Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Chattahoochee Bend State Park, Georgia

This park is located southwest of Atlanta. It's convenient for a visit to our friends, Bruce and Felicia, in Peachtree City. We park here four nights.

 Mrs. Phred steps over this snake without seeing it on our hike along the river trail. The trail runs along the river for six miles. We go in about three until the vegetation starts closing in too much....we both have a phobia about deer ticks and lyme disease (a. tick-borne illness caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.).

 Bruce and Felicia have a big dog.

Swimming in the river is not recommended due to fast currents, steep banks and very limited or non-existent get out points. You can canoe or kayak here if you have two vehicles. You can put in at a bridge 15 miles up stream and there is also a take out point 10 miles down stream.

In case you ever wondered about the muscles involved in smiling, it's a lot more complicated than you might have imagined....

Bruce was a Navy SEAL who started as a basic seaman and ended up as a Navy Captain. He tells me about jumping into a raft of poisonous sea snakes in the South China Sea to cut a fishing net off a ship's propeller.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Reed Bingham State Park, Georgia

After returning from Berlin, I schedule a tune-up from my favorite cancer surgeon. He removes 10 blips for biopsy and only the one on my right ear turns out to be a squamous this time....Unfortunately we are already running down the road and confused about how to get the rest of it removed....

 We left Sarasota in the RV May 24. We will be heading northwest until we end up 100 miles into Denali National Park on July 30th and then we turn run out of road and turn back....

 Between there and then we will see the seven grandchildren, some friends and assorted geological wonders...stay tuned.

Reed Bingham is near Valdosta, a few miles off I-75...a .nice place to swim...

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Potsdam Germany

For our last day before flying home, we walk to the train station and take the S7 regional train 15 miles southwest to Potsdam.

It's cold and windy when we arrive early Sunday morning. We see another copy of the statue which is said to represent the emergence from totalitarianism to freedom.

We make our way to the huge Sanssouci Park which contains a number of ornate palaces and gardens built by Frederick the Great.

This smaller structure has pretty landscaping.

Frederick was often beaten and humiliated by his father. He has some interesting ideas. For example,  "If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one of them would remain in the army."

Also, "I begin by taking. I shall find scholars later to demonstrate my perfect right."

After visiting the park we find a small cafe and have currywurst for lunch. Currywurst is everywhere in Berlin. Wurst refers to a ground meat product, usually pork.

According to Wiki:
"The invention of currywurst is attributed to Herta Heuwer in Berlin in 1949 after she obtained ketchup (or possibly Worcestershire sauce) and curry powder from British soldiers in Germany. She mixed these ingredients with other spices and poured it over grilled pork sausage."

 We got a great rate at our new hotel, but wine is $11 a glass and breakfast is $25....

 The antique windmill near the castle has been rebuilt a number of times over the last 300 years. Most recently it was destroyed in 1945.

We take a picture for a group of Germans and they reciprocate. Later they ask me to take another shot of them  "without the finger", which I have accidentally positioned over the lens.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Moving out of East Berlin

We spend our days wandering around East Berlin on foot.

Two days ago we visited the reconstructed Synagogue on Oranieburger Strause. The street is known for ladies of the night who all wear plastic Barbarella costumes and pay for health care like any other worker.

One memorial lists the names of 56,000 Berlin Jews who were deported during the war. There are 4,600 names in a lighter color who are known to have survived.

The synagogue was badly damaged by bombing during the war.

They built a glass outer enclosure around the shell of the building.

Graffiti on an older abandoned building in East Berlin.

The Brandenburg Gate was in a "no-man's land" until the wall came down.

Berlin has colorful bears everywhere like Tampa has plastic cows. This one is in the window of the U.S. Embassy.

The Jewish Memorial, near the Reichstag, has 2,000 concrete pillars as a memorial to the 7,000,000 Jews murdered in Europe. Around the city, imbedded in sidewalks are 25,000 brass plates with the names of Jews who lived in the buildings where each plate is located. It is said that schoolchildren take on the purchase of these plates and researching the lives and names of the victims.

Potzdamer Platz was also a wasteland near the wall. It has undergone a blitz of high-end development, including the Sony Center shown below.

Another Potsdamer Platz building.

We see this statue in several places. I think it is about totalitarianism. Note the raised right arm and goose step stride.

Relaxing in our new hotel in West Berlin.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Berlin Tourists

We find a small alley that is festooned with strange street art. Inside there are many interesting things, including the Otto Weidt museum.

During World War II, visually impaired broom and brush maker Otto Weidt employed many Jews in his workshop. Weidt tried to protect his mostly blind and deaf employees from d deportation, bribing the Gestapo, falsifying documents, and even hiding a family behind as cupboard in his shop.

Murder, murder
Someone should be angry
The crime of the century
Who shot little Bambi
Never trust a hippie
'Cause I love punky Bambi
-Sex Pistols

The Who Killed Bambi shop ignores the fact that it was Bambi's mother who was actually killed. It is a trendy clothing shop that no doubt sells terminally ripped up jeans...

It's very cold but we walk miles. Here we pass the Konzerthaus, which , I think, might be a place where they have concerts.

Only about 200 yards of the "Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart" or Berlin wall remain in the area near "Checkpoint Charlie". The rest of the wall has been demolished.

C-47s lining up to off load food and other supplies in 1948 during the Berlin Airlift.

The "Topography of Terror" displays at the Wall trace the rise and fall of the 3rd Reich.

Wartime poster...

Next we visit the German Technology museum.

We only have time to see the old trains and wander though the aviation section.

The museum is built on the site of an old roundtable.

You think "big iron" when you see these antiques...

An amber ship model.

Don't recall ever seeing this one before.

German aviation...

Berlin Museums

We're located in Berlin just north of Museum Island. The streets curve around and the names change every couple of blocks, so having a good map is helpful.

I think this is the Berlin Cathedral otherwise known as the Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church. It is on Museum Island fronted by Lustgarten Park.

Since Lustgarten is Mrs. Phred's maiden name, our first order of business was to get a shot of her in front of the park that was named after her illustrious German ancestors.

We take the Hop on-Hop off bus to get a feel for the layout of Berlin.

We hop off to visit two modern art museums. The painting below by Picasso has a sign that says that the circumstances surrounding its acquisition from 1938 to 1945 is currently being researched.

There is more Picasso here than we remember in the Barcelona Picasso art museum.

This surrealistic painting appears to be a collage of butterflies.

This one is called "the doll".

Not much is left of the old Kaiser Wilhelm Cathedral.

Checkpoint Charlie is a famous tourist attraction. We will see more of the old Berlin Wall another day.

The huge Jewish Museum is just south and a block east of Checkpoint Charlie. We spend about two hours could have been all day but we get hungry and run out of time about 1/3 of the way through.

Mrs. Phred in among 49 concrete pillars representing Jewish emigration to other countries.

10,000 metal faces.

This lady came back to Germany to be married in 1965. She looks a lot like Mrs. Phred did in 1965 except she is a little heavier.

A famous Jewish intellectual troublemaker.

My father often cooked ham and eggs for this man when he came to his diner in Ithaca at 4AM....small world?

Graffiti in a back alley.

View from our room...A busy confluence of subways, buses, streetcars, taxis, bicycles, autos and pedestrians...We're right on the Rosenthal Platz, only steps from the underground.