Friday, August 31, 2018

Viking Homelands: Berlin (8/31/2018)

Friday, August 31, 2018
Had breakfast at 5:00 in the World Café that had opened earlier today. The Viking Star arrived at the port of Warnemünde (near Rostock). By 6:00 we were ready to disembark for the included shore excursion, Berlin Your Way. We walked to the train station to board special "Cruise Line" trains, using the double-decker commuter cars, to take us the three hours to Berlin. There was hot water for coffee and tea, and cookies were passed out.
Cruise Line train at the Ostbahnhof/East Train Station in Berlin
(We were in West Berlin and East Berlin in 1987, and earlier this year for four days in May and June.)
Once in Berlin, we boarded motor coaches for a brief tour of the city, before being dropped off at Brandenburg Gate to be on our own.
Painted buildings on Holzmarktstrasse
Soviet architecture at Strausberger Platz/Circle
Haus der Lehrers/Teachers' House (1962-1964)
and the Fernsehturm/TV Tower (1966-1969)
Mural of Unser Leben/Our Life by Walter Womacka,
mostly depicting various occupations
The Royal Palace that is being rebuilt to become the
Humboldt Forum, a museum and entertainment complex
Russia Embassy (1950-1952, by Anatoli Strischewski
in wedding-cake style) on Unter den Linden
The Elephant Fountain, the only surviving
piece of the original Hotel Adlon
Floral arrangements at Hotel Adlon
United States Embassy (2004-2008,
by Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners);
the flag is at half-staff to honor John McCain
Tamiko & Kent at the Brandenburger Tor/Brandenburg Gate
(photo courtesy of Josefina)
A peek into the lower atrium of the DZ Bank designed by Frank Gehry
Akademie der Künste/Academy of Arts mural,
Das Gastmahl des Wilddiebs/Banquet of the Poacher
(1957-1958, by Harald Metzkes) once stood in the basement
In the Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas/
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
(2003-2004, by Peter Eisenman)
Trees are growing in the Memorial
The beloved East German Ampelmann/Traffic light man
Traffic light for bicyclists
Bicycle traffic light (10/2/1987)
A musician playing a Handpan percussion instrument
We had made arrangements online months ago to visit the dome of the Reichstag, which has free admission, but is limited and requires timed tickets that are nearly impossible to get on the same day. The Reichstag/Parliament (1884-1894, by Paul Wallot in Neo-Baroque style) was renovated after reunification, in 1998-1999 by Norman Foster , and the long demolished dome was replaced by a glass dome.
The large mirrored reverse cone reflects
natural light into the parliament chamber
The spiral ramp affords a 360-degree of Berlin; here we see the Tiergarten with the black
carillon tower and the curved roof of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt/House of World Culture (KSS)
A sunscreen automatically moves
to block direct sunlight
There is too much reflection and glare
to be able to look down into parliament
The top of the dome is open for ventilation
Reflections on the mirrored cone
German Wachbataillon/Watch or protocol battalion members
escort Russian Army soldiers in the Reichstag dome
Stone carvings along the roof line
Fernando and Josefina snap a selfie at the dome...
Then they snap a photo of Kent & Tamiko
Wir/We (2015? by Stephan Guber) in the garden of
the Hessischen Landesvertretung/Hessian State building
We had lunch from a grocery store deli, and passed the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie before arriving at the meeting point for the motor coach back to the train station in Berlin.
A couple more chocolate sculptures at the Rausch
Schokoladenhaus/chocolate shop: the Reichstag/Parliament
Siegessäule/Victory Column
The chocolate Brandenburger Tor/Brandenburg Gate
comes with a 24-karat gold quadriga, for only $159
Butler James the bear at the Hilton Hotel
Gorgeous day in Gendarmenmarkt with the
Konzerthaus/Concert Hall and Französischer Dom/French Church
The motor coach took us on a different route to a different train station in Berlin.
Komische Oper/Comic Opera House
(1965-1966, by Kunz Nierade Collective)
Friedrichstadt-Palast (1980-1984) is
a theater complex that can stage
complex Las Vegas type shows
This building was covered in a fine netting
The netting was stitched together with cable ties
Lebron James, More Than an Athlete; what more can we say?
The Bernauer Strasse Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer/
Berlin Wall Memorial (1998)
A 60 m/200' section of the Berlin Wall still in place
Kapelle der Versöhnung/Chapel of Reconciliation (1999,
by Rudolf Reitermann and Peter Sassenroth, on the site of
a church demolished because it was in the no-man's land
between the two walls, and using rubble from the old church)
If Walls Could Talk (2016, by Marcus Haas,
assisted by Xi-Design, and Size Two and Mario Mankey)
Organ grinder at the Gesundbrunnen
Bahnhof/train station in Berlin
On the train back from Berlin, we were given bottles of water, and pretzel bread with butter already inside the bread.
As we walked from the train station in Warnemünde back to the Viking Star, we heard loud music. Was there a festival, or was it someone in the camp grounds? It was our ship making all that noise, and we were welcomed back by nearly all the staff lined up on both sides of the walkway, clapping and dancing.
Stateroom attendants including our own (second from right)
Sunset over the Baltic Sea
Next: Gdańsk I.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Viking Homelands: Copenhagen III (8/30/2018)

