Bellingham South Hill couple Brian Hansen, an attorney; and Wendy Bohlke, a retired assistant state attorney general, traveled in Europe in May. Through Emma Neveu, a Whatcom Community College alum they had hosted for two years, they experienced Paris’ art, food, architecture and friendly people.
In Trier, Germany, they joined a Rick Steves’ tour, which blended group activities with free time to explore castles, trek in the Alps, zoom down summer luge tracks and salt mine shafts, tour a World War II concentration camp, and visit Munich in Germany and Salzburg and Vienna in Austria.
Museums, music and libation gardens were highlights of the trip, Hansen and Bohlke agree, and traveling with a small group of non-grumpy Americans was a treat as they observed contrasting cultures.
Among their stops were the Cluny Museum in Paris, where they especially enjoyed seeing a wooden sculpture of St. Mary Magdalene from 1490; the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, built by Ludwig II of Bavaria and featuring frescoes of scenes from Wagner’s operas; the Hofburg Palace in Vienna; and Mayer-in-Pfarrplatz, a wine tavern in Vienna where composer Ludwig van Beethoven lived for a time.