Our final days in Europe were spent in a snow covered, beautiful winter wonderland. I never realized what a calming peace a beautiful quiet snowfall could bring. We spent our second to the last day at an old German monastery built in 1125 AD. Can you believe how old...and still standing in it's original breathtaking grandeur! My brother-in-law and myself were hoping to score some good monk beer that day, but they had shut everything down on the grounds except for the sanctuary of the church.
Some of the beautiful grounds of this stunning monastery.
The sanctuary...it's mind boggling to imagine how many people have worshipped here over the centuries...
The monastery grounds permanent residents...
This is how I felt at the end of this day filled with snowflakes and frigid temperatures...
Peaceful, isn't it?????
The last day of our trip was spent at the caves in the Valkenburg, Netherlands. The church below was located in the center of town. I thought it was so picturesque. It looked as though it fell out of a fairy tale!
The caves of Valkenburg were actual hiding places for people fleeing Hitler's wrath during the Holocaust. Even Americans hid there. Now they are caves filled with vendors selling arts and crafts.
This vendor inside the caves was selling bulbs he had harvested all throughout the year. He had every type of flowering bulb you could dream of. The crates below show just a small fraction of what he actually had. He had the biggest and most beautiful amaryllis flowers I had ever seen!
Our anniversary dinner on the last night was also spent in Valkenburg. This little Italian restaurant we visited made pizza that would rival any great New York style pizzeria!
Hubby and I toasting to our 10th wedding anniversary with some tasty German apple schnapps. I really love this picture because my 4 year old niece is in the background cheering us on. (Like she knows how hard it really is to achieve 10 years of marriage. hehe :~).
My first design inspirations to come from my journeys...
This is called my "Tribute to Trier". I love this piece, it is really, really special to me. I think having traveled the 8000+ miles to hand pick the antique rosaries and experiencing this old and beautiful religious city itself makes this piece really sentimental.
Victorian Father Time earrings, currently in my Etsy store.
I looked up what the inscription "Andenken an Trier" on the old medal that was attached to one of the rosaries said...it means "Memory of Trier". I found it a fitting added tribute to this beautiful piece of jewelry.