gmhTODAY 24 gmhTODAY Feb March 2019 - Page 103

Architectural Styles of European palaces, castles and churches observed during tours: 1050 – 1200 Romanesque: Symmetrical floor plans, some simple, round arches set on pillars. 1150 – 1450 Gothic: Style includes ribbed vaults, pointed arches and flying buttresses that give a lacy but strong structural skeleton with elaborate stain glass. 1450 – 1600 Renaissance: ‘Rebirth’ period influenced by Greek and Roman antiquity and considered harmonious, symmetrical and formal. 1550 – 1775 Baroque: Renaissance style but highly ornamental with dramatic frescoes, sculpted plastic decorations and gilding. Czech Republic, because members of our group had ancestral connections. So, Al and Vilma Pinheiro arranged for a chartered bus to take us all there. After a good night’s sleep, we enjoyed a full day of touring Prague including a four-hour walking tour that captured all the highlights. That evening, Tom and I went to a Mozart Dinner in the Boccaccio Ballroom at the historic Grand Hotel Bohemia. The evening was amazing with a three- course dinner, exceptional performers, and a setting that was breathtaking. What a perfect end to a fantastic adventure. As a final note, the Gilroy Library, through the Santa Clara County Library system, has a huge collection of books, audio tapes, and movies. Many items can be downloaded onto an electronic device. Wanting to learn more about the places I visited, I found “The Great Courses Library Collection” through RBDigital and accessed it through the library system for free. There are a full range of courses taught by college professors and other professionals. “The Rise of Rome” by Professor Gregory S. Aldrete provides a rich, historical perspective of what we experienced on our river cruise. So, as Dr. Seuss would say, “You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go...”  With this in mind, Tom and I have already reserved our cabin for a river cruise in France in 2020. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN 1725 – 1775 Rococo: Rooms have elegant furniture, sculptures, ornamental mirrors, and textiles. The elements are seen in both European and Russian palaces. 1775 – 1875 Neoclassical: Symmetry, columned porticoes, triangular pediments, and domes that reflect early Greek and roman architecture. 1890 – 1910 Art Nouveau: ‘New art’ celebrated natural, organic lines but was short-lived since ironwork was used and coincided with the onset of WWI. Itinerary: Description of the river geography: The Rhine River: The river begins as a trickle in the Swiss Alps. From there, it flows 820 miles through several countries to the North Sea. Upper Rhine carves out Germany’s borders with Switzerland and the beautiful French Alsace. The Middle Rhone crease the canvas of the forests, vineyards and castles. The Lower Rhine leads into The Netherlands and the scenic Rhine River Delta. The Danube: The second longest river in Europe, the Danube begins its journey in Germany’s Black Forest and runs through 10 countries to the black Sea. The Danube basin gave rise to some of the earliest human cultures on earth. It courses through several cultural capitals: Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, and Belgrade, and through some of Europe’s most breathtaking regions, including Austria’s Wachau Valley and the towering gorges between Romania and Servia. february/march 2019 103