"One day it occurred to me that it had been many years since the world had been afforded the spectacle of a man adventurous enough to undertake a journey through Germany on foot. After much thought, I decided that I was a person fitted to furnish to mankind this spectacle. So I determined to do it. This was in March, 1878." Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad


The Photographer Visits

Over the weekend we had our first Heidelberg visitor. Ross is a photographer (as well as an eligible bachelor), and he was on his way back from a project in Israel. He negotiated a layover in Frankfurt and so was able to spend a few days with us.

If you haven't already heard of Ross or seen his work, you should get to know him quickly. He is just finishing up a year-long project, funded by a National Geographic grant, called The American Festivals Project. It captures America's small, hidden, and bizarre festivals. Ross has photographed everything from the "Combine Demolition Derby" in Hillsadale Fair, Michigan, to the "Middle of Nowhere celebration" in Ainsworth, Nebraska. Over the past year he traveled to 48 states and drove over 50,000 miles. Ross has seen more inches of the American landscape than any other human being I know--and believe me, he has many stories to tell! Check him out here:

The father and Ross had quite a good time playing around with cameras and lenses over the weekend.

The aspiring photographer in front of the Old Bridge.

Ross gives me a quick lesson and hands over his camera for me to give it a try.
Here's my masterpiece: the two photographers on the Philosopher's Way.

Penelope examines Ross's cool black and white camera.
Ross pointed out this wall covered in green moss, and it quickly became the backdrop for several fun and "creative" pictures.
Ross and the father captured some great views of the city from the castle gardens.
Ross also enjoyed snapping pics of us as we were walking around town. It was like being followed by the paparazzi.
Penelope and Ross became best friends. Penelope was as fascinated with Ross's whiskers as she was his camera.
Penelope is getting used to posing for photos. She prefers to do it upside-down.


  1. Penelope is totally the most beautiful girl baby I have ever seen! I haven't seen a picture of her since she was born. I'm so glad Ross sent me this blog address. It's great to hear how you all are doing, and I love your reflections on Germany, Frau L. I remember discovering the Mark Twain essay somehow on Thanksgiving, which I celebrated all alone the year I was living in Germany. It brought me to tears of laugher, and made me so grateful for America! (Now I just want to go back to Germany for Semmeln und braun Brot).

    We miss you!


  2. hey ya'll. What a nice little post! I'm honored to have made the blog!

  3. Am loving your blog and pictures. Little Penelope is a darling. Enjoyed reading about the European health system. And your comments about both systems. We do need something better here and our hopes are that it is sooner rather than later.