Thursday, July 26, 2012

Travel and Research - Fun And Stimulating

Hi From Gail Gaymer Martin at traveling in Europe.

Travel is part of an author's research. Bringing the setting to life means understanidng the way people live as well as the sights, sounds and smells of a place. Whether it's a small town in the .. or a country outside the US, good information can add reality to the novel,but it an also stimulate creativity in the author. I've thought of great story ideas, scenes, conflicts and goals while visiting other locations. Travel is essential for authors.

I've been inspired by so many things I've seen around the world and in the US. We are in Heidelberg, Germany, one of my favorite towns with tremendous history.  My husband lived here four years when he was in the military. The Heidelberg Castle in a tremendous landmark. This view is taken from the town across the Neckar River, Neunheim. Behind me is the Philosophenweg or Philosopher's Way, which is a path up the foothill that offers a tremendous view of the Heidelberg, but even from the street level, looking across you will see the famous castle loaded with history, the Holy Ghost Church (Heiliggeistkirche) with more history, and the Alte Brücke (the old bridge), with it's beautiful design.

From the castle terrace that faces the city, the view shows the pedestrian area, part of the Heidelberg University buildings, the old bridge and the Holy Ghost Church as well. On the hillside across the Neckar River where the top photo was taken is the Philosopher's Way that I mentioned.  The walk is to the top of the hill. I once did it and the sun went down, leaving us in the dark coming down the mountain without a flashlight. I included that true life scene in my novel, Dreaming of Castles which is set in Heidelberg.

Here is a close up of the bridge entrance as I walked on it. Gorgeous architecture.  The statue is the elector Carl Theodor, who built it in 1786-88. The tops of the two columns are shaped like the old helmets from the 18th century.

Tomorrow we leave for the Black Forest (Schwarzwald), the place known for beautiful forests, waterfalls, valleys and hills and the famous cuckoo clocks.

Wishing you wonderful travels and great memories when you have the opportunity to venture out into the world or enjoy the great sights in our country. As Dorothy said in the Wizard Of Oz, "There is no place like home." Though I always love the travel, I also love returning home.

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