Freiburg was founded in 1120 as a free market town. Its name would generally be translated as “a fortified town of free citizens”. The town was strategically located at a junction of trade routes between the Mediterranean Sea and the North Sea regions, and the Rhine and Danube rivers.
Munich traces its founding to the year 1158. In 1240 the city would pass to the House of Wittelsbach which would govern Munich (and Bavaria) for the next 700 years. Munich prospered as a salt trading center but would be hit hard by the plague in 1349 and it would persist for the next 150 years. The coopers (barrel makers) initiated a ritualistic dance in an effort to bring an end to the plague since their trade was suffering because people were afraid to leave their houses and therefore were not drinking as much beer. This dance continues to be performed every seven years but it is reenacted 3 times daily by the little figures in the Glockenspiel high up on the main tower of the city hall.
From Madrid we took a train southeast to the Mediterranean coast and the city of Valencia, Spain’s 3rd largest city. The city was founded in 138 BC by Roman soldiers looking for a place for rest and relaxation. During the 15th and 16th centuries, Valencia was one of the Mediterranean’s strongest trading centers.
We last visited Portland in June of 2014 as part of our road trip heading to Seattle to house sit. If you are interested, you can see the details of that visit here, here and here. This time we of course are in our motorhome, parked at the Columbia River RV Park. We repeated some experiences from our last time here and tried to see something new.
Quartzsite is a unique place. It is located in the Arizona desert at the intersection of US 95 and Interstate 10. There is a history of mining in the area around Quartzsite which led to an annual rock and gem show here during the winter. This grew in popularity to the point where more and more people came for the show, particularly in RVs.