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USA 2015
~NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXAS~

Copyright Ruud Leeuw Photos © R.Leeuw

New Braunfels, which I only knew from the Americana radio station I often tune in to: KNBT Radio New Braunfels (radionb.com/knbt). This town is exemplary for a Texan community with a German identity.
I decided years ago I had to go see and look for myself one day, check out the names of sponsors and venues for live music.
Now this day had come!

 

New Braunfels,TX
New Braunfels was established in 1845, by Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels, Commissioner General of the Adelsverein, also known as the Noblemen's Society (in German: Mainzer Adelsverein).
Prince Solms named the settlement in honor of his home of Solms-Braunfels, Germany.
The Adelsverein organized hundreds of people in Germany to settle in Texas.
Immigrants from Germany began arriving at Galveston in July 1844. Most then traveled by ship to Indianola in December 1844, and began the overland journey to the Fisher-Miller land grant purchased by Prince Solms. Wikipedia, much more...

 

 

New Braunfels,TX
We had an excellent lunch at Rudy's Country Store and feasted on the Texas Bar-B-Q tradition!

New Braunfels,TX
It is all kept very informal: grab a beer from the ice boxes and order the food at the counter.

A bit of history from the website www.rudysbbq.com: "In the thick of the Texas Hill Country, Rudolph (Rudy) Aue
opened his first country store, a convenient place for locals to buy gas and groceries and to swap stories.
The store added Texas BBQ to its goods and services in 1989 and Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q was born."

New Braunfels,TX
The restaurant is established in a former Dance Hall and has a lot of country atmosphere.
We enjoyed the quality Texas BBQ, feasting on "..the best in brisket, sausage, turkey, ribs, chicken and porkloin."

 

 

New Braunfels,TX
When we inquired at the front desk of our motel for a dining suggestion, she advised the Gristmill in Gruene. A nice place
but a bit overrated we thought (with prices to match!). I think we stick with Applebee's, though a change of 'scenery'
should always be considered. The suggestion did bring us to Gruene, which has a very charming historic center.

New Braunfels,TX
The view from the Gristmill restaurant, I thought it was rather spooky and just had to take a picture.

 

Gruene,TX

Gruene,TX

Gruene is a former town in Comal County in Texas.
Once a significant cotton-producing community along the Guadalupe River, these days the town has shifted its economy to one supported primarily by tourism.
Gruene is now a district within the city limits of New Braunfels and much of it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on 21Apr1975.
en.wikipedia.org:_Gruene,_New_Braunfels,_Texas

 

Gruene,TX
Gruene Hall, built in 1878, is one of the oldest dance halls in Texas. Many singersongwriters started their career here.

Arriving in Texas in the mid 1840s, German farmers became the first settlers of what is now known as Gruene, Texas.
Ernst Gruene, a German immigrant, and his bride Antoinette, had reached the newly established city of New Braunfels in 1845, but acreage was scarce. Thus, Ernst and his two sons purchased land along the Guadalupe River, and Ernst built the first home in Gruene in early fachwerk, German Timber Framing house style.

 

Gruene,TX
The bar in Gruene Hall, a place to enjoy a beer (Shiner Bock!), history and live music (at times)

Gruene,TX
The side of the bar in the dance hall

Gruene,TX

Under the current ownership, Gruene Hall has become internationally recognized as a destination tourist attraction and major music venue for up-and-coming as well as established artists.

Gruene Hall has hosted such acts as Willie Nelson, George Strait, Townes Van Zandt, Jerry Jeff Walker, Lyle Lovett, Hal Ketchum, Gregg Allman and many more! It was also used as a set for the flm 'Michael', starring John Travolta.
Booking agent of 30 years, Tracie Ferguson is credited with starting the original music approach that has made Gruene Hall an iconic music venue, helping to jump start the careers of Lyle Lovett, Townes Van Zandt, Hal Ketchum, Bruce Robison, Nanci Griffith, Ryan Bingham, Jimmy Dale Gilmore, Robert Earl Keen, Lucinda Williams and many others.
[Wikipedia]

 

Gruene,TX
Some of the famous Americana musicians have their portraits displayed here; many more at the back.

 

Natural Bridge Caverns, New Braunfels,TX
Natural Bridge Caverns has one travel underground, through a half-mile of a most spectacular show cavern here in New Braunfels, Texas.
The trail goes 180 feet below the ground, accompanied by a tour guide, who has plenty to tell on the formations and archaeology here. One sees awe-inspiring, ancient formations centuries in the making and still growing today, such as amazing stalagmites, stalactites, flowstones, chandeliers and soda straws.
The 'Natural Bridge' which gave the name to this site is seen in the background, behind our guide Liza.

Natural Bridge Caverns, New Braunfels,TX

Natural Bridge Caverns, New Braunfels,TX

Natural Bridge Caverns, New Braunfels,TX

In March of 1960, Orion Knox Jr., Preston Knodell, Al Brandt and Joe Cantu, four college students from St. Mary's University in San Antonio, obtained permission to explore the area that is now Natural Bridge Caverns.

The students were convinced that large underground passages existed under the amazing 60-foot limestone bridge. On their fourth expedition, Orion felt a cool draft from a rubble-filled crawlway.
Such air currents often indicate the presence of additional rooms or passages.
The explorers made their way carefully climbing and crawling through two miles of vast cavern passage. After making this amazing discovery, they returned to the surface to tell the landowners.
The discoverers knew immediately what an astonishing find they had made and the land owners decided to develop the first 1/2 mile, the most spectacular part of the caverns, for the enjoyment of guests from around the world.

Natural Bridge Caverns Discovery Tour was developed with two main goals in mind: preservation of the caverns' environment and comfort of its guests.
(Information provided from the Natural Bridge Caverns website: www.naturalbridgecaverns.com)

 

Natural Bridge Caverns, New Braunfels,TX

Natural Bridge Caverns, New Braunfels,TX
Truly amazing formations!

Natural Bridge Caverns, New Braunfels,TX
Caverns I associated with cool temperatures, but it was warm and humid.

Natural Bridge Caverns, New Braunfels,TX

 

 

New Braunfels,TX (2015)
Unfortunately I found the River Road Ice House closed and saw no sign of any live music soon.
Pity, I often hear it referred to on KNBT Radio and had hoped to enjoy some live music here. But not this time.

New Braunfels,TX (2015)
http://riverroadicehouse.com/

 

New Braunfels,TX (2015)
I enjoy visiting (public) libraries when I come across them during my travel; I sort of document them and post
some defining images on My Flickr account.
 

 

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