Friday, September 5, 2008

More Pictures!

In the last post, I told you that we were on the 13th floor of the Ostel. This is the view out of one of the windows. See the spire in the background? That's a TV station located in Alexanderplatz. It can be seen from anywhere in Berlin. By looking for it, we could judge in which direction our accommodations lay...

I think I mentioned that Berlin is a big city. Germany charges 19% tax on EVERYTHING. Four percent of that goes to rebuilding the East. Everywhere we went, there was construction. This is what it looks like as you approach the Brandenberg Gate from the East, walking down Unter den Linden. It's historic, but it's not very pretty.

Miltenberg was a tremendous contrast to Berlin. I think I amused my cousin when I pulled out my camera. This is the first time I've ever seen a live "wild" swan. I HAD to get a picture!!

She says they are everywhere, and that they are mean and a nuisance. Maybe so, but now I've actually seen the inspiration for The Ugly Duckling. I know, I'm easily amused...

This picture was taken from the courtyard of the castle in Miltenberg.

This picture was taken from the castle's tower.

The views from the castle in Heidelberg were probably even more spectacular, but it was a rainy foggy day...

Finally, I was struck by the contrasting steeples in Esslingen. This church had one spire,

This one had two. Do you think they noticed that they don't exactly "match"?

I'm really surprised to discover that I spent most of my time in Esslingen soaking up the atmosphere. I have very few pictures. Thankfully both my husband and one son were pretty active with their cameras. I haven't seen their pictures yet, but surely they have some of Esslingen, don't they?

Finally, I just had to share this picture with you. It was taken a few minutes after 4am, as we waited for the taxi-that-never-appeared. They didn't look nearly this happy as the clock approached 4:30am and the streets remained deserted. Not good when you have a 6am flight from an airport 25 minutes away...

But God is good, and He sent us a taxi. It could only carry 4 of us, and we were a family of 5. We left the boys behind - yes, on the deserted streets of early morning East Berlin - trusting our taxi driver to call his dispatcher and send them a second cab. He spoke enough English and I spoke enough German that we were able to communicate. It all worked out. We are home. God bless America! ;)

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