Saturday Jan 19 Praha

20357 steps today – all in very cold weather 🙂

We had a wonderful day in Prague (Praha) today.  I will post pictures tomorrow as my internet time is about to expire.

All is well, 

Leonard De Rooy



Friday Jan 18

16257 Steps

This morning we headed to Dachau one of the infamous World War II concentration camps.  It was a solemn day; the crispness of the air and the freshly fallen snow could not hide the fact that at one time thousands of prisoners struggled to survive at the same place we were now walking.

It was not ancient history.  My parents lived in the Netherlands during the war.  My grandparents had a hiding place in their house. My parent’s insurance agent was one of the Canadian soldiers that helped end the war. My middle-school teacher was a survivor of a concentration camp. If you know someone that is travelling with us, I suggest that you ask them sometime what it was like.

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Travelling on to Prague.


We had a group meal at a local restaurant.  The food was great and so was the company!

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Thursday Jan 17

14848 steps today – mostly made walking through 2-3 inches of snow.

This morning we went to Neuschwanstein Castle.  Built by “Mad King Ludwig II” it is a beautiful castle.

We then stopped by Wieskirche for a short visit.

The late afternoon and evening was spent in Munich.  Dinner was at the Hofbrauhaus.


NOTE: there appears to be problems with loading the photos tonight.  I will try to post them tomorrow night.  Sorry!


Wed Jan 16

Only 6791 steps today.

I am sorry that I did not take too many photos today.

We had lots of snow today.  At our hotel this evening there is around 2″ on the ground.  All the trees, rolling hills and fields looked very pretty in the freshly fallen snow.  On the other hand, the highway was pretty full of traffic, so the travel was a little slow going.

This morning we stopped at Gentex in Erlenbach and were treated with their hospitality.  They gave us a presentation on the Gentex products and gave us a tour of their offices along with some demos of their products and a look at their test car.

We then took the autobahn to Ulm.  (Many students were a little disappointed to find out that the autobahn is just the German word for highway and that the bus has a governor restricting the speed to 100kph max – but there were some cars zipping past at a very fast speed.)  At Ulm we visited the cathedral which has one of the tallest cathedral spires in the world.  Many of us (including me) were looking forward to climbing the 768 steps to the top, but alas it was closed due to the bad weather.

Tonight we ended up in Lansberg am Lech and are staying in a nice hotel.  Across the street many students joined prof. Nielsen in eating pigs feet for dinner.  I opted for some fried pork loin….

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Prayer request:  a few days ago we took a student to the doctor to get medication for strep throat.  He is doing much better – please pray for continued healing.   We also have another student that has a sore throat/cold and are hoping that it does not turn into strep throat. – Please pray that all of us remain healthy for the duration of the trip.



Jan 15

Today my step counter reads 19751 steps.

This morning we stopped by the city of Speyer to visit the cathedral and to spend a little time exploring the city.  The cathedral is only 1000 years old and contains a crypt that has four holy Roman emperors and four German kings buried in the royal vault.  It was interesting to see the noted difference of architecture between this church and the ones in France.

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The front door of the church told many stories from the bible- start at the bottom left with the creation story:

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On the way back to the bus some students took the opportunity to climb on the playground equipment.  It was sort of weird to see a giant spider (and spider web) made for kids to play on.  Maybe the kids of this city are not scared of spiders!   We also saw some green birds feeding on the bird feeder they looked like parrots but it was below freezing in the city.

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We then travelled to Heidelberg.  We stopped at the oldest bridge in Heidelberg which opens to the old city gate.

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A few blocks away from this gate is the Heiliggeistkirch (Holy Ghost Church) which is the location where the Heidelberg Catechism was written.   If you are not familiar with this Catechism then you should look up Question and Answer #1 (something that I committed to memory a long time ago)

What is you only comfort in life and death?

That I am not my own,

but belong–
   body and soul,
   in life and in death–
to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.

   He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,
   and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil
   He also watches over me in such a way
   that not a hair can fall from my head
   without the will of my Father in heaven:
   in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.

Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.


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The next stop was the Heidelberg Castel.  We were not allowed to take pictures inside the building.

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With the first real snow of the month, many students got to show off their snow ball skills.

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Dreaming of a life of living in a Castel….


This is the location where they stored the gun powder.  At one time someone set off the gun power and with a big blast the wall was blown off the tower.

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As we got back onto the bus at 7:30 at night we got a chance to see the castle lit up in the night sky.


Mon. Jan14













My step counter today read 13103 steps.

This morning we visited Steelcase and were given a nice presentation on Steelcase and it’s global market and global production.  We then got a tour of the plant.











Prof Nielsen presented a plaque to Doug Smith for his contribution to the Engineering Freshmen mentoring program, domestic internship program and international internship programs.  Doug Smith is an engineer from Grand Rapids that spends some time each month in the office/plant in France.




We then travelled to the border and had a walking tour of Strasbourg.  Strasbourg is another wonderful city that is designated as a historical city by UNESCO.  Over the years, Strasbourg was either in France or Germany – the people living in the city had to change  citizenship several times over the years.

Our tour guide took us to the cathedral where we could see the windows that are all original (except one).    One set was nicknamed the “cartoon” windows where each square told a story of the New Testament.  This was one way to share the stories of the bible with people that could not read or write.  To read a window you start in the bottom row left side and read left to right moving up the window.


Here is a closer look at the bottom left where it shows Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey.








This window was replaced in the 1950’s note the blue circle with the 12 stars at the top.




This cathedral is also famous for the astronomical clock.










Here are some more flying buttresses












IN the center of the city square is a staute of Gutenberg with a page of the bible in his hand.  This page was replaced several times so the words showed French or German depending on what country the city was part of.









On our way to Germany we passed by the foot hills of the Black Forest.