Saturday, 21 July 2012

Nuremberg and home

7 May 2012
We put our cases into a locker at the Railway Station and set out to see Nuremberg in 4 hours.
The world has heard a lot about Nuremberg for its famous War Criminal Trials.  A lovely German city surrounded by huge City Walls and Palace.  There were three large Churches closeby that had been beautifully restored after the WW11.  Most other buildings were about 4 storey high with steep roofs and attics.
Fortified Imperial Walls, Nuremberg

St Sebald Lutheran Church built 1215, destroyed WW11 and reconstructed 1957

Church of Our Lady (Roman Catholic) built 1355 as the Imperial Chapel

Holy Spirit Hospital & Pegnitz River, Nuremberg
St Lawrence Lutheran Church built 1243 - 1315, destroyed WW11 and reconstructed 1952

Our train pulled into Nuremberg and we took it direct to Frankfurt Airport. At times we travelled at 245km/hr but then there were times we went quite slow.  We wondered at the value of a fast train!
To pull into the Airport Station and just an escalator to a higher level was very convenient. Oh to have such a convenience in Melbourne!

Frankfurt Railway Station with just an esculator up a level to Frankfurt Airport

Our flight to Singapore left at 10.30pm. With lights out at midnight for 8 hours we woke refreshed.
It was 5pm the next day in Singapore.  After a 3 hour wait at Changi Airport we were boarding our plane, but there were two unexpected delays to our departure.  Firstly there was an extra suitcase on board which had to be rectified and then it was announced there was something on the runway and a security vehicle was going to investigate. Finally we were ready to lift off one and a half hours later. Soon it was lights off for 5 hours so time to rest again.

9 May 2012
Darren was there to meet us.  It was breakfast at Albert Park with the family and finally made it home where we were greeted by Tiger the cat.
A great month away.

You may wish to contact the author Joy Olney via email:

Bayreuth & Bamberg

4 May 2012
Our train trip from Dresden to Bayreuth took three and half hours.  Scenery was forested with a stream alongside the railway to fields of rope seed, villages, green fields and hilly at times.
We were looking forward to a long weekend with Connie & Harald Franz and their daughter Antonia. Their daughter Moni had lived six months with our son in 2004, and Antonia in 2011.
They were keen for us to experience Germany at its best.  Their German breakfasts of cheeses, cold meats, bread rolls, fruit & coffee were delicious.  We had dinner at a beer garden and enjoyed dancing in true German style.

German Beer Garden experience with Connie & Harald Franz in Bayreuth

German breakfast of meats, cheeses & rolls with Antonia & Connie

5 May 2012
Bayreuth is famous for its Opera House - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Truely beautiful building.

Margravial Opera House, Bayreuth (far right)
Auditorium Margravial Opera House

Interior Margravial Opera House, Bayreuth
Queen Wilhelmine & King Friedrich Coat of Arms in Opera House

Also visited Richard Wagner's Festival Hall which holds 5000 people and famous for its hooded orchestra pit. We went back stage in both these beautiful buildings.

Richard Wagner's Festival Hall, Bayreuth
Interior Festival Hall, Bayreuth

We went to New Hermitage Palace and saw its lovely gardens, hedges, lakes and ornate buildings.
The Old and New Palace and a concert in the Town Hall were all enjoyed with the Franz family.
Sun Temple at New Hermitage Palace, Bayreuth

Antonia, Harald, Joy & Peter at Castle of the Giants

6 May 2012
The next day we went to Bamberg and visited the Bamberg Cathedral which was celebrating its 1000th anniversary. A magnificent building with lots of sculptures.

Bamberg Cathedral celebrated its 1000th anniversary
Interior Bamberg Cathedral

Bamberg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and famous for its Town Hall built over the River.
The cobblestone streets gave lots of character.
Bamberg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site


Frescoes painted on old Town Hall 1755
Bamburg Town Hall built over the River

In the evening we met Maria and her family.  Maria had been a friend of Fiona & Darren since 1985 and had recommended Moni stay with Darren & Fiona.
Sadly we said our farewells and caught the train to Nuremberg.
Maria & Marcus with son Matthew, also Franz family & Peter

You may wish to contact the author Joy Olney via email:


Dresden Railway Station
2 May 2012
Dresden was badly damaged in WW11 so we were keen to see Dresden 70 years later.
When the Iron Curtain came down in 1989 Germany agreed to restore Eastern Germany over the next 30 years. Dresden is a lovely city now and as one travels around it is very hard to imagine the damage it suffered, as the buildings have been restored to their original design and look.  It has taken many years for that work to have been completed.

Roman Catholic Cathedral built 1738, destroyed in WW11 and restored 1980.  The old Palace now Museums

Lutheran Cathedral built 1726 - 1743, destroyed WW11.  Reconstruction began 1994 and completed 2005 with Martin Luther Monument (left)

Zwinger Palace built 1710 - 1732
Semper Opera House Built 1836, reopened 1985

Church of the Holy Cross restored 1955

Academy of Fine Arts built 1894, destroyed WW11, restored 1991

Dresden is home of Volkswagen's Manufacturing Plant & Showroom, famour for its glass structure.


29 April 2012
We had a 4 hour coach trip from Regensburg to Prague.
There were many solar panel farms along the way.  We heard they have not been all that successful.
In the afternoon we took a walking tour "Secrets of Prague" to see the Palace Gardens, also Senate & Parliamentary Buildings on top of the hill. The Senate Building is a UNESCO World Heritage Site - beautiful paintinsg on the walls and ceiling and marble architraves.  It looked more like a palace.

Main Hall in Senate Building - a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Mythological Corridor in Senate Building

We walked down the hill through the Castle District, Lesser Town and over the Charles Bridge into the Old Town. We enjoyed pizza in the Town Square and saw the Astronomical Clock strike 5pm.

Castle District, Prague
Old Town Hall in Lesser Town
Charles Bridge with its 30 statues
Oldest working Astronomical Clock in the world 1410
Old Town Square, Prague
Old Town Square, Prague

30 April 2012
The next morning the coach took us up the hill to the Palace & St.Vitus Cathedral.

St Vitus Cathedral - a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Joy at Palace, Prague

In the afternoon we travelled 60 kms north of Prague to Terezin Concentration Camp.  In 1939 Hitler used Terezin as a "Resort" for the Jews safety, but in reality used it as a transport camp before going to various "gas chamber" camps.  Numbers were overwhelming, many died before going to the gas chambers because of the harsh conditions.  We saw the cells, delousing areas, Christian & Jewish cemetery, museum exhibits and a film of actually footage of the time.  War is so so sad.

Jewish & Christian Cemetery at Terezin
Cell windows open to hear torture of prisioners

Delousing equipment at Terezin
Delousing showers at Terezin
 Accomodation Block A at Terezin

1 May 2012
Our third day in Prague was a free day to do as we liked.  We wandered the Jesish Quarter where the oldest Synagogue in Europe is found, also a cemetery with 12000 tombstones. Spent some time in Kampa Museum where it was air conditioned. Many people were enjoying the paddle boats on the Vitava River as it was so hot. We walked over the Charles Bridge again and wandered the Old Town.                                                                               
12000 Tombstones in Jewish Cemetery, Prague
Jewish Cemetery 1439 - 1787
Vitava River with St Vitus Cathedral & Palace on hill.

Charles Bridge over Vitava River, Prague

 2 May 2012
 Our train left for Dresden at midday.

Prague Railway Station
1st class train Prague to Dresden, using our Eurail Pass

Prague Railway Station

You may wish to contact the author Joy Olney via email: