Monday, September 19, 2016

Jewels of Bohemia - September 2015

My crack traveling companion Kit and I headed out with Overseas Adventure Travel in September 2015 to see what they called "The Jewels of Bohemia." You are invited along for the ride - just remember to keep clicking "Older posts" at the bottom of each page to keep going in order. If you want to see any photograph enlarged, just click on it. And here's an image of the route of the main trip:

We decided to take the pre-trip to Berlin and Dresden, as I'd seen neither of those places (heck, I haven't been to Germany at all since I was about 7!). We were very conveniently situated near the Kurfürstendamm in Charlottenberg, and having a bit of daylight left when we arrived, we set off to see Schloss Charlottenberg, which is under a bit of restoration, but not enough to dampen the mood. It was heavily damaged in World War II and much of the restoration is being done with parts brought from another, destroyed, palace.

Gardens are in the rear, very formal, and impossible to get an idea of from ground level:


Near our hotel was the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche (Memorial Church), bombed and never rebuilt after World War II, but left a memorial which can be visited (although we did not):

The subway, part of the U-Bahn system, was started in 1902 and some stations are beautifully decorated, like this tile one:

Nice manhole covers, too:

Our Deutsche-mark tour of Berlin, covered the former Olympic Stadium, where I was amused to see a street name Jesse Owens Strasse.  He was a four-time Olympic gold medalist in the 1936 games and one of two winners whose hand Hitler refused to shake (the other being Pasadenan Mack Robinson, Jackie's older brother, silver medalist in the 200-meter event); of course, they were rather an affront to the idea of Aryan superiority...

Rathaus Schöneberg, town hall for West Berlin, is best known to Americans as the site where John F. Kennedy gave his 1963 "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech, commemorated with plaques and a replica Liberty Bell:

Why don't we have mailboxes like this anymore?

The former 1923 Tempelhof Airport is being re-envisioned as a public park, but some of the iconic buildings are still there and will probably remain:

Berlin has many beautiful churches, but unfortunately, we tended to see them from the bus windows:

Then, over to the Spree River and the site of the former Berlin Wall:

A good deal of artistic effort, much of it gleefully subversive, has gone into decorating the remains of the Berlin Wall:

Across the road is one of the more anodyne Berlin bears:


While the rest of our group went to a museum of the Berlin Wall, Kit and I skived off to the Bröhan-Museum, Karl Bröhan’s (1921-2000) furniture and furnishings in the Art Nouveau to Art Deco and functionalism popular from the 1890s to 1939. I promise I have not included all the photos I have taken, but you might want to skip onward if this isn't your thing:

View from the museum's windows: