Tag Archives: Europe

Angels From the Realms of Glory

Little Angels

Little Angels

Stunningly beautiful statues in relief, high up on the ceiling, at the Charlottenburg Palace, Berlin.

I am sure you have all been listening to Christmas carols in the shops for weeks already, but since it is now December, I think I can talk about this one.

Angels from the Realms of Glory is a lovely Christmas carol. It has two versions, with the same words but different tunes, and we sang both as kids, in school in the north of England.

It was difficult to find a plain rendition of this classic carol, but you can listen to a version of it here.

 

On Guard

Statue 1

Statue 1

Here is a statue of Friedrich Wilhelm I – Frederick the Great.

He stands, in all weathers I might add, outside theĀ Charlottenburg Palace, Berlin.

Statue 2

Statue 2

I’ve always liked horse statues: mainly because I like horses! And apparently there is no truth in the rumour of the rider having died due to battle if one or two of the horses hooves are raised. Sometimes it is the case, most often, not.

(You know, all four feet on the ground, death had nothing to do with battle; one foot raised, died due to wounds sustained in battle; two feet raised, died in battle; three feet in the air, the horse is a show off!)

Statue 3

Statue 3

Here’s a close up of the miserable guy at the bottom; forever waiting his turn to have a ride!

 

Statue 4

Statue 4

And here’s an unusual angle, shot from behind. I took this through the upstairs window inside the palace. Just look at that magnificent hair. I mean the guy, not the horse’s tail, though they do look very similar! (Yes, I know it is a wig – but still!)

Grounds

Grounds

And finally, a view of the grounds, also from the upstairs window of the palace. It looks like someone is having a go at ‘paint by numbers’. They’ve already filled in quite a bit of white on the left hand side. I must say, it does look better.

When you have finished touring the palace inside and out, you can go to the excellent gift shop and buy tons of great gifts to take back to your friends!

 

In the Lap of Luxury

Palace 1

Palace 1

Anyone for tea?

I toured inside Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin, last June with my daughter DD. The palace was built at the end of the 17th century for Sophia Charlotte, wife of Friedrich III, Elector of Brandenburg.

For the very reasonable sum of a few Euro I bought a paper wrist band that allowed me to take photos inside. The only drawback was that no flash was allowed. This explains the blurred quality of the photos.

Still I think you will get an idea of how beautiful and sumptuous this “summer cottage” really is.

Palace 2

Palace 2

Your entrance ticket includes a set of headphones, to tell you something about each room as you enter, in your own language. I thought this was a marvellous idea. I hate conducted tours, where they always spend ages at some relic that I have no interest in, and breeze past those I’d like to study. This way, everyone could go at their own pace, and it was surprisingly quiet.

Palace 3

Palace 3

This cup thing was actually massive! There were several around upstairs, probably about 50 cm tall, with intricately painted designs.

Though the double-storey palace was huge, with very long floors, many of the rooms themselves were small and interconnected. You reached the main bedroom through a series of other rooms; there being no hallway or passage.

There were many many treasures inside Charlottenburg Palace, but my little point and click camera just could not do them justice, without a flash.

I leave you with a portrait of Sophia Charlotte of Hanover –

Palace 4

Palace 4

– And suggest that if you are ever in Berlin, you should go and see this lovely palace for yourself.

 

Dance!

Charlottenburg Palace 1

Charlottenburg Palace 1

Dance –

Like no-one is watching!

Charlottenburg Palace 2

Charlottenburg Palace 2

Dancing a-top the dome, Charlottenburg Palace, Berlin; oblivious to passersby.

Charlottenburg Palace 3

Charlottenburg Palace 3

Renovations were being carried out at the palace (behind the white quilting) when I visited here with my daughter DD in June.

 

Dance like no-one is watching

Love like you’ll never be hurt

Sing like no-one is listening

Live like it’s heaven on earth

The above poem is attributed to many people. You can read more about it here.

 

Horse Ride

Horses 1

Horses 1

Beautiful horses waiting to take you for a ride, by the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany.

Horses 2

Horses 2

Looking at these lovely horses now, i wish I had gone for a horse ride.

But I know why I didn’t at the time. It’s expensive travelling abroad on the SA Rand, we were pushed for time and I am allergic to horses. So as much as I love them, I didn’t want to risk jeopardising the enjoyment of the rest of my day’s outing, by sitting behind them in the carriage, with the wind and horse dander blowing in my face, sneezing my head off!

