Results tagged “Towers” from Europe Honeymoon 2008

Dunno if should make this one day or three.. heh...  The start of the day seems like such a long time ago....

So we woke up in Heidelberg.  In fact we were woken up at 6am by a wakeup call or a prank call or a wrong number or something... needless to say I wasn't impressed.

Got ready then went out for across the river and around the old town, and had our breakfast out (in the end we should  have just had breakfast at the hotel, it probably would have worked out the same price).  We were going to go up to look around the schloss, but decided that we wanted to just go to Frankfurt.  So we packed up our stuff and checked out and made a detour up to see the Thingstatte and the old ruins there. 

Church of the Holy Spirit
Church of the Holy Spirit 

Synagogenplatz
Synagogenplatz is a memorial based on a synagogue that was burnt
down during the infamous Kristallnacht in 1938. It follows the original
layout of the synagogue (built in 1877). Paving stones indicate the
walls and twelve stone cubes show the location of the pews and stand
for the twelve tribes of Israel 

Alley in Heidelberg
Alley in Heidelberg - look how clean it is!

Heidelberg Rathaus
Heidelberg Rathaus 

Bridge gates
Bridge gates 

Stadt Heilbronn on the Neckar River
Stadt Heilbronn on the Neckar River 

Heidelberger Schloss from the Old Bridge
Heidelberger Schloss from the Old Bridge 

Heidelberger Schloss, Old Bridge and Neckar River
Heidelberger Schloss, Old Bridge and Neckar River 

Bridge monkey
Bridge monkey. There was a steady procession of tourists taking photos
of themselves with this thing... This one has been there since 1979 

View from our hotel room window
View from our hotel room window - one of the best we had!

Stu in the ruins of Stephanskloster
Stu in the ruins of Stephanskloster 

Lookout tower on Heiligenberg
Lookout tower on Heiligenberg 

View of old Heidelberg from the tower
View of old Heidelberg from the tower

Heidelberger Schloss
Heidelberger Schloss 

Stu up the tower
Stu up the tower

Ruins of Stephanskloster
Ruins of Stephanskloster 

Heidelberger Thingstätte
Heidelberger Thingstätte. Built by the Nazis for propaganda rallies,
wasn't very popular because it was often too cold 

56 rows could seat 20000 people
56 rows could seat 20000 people

Thingstätte stage area
Thingstätte stage area

And then back to Frankfurt.  Had good traffic the whole way so that took away some of our stress.  Found a car wash and petrol station near the city, so cleaned the car before heading into town.  Where things started getting messy.  We didn't know where the actual parking lot was for the rental car, and ended up going down a one way street at one point.  So Stu just stopped and I went in to the station to find out where to take it.  Twenty minutes of walking later.. hrmm.  Anyways, got the car returned without any dramas (that I know about heh).

Arrival back in Frankfurt am Main
Arrival back in Frankfurt am Main

We decided we didn't want to wander around Frankfurt city because we were hot and tired and carrying heavy bags, so thought we'd just go to the airport.  Except we got on the wrong train.  Oops.  So at the first stop had to turn around and come back.  Oops. 

Finally got on the right train and got to the airport very early.  Secured window seats, getting the last row on the first leg (the 777).  Then waited for a few hours.  Went and had some dinner at a very overpriced cafe.  Spent the rest of our euros at a very overpriced gift store.  Used some wireless internet over a very overpriced connection.  Airports seriously suck sometimes.  Waited some more before finally boarding our plane. 

Schöfferhofer Weizen beers at the airport
Schöfferhofer Weizen beers at the airport

It was late dusk by the time we took off, so no photos of Frankfurt or Germany.  The night was very short, and they got us to close the blinds so the sunrise at 2am wouldn't annoy people.  I think we flew further south this time, and more snow had had a chance to melt, so much of the countryside was a rather plain brown.  Not that I looked too often, as opening the window illuminated the entire back of the plane.  So not many photos there either.  Watched PS I love you, The Bucket List, Hits from the 80s, and most of The Firm (missed the end cause we were landing - doh!)

Plane sunset
This photo is looking out to the north of the plane. That light is coming
over the top of the world! 

