600” is where the trials were held, and it has been preserved in pretty much its original form, other than a rearrangement of the docks and the place for […]

Before the Charles Bridge in Prague, there was Judith Bridge

The Charles Bridge has spanned the Vltava River in the heart of Prague for more than 650 years. Before this mammoth structure was built under the reign of Charles IV, there was the 12th century “Judith Bridge,” which was actually longer than the present-day bridge. A fragment of this fascinating piece of history can be […]

Falkenstein on Donnersberg

Every family historian should have a castle or two in their genealogy. Virginia (Gini) Packwood now has one, and it’s the former “Reichenburg” fortress located in the hamlet of Falkenstein, located in a high valley on the Donnersberg, Rheinland-Pfalz. We drove there on the 27th on a narrow road which was being worked on and […]

Genealogy Success in Standenbuehl and Roland Geiger Does it Again

Thanks to genealogy research Roland Geiger, who is headquartered in the lovely town of St. Wendel, Saarland, Bill and Gini Packwood were able to break through one of their “Brick Walls” in genealogy and find the origin of their emigrant ancestor, Johann Merkel, of Standenbuehl and later, Stetten in Donnersbergkreis near Kirchheimbolanden, Germany. We also […]

A Moving Visit to Ieper, Belgium

We spent half a day touring around the region of Ieper, Belgium the other day and it was quite and experience. WWI battlefields nearby still bear the scars of the turbulent months near the end of the war when thousands of men died in the Flanders Fields. Especially poignant is the fact that many thousands […]