Thursday, August 30, 2018 (continued)
Sankt Petri Kirke/St Peter's Church (15C)
is the oldest building in central Copenhagen, and
was the church of the German-speaking community
Palace Hotel (1910, by Anton Rosen
in Art Nouveau style) with a tower to match
the tower of City Hall
Lurblæserne/Lur Blowers (1911-1914, by Siegfried Wagner)
Rådhuset/City Hall (1892-1905, by Martin Nyrop in
National Romantic style)
City Hall with the Copenhagen escutcheon/
shield with the three towers, and below it a statue
of Bishop Absalon (12C founder of Copenhagen)
City Hall contains Jens Olsen's World Clock (1943-1955), an
astronomical clock that displays time and date, solar and lunar eclipses,
positions of the constellations, and the Gregorian and Julian calendars
for the next 570,000 years; however it is now stopped
The back of the World Clock, which has several keys
to wind it up once a week
Great Hall in City Hall
Another bust of Neils Bohr
Stairwell off the Great Hall
Gilded stair rail (KSS)
Part mosaic and part fresco (KSS)
City Hall utility tub (KSS)
Back outside, even the pigeons are seeking shelter from the rain (KSS)
Dragespringvandet/Dragon Fountain (1889-1923,
by Joakim Skovgaard and Thorvald Bindesbøll)
depicts a bull fighting a dragon
Some extra dragon fountains at City Hall (KSS)
A thermometer in red at the corner of the
building, and a barometer that should have the girl
with an umbrella emerging from the tower
on the right, not the girl on a bicycle
Tamiko & Kent with another statue (1965, by
Henry Luckow-Nielsen) of Hans Christian Andersen
who is looking across the street at the
amusement park of Tivoli
Time to head back!
Catapult? (KSS)
A view of a few Tivoli amusement rides (KSS)
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek/New Carlsberg Art Museum (1897,
by as Vilhelm Dahlerup in Venetian Renaissance style)
was purpose-built to house the collection
of Carlsberg Brewery magnate Carl Jacobsen
We were passed by hundreds of bicyclers,
going about their business despite the rain
Christiansborg Slot/Palace (1907-1928 in Neo-Baroque style)
on Slotsholmen/Palace Island is the government palace, the
only building in the world to house three of the branches of
government: the executive - Danish Prime Minister's Office;
legislative - Folketinget/Danish Parliament; and judicial -
the Supreme Court of Denmark
Copenhagen is known for three steeples; first the Church of Our Savior
(1682-1695, by Lambert van Haven) with the exterior spiral staircase
There is a legend that Lambert van Haven committed suicide when he realized that the stairway ran counterclockwise, but the spire was added 50 years later by Lauritz de Thurah, and why does it matter?
Børsen/Stock Exchange (1619-1640, by brothers
Lorentz van Steenwinckel and Hans van Steenwinckel
the Younger in Dutch Renaissance style) with
a steeple of four intertwining dragon tails
View of the Stock Exchange through construction
View of the Stock Exchange (7/4/1980)
And the steeple on Christiansborg with three crowns,
with the statue (1873, by Herman Wilhelm Bissen)
of Frederik VII, the last Danish king to rule as
an absolute monarch, since he signed a
constitution that established the Danish parliament
Another steeple, this one of the former Nikolajkirke/
St Nicholas Church (1912, by Hans Christian Amberg)
which is a contemporary art museum that must
explain the pink ring through the windows
Statue (1902, by Vilhelm Bissen) of Bishop Absalon
as a military commander facing the site of his
bishop's palace (now Christiansborg),
yet with his head turned toward City Hall
Bishop Absalon had wealth and land, and was advisor to the kings of Denmark. In establishing a fortress and palace here in 1167, it was the beginning of what would become Copenhagen.
A "Victorian" public restroom in
the middle of Amagertorv square
Storkespringvandet/Stork Fountain (1894,
by Edvard Petersen and Vilhelm Bissen)
Guide books will declare that the three birds are actually herons, but the Danish Ornithological Society vouches that they are indeed storks.
Art Nouveau Café Norden
Even the mannequins don raincoats
when they are outside
At Kongens Nytorv/King's New Square, Kent and Josefina went to catch the Viking shuttle bus back to the ship. They caught a shuttle that was already late and left right away. Fernando and I continued onward to see a little more.
Hotel d'Angleterre (1872-1875, by Vilhelm Dahlerup
and Georg E W Møller) was one of the first deluxe hotels
in the world and is the most prestigious in Copenhagen
Mindeankeret/Memorial Anchor (1951) to commemorate
danish officers and sailors who gave their lives in World War II
Nyhavn/New Harbor (1670-1673) was a canal (dug by Swedish prisoners
of war) to bring cargo and fishing ships closer to the city center
Once a disreputable area of sailors looking for a way to spend their pay, it is now a trendy area of cafés and restaurants.
The elephant sign of a former brothel
Nyhavn now has historical and pleasure boats
instead of cargo and fishing boats
Sømandskirke & Hjem/Sailors' Church and Home
(1906, Jens Christian Kofoed), now a hotel
Nyhavn #20 was once a residence of
Hans Christian Andersen
Nyhavn's northern side
Statue (1688, by Abraham-César Lamoureux) of
Christian V was originally made of lead, but began
sinking into the ground; it was recast in bronze in 1939
Kongelige Teater/Royal Danish Theater (1872-1874, by Vilhelm Dahlerup)
Magasin du Nord (1893-1894, by Henri Glæsel and Albert Jensen
in French Renaissance Revival style), the flagship store
of a department store chain
Fernando and I returned to the shuttle stop just at 17:00, thinking we would catch the same shuttle as Kent and Josefina. But they had already gone. Because of traffic, the shuttle buses were running late. Instead of leaving every half hour on the half hour, we waited over an hour in the rain for the next bus! We were glad when we finally reached the ship, where Kent and Josefina had been able to rest up, as they were coming down with colds. Josefina gave Kent some immune-strengthening supplements, so hopefully we will all be able to carry on.
Tomorrow is going to be a long day.
Next: Berlin.