FC: Europe 2011
1: Heathrow Airport | On our way to Czeck Republic and Poland | Jan just can't resist a cute baby
2: Dennis and Nikki were going to work with Karl at the University to help with grant writing. First we went to Karl's parents house in Bornea Karl's parents built a restaurant/hotel from a distillery. Below left was the first building. | left, entrance to restaurant | Jan just loved the door handles
3: left is our bath room | Nikki standing on a deck from our room | another great door knob | dinner with the parents
4: Renita, took Dennis, Nikki and Jan to a local fair where they were in costume from the old days | Above is an old church from 13 hundreds Guess they liked bowling back then! | Puppets for sale | Jan found peeps, a great reminder from childhood
5: The two women below were etching eggs, as done in the old days
6: Dennis is trying some spring soup the ladies made. They took a liking to us because Jan got so excited over the onion covered Easter eggs. Below are peas baked and eaten as nuts | Hard boiled eggs wrapped in onion skins for Easter. Jan's mom, Betty, did this a few times | Right, a wrapped egg in onion skins
7: Stopped to get sausage and beer for lunch and listened to man play instrument | Danced traditional dances for Easter and anytime.
8: The market square close to where we were staying. Jan got lost and tried to read a street sign (right) . Street signs tell you where places are not the name of the street. She got a taxi.
9: Same market square. Dennis holding his sausage dog and other sights of the square
10: Renita was going to take us to a Jewish Temple/ museum. Unfortunately it cost a bit too much to get in so I just took pictures of graves behind the Temple.
11: close up of one of the figures. | Where Karl went to school. Left Karl explaining life to Nikki and Dennis
12: Jan walking down a typical cobbled street. Great landscape above and a sign Jan thought was pretty cool
13: People waiting for clock. Miniturates come out and play
14: Went to museum in Prague. Saw some of the best Byzantine art ever. Colors were incredible.
15: architecture: just a sampling. It was all pretty incredible | Dennis was trying to figure out how to get one of the doors home
16: It's the Franz Kafka page, except for Dennis who is pointing out what the building looked like before they renovated and added brick. | To the left is what building looked like, large stone with lots of mortar.
17: Main Square of Prague | To the right the crosses on the ground represent the representatives who the people killed because they were being greedy (maybe we should try the same thing!)
18: Our hotel in Prague. Yes we did climb the stair case - 5 flights. Right is our shower and sink . Modern but not very functional. | view out our window
19: Cathedral above and bottom right is where President lives
20: More cool cathedrals and statues
21: Crossing the St. Charles Bridge | Local artists playing jazz
22: Views from the St. Charles Bridge Looking at museum and President's residence
23: Stopped for our daily beer and food. Nikki and Renita
24: Sedlec Ossuary has a long history, beginning in the 13th century when the Abbot of the Sedlec Monastery (Abbot Henry) brought a handful of earth back from a journey to the Grave of the Lord in Jerusalem. He scattered this "holy soil" across the Sedlec cemetery, securing it's place as one of the most desired burial sites for people all over Bohemia and the surrounding countries. Everyone wanted to be buried in the that handful of the Holy Land and more than 30,000 were. But it wasn't long before there simply wasn't enough room for everyone to rest in peace, and the bodies were moved to a crypt to make room for the newly dead. In 1870, local woodcarver, Frantisek Rint was employed for the dark task of artistically arranging the thousands of bones. Rint came up with the Bone Church's stunning chandelier, as well as the amazing Schwarzenberg coat of arms, which includes a raven pecking at the severed head of a Turk--all made of human bone. Rint was responsible for bleaching all of the bones in the ossuary in order to give the room a uniform look. His artist's signature is still on the wall today--naturally, in his medium of choice, bone. | About 40,000 bones
25: The Assuary: Let's hope those bones don't rise again! | Quite the chandelier | Schwarzenberg coat of arms
26: Bottom photos are blow up of picture on left
27: Nikki got all excited over the different skulls. Her first love
28: Close up of the cathedral ceiling. I think the name of the church is St. John
29: The pews were original and very uncomfortable. The backs were ram rod straight and the seat wasn't very wide. I think the people were smaller then.
30: Outside of the church | The architect was amazing
31: where choir sat left,and confessional below, around the 13,14 century. Organ lower left
33: Standing outside the church, Nikki, Dennis and Karl are commenting on the sculptures. The Czech doesn't lack for sculptures or art, so very different from the States where our history is so young.
