Thursday, January 28, 2010

Heiliger Sand (Jewish Cemetery), Worms

I am (as some of you know) an avid photographer.

Because of this and the fact that I love architecture pictures, I am always looking for interesting place to take pictures of! My good friend Diane got me hooked on cemetery. I was looking at some pictures of cemetery in Prague and found one not as far and maybe as interesting (even though the history isn’t the same)

So this morning, with fresh snow on the ground, I drove to Worms and with the help of my “handy dandy” GPS found what I was looking for the: Heiliger Sand it is one of the oldest Jewish cemetery in Europe. The earliest tombstone that is still standing dates from 1076; the last burial was in 1940. Miraculously, the cemetery was not destroyed under the Third Reich. (WWII)
Here are a few of the pictures that I took this morning. Hope you like them.

For those of you who want to see ALL the pictures (Some of my favorite are in that album) Click on the image below!

Heiliger Sand (Jewish Cemetery), Worms

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Adventure in Alsace, or what not to do!

I had the most interesting time this morning. Yesterday I decided that I needed some of my French cookie (I love them SO much that I am willing to drive over 1 hour to get them. LOL)
So, I went to my neighbor who shall remain nameless! ;-) Asked her if she wanted to come along or wanted something from me to bring her back.
She said, sure I’ll go to France anytime with you!
So this morning we took out after the kids left for school! I had everything covered in case I didn’t make it on time for Rafael coming home. Got a friend to make sure he was taken care of, and got Damien to take his key. So off we went.
The drive was GORGEOUS! It snowed over the past few days and the snow was a fluffy powder, the kind that stick in the tree and just look like winter wonderland! So we were just chitchatting over our little short drive (only 117km away) and arrived near the French border (which is on the spot we decided to take only the crossing of the river.) The traffic was pretty backed up and we were just enjoying each other company. But then my friend asked me very seriously:

(Nameless friend): “I don’t need my passport to pass the border right??”

(Me): “Well yes you do.”

(Nameless friend): “OMG!! I forgot to take mine!” (Panic face)

(Me): “It is OK, I am sure we will be fine we went several time in France with other friends and never got inspected, so we should be good!”

(Nameless friend): “No, you don’t understand every time that I forget something like that I get stopped!”

(Me): “Nah!! We’ll be fine, don’t worry!!”

So we continue driving along, pass the border and the GPS is telling me to take the second turn after the circle. OK! Then the traffic got slower!! Hmmmm! What is going on!! I looked in front of a big truck and there is a police car parked near the intersection!! I started laughing and told my friend.
OMG!!! She was LIVID!! I was laughing and say, we should be fine. And of course!! We weren’t!!
LOL!! The police signaled me to stop:

“Bonjour contrôle d’ identités!”

I took my French ID card and gave it to him, he looked at my friend. She gives him her US ID!! LOL!! He asked if she had a passport. “No I am so sorry, I forgot it at home!”
He looked at me and told me to follow the car to the “Station” and he would then give me our cards back!
Oki Doki!! Well what he didn’t mention was that the flipping “station” was about 10miles away, in the middle of the boonies!! LOL
So of we are following the French police, and my friend is now totally flipping out.

(Nameless Friend): "OMG!! OMG!!! My husband is going to be so mad at me!! "

(Me): "It will be fine, they are probably going to write down that you tried to enter and tell you to stay in Germany."

(Nameless friend): "OMG!! I am so sorry about that, I should have remember to take my passport!"

(Me): "It is fine don’t worry about it, it will be our adventure of the day!!"

(Nameless friend): Silent… trying to breath!!

(Me): "Come on, it isn’t like they are going to arrest you and put you in jail!! (not sure if they can do that or not) I learned that with the police you just need to stay calm, be polite and friendly and everything will be fine!!"

(Nameless friend): Silent…. Turning a little pale! LOL!!

We arrived at our destination!! ;-) Parked and follow the police in the “Station” after a few minutes of writing down all the information on paper!! (OH OH!!! Now they did ask some very… interesting question!!) LOL!! They get us in a “back” office!!

(Me thinking): Oh Oh!! This is going to be the “interrogation/torture” room!! LOL!!

Oh BTW, I am still LMAO during the all time!

There is 2 desks and 2 police officers, one empty chair next to one of the desk. One of them point at it and tell me to tell her to take a sit! They give us another chair and tell me to sit down. Me smiling the whole time and joking around.
Anyway, after about 40mn of joking around with them and of course getting question asked, translating those questions, getting the answers and translating the answers. We have to sign a paper saying that my dear nameless neighbor (who is a “saint” and wouldn’t do anything bad) is a very naughty lady because she tried to pass the border without her passport! But they did mention that I was as guilty because I tried to get her in!! LOL!! They turned us to the German Polizei across the street! LOL!

The German officer told my friend some blaberish (of course it was something in german) and… we just understood, ID card not valid in France. Please take your passport next time (or something similar!)

So now I just need to do this:

Note to self: When travelling to France with non EU resident, make sure that those travelers are holding a valid passport with their ID card, it might be helpful and you might not be arrested for trying to pass some illegal alien through the border! LOL!!

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