Exotic east europe tour

Discussion in 'Travel' started by kanaka Raghavan, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. kanaka Raghavan

    kanaka Raghavan IL Hall of Fame

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    Then boarded the bus to see the BERLIN WALL.It was symbol of cold war.After the WORLD WAR TWO ,GERMANY was divided into AMERICAN,RUSSIAN,FRENCH,SOVIET ZONES.BERLIN was also divided into 4 zones.IN 1948 SOVIETS tried to annex the city and started a blockade.Plans failed and in 1949 the blockade was lifted.SOVIETS named their part as GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC with EAST BERLIN as its capital.AMERICAN part of GERMANY was named as FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF GERMANY with BONN as its capital.West part of BERLIN surrounded East.Until 1961 EAST GERMANS could freely to BERLIN.Every 20,000 EAST GERMANS went there.So the EAST GERMAN AUTHORITIES wanted to close,so they put a barbed wire around WEST BERLIN and traffic was closed,there were watch towers and anyone crossing over were to be shot at Then barbed wire replaced 192 m wall..Nearly 192 people were killed crossing over to BERLIN.Finally in 1989 restrictions were removed due to protests and people were allowed to move freely.The entire wall was dismantled but some still remain.The 1316 m EASTERN GALLERY ,the world's largest open air gallery remains.
    We saw nearly 100 paintings on the wall,most famous being the MORTAL KISS PAINTED OF ERICH HONECKER AND BREZHNEV BY DIMITRJI VRUBEL.Artists from all over came to exhibit their paintings on the wall.
    We took photo shots by this amazing wall,,,
     
  2. kanaka Raghavan

    kanaka Raghavan IL Hall of Fame

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    Then we went to see HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL it is 19,000 square space next to BRANDENBURG GATE ,there are 2,711 gray stone slabs,there is wave like pattern 5 sided monolith stones.Some are ankle high,others tower like human beings.
    Then we boarded bus again to ply past UNTER DEN LINDEN-EAST WEST TREES LINED AVENUE,KURFERSTENDAMM -home to luxurious stores,it has KAISER WILHELM MEMORIAL CHURCH at the EASTERN END . It is a memorial church in honor of KAISER WILHELM TWO ,it is neo romansque structure ,a PROTESTANT one which has a large mosaic inside. .We have the largest department store KA DE WE nearby.Then we saw RATHAUS SCHONBERG where JOHN F KENNEDY made his famous speech.Then comes the ST,MESIVUS church which survived the world war two.
    We also saw the walk of fame of movie stars in POTSDAMER SQUARE,which also houses SONY CENTER,DEBIS TOWER ETC,.,We also got to see NIKOLAIKIRCHE -the oldest church.
     
  3. kanaka Raghavan

    kanaka Raghavan IL Hall of Fame

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    We got down from the bus to see FRANZOSISCHER DOM AND DEUTSCHER DOM two similar cathedrals facing each other.FRANSZOSISCHER is the oldest and was built for the HUGUENOT community.to protect them from the GERMAN PROTESTANTS.
    DEUTSCHER DOM was designed by MARTIN GRUNBERG and was built in 1708 by GIOVANNI SIMONETTI .In 1945 it was destroyed by a fire and was rebuilt in 1993 but formally opened only in 1996.
    Kozerthus the concert hall was also closeby.It was originally built as a theater in 1821 by KARL FRIEDRICH SCHINKEL.A fire destroyed it and it was rebuilt.It was again badly damaged during the second world and again restored.In 1984 it was converted from a theater to a concert hall and it is the home odf BERLIN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA.
    Our next destination was BRANDENBURG TOR or the GATE OF PEACE.built in the 18th century.situated at the end of UNTER DEN LINDEN which is a grand boulevard.During the cold war the gate was located betwen EAST AND WEST BERLIN REPRESENTING A DIVIDED COUNTRY.After the fall of the BERLIN wall it showed a unified country.It is decorated gate similar to ACROPOLIS OF ATHENS.The base relief is decorated by Greek mythology gods.Crowning is QUADRIGA PULLED by GREEK GODDESS VICTORIA,SYMBOL OF PEACE.It was here the FALL OF THE BERLIN CELEBRATIONS was held.
    We saw the HOTEL ADLON close to it,place where QUEEN ELIZABETH stayed.It was hotel from where MICHEAL JACKSON was supposed to have seen hanging out his baby from one of the windows when he stayed there some years back !!
     
