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A painted Door in Stralsund

Door in Stralsund, Germany

Door in Stralsund, Germany. Photo: Ulla Hennig

Stralsund is a city in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany, situated at the southern coast of the Strelasund (a sound of the Baltic Sea separating the island of Rügen from the mainland).

I went there on the second day of my one week vacation together with my cousin Ingrid and my other cousin Dirk who lives near Stralsund with his family. You can find many painted doors as the one in the photo above in the region around Stralsund. You can find them in urban buildings as well as in cottages in the countryside.

One of the most famous buildings of Berlin

Once a week I go through the photos on my hard disk and select a new one to upload on my Zazzle account. This time I was looking for photos of buildings.

I uploaded a photo of the Deutscher Dom on the Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin and created a postcard out of it. Here it is:

It doesn’t look very much like Berlin, does it? Could be a dome somewhere in Italy. In fact you have to go to the Gendarmenmarkt on a nice Summer’s day and you will get the impression on standing on some Italian Piazza. There are some really nice cafés on the corners of the Gendarmenmarkt, and on Summer days every chair outside is occupied.
Of course, most of the people there are tourists, but Berlin people as well enjoy the easy atmosphere.

Hohensalzburg

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

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

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”.

Enjoy!

One Week and three Baltic States – A kind of Conclusion

Tallinn

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.

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