“I hate history. I don’t understand why we have to memorize all this stuff,” she said with a frown.“I remember standing in the courtyard out front of Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, amazed at the Byzantine architecture. I’d never seen anything quite like it and couldn’t get enough of it. Inside, I stared at the mosaics on the ceiling until my neck ached so I sat in a pew and leaned my head back against the wall. It was amazing,” I told her.

“That’s pretty cool. Are the streets in Venice really made of water?” she asked.

“Sure they are. The mailman delivers the mail in a boat,” I replied.

She smiled then looked back at her notebook. “I can hardly stay awake when I study this stuff.”

“I remember the first time I visited Neuschwanstein Castle in Southern Bavaria too. They call it the fairy tale castle. Walt Disney designed his castle after it. It reminded me of sitting with my dad in his recliner on Sunday nights watching the Wonderful World of Disney. There was snow on the ground when I visited and we rode a horse drawn carriage up the mountain. The alps are breathtaking.”
“Did it look like Sleeping Beauty’s castle?” she asked.

“Yes. It’s been in several movies. King Ludwig II had it built as a personal retreat. He also built an enormous castle on Herren Island in the middle of Lake Chiemsee. I visited it as well. I took a boat to the shore then walked the island before going in. It was to be a replica of Versailles in France. He admired Louis XIV “The Sun King” for some strange reason. Only the center section was built before his death. Ludwig and his doctor were found dead in the lake in waist deep water in 1886. He was only forty-one years old.”

“He had his own island?” she asked.

“Yes, and a bathtub the size of a swimming pool,” I said.

“Have you been to Versailles too?” she asked.

“Yes. It was one of my favorite places in France. The entire property is breathtaking. I spent half a day in the Louvre then traveled to Versailles for a day.”

“Isn’t that were Mona Lisa is? At the Louvre?” she asked with clear interest.

“Yes it is. Well, her picture is there anyway,” I said with a grin.

“You’re soooooo funny,” she remarked.

“And countless other amazing paintings are there as well, but you can only see so many paintings in one day so I never plan a full day at a museum. I think I also climbed to the top of the Arc de Triomphe that same day and then ate lunch on the Champs de Elysee,” I continued.

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“I’d like to go to France,” she said.

“See. You don’t hate history. You just hate the way it’s taught to you!”

 st-marks-basilica

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