Still, they are beautiful!

 

The Organ Grinder

Organ Grinder 1

Organ Grinder 1

A walk in the park on a sunny Sunday in Berlin.

After visiting the Brandenburg Gate, my daughter DD, her husband and I set off for this park.

We heard the Organ Grinder long before we saw him, hiding amongst the trees: the man in the bowler hat playing the Barrel Organ.

 

Organ Grinder 2

Organ Grinder 2

I’ve heard of Organ Grinders, but never seen one before. This was a rare treat. I particularly liked that the man had dressed the part too.

No: he didn’t have a monkey!

 

Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate 1

Brandenburg Gate 1

This is the start of the Berlin leg of my European trip last June. The first day my daughter DD, her husband and I did touristy things around Berlin, on a sunny Sunday. We took trains everywhere, which were really efficient, clean and relatively cheap.

As we approached the stop for this tourist attraction, the train driver announced Brandenburger Tor. Only I didn’t catch it at first, because, obviously, he spoke German. What he said was more like ‘Brandnboour Toour’.

Brandenburg Gate 2

Brandenburg Gate 2

I’m sure all great tourist sights, such as this amazing gate, have been documented to death, so you can read all about it here: Brandenburg Gate. However, this is my shot. I was there. And it really is wonderful. You have to stop and marvel.

They were setting up for some sort of outdoor concert, so we couldn’t walk through the middle. But, we saw it well enough and walked through the side, craning our necks to look up at the magnificent green horses as we passed beneath them.

 

The Lake House

Lake House 1

Boathouse 1, Newmillerdam

Actually, it’s not a Lake House, but an old, preserved Boat House; however, that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

You can try here for more information on Newmillerdam, Yorkshire.

I have shown photos from Newmillerdam before, of various water birds and the enchanted forest. It’s a lovely, peaceful place to walk around.

Lake House

Boathouse 2, Newmillerdam

The Boathouse itself was built in 1820 and is a Grade II listed building. so should stay around for a while yet.

This is the last of my photos from the English part of my European trip last June. Next stop, Berlin, Germany.

 

Walk the Line

Walk the Line

Walk the Line

Men walking the right of way at the station. Or are they?

Walk the Line 2

Walk the Line 2

Actually they are spraying weed killer, but they have to walk the line to do it, right?

There are two stations in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England. Westgate is on one side of town. It is bigger, with more trains running through it, a ticket office, toilets and cafe.

Kirkgate Station Wakefield

Kirkgate Station Wakefield

This is Wakefield Kirkgate. It has no facilities at all.

But the trains ran on time and I got myself to Nottingham in ninety minutes. It only cost 7 pounds 40 pence, since my daughter Pix had purchased my ticket online months before, thus saving me 14 pounds!

I love travelling by train in England. It is the most civilised form of transport. Once settled on board I can sit back and enjoy the ride and the beautiful countryside. After half an hour or so, I eat my packed lunch and drink my bottled water. Happy.

 

Hammer and Stithy

The Local

The Local

When visiting my brother in Yorkshire in June, we took a walk to the local shops to buy some sandwiches for lunch. (Oh, all right: cakes too!) On the way back, I quickly snapped this photo of the local pub.

My brother stopped and asked me, in some bewilderment, what I was doing.

I explained that there are no real pubs in SA. There are plenty of bars and hundreds of great restaurants, but the warm welcoming atmosphere of a British pub? No.

I was also intrigued by the name Stithy. Apparently it means a Blacksmith’s smithy, forge or anvil. It is even referenced in Hamlet, Act 3 Scene 2.

And my imaginations are as foul as Vulcan’s stithy.

(Where Vulcan is the blacksmith of the Gods.)

As a kid growing up in Yorkshire, I used to live right next door to not one but two pubs! They were called – wait for it – The Old Inn and The New Inn! But most pubs had wonderful, unforgettable names.

When I left home and lived in Manchester for a few years, the first thing I did was find my new “local”. Of course, it was full of, well, locals! I mean old men, mostly, having a pint or two in the evening. We young students stood out a mile. But the nice thing about a local, is that if you go there regularly, eventually you also become a local.

My housemate had designated Monday night housework night. I’d get home about 6 pm and eat something quickly, before we went to the launderette. After that we each vacuumed and cleaned our rooms. By 9 pm we were more than ready for a walk down to the local for a drink.

And true enough, after only half a year of this, we became one of the locals too!