Monday, August 20, 2012

Next up ~ Berlin and Tallinn

Our next port of call on our Baltic cruise was Berlin.  As it is quite a distance from the sea, we had to take a train into town.  I grabbed this quick photo at the train station so I'd know where I'd been.

We headed first to this area of the Berlin Wall.

You know I never gave the wall a great deal of thought, but after seeing it in person, I try to imagine one day waking up to a wall dividing my city.  The wall divided neighborhoods in half, I can not even imagine.  I always thought that the wall came as a result of the war, but the city was divided in the war, and the actual physical wall didn't go up until 1961.  From 1949 to 61 the east lost so many citizens to the west that they had to make a physical border.

I believe this is where the German president lives.  The chancellor actually runs the country, the president is more ceremonial I think.

We took a boat ride on the river.  This was part of the border between east and west Berlin.
This radio tower is the 4th highest structure in Europe.  I wanted to get a good picture of it, but everytime we passed it I was either too close or someone was in my way.  This shot I got from our boat ride was the best of the lot.

We had a very good lunch here.

Tons of tourists 

A piece of the wall.

The spot where Reagan gave his famous Tear Down This Wall speech.  A very important symbol for free Germany. 

And if you are still with me after all of these pictures, I leave Germany with one last shot of one of the wall memorials.  These iron bars stand where the wall once did.  I love the people on both sides freely moving about.  

The next few pictures are very blurry but they are all I've got of our sea day.  The first 2 pictures are of a wine tasting we attended in the afternoon.  

This blurry shot is the 4 of us at formal dinner night.  I'm not sure how much the guys enjoy wearing their tuxes, but I sure thought they looked great.  Too bad we don't do a little more of that.  It's a rare day that Bob even wears a suit anymore.  

Yay, finally a blue sky in Tallinn, Estonia.

Beautiful Russian Orthodox church.

I loved the little narrow streets in the Old Town.

The view from old town and you can see our ship to the left of the tallest tower if you look carefully.

The next several shots are in Old Town.  It was such a pretty day that I took lots of pictures.
We didn't see the sun much on this trip.  The days were cool and cloudy, and sometimes rainy.  Which really was nice for touring, but I did feel sorry for the people who live here ~ this is their summer ~ and they have looong winters.

In the afternoon we went to this old castle in Rakvere.
Those were a lot of steps to climb.

5 "volunteers" to sample 5 different vodkas.
Please note that from our busload of people, 3 in our party managed a seat at the table:-)

This is inside the castle, various things to do, archery, ride a horse, see the torture chamber.
Let me just say that the castle was "interesting."

After all of that vodka Bob was still able to hit a bulls-eye.  {As did Jim ~ in fact Bob hit right on Jim's arrow and really impressed the local boys}

After a full day of touring I was happy to get back to the ship and end my evening like this.

Sweet Dreams!


jessica said...

Wow, beautiful pictures, especially in that last place with all of the blue sky! I'm impressed both dad and Jim got a bulls-eye!! So funny that the three of them were the vodka samplers-where were you mom?? :)

TLEB said...

Ha ha, I was thinking the same thing as should have hopped right in there and had the 4 of you sample!! The pictures of the churches were beautiful and bravo to Jim and dad on their archery skills!

Jen S. said...

Great pictures! Fun seeing things from your adventures. And I also learned a lot from your post. Quite interesting!
Hope your week is going great!

Debbie said...

This just gets better and better to me! Oh, how I would love to do this cruise. I can't believe the places you got to see.

Of everything you have shown, I think the Berlin Wall is the most awesome. I love that they let the steal bars remain as a remembrance.

Dividing a city or nation or people is a terrible thing, whether you can actually see the "walls" or not.