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Hohensalzburg Fortress, Salzburg, AustriaPhoto: Courtesy of adobemac

Hohensalzburg Castle is towering over the city of Salzburg. Me and my cousin had the pleasure of a New Year’s Eve concert and a five course dinner. Both events took place in different halls of this building (first the concert and then the dinner!).

After the dinner at about 11.30 pm we went outside to watch the fireworks. We were offered one glas of sparkling wine which we held in our gloved hands. Of course there are always people who can’t wait till midnight proper, as we could see and hear. But then the big count-down began, and then the most beautiful fireworks I’ve ever seen in my life began and lasted for about 20 minutes. (My cousin took some pictures with her digital camera, and maybe in the next weeks or so I will be able to show them to you!)

This castle has never been stormed – it was however given over to the napoleonic troops in order to prevent damage to the city.

What a great place to spend New Year’s Eve in!


Salzburg — Getreidegasse 11

Salzburg, Getreidegasse

photo: dugspr — Home for Good’s

In Salzburg, one of the famous towns of Austria, flashing ad signs are forbidden. Thus, shop owners still use the traditional, wonderfully crafted signs to draw attention to their shops.

Windmill in Berlin-Marzahn


Windmill in Berlin-Marzahn. Photo: Ulla Hennig

Marzahn was once a small village, founded in the 14th century. In 1920 it became a part of “Groß-Berlin” (Great Berlin). 1945, after WW II it belonged to the Soviet zone. In the 60s Marzahn was known for its modern housing – many young people moved there out of the old and uncomfortable houses in the Eastern inner city.

The windmill is a “left-over” from the village. In 1815 the first windmill was built. Today it is still working, though not all the time. It is working about 200 days a year driven by the wind.

I participated in a guided tour through the mill. We all usually eat some kind of bread every day – and this guided tour reminded me of how grinding the process of making bread was – from harvesting the corn to cleaning it,  milling it and then baking the bread.

It made me think that in those times people probably appreciated the daily bread more than we do today…

The Renaissance Garden

Renaissance Garden

Renaissance Garden in Berlin-Marzahn. Photo: Ulla Hennig

Today has been the first day for a week with sunshine. Well, the sky got cloudy again after lunch, and when I got home from work it looked dreary again. But at least it stayed dry.

On days like these I like to browse through my flickr account. That photo was taken in the middle of September on a sunny day with a blue sky. It shows one part of the Renaissance Garden in Berlin which is a part of a wonderful big park called “The Gardens of the World”.


One Week and three Baltic States – A kind of Conclusion


This post is the last post of my “Travel to the Baltic States” series.

What you can see on the above photo is a wonderfully made door which caught my attention somewhere in the city of Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia. We went there on the last day of our one week travel. From there the plane took us back to Frankfurt, Germany.

It had been a week packed with new impressions and beautiful views. Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, Riga, the capital of Latvia and at last Tallinn, the capital of Estonia – each of them had their own character, their great architecture. Of course we also had learned  much about the history of these three Baltic states.

But when I look back on that week some weeks later now I get the feeling that there are so many things which I still don’t know. We didn’t have the opportunity to speak with “normal” people – the people in the cities, the people on the countryside. Well, our guide was a young Latvian woman, but there was not much time to talk to her about things beside architecture and history.

So if I had the time and the opportunity I would visit these countries again and on my own, or with some friends, but not with a travel group and a fixed program. I would try to leave the tourist paths and go to where the people living there go, and try to talk with them, hoping that some sort of communication would be possible.

A Cathedral in Ruins – Tartu, Estonia

Cathedral in Ruins in Tartu, Estonia. Photo: Ulla Hennig

Cathedral in Ruins in Tartu, Estonia. Photo: Ulla Hennig

The last part of my travel to the Baltic countries led into Estonia. The first Estonian city we visited was Tartu, a city known for its academic tradition. The University Academia Gustaviana was founded in 1632 and is one of the oldest in Northwestern Europe.

The University still forms the character of the city – you can see a lot of young people sitting in the various cafés and restaurants, or simply on the lawns around the cathedral hill.

The photo above was taken on the cathedral hill which is dominated by the ruins of a 13th century cathedral. It may sound strange, but walking in a cathedral where the roof is lacking gives one a special feeling of the greatness of those old buildings and it makes one feel quite humble…

Art Nouveau House in Riga

Art Nouveau House in Riga. Photo: Ulla Hennig

Art Nouveau House in Riga. Photo: Ulla Hennig

Riga, the capital of Latvia, is famous for its Art Nouveau houses. Art Nouveau is an international movement and style of art, architecture and applied art, that had its peak at the turn of the 20th century. There is a very informative article about it on Wikipedia.

However reading about it and looking at it are different things. I walked from one house in Riga to the next one, taking in the beauty and trying to capture it with my camera. Latvia is a very poor country, and it is astonishing how many houses they have restored up to now (many of them are still in a sorry state, though).


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