Over Surgut, Russia
Over Surgut, Russia

Flying in over Japan
Flying in over Japan

Got into Narita at something like 7am Germany time. After having slept for maybe an hour all up.  Zombie-making.  Upgraded our seats on the second flight from being over the wing to a two-seater section up the back of the 747.  Went through security again at Narita.  Then hung around the airport.  Which is a much better place than Frankfurt which has next to nothing past security :(  Narita has shower rooms and day rooms.  We rented shower rooms for 500 yen each for thirty minutes.  Let us have a shower which made us feel a whole lot better.  Then went and had a drink.  And bought some sake and other things for Stu.  And used the free internet cafe.  And had some dinner.  And played some gin with the cards we just bought.  And had a ten minute massage in these way-cool massage chairs for 200 yen each.  We were in Narita for about four hours.

Narita airport!  Over half way home
Narita airport! Over half way home 

Air traffic control tower from the Yahoo! Internet Cafe
Air traffic control tower from the Yahoo! Internet Cafe

At 8:20pm Narita time we headed off again.  Watched Monsters Inc while we did dinner type stuff.  Then I was going to lie down in a spare four-seater row that noone was sitting in, but was too slow, someone else beat me too it :(:(:(  Sad-making.  So attempted to sleep sitting up.  Got maybe an hour or so.  Maybe two.  Gave up after a while and watched Charlie Wilson's War. 

Our JAL 747
Our JAL 747

Arrived in Sydney around 6:20am.  Stopped at the duty free place to pick up some grog, then through security.  Immigration was very quick (maybe 3-4 minutes waiting) and uneventful.  Picked up bags.  Then through customs, which was also quite quick (maybe five minutes).  We'd declared food and wood, but after x-raying our bags they weren't interested in seeing anything or even asking us what the stuff was.  Shrug :)  (And Border Security wasn't there filming - doh!! hehe)

Caught a taxi back to my parents' (cause last time we took the train and bus and it took an hour and a half, and were too tired for that sort of nonsense this time).  Got very sad as I drove past my house :(  Still miss Sydney :(  Arrived at my parents to pick up my car and a few other bits and pieces.  Then headed for home.  I felt fine for the first bit of the trip, but could feel my brain fading.  We played A-Z games (try to think of something starting with each letter of the alphabet in a variety of categories) to try and keep our brains awake.  But it wasn't working for me, so we stopped at Marulan to get some sugar and salt and Stu drove the rest of the way home. 

Fog over Lake George
Fog over Lake George

Dumped our bags and got straight into bed and was asleep in seconds.  Slept for a few hours, but forced myself to get up to try and prevent any problems sleeping tonight. 

Very nice to be home.  Nice to be back at my puty with its massive screen.  Thanks to Natto-san for taking care of the house :) 

Haven't looked at my photos yet.  Haven't transferred any yet either.  Not sure how will get them online.  But I'll probably do a day at a time and insert the highlights into the existing blog entries.  And eventually get the whole lot onto conspiracy.  Hopefully it won't take two years to do like my USA photos did... ;)

This was all the crap that was in my suitcase and backpack (the 1/3 on the right was brought home new)
This was all the crap that was in my suitcase and backpack (the 1/3 on
the right was brought home new)


Update May 2010: I saw the last line of this blog entry a bit over a month ago, hence the frenzied effort to at least get some photos into this blog! So it was exactly two years! Sadly I'm nowhere near finished, but at least the blog is.
Had a very slow start today. Let Stu sleep in til about 8:30 heh :) Breakfast was one of the biggest so far. And lots of yummy bacon yayyy :) So we stocked up on breakfast so we could skip lunch.

So didn't get out the door til 11am. Whoops.

Crossing the Lech near Augsburg
Ha! We *did* go over this bridge earlier in the trip. Crossing the Lech
near Augsburg. 

Reichsstrasse, Donauwörth
Reichsstrasse, Donauwörth 

Schloss Harburg
Schloss Harburg

Our first stop was Nördlingen. We found a parking lot just outside the city wall with free parking (and unlimited cause it was Sunday) so stopped there and walked in through the gate. Where we found a staircase up to the city wall, which you can walk around!  Very cool. Walked along to the next tower and found a museum. In the tower. It was all in German, but Stu loved all the stuff on the Thirty Years War. So next we headed to the church right in the centre of town (the town is an almost perfect circle and only about a kilometre diameter).