34: Poland | Jan and Dennis took a train from Prague to Krakow. The train was Russian from the war times! Comfort with class! | Dennis enjoying countryside view
35: Stayed at La Fontaine, in Krakow We were supposed to stay somewhere else but this was a great place. | No elevators so we always walked the 5 flights!
36: Restrooms signs at the restaurant in La Fontaine | Polish couple playing fro money on street. Great Honkie music | Jan couldn't resist taking a picture of this window.
37: right: a young man got dressed up and posed in the square for money. | Rynek Glowny | An artist sculpted the head, was to go at the train station. | Instead ended up in the square. | main square in Krakow
38: Mariacka Basillca-St. Mary's
40: Wieliczka Salt Mines
42: The miners created a huge hall filled with wall carvings as seen on this page and an altar area
43: One bloody awesome staircase to upper level in salt mines.
44: Auschwitz | when the prisoners walked into Auschwitz they walked under the iron sign above "work will set you free". All barbed wire is still in place along with original "Halt " sign
45: Unfortunately the prisoners hated the people in the band for playing and yet they had no choice.
46: huge photo on wall. Pictures were taken but author unknown
47: documentation Germans did on victims. Map showing where trains deported victims from. Longer the distance greater chance of dying on train.
50: Jan found the grounds so peaceful, and green hiding all the horrors that went on, but also a very peaceful cemetery. Above left is memorial stone 1940-1946 for all those that died in Auschwitz-Birkenau
52: The Germans kept all prothesis, or any kind of physical aid | People brought their bowls for food and water, thinking they would be needing them
53: People put their name and address on luggage in case it got lost. | A case that displayed some baby clothes
55: Below Jewish prayer robes | Burning of warehouse goods
57: In the middle of the street was a brick wall separating men and women
58: The block Notice the windows have boards over them so the prisoners inside could not see what was happening in the court | Where prisoners were lined up and shot
60: Block 11 was known as the " Death Block". It served several functions, of which the most important was it's role as the central camp jail. Male and female prisoners from all parts of the camp complex were held in this building. Most of these people were suspected by the Gestapo of involvement in the clandestine activities: attempting to escape, organizing parties and maintaining contacts with the outside world. Poles from outside the camp who had been arrested for rendering aid to prisoners were imprisoned here too. Following brutal interrogations they were in most cases sentenced to death by shooting. In the early years of the camp the Strafkompanie(penal unit) and Erziehungskopanie(re-education unit) were
61: also held in this block.The prisoners of the penal unit to which almost all the Jewish men and Polish priests held in the camp at that time were sent on arrival to the most back breaking work. Most of them died. For some time the block also held Sonderkommando(special unit of prisoners employed to burn the bodies of the dead). From 1943 on Polizeihaftlinge (police detainees) were held there. These were Poles from the area under the jurisdiction of the Gestapo in Katowice who were suspected of involvement in the resistance. They would be held here awaiting sentence from a special German summary court. Usually death by shooting.
62: tower where role call was done | left is a small room, left wall is torn down. Nazis would put 4 people in the room at night . They only had room to stand. This was after working all day.
63: The Germans were very good at documentation. At first they would take a picture and record when someone came in and when they died. Most lasted about 3-4 months. The barrack this picture was taken in, both walls were lined, females on one wall, males on the other. There were 3 rows on each wall.
64: Picture on left reminded Jan of the movie "the boy in the striped pajamas" Behind the fence was the captain house, where all was peaceful and on the other side of the fence history's worst atrocities were being committed.
66: The cremorium on left. Below is room where they would drop the gas into the holes in the ceiling. At first the Nazis didn't know how much gas to use, so you may come back the next day.
67: Nazis would pile the bodies two or three deep to get all bodies burned.
68: Birkenau | Looking at the railroad with my back to the entrance to Birkenau. White on the railroad are flowers left by loved ones. Right is picture on a plaque depicting prisoners on their way into Auschwitz
70: Scenes from the outside of camp looking in | Barracks were prisoners were held. They were initially built for horses
71: Above is inside the camp looking down the track
73: Standing at the very end of the train line looking back at the entrance to Birkenau. To the left was the crematory
78: Smoke stacks were put in just for looks. The barracks had no heat in them.
79: As the world found out about the atrocities in Poland and swore for it never to be repeated. But it has, Rowanda, Darfur, Bosnia, killing fields in Cambodia and many more
80: Where Pope Paul practiced Mass. Right great display of flowers | Interesting statue
81: Dennis and Jan went to a museum and had fun. Jan on a train trying to get back to the Czeck Republic