Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

Heidelberg

We left The Man’s family and took off to the beautiful university town of Heidelberg. Most of these photos are of the semi-ruined castle.

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Can you believe this is a model?!

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

There was a small museum on the history of pharmacy, including this fabulous turn-of-the-century shop fitout.

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

Heidelberg

We had our last dinner at a restaurant that served 100 different types of schnitzel!

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Dachau

After our time in Austria and Czech it was time to head back into Germany, this time in the south.

After a homecooked lunch and catch up with The Man’s uncle (who lives in a town outside Munich) we made our way to Dachau, the location of one of the Holocaust’s most horrific death camps.

Dachau

We walked there from the train – not realising how far it was and that there was a bus – but it actually made the deepened the experience as we followed the journey of the prisoners’ arrival.

Dachau

“Work sets you free.”

Dachau

The bitter cold and bleak sky seemed appropriate for this awful place.

Dachau

Dachau

Dachau

Dachau

Dachau

Dachau

Dachau

Dachau

(I have to admit I was tempted to brighten up these photos so they looked nicer but it was actually nearing dusk while we were there so I kept them realistic.)

Dachau

Dachau

Dachau

Dachau

Dachau

Dachau

Dachau

Words cannot describe the chilling experience of visiting the crematorium.

Grafing

After our gut-wrenching sightseeing, we relaxed with another lovely homecooked meal, this time joined by The Man’s uncle’s niece and her husband (who all live in the house above). The niece and husband have excellent English, the uncle only a little, while The Man has good German and I have zilch. But we got by with a lot of bilingual talking and a lot of hand gestures.

The Man hadn’t seen his uncle since he was a boy and neither of us had met the niece, but they were so warm and friendly and their hospitality was embarrassingly good.

Neuschwanstein

They were kind enough to drive us out to Neuschwanstein Castle a couple of hours away. I had been there as a kid (in summer) and it was just as magical.

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

We were at the top of the mountain waiting for our guided tour to start, when we heard our names being called out. It was a guy and a girl we went to school with! Totally bizarre.

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Neuschwanstein

Bavaria

Bavaria

On the way back, we stopped off at one of the couple’s favourite churches. It was very strange to see such an impressive church in what was essentially the middle of nowhere.

Bavaria

Bavaria

Bavaria

It was definitely a couple of days of opposites – both memorable in different ways.

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Dresden

We headed out of the big smoke of Berlin to the small city of Dresden.

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Another day, another Christmas market…

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

The town square with the beautiful Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), sadly destroyed in WWII but since faithfully reconstructed in the 90s with donations from the townspeople. The interior has been authentically reproduced in the Baroque style with pastel frescos and gold cherubs aplenty, while the crypt is a stunning contemporary design – truly inspired if you ask me.

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

It wasn’t just the church that was destroyed during the war; virtually the entire old centre was reduced to rubble, as well as tens of thousands of casualties.

Therefore what we saw were new buildings recreated in the original style. It’s impossible to resist the charm of cobblestones and row upon row of ornate buildings, however it did have a feeling of being a bit too perfect and neat, almost Disney-fied.

Dresden

Dresden

Alas, we didn’t have time for a tour of the art gallery (it looked excellent) so we instead had a look at the medieval Festung (fortress).

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

We finished the day with a meal at a lovely Italian restaurant near the Semper Oper (Opera House).

Dresden

Dresden

I would be remiss if I didn’t share photos of our hotel in Dresden. Since we were visiting in winter, we were able to score some surprisingly affordable room rates at some really interesting hotels. This is one of the Art’Otel chains, each of which has a different resident artist whose work is featured exclusively throughout the hotel.

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

The Man testing out the opaque-ify switch (yes, I totally just make up that term) on the bathroom window.

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

After exhausting the novelties of the hotel, we took a short stroll to the Zwinger (fortified palace), now the home of an impressive collection of art and porcelain.

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

And then many…

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

many…

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

many…

Dresden

Dresden

… more beautiful buildings.

