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GERMANY, APRIL 2011 - Page Text Content

S: GERMANY Trip April 2011

FC: Germany Trip April 2011

1: The trip started with Mom and Dad arriving at the Best Western Millbrae without incident. For John and Shirlee, it was a bit more exciting. We left Sacramento heading into heavy winds. The Lexus SUV was all over the road! Last thing we wanted to hear was a strange and loud noise. WTH is that?? Is something hitting the car? Poor Lexi was falling apart! A piece of her window trim was barely hanging on and hitting the car. We arrived safely at the hotel, John snapping the trim back into place. Checking in, we discovered we had no reservation! Apparently they had us reserved the night before and claimed us as a "no show". Ugh. Got a room anyway and headed to the bar for a night cap at about 9:58 pm. Bartender said he was closing at 10 pm but would pour us one drink! We were hungry too, but the kitchen was closed so he directed us to vending machines. Ugh. As we sat back and enjoyed our drink, we looked around and discovered that we were actually locked in. Not a bad place to be locked in. Only way out was to unlock two deadbolts on the main door and exit. Ugh. | Could this be the start of the "Mueggenburg Factor?" | Breakfast at Best Western, Millbrae

2: KLM ROYAL DUTCH AIRLINES Depart San Francisco: April 7, 2011 14:00 Arrive Amsterdam: April 8, 2011 8:30 Flight time: about 10 hours, 30 minutes | Great flight. Great food. Free personal TV, movie, music and flight information. We flew over Canada, Greenland and Iceland. Free beer, free wine. | KLM is the oldest carrier in the world still operating under its original name. It was founded on October 7th, 1919. KLM stands for: Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij | Depart Amsterdam: April 8 2011 10:05 Arrive Berlin Tegel Airport: 11:25 Flight time: about 1 hour, 20 minutes

3: The City of Berlin | *

4: The Best Western Kanthotel Kantstrassa 111, Berlin Delicious German Breakfast every morning

5: *

6: On the Streets of Berlin

7: Dad found stamps!

8: Parking is limited in Berlin. The Hotel had underground parking! The car would go down in an elevator and be shuffled into it's parking place! | Our brand new, jet black, Mercedes Benz Station Wagon would come up out of the ground like the Bat Mobile. Nice!

9: Nightlife in Berlin | Hum............

11: Fortunately, we didn't need a car as we traveled through Berlin. We had options such as the underground subway, called the U Bahn. There's also the above ground line called the S Bahn. After catching the subway, we caught a bus to visit other parts of the city. | *

12: Axel Peter Dagmaur Clara (14 yrs old) Rosa (19 yrs old) Angelica Harry Marianne John Shirlee

13: Enjoying Brunch with the Schritt Family


15: The meeting was administered by Roger Muggenburg. | *

16: HOUSE Of 100 BEERS

17: Olaf Muggenburg and family. Not sure how we are related, but they were a lot of fun!

18: Dining in Berlin Many wonderful restaurants, but few with traditional German Food! House of 100 Beers came through with not only great beer, but also roasted pigs knuckles with spatzele for dad and meat balls with potatoes (served in a shovel) for mom. John had the more traditional wurst, while Shirlee had pizza with a delicious German wine.

21: Dining in Berlin | *

23: We enjoyed our German Beer and wine, but we also enjoyed our daily coffee and pastry!

24: Strange things can be seen walking the streets of Berlin! | O' Shirlee............

25: O' John.....................

26: Dad's father, Hans Mueggenburg, had his deli here, right across from Lula's. The store is now a locksmith, but the building is the same. Light tiles can be seen in the walkway that helped light the basement where dad spent a lot of time as a child.

27: *

28: Fregestrausse 81. Berlin Apartment where Dad grew up. We walked through the main entrance into the courtyard, looking up at the apartment in the rear!

29: *

30: At the apartment door and wishing we could take a peak inside. Original doors, knockers and hand railing. | * | Knock-Knock !