Deininger Tor, Nördlingen
Deininger Tor, Nördlingen 

Stairway up to the wall
Stairway up to the wall 

Wall around Nördlingen
Wall around Nördlingen 

Löpsinger Tor from the wall
Löpsinger Tor from the wall 

30 years war battlefield in Löpsinger Tor
30 years war battlefield in Löpsinger Tor 

View towards Saint Georg's Church and the steeple Daniel from Löpsinger Tor
View towards Saint Georg's Church and the steeple "Daniel" from
Löpsinger Tor 

View back to Deininger Tor from Löpsinger Tor
View back to Deininger Tor from Löpsinger Tor 

Beautiful wood carvings in a store
Beautiful wood carvings in a store 

Saint Georg's Church in the centre of town
Saint Georg's Church in the centre of town 

Nördlingen Tanzhaus
Nördlingen Tanzhaus

Another church, another tower to climb :) (The tower is called "Daniel"). Stu didn't want to get all hot and sweaty, so I went up by myself. The view was fantastic, in fact the same view as filmed in the 70s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory heh :) Have to watch that when I get home too :) It was two euro for adults to go up, but you pay when you get to the top!  *and* there are toilets at the top of the tower!!  Weirdest thing ever :) (and there were free toilets *in* the city wall at various locations :) )

Bell in Daniel
Bell in Daniel 

Nördlingen from Daniel
Nördlingen from Daniel. That streetscape features in the movie
"Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" at the end of the movie
where they fly over a town 

Storks in their nest as seen from Daniel
Storks in their nest as seen from Daniel. See their webcam.

While up the tower I got a map of the town, so when I got back down we decided to follow the historic walking tour around. Saw tonnes of really cute old buildings. We really really liked Nördlingen (I think it might be pronounced Nerdlingen? :) ). It just had such a nice easy-going atmosphere. And it wasn't completely touristy. We loved it.

Saint Georg's Church and Daniel
Saint Georg's Church and "Daniel" 

Klösterle
Klösterle 

Stu on a bridge over the Eger stream
Stu on a bridge over the Eger stream 

Another view of the Eger stream
Another view of the Eger stream 

Crazy-crooked Gerberviertel
Crazy-crooked Gerberviertel 

Cute little car
Cute little car 

There were a few buildings that hadn't been maintained
There were a few buildings that hadn't been maintained. They had
no photographs signs on them heh. 

Reimlinger Tor
Reimlinger Tor

So our next stop was Dinkelsbühl (or as Stu dubbed it, Dingle-Dongleberg ;) ). We had more trouble finding parking here due to roadworks and road closures due to festivals etc. So that wasn't a great start. Ended up parking at the Krankenhaus (hospital - love that word heh). Walked into town via the lake outside which was very pretty, and then down into the main square of town. The buildings here have all been done up medieval-style and do look very cute, but this place was much much more touristy which came as a bit of a rude shock after the peacefulness of Nördlingen. We looked in the church and had an early dinner and then just left.

Dinkelsbühl
Dinkelsbühl 

Dr. Martin-Luther-Straße
Dr. Martin-Luther-Straße 

Saint George’s church
Saint George’s church

Interior of Saint George’s church
Interior of Saint George’s church 

Roof of Saint George’s church
Roof of Saint George’s church

Stu in Saint George’s church
Stu in Saint George’s church 

Beers in Dinkelsbühl
Beers in Dinkelsbühl 

Supposedly famous medieval building in Weinmarkt
Supposedly famous medieval building in Weinmarkt

We were going to go to Rothenburg but it was just getting too late, so just went straight to Heidelberg. Checked into our hotel, the went for a little walk around the old town, had some ice cream, and walked across the old bridge to the other side. As is tradition on this trip, stuff is covered in scaffolding. A third of the bridge and a quarter of the schloss :(:(  All a bit sad-making. Sat by the river for a while as it got darker before wandering back to the hotel.

Heidelberger Schloss from the old town square
Heidelberger Schloss from the old town square 

Heidelberger Schloss, Old Bridge and Neckar River
Heidelberger Schloss, Old Bridge and Neckar River 

Old Bridge over the Neckar River
Old Bridge over the Neckar River 

Church of the Holy Spirit and our hotel in front from the other side of the river
Church of the Holy Spirit and our hotel in front from the other side of the river

Woke up pretty early again but took our time getting ready. Caught the tram in to Friedrichstrasse and wandered down it to Checkpoint Charlie.

We missed a tram so Stu could enjoy this coffee
We missed a tram so Stu could enjoy this coffee 

Trams only continued to run in East Berlin
Trams only continued to run in East Berlin 

East Berlin stop man
East Berlin stop man (recently (2010) I've seen two
people wearing t-shirts with these dudes on them! 

