Climate Plus wishes you a pleasant Christmas/New Year and health and happiness for 2016.
It’s quiet this year, but I intend to keep blogging as time permits.
Unquestionably the highlight for my wife and me was our European trip, 35 days in all and really five holidays in a row. So I’ve adapted some material from our Christmas newsletter to add to the photos I included in the Back in Oz post.
Seven days in Berlin were excellent, with memories ranging from the San Souci Palace in Potsdam to the Stasi Museum. A highlight was the concert with the Berlin Philharmonic, a magnificent orchestra in an unusual building:
Then it was lovely to spend time with our friends Sarah and Christoph in Erlangen. Our relaxing six days there included three days of lovely sightseeing. Among the highlights were an ancient irrigation water mill, a cave, the castle where Luther holed up and translated the bible, including the table he worked at, and at Weltenburg on the upper Danube the ancient Benedictine abbey with Roman ruins.
This is a scene in a village in the district of Fränkische Schweiz. Neat, well-scrubbed houses with attractive gardens, and plenty of forest. It seems typical of much of what we saw in Germany:
Prague followed, then for me visiting ancestral villages in Poland with a few of my rellies, plus Wroclaw and Auschwitz.
Here’s a shot of the fountains in Wroclaw, a very attractive city at night:
Here’s something you won’t see too often from Prague, the Lennon Wall:
Then 10 days of the famous family boat trip, from Prague to Budapest, an extra day in Budapest, and then home, another 50 plus hours without a sleep.
There are too many highlights to mention on the boat trip, so here’s an unusual one. The service on the boat was excellent. In Bratislava when we came back to our rooms, this is what we found:
Budapest had some monumental buildings. We were told they saw themselves as competing with the Habsburgs of Vienna. The parliament building was massive. Here’s a not very good shot of it from the hill across the river on a dull day:
We were told that it took 19 years to build, from 1885 to 1904, and had an open-ended budget.
Here’s an even worse photo taken through the window of the bus at night. I could claim it was a deliberate artistic effect, but in fact the camera was on automatic and it told me to hold it steady while it took multiple photos:
Finally, on that memorable “Budapest by night” excursion, one of the support statues to the Liberty Statue:
We sincerely wish you a pleasant Christmas/New Year and health and happiness for 2016.