31: Access to the second story apartment was up a wide staircase. The door leads out into the courtyard. Across the street from the apartment building is a beautiful building untouched by the war.

32: East Berlin-Mahlow This was home to dad's Grandparents on the Schritt side. Outside in the distance is a tree line where the Berlin wall once stood. This friendly family saw us admiring their home, and invited us in! Now that's German hospitality!

33: * | As a little boy, Dad picked cherries from this very tree. It's much larger than he remembers!

34: The Basement was used as a bomb shelter during the war.

35: * | It was fun to see and drive on the old cobble roadways, which seemed to be in every village we went too.

36: BRANDENBURG GATE AND PARISER PLATZ | Caught taking a picture. Oops.

37: The Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) is located in Potsdam, 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) from Berlin. It was built between 1788 and 1791 for King Friedrick Wilhelm II to commemorate victory in the Seven Years' war. It was originally known as "Gate of Peace" in honor of the King who was known for bringing peace. The Chariot at the top is driven by Nike, the goddess of Victory.

38: Just outside the Brandenburg Gate is the Kennedy Museum, with a large picture of President Obama, thinking. Do you wonder what he's thinking? | Brandenburg Gate

39: At the Center of the Tiergarten stands the Great Star (GroBer Stern) with a gilded figure of the goddess Victoria. This can be seen just beyond Brandenburg Gate. | An equestrian statue of Fredrick the Great presides over Paris Square (Pariser Platz) a monument erected in 1851, whose pedestal features the liking of Prince Leopold I, the philosopher Kant and the writer Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. Seven young German guys, probably on spring break nearly ran into our bus! Shirlee pretended to be scared so they responded with laughter and thumbs up!

40: CHECKPOINT CHARLIE | In 1961, GDR authorities decided to close the sector of Berlin under their control by building a wall, 165 Kilometers (102.5 miles) long and 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) high. Many East Berliners managed to find ways to cross over in the 28 years of separation. The Checkpoint Charlie museum showed every thing from being sewn in the front seat of a car to creating zip lines off the top of buildings to get into West Berlin. 255 people lost their lives trying to escape. On November 9th, 1989, the wall was finally taken down and Berlin was united.

41: * | The wall museum (Mauermuseum) showed both successful and failed attempts to escape from East Berlin. A famous quote that was on t-shirts and knickknacks was from President Reagan who in 1987 said: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

43: * | I am a Berliner by: BMW

44: 1300 meters (about an 8th of a mile) of the Berlin wall was conserved and is called the East Side Gallery in Muhlenstrasse, between the Oberbaum Bridge and Ostbahnhof Station. Artists from all over the world painted the remaining wall in 1990, consisting of 104 murals. Each piece of art reflects the atmosphere in Berlin during those times.

46: Charlottenburg Palace Built in the 17th century as a summer home for the wife of as Fredrick I of Prussia | Bellevue Palace, built in 1786 as the residence of Prince Augustus Ferdinand of Prussia, young brother of Fredrick the Great. Now is the official residence of the German president since 1993. | 02 World, built in 2006 is a multi-use indoor arena, used mostly for ice hockey, basketball and concerts. | *

47: Mercedes Benz | Beautiful old churches were around every corner. | Franzosischer Dom-French Cathedral is located on the Gendarmenmarkt, most beautiful square in Europe.

48: The Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom) was built between 1894 and 1905, at the behest of Wilhelm II by the architects Julius Carl and Otto Raschdorff, who took St. Peter's in Rome as their reference. The idea was to erect the most important Protestant cathedral in Germany. The Cathedral's main attractions are the combination of different styles, predominantly Renaissance and baroque; the four towers on each corner; and the great central dome.

49: Television Tower | Located in the Mitte district, the Reichstag building is the most well known. It was built between 1884 and 1894. The 23 meter (over 75 feet) high glass dome was added in 1999 by a British architect. | The Spree River

50: Potsdamer Platz | Potsdamer Platz was developed after the wall came down. Prior to that, it was considered no mans land after severe damage during the war. The leaning tubes light the U bahn (subway) below ground. The main street is lined with movie stars-stars'!