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

One of which was the Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault), a collection of all kinds of precious artefects arranged by material, such as silver, gold, coral, ivory, mother-of-pearl and gemstones. The detail and craftsmanship (not to mention obscene wealth!) were mindblowing.

Dresden

Dresden

Dresden

And with that, we said goodbye to Germany – for the time being at least.

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Berlin

It’s a public holiday here today (for a horse race, would you believe) so I wouldn’t normally post but I have so many trip posts to get through that I need to throw in some bonus posts or we’ll be here til Christmas!

Berlin

Anyway, another packed day of sightseeing around Berlin, starting with the very impressive Berlinerdom.

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

One of the more tasteful Baroque interiors I’d have to say (they can sometimes be a bit much!).

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

The art on the remaining section of the Berlin Wall (known as the East Side Gallery) and the stories behind them were fascinating. It really hit home how recent these awful events were, so recent that in fact when I was here as a child (1991) the city had been reunified less than two years earlier.

The Man and I were getting really irritated at all the people who thought that it was okay to deface the murals their own scribbles – nothing political I might add, more of the ‘Scott was here’ variety. *shakes fist*

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

While the history of Checkpoint Charlie is very interesting of course, I have to admit that actually seeing it in person didn’t really add a lot to the experience. Maybe we were just tired after a long day of sightseeing but it was a little underwhelming compared to some other places we saw.

Berlin

Berlin

We finished our time in Berlin with a visit to the Bauhaus Archiv. The work of the Bauhaus featured heavily in my studies at uni, so I was a bit disappointed that there was only a single example of graphic design in the exhibition (it was mostly architecture, fine art and product design – which I love, but a couple more posters would have been awesome).

On the flipside, I did discover how much my degree course was actually based on the theories of the Bauhaus, with many of the basic colour and shape studies being exactly the same as what I did as a first-year graphic design student.

Adelaide friends, I hope you’re having a great long weekend. Everyone else, happy Monday!

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Berlin

We arrived in Berlin at about lunchtime and what was the first thing we checked out: The history? Art? Architecture?

No, we did what any twenty-something would do and went to LegoLand.

Berlin

Berlin

The photos make it look like what we were expecting, that is, an exhibition of lots of cool themed Lego sculptures like they used to have in the big department stores when we were kids. But in actual fact these were just tucked into corners and 95% of it was like the biggest playroom you have ever seen, teeming with hundreds dozens of children at Lego-filled tables as far as the eye could see.

Yes, there we were, a couple of childless adults in a children’s play centre. With a camera. NOT CREEPY AT ALL.

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

In case that wasn’t strange enough, we saw a 3D movie aimed at 5-year-olds.

Berlin

Back outside in the ultra-modern Potsdamer Platz, there was a row of Berlin Wall remnants with a bit of historical information.

It was a funny accident that the hand in the iPad Mini billboard in the background looks like it’s reaching out to grab the wall.

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Cheers to our first night in Germany!

Berlin

Berlin

We started our first full day at the Reichstag (parliament).

Tip for young players (thankfully told to us by friends): it’s free entry but you have to book a time slot and bring your passport.

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

It was a rainy, misty day, making the view out onto the bare winter trees look very eerie.

Berlin

Berlin

I’m a big fan of architecture that mixes old and new, especially where there is some kind of necessary reconstruction as with the dome here.

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Memorial to those who were killed trying to cross the border between East & West Berlin (above) and a haunting memorial to gypsy Holocaust victims (below).

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

After visiting some more outdoor sights, we spent the rest of the afternoon at the Gemäldegalerie (Art Gallery). I have to admit that it was a Plan B after finding that the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Applied Arts) was closed for renovations. Nevertheless, it was a very impressive collection of classic art.

Berlin

The Philharmoniker building (above) and the many, many consulate buildings (below) were stunning at dusk.

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

By this stage we’d been overseas for two and a half weeks, all of which had been spent staying with friends and family, so we treated ourselves to a nice cosy dinner out at a traditional Prussian restaurant. Thankfully The Man can speak German so he could decipher the menu for me.

The owner was this typical European grandma type, she kept coming over to make sure we were eating all our food!

Next up: more Berlin.

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