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
This is another trip through my archives to Reims, France. The cathedral has some nice stained glass windows by Marc Chagall. These pictures are from 2001. Continue reading Reims, France
Strasbourg is one of the “Capitals” of Europe, every year the European Parliament packs up from Brussels and heads for Strasbourg, which is also the home of the European Court of Human Rights. I suppose it is appropriate, being on the border between France and Germany, and having changed hands several times in the past two centuries. We visited in 2001. I found these slides going through my archives. Continue reading Strasbourg
Modernist Marc Chagall, cubist Jacques Villon, and tachist Roger Bissière are all there, mixed with art from the Gothic, Renaissance and Romantic periods. It’s the play of light on the works that I find so fascinating. They are the stained glass windows in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Metz. Gothic does away with the need for structural walls, allowing artists to work in walls of glass. The cathedral soars with light coming through colored glass, creating shadows and shafts. Outside the light plays against the exposed structural members, the flying buttresses. At night the outside is floodlit to stunning effect. Pictures from … Continue reading St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Metz
Our friends Dave and Carol Lam took us to Baarle when we were working in the Balkans. We wondered about the possibility of ever being able to draw borders that reflected ethnic realities. Dave said he had something he wanted to show us, the municipality of Baarle in Belgium, or is it the Netherlands? The map of Europe has many geographic anomalies. But one of the strangest borders runs through Baarle. The town is divided between the countries, Baarle-Nassau is Dutch and Baarle-Hertog is Belgian. The dividing line is anything but straight, or rational. The border was set in the Treaty … Continue reading Soft Borders, Belgium and the Netherlands at Baarle.
In Eastern France there are several war related “roads” to follow, the “road of the fortified towns,” “The road of the battlefields” linking battlefields of the two world wars, and “The road of the military cemeteries.” Wars happened here with alarming regularity. The road I found most fascinating was the “The Road of the Fortified Churches” celebrating about 65 churches (God’s castles someone called them) built in the Thierache region for the protection of the civilian population. These towns sat on the border between Champagne and Picardy near Flanders. They could not afford to wall themselves. Many did not have … Continue reading “A Mighty Fortress” The fortified churches of Thierache, France.
“God made the earth, the Dutch made Holland.” But they didn’t need an environmental impact statement. During my day long layover in Amsterdam my friend Dave Lam drove up from Brussels and we went to visit two old (you could … Continue reading When the Sea Goes Away, Marken and Volendam, Netherlands.
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
You can find the text for this post under Iron and Glass, Flowers and Trains. Continue reading Keukenhof Tulip Fields, Netherlands
Text for this post appears under Iron and Glass, Flowers and Trains. Continue reading Keukenhof Gardens, The Netherlands
Test for this post is under Iron and Glass, Flowers and Trains. Continue reading Royal Gardens, Laeken, Belgium
Text for this post is under Iron and Glass, Flowers and Trains. Continue reading Royal Congo Greenhouse, Laeken, Belgium
You can find text for this post under Iron and Glass, Flowers and Trains. Continue reading Bluebells of Belgium, Hallerbos
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