East Berlin go man
East Berlin go man 

Die Welt balloon
Die Welt balloon 

Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie

It was actually late morning by this stage and I was tired and grumpy from not getting enough to eat at breakfast, and then not able to find a simple hot dog there (they seem to be everywhere else except for when you really want one). Anyway so got something to eat but decided not to go into the museum as it was 12.50 euro each and Stu had been before. So just walked around the info boards they had all around the street. There were the usual barrage of souvenir vendors, and also a lot selling Russian memorabilia. Kept wanting to buy a Russian doll but they're probably made in China so not much point. Now if only I knew someone going to Russia to get me a real one.......

Wall of passports in the entrance of the museum
Wall of passports in the entrance of the museum 

Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie

Anyways. This Bosnian woman came around asking if anyone spoke English, but she turned out to be a beggar, so I gave her a couple of Euros (and Stu gave her some independently too). But get this. She asked *three frigging times* over the next half hour for money, and didn't comprehend "we gave you some earlier" and just kept following us asking and asking. Got incredibly pissed off at this, so when a different Bosnian woman come started begging I was all like "piss off" .. Not that I said that, and Stu even gave her some money. Sigh.

So that was all a bit stressful so we headed off towards the East Side Gallery, stopping first on the western side of the river and then walking across the Schlesisches Tor. Where we stopped again, this time at a cafe built on the old no-man's-land for some beer. Then walked up along the old wall.

The Spree River near Oberbaumbrücke
The Spree River near Oberbaumbrücke 

Oberbaumbrücke
Oberbaumbrücke 

Oberbaumbrücke
Oberbaumbrücke 

Spree River and Fernsehturm from Oberbaumbrücke
Spree River and Fernsehturm from Oberbaumbrücke 

Astride the Berlin Wall and beginning of East Side Gallery
Astride the Berlin Wall and beginning of East Side Gallery

Enjoying a beer in no-man's land
Enjoying a beer in no-man's land 

I love crack!  Part of the Berlin Wall
I love crack! Part of the Berlin Wall 

Famous graffitti on the East Side Gallery
Famous graffitti on the East Side Gallery 

No-man's land at the East Side Gallery
No-man's land at the East Side Gallery 

These dudes were in Wings of Desire
These dudes were in "Wings of Desire"

Hopped on a train to Alexanderplatz for our next tower mission - the Fernsehturm, or as Stu dubbed it, the Stalinist golf ball heh. Was a bit crowded, and the usual bunches of people completely oblivious to anyone but themselves, blocking signs I was trying to read etc. Bumheads. But hopefully got a lot of decent photos.

Mitte from the Fernsehturm
Mitte from the Fernsehturm 

Oberbaumbrücke and the Spree from the Fernsehturm
Oberbaumbrücke and the Spree from the Fernsehturm 

Berlin Rathaus
Berlin Rathaus

After coming down we wandered down towards the river taking lots of photos as we went. Ended up near the Brandenburg Gate, where we jumped on a train, the changed to a tram to take us back to our neighborhood. We tried on the vegetarian restaurants - der Imbiss - whose logo was an upside-down maccas logo heh. And the staff were from Melbourne, Scotland and the USA!  Food was quite good there too.

Fernsehturm
Fernsehturm 

Fernsehturm
Fernsehturm 

Rathaus
Rathaus 

Neptune Fountain outside the Rathaus
Neptune Fountain outside the Rathaus 

Berliner Dom (we should have gone in here!)
Berliner Dom (we should have gone in here!) 

Lustgarten - very pretty spot
Lustgarten - very pretty spot 

Schlossbrücke
Schlossbrücke 

St. Hedwig's Cathedral
St. Hedwig's Cathedral (with a canvas picture covering the ever-present scaffolding) 

University Library
University Library. We found this by accident by drifting through an
archway at random


Unter den Linden station sign
Unter den Linden station sign 

Der Imbiss
Der Imbiss

Went shopping on the way home. The supermarket had 500mL Bitburger beers for 75c each!!  I wanted to buy more than the two we did heh :)

Sleepie!!
Well my day began at 5:50 when Stu's phone buzzed. So of course I was instantly awake. And it was bright and sunny outside so I was all "let's go!!". Heh. So were out the door pretty early.

Wandered along the site of the Berlin wall at Bernauer Strasse and even got to see a chunk of it they've left up. But didn't get to go up the viewing platform as the building it was attached to didn't open until 10am.

