Europe 2009

Europe 2009.  September 2-14, 2009.

Nurnberg, Dresden, Berlin, Erfurt, Eisenach, Thuringerwald, Rüdesheim.


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Nürnberg

We arrived early in the morning to Frankfurt International, where we grabbed a high speed train to Nürnberg.  We checked into the Grand Hotel Meridien and Heidi decided it was time for a nap.  I needed ice cream, so I walked into town and took a few photos.  What a gorgeous city.Nurem092Nurem093Nurem091Nurem094

I tried out my awesome new German language skills I’d been practicing on Rosetta Stone (all three levels) over the past year.  I tried to order ice cream and sounded like an idiot and they spoke back to me in english.  Deflated, I ate my ice cream and walked back to the hotel to get Heidi out of bed.Nurem095Nurem096

We spent a lot of time walking around the old town, checking out the castle and the original neighborhood of Albrecht Dürer.Nurem097

One of the local churches had some photographs of the damage during WWII.Nurem098

We found some more ice cream later that evening.Nurem099

We decided not to visit the old Nazi stomping grounds, rather we wanted to do a cursory visit of a city we’d like to come back to for the Christmas Markets.

Dresden

Heidi and I visited Dresden in 1996.  The city had only been out of the control of the DDR for 7 years and there was a lot of work to be done.  It’s amazing how much has been accomplished.dresden0917

But first it was time for noon beer.  It still felt a little like 3 am, but we were ready to win the jet lag battle!dresden0916

Heidi found some shopping…Not much of a surprise there.dresden0918

This is the Augustusbrücke crossing the Elbe River to the Innere Neuestadt or the inner new city.  The Innere Neustadt, interestingly enough, is the most socialist looking portion of the city.dresden0915 Zwinger Museum fountain.dresden0914 Dresden Castle.dresden0906dresden0913 Example of a typically refurbished building in the Altstadt.dresden0912 When we were here in 1996, most of the building looked like this.dresden0911

This is the Dresden Frauenkirche.  In 1996 it was still rubble and the local government was trying to raise funds to built it.  The original bricks were still lying in place where they had fallen after the firebombing in 1945.  They used as many of the old bricks as possible to reconstruct this beautiful church.dresden0910dresden0903

Typical building in the newly rebuilt innerstadt.dresden0909

“Procession of the Dukes” murals on Augustusstrasse.  It was originally constructed in 1589, rebuilt in the 1800s and early 1900s.  It consists of 25,000 ceramic tiles.dresden0908dresden0907

Shopping area.dresden0904

Looking west from our hotel.dresden0902

View of the Frauenkirche from our hotel window.dresden0901

 

Berlin

We arrived by train at the AMAZING new hauptbahnhof.  It was incredible and had JUST opened.Berlin0906Berlin0907

This is the hotel we stayed at in Berlin.  I forgot to mention that we didn’t really plan this trip at all.  We just bought plane tickets and went for it.  This was the best hotel we could find in Berlin that actually had an available room.  Everything in the city was full or WAY out of the center.Berlin0901

Walking back to the city center from the hotel.Berlin0902

One of our first stops was the Brandenburg gate.  When we were here in 1996, this part of town was a huge construction zone- now it is beautiful.Berlin0903

We spent some time riding the subway.  It was incredibly clean and the only system we’ve experienced using the honor system.  No turnstiles.  No mandatory tickets.  Of course we bought our 3 day passes, but we never got checked.  No huge lines, no jumping gates, no craziness.  Very German. Very clean.Berlin0918Berlin0915

One of the most interesting historical places was the former Berlin wall.Berlin0920Berlin0919Berlin0914Berlin0913

The next few photos are of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche).  The top was blown off in WWII.  The ugly belfry was built in 1960.Berlin0910Berlin0917Berlin0916Berlin0911

Construction of modern apartments.Berlin0912Berlin0909

Reichstag.  This is the meeting place of the German parliament.  Many think Hitler intentionally set it on fire and blamed the socialists to help raise his popularity in the 1930s.  Lots of history here- plus it’s a gorgeous building.Berlin0908Berlin0905

Reminder of the DDR.Berlin0904

We picked up our little BMW 1 series hatchback and off we drove to Erfurt and Eisenach.

Erfurt

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Wartburg Castle- where Martin Luther translated the bible and really changed the world.Eisenach20092 Eisenach20093 Eisenach20094 Eisenach20095 Eisenach20096 Eisenach20097 Eisenach20098 Eisenach20099

ThuringerwaldThuringerwald20091 Thuringerwald20092 Thuringerwald20093 Thuringerwald20094 Thuringerwald20095

 

 

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