51: SONY CENTER | Berliner Weisse is a sour wheat beer flavored with raspberry syrup. It is the most popular alcoholic drink in Germany and dates back to the 16th century.

52: The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (affectionately called "the hollow tooth"), was built in the 1890's in neo-Romanesque style in honor of Emperor Wilhelm I. The church was badly damaged by bombing during WWII. The architect commissioned to restore the building, decided to leave the ruined tower standing and build a new church with an octagonal ground plan and a hexagonal bell tower. Emmy Schritt (Dad's mother) sang solo in the choir as a young girl in the early 1920's. | KAISER WILHELM MEMORIAL CHURCH

59: Kaiser Wilhelm Church is in West Berlin, in an area called Kurfurstendamm on the Breitscheidplatz. Services are held in the new post-war octagon.

60: Traveling from Berlin to Bergheim-Giflitz, we passed beautiful mountain ranges and pre-WWII buildings as we traversed through the Harz Mountains. Dad's cousins Peter and Inge were sent here during the war because there was no bombing in the mountains. | Bergheim | Berlin | Giflitz

62: Potty Break! Yikes - a Casino??

63: Shirlee: "Hey John, how fast are you going?" John: " 100 miles per hour." Mom: "Dad's sleeping you can go faster." Dad: "I'm not sleeping!! I'm just resting my eyes!" Shirlee: "How fast are you going now?" John: "120 miles per hour." Shirlee: "Bong Bong on the Autobaun."

64: Main entrance to Hotel and restaurant. | Inside the restaurant was a well with water trickling through it. | we

65: Even during our traveling days, we stopped for lunch which included homemade German pastries, coffee and tea. | This darling gingerbread house was in the patio area of the restaurant. German Tudor homes behind it!

66: Bergheim-Giflitz Dad's childhood home, built in 1924. The home survived the flood when the Eder Tal Sperre (Eder Valley Dam) was bombed by the British in 1943. The home is situated between the towns of Bergheim and Giflitz, logically calling the area, Bergheim-Giflitz!

68: Lena Lotzer | Lena was married to Karl Heinz Lotzer who was the brother of Adolph and Dad's cousins.

71: Lena made the statement: "Looking into someone's eyes you see a reflection of their soul."

72: Second Story of Lena's home, updated over the years, but still full of beautiful antiques.

73: When Dad was a little boy, this is where he would sit on the potty and sing songs about "Churchill pooping." Above is Lena's dining and living room filled with antiques. When anyone would visit or help her around the house, she would go to her dining room hutch and give large German chocolate bars!

74: The view's from Lena's home. Visible signs of the brick repairs on the home across the street after it was damaged by the flood. This home took the main force so that Lena's home was saved. The peach home in the distance belonged to Dad's good friend Willy who died along with his family in the flood. The photo to the left shows the roof top of Peter's home and Adolf and Edeltraut's white house.

75: "Come to me all you weary and heavy laden, I want to refresh you." "Look thankfully to the above in the morning and evenings send your worries to the above."

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78: The family Lotzer own a nursery on the same street as Dad's home and church. Next to the sign is another Easter tree!

80: Dad attended this majestic church during 1943 to 1945.

84: Dad and Mom with Edeltraut and Adolf Lotzer.

85: Peter's home, son of Edeltraut and Adolf. | Edeltraut and Adolf's home | Backyard view from Adolf and Edeltraut's home.

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90: This is Edeltraut's Easter tree! Eggs can be seen hanging from trees everywhere! Every morning, we would have a breakfast of easter eggs, 2 types of metwurst, Jarslberg and other creamy cheeses, smoked pork, wurst salad, freshly baked bread (from the bakery that very morning!) with butter and homemade cherry jam. Not to mention delicious coffee.

