“Pic of the Week”, October 23, 2015: Oktoberfest, Alexanderplatz

05 Oktoberfest Alexanderplatz

Oktoberfest is an annual 16 day folk festival that runs from mid-September to the first weekend in October.  The largest gathering is in Munich, Germany, which is attended by more then six million people (who consume more than six million liters of beer).  It’s a beloved German tradition and has had been held for more than 200 years.  Other cities around Germany and the rest of the world have similar (albeit smaller) Oktoberfest celebrations.

My brother and I were in Berlin a few weeks ago and wandered through an Oktoberfest celebration in Alexanderplatz, in the former East Berlin region.  There was a band playing traditional music, and hundreds of people were enjoying a nice fall day, the company of their friends, …

Read More

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, October 23, 2015: Oktoberfest, Alexanderplatz

“Pic of the Week”. June 21, 2013. Cologne Cathedral, Germany

2013-025a-June 21

The first time I saw Cologne’s Cathedral was on a train journey from Amsterdam to Heidelberg many years ago.  The Cologne train station is immediately adjacent to the cathedral and as the train crossed the Rhine I vividly recall seeing the cathedral’s massive spires (157 m or 515′ tall) and saying to myself,  “some day I’m going to visit that church”.

It took almost 20 years but thanks to friends Bernd and Monika, we had a chance to visit Cologne and its great cathedral last month.  The cathedral is classic Gothic and is Germany’s most visited landmark, averaging more than 20,000 visitors a day.  Its construction began in 1248 and proceeded in stages until it was finally finished in 1880.  The highlight …

Read More

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”. June 21, 2013. Cologne Cathedral, Germany

“Pic of the Week”. March 01, 2013. Dusk in Heidelberg, Germany

2013-009-March  01

One of many tragedies of war is that a country’s history and heritage are badly damaged, even destroyed.  Many of Europe’s cities were extensively ravaged by bombing and shelling in World Wars I and II, which is especially true of Germany.  These injured cities throughout Europe have been rebuilt but their historic charm is largely lost.

The beautiful small city of Heidelberg fortunately was spared the damage of the great wars because it was a university town without a manufacturing base, so it was not attacked.  It’s a beautiful city of about 150,000, still with a famous university, that I’ve had the privilege of visiting twice.  To gain the view seen in this photo I had to hike a while on the opposite …

Read More

Karl on | 2 Comments