After visiting the Cathedral Suzi and I sat in an outdoor café on the plaza in front of the cathedral enjoying a coffee and deciding what to do next. There are a good number of chalk artists in the plaza … Continue reading Ukrainian Modernism.
I first saw the cathedral at dusk from a train pulling into the station. I was staying on the train, on my way from a student seminar in Bonn in 1964. The Cathedral seemed dark and menacing, backlit by a … Continue reading Cologne Cathedral
German trains do not run on time. We were on our way to Cologne from Copenhagen. This was the last of our missed stops from the 2023 World Cruise. No the Zuiderdam did not sail up the Rhine to Cologne, … Continue reading “I don’t know what’s happened to our country, it’s a shame.”
Thirty two years ago our lives changed forever. The Berlin Wall fell. Our family had been in Berlin the summer before and the wall looked permanent. We went back the next summer in time to see streets opening in the … Continue reading Walking the Line Between Hope and Despair.
Thirty years ago, this week my family was in Berlin. We had been there 10 months earlier and saw a wall that looked permanent. Three months later we saw it come down on TV. We went back in June 1990 … Continue reading 30 Years Ago This Week — Berlin.
This trip I decided to spend two jet lag nights in Munich, or rather Freisling, a small town near the airport. This time I decided to take the train from Freisling to Fussen and the onward bus to Hohenschwangu and … Continue reading A Train Trip through Bavaria.
This is the second part of a letter. For the first part see the post posted just after this one. The train pulled into Fussen and everyone ran for the 78 Bus to Hohenschwangu to visit Schloss Neuschwanstein and Schloss … Continue reading Neuschwanstein
Freising is a town near the Munich Airport where the airport hotels are located. But it is an old city. It had a cathedral before Munich, a brewery too. It is a place I lay over on trips to and from Tbilisi for jet lagging. I have posted from this delightful town before, including a post about the oldest continuously operating brewery in the world. These pictures are from an afternoon stroll around town. Suzi had never been here and I wanted her to see it. Continue reading Freising, Bavaria, redux
Domberg is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The current structure is a Romanesque building from the 13th century. When you go in, however, it is a shock, because the interior had been redone in Baroque style in the 17th century. It almost seems like a disconnect. I once had an architecture professor who called the Baroque “Eclectic clutter.” My reaction was “majestically bizarre.” Elaborate frescoes, pink stucco, gilt and an alter piece originally painted by Rubens (The one there now is a reproduction, the original was carted off somewhere.) The organ is really a baroque organ, the decoration is so … Continue reading Domberg, The Cathedral Church in Freising
My flight from Tbilisi touched down at 6. As I stepped out the shuttle at our airport hotel in Freising at 7 AM, after clearing customs and getting my bag, I heard the joyous “surround sound” peeling of church bells … Continue reading Palm Sunday, Freising, Germany
The taxi driver from Clontarf to the airport offered to take me a different route, around Dublin Bay, along the coast pass the fishing village of Howth and then into the airport. “It’s more miles but with school getting out it now may be less time. At Howth he said “You’ll be flying right over that when you take off.” (We did.) I think he wanted the longer ride so he could ask me what I “really” felt about Sarah Palin. He rather likes the idea of a governor named Sean Parnell. Aer Lingus charges bags by weight. 15 kg … Continue reading Sometimes flying becomes the theatre of the absurd.
