Monthly Archives: June 2015

Post #6 – Impressions of Salzburg, Austria – June 13

Too tired to write, so I will share photos. Needless to say, the past two days have been very active. Walked everywhere I could, soaking up the environment. And sweating a lot – it was 88 humid degrees yesterday. As usual, astounded by the age of almost everything. 1000 year old castle. First brewery – 1492. My little hotel owned by the same family for 200 years. We Americans are SO the new kids on the block.

I did have great time taking a four hour “Sound of Music” tour in a van that took us out of Salzburg to the Mondsee area. Combination of history with movie venues and facts. Yes, the guide played the soundtrack and we sang. 300,000 people a year take these tours.

Post #5 – Nuremberg, Germany – June 11

So far this week:
1. A day in Prague with friendly peacocks and a stop at the Museum of Communism.

2. A visit to Terezin/Theresianstadt. The very disturbing “model” Jewish ghetto, used for Nazi propaganda. Music, art, theater and literature and sports raised people’s’ spirits, while Gestapo families had a beautiful pool next to the firing squad location in the prison.

3. Solo trip to Nuremburg, Germany. A beautiful small city founded in 1491. Parts of the city wall and gates intact. Mandatory visit to the castle. Marveled at the bridges over the small river.

4. Today was World War II history education. Nazi Party Rallying Grounds and Documentation Center provides an intensive presentation of the rise and control mechanisms of Hitler and his Nazi party. It really was about “bread and circuses” and lots of psychology used for coercion and inspiration. The Kunstbunker is a very interesting tour of the underground tunnels under the city that were used to hide and protect art in climate controlled environment. Think “Monuments Men”, only these works were not stolen. Finally, the museum of the Nuremberg war crimes trials and another audio tour satiated my need for information and desire to experience the places that changed the course of world events.

Post #4 – June 6, Czech Republic – Another Collage of Experiences

Summer finally arrived this week! No rain, weather in the 70’s and 80’s. Beautiful!

The week began with a Sunday visit to the grandparents in Cimelice – Jiri and Alena Drnek, my second cousins (same great grandfather). Going there reminds me of going to my grandmother’s home for Sunday dinner, except they are my age! And they have a puppy. After a great meal of garlic soup, roast duck, sauerkraut and of course dumplings, we went to the local small carnival.

I finished my outdoor furniture project by recovering cushions. Like most of my projects at home, I underestimated the time, but the result was definitely worth the effort.

Pilsen was my destination on Thursday. I had a great day with Milena Bolinova, a village friend who grew up there. A city of 169,000, it is only about 38 miles away (keep in mind that distance is in kilometers here, so I'm guessing).
We saw a lot, but didn't kill ourselves, my preferred method of touring. First we toured and climbed the spire of St. Bartholomew cathedral. More amazing views!

Then to the Pilsen Synagogue. Built in 1893, it was used till 1942, when 2600 Jews we were deported to Theremin concentration camp and only 204 survived the war. The Jewish community is restoring it.

Next a walk through a park with impressive sculptures and lunch.

Last stop Pilsner Urquell Brewery tour. The place is huge and the tour really interesting.

Friday I was on a completely different page. I taught an English class for 10-11 year olds in Blatna, where a cousin, Fanda and Anezka, Milena's daughter, go to school. I drew on my past Camp Director skills and had a blast. Plus my photos of Idaho whitewater and Costa Rica helped a lot! If you look at the USA map, I've also been upgraded to an almost oceanfront property owner!

Later in the day, Fanda and Anezka gave me a nature tour by rowboat around the local lake and we ended the day with a good bike ride, parents included. Followed by a visit to the family-friendly pub.