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San Antonio, Texas, USA

San Antonio

The Alamo is an historic building located in downtown San Antonio. It was walking distance from the River walk and admission is free. Its hours are 9:30 to 5:30pm. It used to be a mission and contains Spanish, Mexican and American history. The fortifying walls served many functions, from apartments to hospital to priest residence to soldier barracks over its almost 300 year history. According to the information boards in the Alamo, when Texas was part of Mexico, the Mexican government was fearful that Texas would become more American than Mexican, due to large volumes of American immigrants from neighboring Louisiana.

Lake Constance, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

Lake Constance or Bodensee, by its German name, is the third largest central European lake that lies in 3 different countries (Switzerland, Germany and Austria), though no official border exists. The River Rhine flows into it. It is the source of drinking water for its surrounding area. Lake Constance offers boat rides for an economical price to its islands and shores. It is a popular (read busy) for German families on vacation, as we found out.

Austria

Salzburg

Overlooking the city of Salzburg is a fortress called Hohensalzburg. Its building began in the 1000s, although back then it very much looked like a farmhouse with fencing. As the years passed, and its function change, it began taking on a fortress appearance. Don't miss the audio guide included with the tickets, we found it very informative.  We found some stairs that climbed up to the fortress.  It was a nice way to see this part of Salzburg, as we passed by countless gelato shops, peoples' open windows and balconies, on a cobblestone path up to the fortress.

Fussen, Bavaria, Germany

Füssen is a quaint little town in Bavaria. Most will know it as the town the train pulls into on your way to Disney-inspiring Neuschwantein castle. Füssen is a beautiful town in its own right, with cobble stone streets, a town wall, colorful homes and cozy alleyways. Not surprisingly, it is on the Romantic Road. We wandered around the town, mostly so we wouldn’t have to board the crowded buses to Neuschwanstein. I am glad we did. Not only did we explore a beautiful town, we also discovered a back way in to Neuschwanstein Castle.

Nuremberg (Nurnberg), Bavaria, Germany

Before our visit to Nuremberg, when I thought of Nuremberg, the Nuremberg War Trials came to mind. But after our visit there, I will think of the many medieval bridges that criss-cross the city. We walked along the Pegnitz River slowly making our escape from the tourist area and crossed 8 or 9 medieval bridges, all uniquely decorated and with their own stories. Some bridges had apartments on top of them which people lived in. Nuremberg also boasted a town wall, with some parts of it being lived in by people. They too have re-purposed their moat, making skateboard parks and playgrounds in it.