Thursday, June 30, 2011

Postcards From Germany

Here are a mixture of photos I took while touring Berlin, Warnemunde and Potsdam. A few of these photos I took while riding a bus or train. When I'm traveling, there's this desire to capture every interesting place, sign, road or people along the way. Do you feel the same? Anyway, here are a few postcards from Germany:

Ships docked at Warnemunde Port

The red roof houses of Warnemunde district.

The train we took to Berlin.

Berlin Wall

This TV Tower is visible wherever you are in Berlin.


Where are we going?

Reichstag Building

Tower of the Französischer Dom (French Cathedral) one of the buildings at the Gendarmenmarkt.

Konzerthaus or Concert Hall located at the Gendarmenmarkt.

I don't remember where we stopped for lunch, but I remember this basket of pretzels and a lady sitting beside me who can't stop chatting.

Then a big plate of sausages, roasted pork, mashed potatoes and vegetables.

I was thinking that next time, we'll tour Berlin on bikes.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

LP: Basa (Wet)

Mukhang nagtampisaw siya kaya't basa ang kanyang botas.

He looked like he played at the pond and his boots got wet.

Siguro na enganyo siya sa Hershey Garden fountain na ito. Nakakaaliw kasing pagmasdan.

He must have been curious to check out the beautiful Hershey Garden fountain.

Ang tawag sa rebultong ito ay Ang Bata at ang kanyang Tumatagas na Bota" o The Boy with a Leaking Boot. Siya ay matatagpuan sa Hershey Gardens ngayon. Wala akong kaalam-alam kung ano ang ibig sabihin ng rebultong ito, pero sa aking pananaliksik, ito ang aking napagalaman:
The Boy with the Leaking Boot (sometimes known as The Boy with the Leaky Boot) is a statue showing a young boy, with a bare right foot, holding up his right boot and looking at it. The statue is about four feet tall, and in many cases forms a fountain, with water emerging from the toe of the boot. The origins of the statue are obscure. The boy is reported to be a young Italian newspaper seller who drowned, or an American army drummer-boy who carried water in his leaking boot to help fallen comrades or a young fire-fighter either using his boot in a bucket chain or emptying his boot after an incident, or possibly none of these. The statue has also been called Boy Immigrant and Unfortunate Boot (Source)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Potsdam's Schloss Sanssouci

Schloss Sanssouci or Sanssouci Palace was built as Friedrich the Great's (King Friedrich II) summer palace designed by architect Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff.  The palace was named sans souci meaning "without care" which evinces the King's need to escape the pressures of royal life. The beautiful palace is located at the other end of Sanssouci Park. Built from 1763 to 1769 it is considered to be the last great Prussian baroque palace. (Source here)

Although we didn't visit the interior of Sanssouci Palace, I really enjoyed walking around the palace grounds and gardens.

It was a hot and humid day and people were stopping at this fountain to cool off or just splash themselves with water.

There are statues like this on the palace grounds.

A photo of the palace with the windmill on the left.

A statue at the tomb of King Friedrich.

Potatoes on King Friedrich's tomb. Our guide told us that King Friedrich introduced new crops such as potatoes and turnips to help the population. These days, people offer potatoes to thank the King.

This is the garden facade. I love the decorations. I remember one of the visitors asking if they meant anything, and our tour guide said they're merely decorations.

If I'm not mistaken, these are grapevines. I can only imagine if they'd all be bearing fruits soon.

 The Great Fountain and Terraced Gardens - the 700 acres park around the palace is made of themed gardens adorned with statues and fountains, the largest of them, the Große Fontäne. (Source)

A historic windmill stands tall and watches over the the Sanssouci Palace since 1738.

 The Orangery Palace.

Sansoucci gave me a feeling of rest and relaxation. The palace is beautifully located, carefully planned and meant to exude the feeling of carefreeness. During my visit, I felt distant from the hustle bustle of every day life. Perhaps even in these modern times, the palace still lives up to its name "without care." Simply a wonderful place to be just "be."

Monday, June 27, 2011

Lanakila Train Express

Kapolei City Lights (December 2010)

Just looking at this photo is making me miss so many things at home - the sweet ocean breeze, the blue Pacific, crunchy seaweeds, the hunger inducing smoke of huli-huli chicken, body boards hitting the sand, the crash of waves on the shore, the sandy beaches of North Shore and most of all, my family.

