S: GERMANY 2011
1: getting ready to go on the trip of a lifetime........
4: One cold rainy day in December, we were having supper at White Spot and this idea came to us, we should go on a family trip...how about Poland..... Sounded like a great idea if only we all get time off work for an entire month, could it work......if only.... We all started brain-storming and the ideas came to us, fast, with us all talking at once. Lyndee pulled out a napkin and started writing down the ideas. where to stay, what we wanted to see and what we needed to get started....how about a map? What kind of currency did we need? Do we want to stay in hotels the entire time or how about vacation rentals? What kind of transportation did we need? Let`s fly to Frankfurt to see the Petri`s, then go into Poland. How about Berlin? How far was it from Frankfurt? Should we invite Uncle Mike to tag along? So many questions.......... It was very exciting and unreal...could we pull it off? We would needed to first see if Wilfy and Julie could get the month of August off, then we could go from there... We had the time! So guess what... We`re going to Poland!! But first stop will be Germany....... | IT ALL STARTED ON A NAPKIN | the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.....
5: To Germany | We had quite a noisy 10 hour flight with crying babies most of the way. Once we landed and found the car rental, in Terminal 2. We did a lot of walking and asking, and finally found a shuttle to take us to Terminal 2. Down the elevator,turn right go to #103, hey LOOK......there it is. We rented a BIG Renault with lots of room, standard, and were giddy with excitement to be in Germany. We literally drove around the airport 3 times before we found the right road. But the challenge was to get onto the Autobahn in spite of construction. Finally, after many "beeps"we found the right road heading in the right direction. With the help of google maps we found our hotel. It was a lovely day and so | fascinating to see the old buildings and cobblestone streets. Val told us not to walk around with our mouths open in awe, but it was pretty hard not to do that. We entered the hotel through a small ,low archway with our luggage clunking on the stones. We bumped our bags up 3 flights of stairs...no elevators here...and fell into bed. The boys had one room on the 2nd floor while us girls shared a room on the 3rd. After a nap we ventured out to find the real Germany.
6: FIRST DAY IN GERMANY AUGUST 3 IDSTEIN & HOERHOF HOTEL
7: This is our first dinner in Germany and the boys first beer. I say first because there are many more to come.....
9: HOERHOF HOTEL is in Idstein and is an old castle. It was built in the 17th century and was used as a formal seat of royal power. The courtyard is uneven cobblestone and very rustic. There was a huge door leading into the reception with old Gothic hinges supporting it. The breakfast was a delight and we ate everything that was put on the table.. We were starving!!! Of course it was DELICIOUS! In the foyer was one complete tree trunk used as a banister. Mike and Wilf had it inspected from bottom to top. Our rooms were across the courtyard and were modern and very comfortable. The second day for breakfast the waitress didn't speak English and brought Mike a hard-boiled egg which was left behind. | The staff was very friendly. This hand-made note was left in the two rooms. Very thoughtful..
10: TIME IN PETRI"S BACK YARD
12: Rhine River WE'RE IN GERMANY!!!!!
13: We had a lovely time with Petri's here. We took Walter and Margit for a drive and we ended up here, at the Rhine River lookout. Margit was disappointed that the monument was under construction, but we didn't care. It was a beautiful sight. We stayed for a while, just enjoying the scenery. The kids were having fun too..... | WHAT????
15: We took loads of pictures here. So beautiful. It was hard to believe that we were there and looking at the Rhine River.
16: We met with the Petries at their house and had a wonderful lunch with them. They took us to see their town Wiesbaden. Walter was delighted to come along. We wandered among the old buildings and were over-whelmed by the sights. Margit was thrilled to show us her town. We took pictures of the largest cuckoo clock and some of the streets and churches. Margit said her daughter got married in this church. Margit insisted on taking all of us out for supper so we went to their favorite fish and chip place, Noah's Ark. They are a kind and generous couple.
17: Enjoying a beer with fish and chips. (The fish is salmon) It deserved a 1/2 thumbs up!!!!
18: the Branch in Selters supplies literature to Europe, Asia and Africa. This property was dedicated in 1984, but expanded in 10 yrs.to keep up with the growing need because of the fall of the Iron Curtain. Bethelites come from over 30 nations. | In 1902 the first branch office in Germany was opened. After the 2nd World War, a branch office was opened in Wiesbaden, but by the late 1970's it could no longer expand to meet the growing need. Suitable property was found at Selters. This complex includes administration, production and nine residence buildings.
19: They were setting up for lunch when we went on the tour. | Beside Julie is the huge printing press. Behind her is the end and I am taking the picture from the front.
20: The purple triangle uniform worn by our brothers. On display at the Bethel. | Laundry washes and irons 5 tons of clothing each week. All are sorted and returned to the right residence. | Notice the elderly brother sorting. | Magazines are produced according to the region
21: Magazines hot off the press. Produces 80,000 mags/hr. or 255 books/hr. It is 4x faster to produce soft cover books than hard. | This Bethel produces items for 40 countries and 16500 congr. We had a Sister give us the tour in English, which sometimes was funny. She used the term Goose Busters,which was cute, instead of goose bumps!
22: BERLIN AUGUST 5/2011 | We flew from Frankfurt today and managed to catch the right bus, only to be told to get off half way to Alexanderplatz. We boarded another bus and were told to get off that one too! Finally we got on the right one and made it to the end of the line. We were totally lost in Berlin, in Alexanderplatz with 6 pieces of luggage rumbling down the streets. The girls managed to find the right restaurant where we picked up the key for the apartment. We were flooded with relief,believe me, when we saw the two of them walking towards us with the key in hand. Up to the 12th floor in the smallest elevator imaginable we found 4 bedrooms but no kitchen. Oh well....... | This is our view from the 12th floor. Nice location but is this the kitchen?? | The bathroom here had a shower installed knee level, and no place to put the towels. Uncle Mike said`Carol, I have an idea`. He had a lot of ideas on this trip. He also had a mishap with the Airport security in Frankfurt regarding his Aqua Velva!!!!
