Friday, September 14, 2012

Stockholm, 2012

Another stop on the Baltic cruise.

Memorial to the Holocaust

Details from the VASA

The great warship ship VASA, built in 1628 and sank moments after it's launch in the waters off Stockholm with a loss of fifty lives. The valuable 50 bronze cannons were salvaged almost immediately using a "diving bell"-literally a bell shaped device with a standing platform that held about 30 minutes worth of air for the lucky salvager. The rest of the ship sat on the seabed for another 325 years before it too was salvaged in the late 1950's. By luck, the Baltic Sea does not contain as much salt as the oceans and the worms that feed on wood are not present. The ship is 95% original, quite large, and covered with hand woodcarvings of great detail. For more info on this amazing artifact-and one of the foremost tourist attractions in the

This is a scale model of VASA with what they think are the original paint colors

By the water, Stockholm

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Garmisch/Partenkirchnen 2012

What can I say, it's an amazing place, just a short train ride south of Munich. We hiked way up into these mountains to visit King Ludwig's "Birthday House" - a place he would only visit once a year, by carriage, on his birthday of course. Legend has it the guy never ventured outside during the daylight and kept all the blinds closed, only waking at night. I'm not sure why you would want a house that you only visit once per year with drop dead views way up in the mountains when chances are you would never actually see the views.

 I was especially beat when we got up here, even with the walking sticks,  and had no real interest in touring the small "castle." I had seen the pictures and the whole thing is done in a Turkish motif. I was just as happy sitting at the Alm House with wein chortle and goulash soup, getting together for the long hike down.

They have a very large garden of rare Alpen flowers although I was told these are very common.

 These dot the landscape and are used to store hay. Some are very old, like the one pictured with the rocks holding down the roof shingles.

The cows were great-all with classic bells wringing around their necks. You could hear them from some distance and they seemed to have no trouble climbing very steep hillsides, and coming down them.

The view from our room at the Reindl's Partenkirchner Hof  A super place, family run, very friendly great location.

 Yes, I went up the mountain in one of these.

One of the oldest houses in Bavaria-1400's I believe.