  4. kanaka Raghavan

    kanaka Raghavan IL Hall of Fame

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    The next stop was REICHSTAG the parliament house of GERMANY.built in the year in 1894.designed by PAUL WALLOT.It is 137m long and 97 m wide.Bronze letters in the front ''DEM DEUSTSCHEN VOLKE meaning TO THE GERMAN PEOPLE'' was added later in the year 1916.A Fire broke out in 1933 and the Nazis blamed the communists
    When the Soviets captured a soldier is supposed to have hoisted RED FLAG at the top.Again it was renovated and the Parliament was moved to BONN during the cold war.Then after the fall of the BERLIN WALL,Itw as shifted back to BERLIN and this building was used again.
    Later on NORMAN FOSTER added a glass dome which is symbol of GERMANY to this building.
    We got into bus to drive by HEDWIG CATHEDRAL, the first CATHOLIC CHURCH,BERLIN LIBRARYNATIONAL GALLERYwhich houses many EUROPEAN PAINTINGS,IMPERIAL CHURCH where royals and MARTIN LUTHER KING used to pray,main street oF FREDRICK THE GREAT where he planted LINDEN trees,that is how BERLIN got its name,BERLIN UNIVERSITY from where GUNMENBALD NOBEL PRIZE. winner studied.
    Finally the last destination of the tour was TIER GARTEN
    It is the largest park in BERLIN.It houses BERLIN ZOO,VICTORY COLUMN ETC,
    BERLIN VICTORY COLUMN designed by HEINRICH STRACK after 1864 to celebrate PRUSSIAN victory over DANISH.Victory column (SIEGESSAULE)which is 67m high .PHILIP DRAKE built the gilded shaft painted with enemy canons and army scenes in relief from.On top of the column is the statue of VICTORY 8.3 m tall.Her face is the face of the sculptor's daughter.GOLDEN ELSE.It is called LADY CHICK ON THE SLICK,
    There are 4 NEO CLASSICAL temples in the entrance.They indicate the entrance point.SYMBOL OF UNIFICATION.
     
  5. kanaka Raghavan

    kanaka Raghavan IL Hall of Fame

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    Finally we had dinner at an Indian restaurant and boarded the bus back to the hotel.
    Driving through streets of Berlin made me think of the lovely boulevard through which we drove in the afternoon,how vibrant it was with cafes,music,sketches on the ground,hip hop dances ,souvenir shops,,,,,,,,,,
    We got down from the bus and gave small gifts to the guide MR.ROHIT NAIDU as well as our bus driver CHARLES.
    Then it was bidding farewell to our new found friends .............
    Then couple of us went to explore the nearby supermarket for last minute shopping...........but could not buy anything as many shops had closed by 8 p.m.
    Then went our rooms because we were first ones to leave as we had flight to FRANKFURT at 8 a.m.The next day the wake up call was at 3 a.m. instead of 4,anyway we had plenty of time to get ourselves ready.The taxi came at 5 and it was pretty fast,as it seems after the city limits in GERMANY you drive at your own speed.We reached by 6 a,m,There are 2 airports in BERLIN TAGEL AND SCHONFELD .We boarded our flight by LUFTHANSA to Frankfurt.We reached FRANKFURT airport at 9,our connecting flight to ABUDHABI was at 11.30.We had to rush to another bay,freshen ourselves,bought couple of souvenirs,when we were planning to buy some sandwiches,we came to know the GATE for flight was open ahead of time.So we skipped food(luckily we were given a snack bar in our previous flight),we boarded the flight.It was 6 hours and 20 minutes.Flight was comfortable and service was excellent.We reached ABUDHABI at 8,30 pm passed through immigration and was out by 9.30 took taxi and went home.
    Had delicious DOSA at a nearby restaurant and hit the bed by 11,.
    As I lay in bed my mind wound through the day I boarded to AUSTRIA,THE STREETS OF VIENNA,ITS GREENERY,SCHONNBURN PALACE,THE TRAM RIDE,LOVELY SLOVAKIA,DELIGHTFUL BUDAPEST IN ALL ITS SPLENDOUR,LOVELY TOWN OF KRAKOW,AMAZING TARTAR MOUNTAINS ONTO THE SORROW OF AUSCHITWZ,COLORFUL PRAGUE,BRNO 'S RICH HERITAGE AND THE VIBRANT BERLIN..........
    What an amazing and lovely journey it was.I must thank GOD first for having made it possible inspite of my husband's visa being rejected because of lack of minimum number of days of UAE VISA,but our thoughtful travel agent ABID who said we could apply in ITALIAN EMBASSY,we did and we got it.Then my husband who was insisting we must make a trip to EAST EUROPE because it sounded lovely.Then Hats off to SOTC for making proper arrangements.Our tour manager ROHIT NAIDU who patiently took care of all our needs.Lovely unknown friends who made this journey so enjoyable.
    Thanks IL for giving me this platform to share..........
    Thank you friends for being with me on this wonderful journey.....................
     
  6. kanaka Raghavan

    kanaka Raghavan IL Hall of Fame

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    Finally forget to add OUR EXCELLENT LOCAL GUIDES who made the sight seeing more interesting.HATS OFF TO THEM.
    Hope you all enjoyed the journey with me..............
     
  7. kanaka Raghavan

    kanaka Raghavan IL Hall of Fame

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    Satchi-thanks for the warm reply.
     
  8. kanaka Raghavan

    kanaka Raghavan IL Hall of Fame

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    Vijima-thanks for the wonderful feedback.
     
  9. veenaruban

    veenaruban Silver IL'ite

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  10. kanaka Raghavan

    kanaka Raghavan IL Hall of Fame

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    Veena-thanks for the feedback.I am glad you enjoyed it as well.
     

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