23: Some of the graffiti Berlin is famous for
27: These used to be the Royal Palace Grounds, known as the "pleasure Gardens." In 1935, the national socialists turned the site into a cement-covered square used for mass demonstrations in support of the Nazi Regime. The gardens were restored in 1998 and now marks the entrance to the Museum Island. | Berliner Dom Protestant Cathedral
28: HAVING FUN
29: We ate lunch right here. Of course there was beer!!!
31: The Pergamon Museum is one of 5 museums on Museum Island in Berlin. It is most famous for a replica of the Ishtar Gate,and Assyrian and Babylonian artifacts. Some of which date back to the time of Nebudchadnezzar ll in the 6th century. It was a fascinating place. Just loved it. We waited outside for a long time in the humidity. Wilfy made a friend in the line-up. He`s always talking to someone.. We just made it through the doors when it started to rain. | Pergamon Altar (170 BC)
32: THE ISHTAR GATE
33: Here is a replica of the processional Way of Babylon. There are some 270,000 objects in this museum discovered from excavations in Babylon, Assur, Uruk and Habuba Kabira. The exhibits give insight into the religious ideas of the region. | A closer look at the tiles
37: Upper left is a wall from a room that was entirely tiled. It was said to come out of a very influential Christian home. The rest are examples of textiles from the Islamic nations. There were rooms full of rugs and some art.
38: Carson and Lyndee are having fun. Wilfy looks hot and tired.
39: BERLIN | After the museum a much needed lunch break. | before..... | after....
40: We found our bus stop the night before and caught our yellow tour bus across the street beyond these trees. We were on the upper deck and were so glad that we were, since it was so hot. We tuned our radios to English and enjoyed the ride. We got off at the sights we wanted to see, thus the name hop-on-hop-off.... | The tour begins........ | Humbolt university 1766 | The New Guardhouse 1816
41: Museum of German History | A monument of Frederick the Great was erected in 1851 with its pedestal featuring leading figures such as Prince Leopld 1. All these buildings are along the boulevard Unter den Linden which means Under the Linden Trees.
42: BRANDENBURGER TOR
43: By the mid 19th century the Brandenburg Gate became the symbol of peace. This explains why it was left standing when all other gates were torn down in 1865. In the following decades the gate increasingly came to be used for official celebrations. Military victories were regularly celebrated with parades in front of the Gate. During the street-to-street fighting in 1945 the Gate was badly damaged by artillery fire. The quadriga was completely destroyed with only one horse's head intact. It was repaired and remounted in 1958. In 1961, August 13, work began on building the Wall only meters from the gate. The Gate now became the symbol of a divided Berlin. For 28 years the Brandenburg Gate become completely inaccessible being locked into the prohibited zone and death strip controlled by GDR border guards. The Berlin Wall fell in November 1989 and on Dec 22, 1989 Germany's most prominent historical structure was reopened. | Built between 1788 and 1791, at the request of King Frederich Wilhelm ll, the gate was initially known as the Gate of Peace. It was erected in Honor of Frederich the Great, the ruler known for bringing peace. The gate is crowned by a bronze sculpture of a chariot driven by Nike the goddess of peace. | THE BRANDENBURG GATE
45: After we took a million pictures of the Brandenburg Gate we found out that the Reichstag was not too far away, Just a short walk and we rounded a corner and there it was. It was built from 1884-1894. It is the seat of German Parliament. The building required re-construction after WW11 with the dome being added in 1999.
47: Lyndee bought one of these pretzels near the Reichstag. Our yellow bus...... | 70 meters high in the center of Tiergarten is the Victory Column erected in 1873. The figure is of the goddess Victoria. | The Bellevue Palace, official res. of the German Pres. | Built in 1786
49: Gendarmenmarkt Square. Two churches preside over the square,The French Cathedral and the German Cathedral. Built in 1785 the Concert Hall (below) stands between them. It was rebuilt in 1979 due to the war.
50: This was our first glimpse of the wall..... | Further along the tour we came upon the graffiti on the wall. It is called the East Side Gallery. | The Berlin Wall | The wall was 3.5 meters high and 165 kms. long. 255 East Berliners lost their lives trying to cross. | 1300 meter long "gallery"
51: Checkpoint Charlie border control. One of Berlin's sights that attracts the most visitors. | Uncle Mike bought a hat here. His head was getting a nice shade of red. It was HOT!!! | Some pieces of the wall..
52: Do I smell or is it Dad? | Say What????? | It is so flippin' hot.... | Who names a cafe after rats?? | Our Lederhosen boys ...cool.....
53: More of Berlin......
54: the St Nicholas Quarter beside the Spree | sights from the boat tour.....
56: After the bus tour, we took a boat trip on the River Spree. It was hot, but relaxing since we didn't have to walk. It gave you a different perspective of the city. We saw things we never would have seen from the streets. Some old some new.....
57: So much history and so many beautiful buildings. | Bode Museum (1904) as seen from the River Spree
58: Carson had the camera and was taking pictures of everyone after the boat ride. We were waiting for our beer and lunch.
59: Our last day in Berlin and in Germany. We called a taxi to take us to the train station for an early train at 5:21 AM. Smartest thing we ever did..YAWN... | NEXT STOP...... | POLAND!!!!! | GERMANY