Our Patriot’s Journey

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Hello,

My name is Karen and I am friends with Laura Yates who shared the picture of your son, Robert Bittiker with me.  Laura asked me if I would take his picture with me on my vacation this year and then e-mail you about the trip.  This was my "trip of a lifetime."

My husband and I recently had the opportunity to travel to Europe.  I took the picture of your son, Robert with me.  We traveled to London, England, Paris, France, Kaiserslautern, Germany and Frankfurt, Germany.

In London, I road on a red double-decker bus and took a "hop on hop off" tour of London.  I saw Buckingham Palace and the changing of the Guard there. I also visited the London Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London.

I traveled to Paris, France on the EuroStar and took the train under the English Channel to Paris.  Paris is very beautiful.  It really looks like scenes in the movies and on TV.  I visited the Louvre Museum, the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe.  I also took a "hop on hop off" tour of Paris.  The buildings are very opulent and ornate.  There were lots and lots of flower boxes in the window sills.  We ate our meals at small cafes on the streets, sitting out on the sidewalks like you see on TV. The food was delicious.

We attended a German wedding in Kaiserslautern, Germany.  The ceremony was very different from what we have here in America.  The wedding was a civil ceremony with the wedding festivities immediately following and lasting all day and way into the night.  We ate a wedding luncheon, afternoon wedding cake and desserts, buffet dinner and then a late snack of sandwiches with meats and cheeses.  I visited a German winery villiage and it was very pretty.  I saw a castle up on a hill and several villages. The villages were 12 to 15 white houses with red clay roofs huddled together with a church prominent in the mix.

Our final stop was at Frankfurt, Germany.  This city suffered a great deal of damage during WWII.  I visited the historic district and saw some old German buildings and churches which survived bombings in WWII.  The center city area of Frankfurt is very modern and I walked around and did some "window shopping."  Things were very expensive and I was limited in space, so I didn't buy many souvenirs.

London, England

Big-Ben
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
London double-decker bus
Tower of London
Westminster Abbey
Buckingham Palace
London Tower Bridge
Eurostar train

. . . and on to

Paris, France

Arc de Triomphe Champs-Elysees
Eiffel Tower
Louvre

. . . next stop, Germany

Kaiserslautern

Kaiserslautern2
Kaiserslautern

Frankfurt

Frankfurt-ruins

After World War II

Frankfurt

Frankfurt in 2010

Europe as a whole does not have very much air conditioning and they do not use ice.  Our hotels were very nice and clean.  Just not very cool!!! They drink their beverages at room temperature. We had to ask for ice everywhere and we would receive 2 pieces.  The weather was beautiful.  It did not get dark until 10:30 pm or later.

I had a wonderful time.  I did not leave your son's picture anywhere....I took it with me over my entire trip.  I am going to return the picture to Laura so that someone else may share their experience.

I am so sorry for the loss of your son.  I hope you have contact from many people who take Robert's picture on their travels.

Karen

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