91: John and Shirlee stayed with Edeltraut and Adolf, while Dad and Mom stayed with their son Peter. Edeltraut and Adolf's home was full of antiques. The living room had a large picture window looking over the backyard. Very few people use fences in Bergheim-Giflitz. At night, we would converse by candlelight because electricity is very expensive. | Indoor camping included sleeping with scary looking dolls.

92: IMBISS BERGHEIMER EDERGRILL John found Bitburger Beer here, and we enjoyed the company of the owner's dog, GINO.

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96: Train Station When Dad was a boy, this was the train station. Today it appears to be someone's home.

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100: SPRING MINERAL WATER When dad was a boy, he would walk or take a horse and buggy to this spring to get the healthy mineral water for his family. We enjoyed taking a sip even though the mineral flavor was very strong.

101: We had a view of Bergheim from the spring.

102: Enjoying the mineral water. | Didn't taste quite that good.

103: Views from the Spring. | *

104: It was so nice listening to Dad tell us stories of his childhood, and even more special that we were able to step back in time with him, visiting many places he loved as a boy.

105: Amazing Sunset countryside!


107: The Village Well

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112: We | Fritzlar

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114: * | Domgrill Fritzlar Giessener Str.2 | Gluhwein Wine

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118: St-Petri-Dom | While walking through the fairytale town of Fritzlar, we walked around a corner and saw this magnificent, breathtaking Cathedral. St. Peter's Cathedral, set back from the square, towers majestically over all other buildings in the Altstadt. Originally designed in 1043 as the archbishop's church, it was rebuilt in the 13th, 16th, and 19th centuries. There's a 12th-century bronze baptismal font in one of the Romanesque crypts.

120: Inside St-Petri-Dom

122: The vestibule was grand with it's beautiful arches. Behind mom is a table with information regarding the church and it's current restoration project. There also happened to be a sign that we (John and Shirlee) did not see when we walked in, obviously because we were dazed by the cathedrals beauty!

123: The Sign said: NO PHOTOGRAPHS. Oops. Upon leaving the Cathedral, we did the "quick walk" in hopes that God would not strike us down or someone try to seizes our cameras!

125: This unique piece of art was hanging in the main part of the church. Look for the...............

126: In the sky, just above the building, the Cathedral towers can be seen. | The Cathedral sits on the hill just above another beautiful historic church. The views were breathtaking.

128: Taking a beautiful drive through villages, mom and dad were able to find the cemetery near the top of a hill where our Tanta Ruth is buried. After WWII, dad (12 years old) and his cousin Annelie Schritt (16 years old), were allowed to return to their place of birth in New York City, USA.

129: Schloss Waldeck am Edersee

130: "Nice Stick John." | This cute little guy was on the road up to the Castle.

131: Castle Waldeck is located in the village of Dorweiler in Dommershausen, just above the Baybach valley. | This medieval fortress was built by William I of Heinzenberg. It became known as the Boos-Waldeck house. | The earliest mention of Waldeck dates back to 1120 as the home of the counts of Waldeck. Around the mid 1500's, various wings were added increasing the Castles Stature in the region.

132: Waldeck: "Corner of the Woods."

133: Parts of the Castle have become a 4-star hotel while most is being used as a museum.

135: Cannons from the Franco-German War, also called the Franco-Prussian War from July,1870 to May,1871. A coalition of German states led by Prussia defeated France. The war marked the end of French hegemony in continental Europe and resulted in the creation of a unified Germany.

137: Mom and Dad at the Waldeck Castle, overlooking the Eder Reservoir. It's the third largest reservoir in Germany and was first filled in 1914. There are remnants of 3 villages (Asel, Bringhausen and Berich) that can be seen when the water is low.

138: Spirits lurk in the old castles......hey, I see one in the photo above..........

139: Behind Lock and Key

140: For hundreds of years, the Castle Waldeck, was the residence of the Counts of Waldeck, but it also served as military barracks and prison. | ouch!

