Ojai Valley Guide Summer 2020

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Germany. Only the riverbanks and the bridges we crossed determined the borders, such as with the great city of Strasbourg, which is currently French. It has flipped control from Germany to France several times throughout history with their futile wars. It became a bit confusing for the artists to keep track of which country they were in because sometimes it sounded German, looked and tasted German, yet it was France. Rßdesheim, Germany was quite extraordinary and a highlight was our visit to the inventive, magical, musical Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum. Antique, carnival, musical machines, several the size of an entire wall with hundreds of entertaining musical parts, which when cranked on their loud sound boomed across the rooms. I rode the sky tram from the charming town up to the memorial lookout. While in the sky cab, gliding over the vineyards with the distant view of the Rhine, it was the most peaceful place on earth. I could have ridden back and forth all day. On my descent back into town, I heard a lot of birds in the raspberry bushes below. Once grounded, as I hiked through the vineyards in search of the birds I found a fantastic vineyard view with a cluster of red-tiled rooftops, a yellow church tower and a bench that provided a perfect place to sit and sketch. Riquewihr, France is a fairytale village imbued with an organic element of whimsy. The medieval- and Renaissance-inspired architecture without a straight timber and with weathered walls painted in candy colors, combined with French calligraphy and personal, floral touches of charm, was in every crevice and corner. Filled with photographic opportunities everywhere you looked, I found little time to sketch.

Lunch on Lake Lucerne, Switzerland.