After a good night’s sleep in Freising, Germany (on my way to Tbilisi) fueled with two double espressos, I took off to see the oldest brewery in the world, Weihenstephan. This brewery has been in continuous operation since 1040. People have been brewing beer a lot longer than a thousand years and there is evidence of brewing at this site since the mid-700s, however the monks in this monastery kept records of their beer going back to 1040. In 1802 the Bavarian Kingdom nationalized the monastery (before Marx had the idea) and it is now part of Bayerische Stattsbraueri. I … Continue reading Weihenstephan Abbey, the oldest brewery in the world
Freising, the town closest to the Munich Airport is a nice place to lay over between two overnight flights. Pictures here are from this winter and this summer, different views at different times of the year. It has, that it claims to be the oldest brewery in Germany, a friendly Marriott airport hotel and shops and cafes that allow for a restful stopover between flights. Continue reading Freising, Bavaria, Germany
May 11, 2010 Dear Friends, On Friday afternoons I would go to my grandparents’ flat in Jersey City while my parents had their night out. Grandpa Brew would tell me stories. He was raised in Ireland, ran away to sea … Continue reading Iron and Glass, Flowers and Trains
To visit the German Bundestag housed in the Reichstag building you need an invitation. We applied, sending our passport information and addresses, on line. I got our PDF invitation letter just before we left for Warsaw. Our appointment was 9:30 Monday evening. We got off our train grabbed a cab, dropped our stuff at the hotel and went on to the Reichstag. The building was burned as Hitler came to power. Hitler blamed it on the Communists. Others blame it on Hitler as an excuse to grab more power. The building was largely unused just on the western side of … Continue reading Reichstag, Berlin, 2013
Note, many of the photos for this post are contained in the posts “Shadows of the Wall,” “East Side Gallery.” and “Bernauer Str.” Pictures on this post are general Berlin tourism shots. March 22, 2013 Berlin, Germany Dear Friends, In … Continue reading Berlin, March, 2013
Text for these pictures is on the post “Berlin, March, 2013” These are pictures from the area of the old wall. Panels of the wall have been re-erected near “Checkpoint Charlie” and feature dictators still waiting for falling. The man … Continue reading Shadows of the Wall, Berlin 2013
The text for these pictures is in the post “Berlin, March 2013.” The East Side Gallery is the longest stretch of the wall still standing. One side has been painted by famous artists. The other side is a “free … Continue reading East Side Gallery, Berlin, 2013
This is Bernauer Str. The Wall used to run along this street, not it is a memorial to the wall and there is a park where Berlin has its Sunday flea market. The Text for this letter is in the … Continue reading Berlin 2013, Bernauer Str.
March, 21, 2013 This week Suzi and I attended Radio Days Europe and got to tour some different radio stations. A highlight of the sessions was the tour of Haus des Rundfunks, or Radio House. The Funkhaus was designed in 1929 in the Bauhaus style and went on-air in 1931. It claims to be the oldest purpose built radio station building in the world. The Funkhaus is the home of Radio Berlin and Brandenburg (RBB), which operates 6 radio services. While it was built as a national headquarters, right now it serves Berlin’s local public radio. The building is a … Continue reading Rundfunks Berlin
March 3, 2013, Tbilisi, Georgia Historically travel has always been arduous. But for a brief period, for a certain social class, travel was glamorous. “Getting there is half the fun” Cunard crowed in mid-century ads. Flying, jet setting had a certain cache. Super Graphics from the airports in early 70’s had fashionable young people in shades and Italian designer cloths smiling as they walked to planes. Today, at SeaTac there is the graphic of a cartoon character, sweating, lugging a suitcase, looking completely harried. It’s an honest, and funny, presentation of flying today and brought more than a few chuckles. … Continue reading Travel from Sitka to Tbilisi.
November 10, 2009 Berlin, Germany Dear Friends, It was an attempt to recapture the past, to to relive some of the joy we felt in Berlin in 1990 when we watched bulldozers open streets closed for 28 years, to … Continue reading Berlin Wall Fall (Mauerfall) 20 Years Later
This post shows two areas of Berlin and how they have changed over 45 years. In 1964 when the leader of our student tour told me that Potsdamer Platz has been the busiest intersection in Europe it was difficult to … Continue reading Berlin Contrasts
After our 1990 trip I wrote a long letter. These segments are from Berlin. The pictures are scans from slides, some well faded over the years. Thursday, June 14, 1990 After lunch we crossed into East Germany. We were … Continue reading Berlin Wall Fall (Mauerfall)