From the Rhine to Kassel, Germany -part 5

It rained on and off the day we left the Rhine valley. We drove on the autobahn and also small country roads.

We drove past bright yellow fields with windmills and over softly rolling hills dotted with small villages.

Our destination was the town of Kaufungen, in the district of Kassel, to visit a friend we had yet to meet face to face.

I first “met” Peter several years ago, because of the 4’33” iphone app that Phil created for the John Cage trust. The 4’33” app allows users to make audio recordings that are 4 minutes and 33 seconds long as a way to record the ‘music’ that surrounds us in our daily lives.

I’ve been making 4’33” recordings on my travels for the last 4 years and uploading them to the 4’33” world map where Peter, an avid user of the app, came across my recordings and reached out to me. After I told Peter that Phil had designed the app a dialog began between the 3 of of us that turned into a great friendship. It was so wonderful to finally meet Peter in person, he is such a devoted fan of the app that he has written a book about his experiences “mind traveling” while listening to the recordings on the 4’33” world map.

Peter is also an accomplished painter. One thing I’ve noticed in my adventures traveling abroad is how much love and respect people from other countries have of Barack Obama. I can’t say they feel the same for our present leader.

Peter and his lovely wife Barbara took Phil and I out to see the Abbey church in Kaufungen.

Below the Abbey lies the town of Kaufungen.
While standing next to the stone wall that surrounds the church property, I looked closely to find a little fairy world among the moss and succulents.


Later in the afternoon we drove to nearby Kassel, which was the home of the Brothers Grimm. I’ve always loved reading folk and fairy tales, even as an adult, I enjoy reading about the history and analysis of the tales, so it was very exciting to think I was in the place where so many were written.

Unfortunately, it was too late in the afternoon to visit the interior of the museum, but we were able to go up on the roof top terrace to view the city and ourselves reflected in a magic box.


Next, we drove up to see the giant Hercules statue that stands guard over the city of Kassel.

Another event of interest that happens in Kassel is an international exhibition of modern and contemporary art, called Documenta, that has been held in Kassel every 5 years since 1955. Each Documenta lasts for 100 days during the summer. It was started to bring the arts back to the people of Germany after the Nazi’s, who had considered art as degenerate removed it from the public eye. The next Documenta occurs in 2022, I would love to go back to see that.

Our next stop was the Orangerie, a palace built in 1710 as a summer residence for the landgraves. This building is a replica of the original that was destroyed in the war. The Orangerie is now the Museum of Astronomy and Technology, with a scale model of the Solar System spanning the entire park and beyond.


The next morning we drove to Frankfurt to catch our late afternoon flight home.

I loved seeing the old and new architecture existing side by side in Frankfurt.

Most of our trip was spent in areas that had a lot of historic architecture mostly built from stone, so it was nice to also see glass buildings of contemporary design in Frankfurt.

What a fun idea for a construction barrier, gives you a bit of entertainment while sitting in your car on the congested city streets.

While walking around exploring the city, we came across a reconstructed church, rebuilt after being destroyed in the war, that had taken the old graves and incorporated them into the wall surrounding the property.

I love the playful design of these doors.

What a marvelous trip we had. Every time I leave a country it takes hold of a piece of my heart and I long for the opportunity to go back. So many wonderful people and places.

I love exploring different cultures and learning about them. I wish more Americans understood the idea that diversity makes us stronger and that we should embrace it and not destroy it in our country.

I think Americans should adopt the idea of an overseas excursion, like many countries do, where teens go abroad after graduating high school for a year before going to college. It’s so important to see how other people live and not just blindly accept the notion that Americans live in “the best country in the world”. Young people need to see the world and develop opinions of their own based on their experiences, maybe then democracy will have a chance to survive, instead of slipping through our fingers as it is now.

Keep creating,


IMG_5538Judy is an artist, explorer, image wrangler, knowledge seeker, instructor, speaker, creative alchemist, and purveyor of inspiration, helping others channel creativity on a daily basis.

4 Responses to “From the Rhine to Kassel, Germany -part 5”

  1. Cathy Lord says:

    I love Seeing your travel adventures. Thanks for always sharing.

  2. Thanks for the tour. My relatives live in Kassel – it’s a perfect college town and has lots of art. And yes to your last comment – totally agree!

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