142: Thieves, beggers, gipsies and vagabonds were punished using various tools, including public humiliation. The white female manikin is shown in a position where villagers could apply their own form of punishment. But not John, he gave her a big hug. Sweet.

143: You don't want to go in there...............scary.

144: *

145: Would not be a good idea to get lost in this place! | *

146: Eder Tal Sperre Eder Valley Dam

147: The Edersee Dam is a hydroelectric dam constructed between 1908 to 1914, across the Eder river near the small town of Waldeck in northern Hesse, Germany. In WWII, the dam was a part of Operation Chastise, destroyed by specially designed bombs (bouncing bombs) dropped by the British, on the morning of May 17, 1943. The dam was rebuilt within months.

148: Eder River below the dam flowing into Ruhr and Eder Valleys.

149: Inside the dam structure is a beautiful view of the Schloss Waldeck

150: House at Edersee Lunch time!

151: Bad Wildungen

152: Bad Wildungen dates back to around the year 800. It was one of the few area's that was not bombed in WWII and was used by US troops to recoup. A military hospital was created here.


154: John found this...... | Shirlee found this.......

155: *

156: Bad Wildungen Naturlich Gut

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160: Quellen (spa) Museum

161: Self Portraits -Nice Cap John | Notice the photo flip?

162: Ouch!!!

163: Lunch Time again! Bad Wildungen coffee and pastries

164: Beauty around every corner.

165: Mom and Dad were hoping to show us this castle in Bad Wildungen, but didn't know exactly where it was so we decided to head back to Bergheim-Giflitz. As we left Bad Wildungen, we were directed by a police officer to take a different route because of construction. We ended up on a one way road that was carved into the side of the mountain and the road was heading up. No choice but to take it. As we rounded a corner, there was the castle.

166: Hercules Monument Located in the city of Kassel. He is a copper statue depicting the ancient Greek demigod. He stands on a pyramid, which is on top of the octagon, all constructed at different times. Hercules was built in the years 1701 to 1717.

167: In late 2005, restructuring of the entire monument started.

168: The water feature above has run since 1714. Unfortunately during our visit, it was under construction. Guess that's called "The Mueggenburg Factor."

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171: During WWII, Kassel was the headquarters for a division of the German army. 90% of Kassel was destroyed as it took on severe bombing. Kassel is on the other side of a mountain range from Bergheim-Gifltz. As a boy, Dad and his friends would watch the sky light up with a glow from all the fires and bombing. Very few of the ancient buildings were rebuilt and most of the buildings are a 1950 style. | The Hercules monument has a gorgeous view of the city of Kassel. The Brother's Grimm wrote most of their fairy tales here in the 19th century. Kassels history dates back to 913 AD.

173: Time for me to say, good bye. Thank you mom and dad for a trip that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life. With love, | Shirlee

174: *

175: Back in Berlin after Shirlee left. Look how sad mom and dad are. | * | * | :(

176: *

178: "You have arrived at your destination."

179: * | In search of "Muggenburg"

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182: * | Dog or Horse?

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194: Dog or Horse? | *

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200: Muggenburg Airport | *

201: Muggenburg Wharf

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205: Youth Hostel

206: * | Jugendherberge

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209: * | Bowling and Ping-Pong

210: Enjoying a walk from the Youth Hostel to the waters edge. | *

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213: PEENEMUNDE | . .

214: PEENEMUNDE In English: "the mouth of the Peene (River)". It is a village with a seaport on the western side of the Baltic Sea. In WWII, the area was highly involved in the production of the V1 and V2 rockets until that work was relocated. | . .

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219: * | O' John!

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223: The Muggenburg Castle | ..

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236: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol This international airport is the home base of KLM. | THANK YOU MOM & DAD FOR A LIFE CHANGING MEMORABLE VACATION. LOVE U BOTH!! JOHN

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Shirlee Serafin
  • By: Shirlee S.
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About This Mixbook

  • Title: GERMANY, APRIL 2011
  • A Treasured Trip with mom and dad
  • Tags: None
  • Published: about 8 years ago