Photo of the Reconciliation Church, that was sealed off in No Man's Land until 1985
Photo of the Reconciliation Church, that was sealed off in No Man's Land
until 1985 

Sadly the Church was demolished in 1985, just four years before the wall came down :(
Sadly the Church was demolished in 1985, just four
years before the wall came down :( 

Stu standing by one of the last remnants of the Berlin Wall at Bernauer Strasse
Stu standing by one of the last remnants of the Berlin Wall at Bernauer Strasse

Hopped on a train into the city and when we came out saw the Brandenburg Gate!  

Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate! 

Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate 

Closeup of the chariot on the Brandenburg Gate
Closeup of the chariot on the Brandenburg Gate

So took a bunch of photos of that, then went around to the Reichstag. It was about a 30 minute wait to get in, even at 9:00. They had their metal detectors turned up to full sensitivity, so the whole process of getting through security took forever because they had to hand-wand most everyone (somehow my belt buckle didn't set it off so I didn't get frisked heh). The info they had around the base of the dome was interesting. Came across a few rude Germans though that blocked the info boards. I was tempted to take photos of their behaviour because they showed no consideration whatsoever for anyone else, even when I was making it blatantly obvious that I couldn't see because of them. Bumheads. Then we wound our way up the dome, which is pretty impressive, but not really good for taking photos from.

Walking up to the Reichstag
Walking up to the Reichstag 

Entrance to the Reichstag
Entrance to the Reichstag 

Brandenburg Gate from the top of the Reichstag
Brandenburg Gate from the top of the Reichstag 

Glass dome on top of the Reichstag
Glass dome on top of the Reichstag 

These mirrors reflect light into the interior of the building
These mirrors reflect light into the interior of the building 

Double helix for getting to the top of the dome
Double helix for getting to the top of the dome 

Glass panels in the roof of the building
Glass panels in the roof of the building 

I can't help it, they were very photogenic
I can't help it, they were very photogenic 

The very top of the dome
The very top of the dome

After we came back down we meandered west through the Tiergarten, which was a very pleasant walk. Ended up at the Victory Column - another thing to climb! Altho this cost 2.50 each to do so. Back down again and a much more frustrating walk through the Tiergarten trying to find something Stu remembered from last time he was here. So we both ended up tired and frustrated, me more so. Took a while to get going again, after being in the Tiergarten for four hours :/

When we came out, the queue was well over an hour long
When we came out, the queue was well over an hour long 

Carillon in the Tiergarten
Carillon in the Tiergarten 

The Berlin-Tiergarten
The Berlin-Tiergarten 

The Victory Column
The Victory Column

View back to the Reichstag, Fernsehturm and Brandenburg Gate from the Victory Column
View back to the Reichstag, Fernsehturm and Brandenburg Gate from
the Victory Column 

Can you tell Stu was really excited about being dragged up another tower? :)
Can you tell Stu was really excited about being dragged up another tower? :) 

The Berlin-Tiergarten
The Berlin-Tiergarten

Took a train to where Stu stayed last time he was here, then had a look at the Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church. The souvenir vendors are really out in force there!  Bought myself a post card that may or may not have a piece of the Berlin wall included heh.

We were amused by this Erotik Museum
We were amused by this "Erotik Museum" 

The Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church
The Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church 

They're restoring the mosaics on the interior of the church
They're restoring the mosaics on the interior of the church 

The Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church
The Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church

Then hopped on a bus to have a look at the Schloss Charlottenburg, the biggest palace in Berlin. Just walked around it, didn't go in. Then bussed it back again.

Schloss Charlottenburg
Schloss Charlottenburg 

Schloss Charlottenburg
Schloss Charlottenburg

Was getting late in the afternoon, so better lighting for the Victory Column and the Reichstag, and the back of the Brandenburg Gate.

The Victory Column
The Victory Column 

Top of the Victory Column
Top of the Victory Column 

The Reichstag in the afternoon sun
The Reichstag in the afternoon sun 

Brandenburg Gate - from the western side
Brandenburg Gate - from the western side 

Fernsehturm through the Brandenburg Gate
Fernsehturm through the Brandenburg Gate 

Dave-stalking continues with one of the
Dave-stalking continues with one of the "Bears of Berlin" (I never saw
the one he photographed)


Then headed for home. Very much exhausted. Didn't even get dinner. Just had the remains of last night's dinner.

Not sure how we're going to be able to deal with tomorrow...