S: Kristen and Nyerie in Potsdam, Goslar, Neheim, Soest, and Bad Homborg
BC: A fond farewell
FC: Nyerie and Kristen Heading West
1: From Berlin it's a short drive to Potsdam, home to Sanssouci, the summer palace of Friedrich the Great.
2: The Palace is gorgeous, but the vast grounds are even more lovely!
4: Sanssouci is French for "Without Care"
6: Lost in the gardens!
8: From Sanssouci, we drove to Liebenburg. On the way, we made a longer-than-planned detour for gas, and let me tell you, even the truck stops are amazing!
9: Mascha's parents, Ursel and Terry Therburg, kindly put us up for the night. | Their home was filled with modern art and collectibles. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
10: Ursel kindly gave us free passes to Goslar's Mines of Rammelsberg, which came in handy because we had no cash to get in otherwise!
11: The Mines of Rammelsberg | Main Building | Smelter | The Restaurant | Mining began here around 1000 BC. Ores mined were silver, copper and lead. The mines closed in the 1980s.
12: And he we are, preparing to go into the mines by donning our most fashionable head gear! | I took these pictures specifically for Thomas, who always wanted me to get a mining hat for late night reading!
13: Here is the shower room where, after getting their belongings from the main room, the hundreds of miners would shower each day. Next, underground to the mines! | This is the giant medieval mining wheel in miniature. We took the German u underground medieval tour because it was less technical but I was still lost! | The main room where the miners' belongings were kept on pulleys.
15: The pretty sights of Medieval Goslar, a small town founded in the 10th century. Goslar has been popular with kings and intellectuals, and boasts the largest number of half-timbered houses in the country.
16: The Kaiserpfalz | Back Yard | The Rear | The Neighbors! | The Kaiserpfalz is a popular spot in Goslar. We didn't enter the building but strolled the grounds.
17: The Medival Imperial Palace of Goslar (Kaiserpfalz) was built in the 11th century and became a summer residence for the emperors, especially King Henry the Third, who visited about twenty times. Henry is actually buried in Goslar. The slate roof is typical of Goslar. The palace grounds are frequented by locals and their dogs.
18: No interesting story here, we just liked the mailboxes! Goslar is the perfect town to get lost in. It is small and beautiful, with cute shops around every corner. | Here you can see the slate houses lining the streets. On the right of the stream are the half-timbered houses so popular in Germany.
19: Yes, that does say Sergeant Pepper. This was a music store. There were dozems of unique shops in Goslar. | Below is one of the many cafes that you could stop for a bechen and coffee. Or a beer. Always popular! Even with eis!
20: This is the Hotel Kaiserworth, an interesting old building with unusual architecture. The slate roof is common but the turrets and red facade are not. This hotel is 500 years old, one of the oldest continuously operated hotels in Europe.
21: Parting views of the quaint town of Goslar!
22: Before leaving Goslar, we enjoyed sweets and coffee at a local bakery. Check out Nyerie's giant rumball! | A slow crawl! | Bad weather | Lots of fog | And the eternal question: fields or water??
23: After much driving, we finally made it to Tanta Gisela's in Neheim Arnsberg. The next morning, we went downtown for some exploring. This old church was a familiar sight for Nyerie and me.
24: Tanta Gisela took great care of us: feeding us, letting us sleep late, hosting day trips, and giving us our own private rooms. We also were introduced to the wonderful Mona Lisas and Skip Bo! | Our first walking tour was of downtown Neheim. The city wasn't very big but it was quite a bit larger than I remembered as a kid. Apparently, our Opa had a very successful drogerie in the main marktplatz. Above is the grand white house that they lived in before buying the house on the hill that we would visit.
25: On our third day in Neheim, we took a trip to Soest, a very old town nearby. | Soest was a popular destination for our family. They spent many afternoons walking the many paths throughout the city
26: St. Patrokli Dome, the tower is said to have bent when struck by lightning. To start our tour, we walked atop the town walls. | Soest is ancient and the area has been inhabited for 4000 years. The weather was bad but we were prepared!
27: This is a guard tower, one of the few remaining. Soest was hard hit during the second world war.
28: Tanta Gisela and I are below. Also on this trip were Isolda, the historian, and Irena, our translator. Isolda and Irena are part of the illustrious Mona Lisas. | In the cafe, we were able to talk at length about our family history, which we had never been able to do before without a translator. I feel more connected than ever before with my aunt.
29: The green limestone is a local building material and its use was exceedingly common in Soest. | Here I am with a gargoyle. Soest was the only place where I saw gargoyles though I've always equated them with Gothic architecture.
30: This is St. Maria's, built in the 1200's, out of the ubiquitous green limestone. The murals on the ceiling were spectacular.
31: Below is a large pond in Soest that was used for washing. I have a picture of my dad at this pond.
32: Hundreds of half-timbered buildings line the streets. I started to doubt Goslar's claim that it has the most! | To left, an ornamental use of the green limestone. The roof is of slate.
33: Sweets at Crista's House | We spent this evening enjoying tasty cakes and playing Skip Bo! | Crista amazed us with her morning marzipan delivery! | I will never forget my cursed Mercedes rental...
34: From Neheim, we drove to Bad Homburg to meet with Heike and her daughter, Katje. After brief greetings, we set out to explore the city. Apparently, in prior times, Bad Homberg was a sanitarium though people still go there for their health. Nyerie and Katje kept trying the salty "healing fountains." I declined. I'm just not that brave!
35: Here we are wandering around the Kurpark. Bad Homburg is home to one of the oldest casinos in Europe (perhaps, the oldest) and this casino is nicknamed "Mother of Monte Carlo". There's also golf and tennis. | Above is the Thai garden pavilion donated by the King of Siam in thanks for his cure. Buddhists come from all over Germany to make offerings. We just missed a Buddhist festival that took place here.
36: Bad Homburg Palace and Gardens
37: The famous White Tower, preserved from a medieval castle that stood on this spot. Can't you just imagine Rapunzel? | The palace was designed in 1678 for Landgrave Friedrich the Second. It was in royal use until 1918.
38: More views of the central palace park of Bad Homburg Palace. | With the gorgeous weather, it felt like we were at a Mediterranean villa!
39: Here I am, tackling little Katje under the Lebanon tree. She's gracefully putting up with our much-belated affections! | A small model for the Palace and Gardens.
40: The dueling churches. On left, St. Mary's Catholic church, completed in the late 1800's. On right, the famed Protestant Church of the Redeemer completed in 1908.
41: In the evening, we enjoyed apfelwein and good conversation. Sadly, there was so much more to see and do, but we had to depart. Until next time!