Sending my A-L-O-H-A from lovely Maryland! I miss you, my Hawai'i.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Potsdam's Cecilienhof Palace

Potsdam is the capital city of the federal state of Brandenburg, Germany. It is located close to the Havel River and is southwest of Berlin. It is also the known former residence of Prussian kings until 1918. The city features a series of interconnected lakes and unique cultural landscapes, in particular the parks and palaces of Sanssouci, the largest World Heritage Sites in Germany. (Source here)

From Berlin to Potsdam, we took an hour and forty minutes bus ride. I was still adjusting to the change of time, so it was a good time to catch a power nap. It was about noon when we arrived at Sansoucci Park. It was hot and humid. We walked through a clearing and through a wooded pathway leading to the palace.  The air felt heavy and thick. It was as if, Potsdam's air was giving us a warm welcome hug. As sweat trickled on my forehead and back, I swung my camera to the side, wiped my forehead with my hand, wore my smile and kept walking towards the Cecilienhof Palace. My day was just getting better.

Potsdam had an old soul feeling. The city seems to greatly coexist with a well managed green forest. It is very quiet and serene in contrast to busy and noisy Berlin. If given more time to explore the area, it would have been nice to stroll and hike around the area even if it was hot and humid.

At first glance, this Prussian palace looks simple. My first impression was that it looked more like a country home.

The palace courtyard with a red star design made of Geranium flowers; it is also called Stalin's Star. According to our guide, the first flowers were planted by the Soviets in 1945.

As simple as it may look, the gravity of one event that took place here makes this palace historically relevant -the Potsdam Conference in 1945.

An old lantern hangs by the palace window. I wonder if this lantern knew who the important leaders who sat, smoked and chatted by its light.

The overgrown plants add character to the palace. If only these these walls and windows could talk, would they whisper to me what Winston Churchill, Joseph Attlee, Harry S. Truman, Clement Attlee and Joseph talked about at the round table in the great hall?

Cecilienhof was designed in style of an English country house for Crown Prince William, eldest son of Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Crown Princess Cecilie. Construction started in 1914, and the building was completed in 1917.

The palace's design was largely inspired by neo-Tudor style, with exposed brickwork, half-timbering and decorative chimney stacks. The mansion, with nearly 180 rooms, was designed to be occupied year-round. Its most distinctive features are its courtyards, including the Honor Court (Ehrenhof) with its carriage entrance reserved for the imperial couple. (Source here.)
Do not let the simplicity of this palace fool you. As we walked around the palace, I can't help but think of the gravity of what happened here and how one decision changed the outcome of World War II. Because at this simple, quiet palace, an agreement was signed to change the course of our world history.
On 26 July 1945 Churchill and Truman issued the Potsdam Declaration defining the terms for Japanese surrender, while Truman had already given order to prepare the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (Source here.)

Interesting facts on this Prussian Palace:
  • last palace built by the Hohenzollern dynasty (Source here)
  • the Hohenzollern dynasty is a noble family and royal dynasty of electors, kings and emperors of Prussia, Germany and Romania (Source here)
  • from July 17 to August 2, 1945, this is the venue of the Potsdam Conference negotiations between the victorious Allies of World War II and this is where the Potsdam Agreement was signed. (Source here)

  • Germany - Potsdam & Sansoucci Park,
  • Historic Highlights of Germany,
  • Wikipedia,
  • Discover Potsdam,
  • House of Hohenzollern,

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

LP: Kailangan (Need)

Katatapos lang ang tagsibol ngunit panay pa rin ang ulan dito sa Maryland. Halos araw-araw ay umuulan. Kaya't kailangang may dala akong payong araw-araw.

Spring just ended but the rain still frequents Maryland. This is why there's a need to bring my umbrella every day.

Ang mga larawang ito ay kuha sa Las Vegas noong 2009. Hindi lang pala pangsangga sa ulan ang payong puwede rin pala itong gamitin para sa art eksibisyon o dekorasyon.

These photos were taken in Las Vegas (2009). Umbrellas work well underneath the rain, but they are excellent pieces for art exhibition and decoration too.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Berlin Wall

Where do I start? 

After two weeks of travel, I have about 1,500 photos, tons of information and wonderful memories. It's a great feeling to forget work for a while. The problem is, I can't seem to find where to start blogging.

Our first stop was Berlin, Germany. Berlin has been on my list for a very long time, and finally setting foot on this city was a history overload. While in Germany, we traveled to Berlin and Potsdam. The highlight of Berlin for me is seeing the remnants of the Berlin Wall; this is one historical structure that I've read about over and over again. Although it doesn't serve its purpose anymore, its historical significance is overwhelming.

As it stands today, the Wall is not a symbol of divide but of unity and hope. Below are the photos I took of the current Wall. Ironically, the remnants of the Wall is now endangered due to people wanting to take home a piece of history.

Checkpoint Charlie is the crossing point between East and West Berlin.

A marker where the wall used to be.

Brandenburg Gate is one of the entries to Berlin. It is also an entry to Unter den Linden, a street lined with Linden trees.

More of Berlin and Potsdam soon.