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Bamberg

Smoked Beer and a Christmas Market

While we were in Nuremberg we opted to take the short train ride to Bamberg to spend the day there. I really enjoyed Bamberg, it was really a charming city even if the weather didn't necessarily cooperate.

Bamberg is a quintessentially medieval German town in Bavaria. A large part of the town has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bamberg was founded in 1004 by Emperor Henry II, finished in 1012 and consecrated on 6 May 1012. It was later partially destroyed by fire in 1081.

Here are a few pictures of the town:
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Bamberg Cathedral was completed in the 13th century. The cathedral is under the administration of the Roman Catholic Church and is the seat of the Archbishop of Bamberg.
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Heller Haus was the birth place of Joseph Heller, a local businessman, historian and art collector. Heller bequeathed a huge art collection to the Bamberg State Library. In front of the house stands the statue of of Empress Kunigunde.
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The New Residence of the Bamberg Prince-Bishops was constructed in the seventeenth century.
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The Old Town Hall:
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Bamberg Christmas Market:
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And the whole reason we went to Bamberg was for the smoked beer! No trip to Bamberg would be complete without a trip to Schlenkerla Brewery. Records first mention Schlenkerla "House of the blue lion" in 1405. The brewery is run by the Trum family and are on the 6th generation.

Schlenkerla: https://www.schlenkerla.de/indexe.html#
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Bamberg was such a cool city and I would love to go back!

On to the Nuremberg Trials...

As a side note, here is a link to a new internet radio station with a focus on travel bloggers, COLLAGE TRAVEL RADIO: https://live365.com/station/collage-Travel-radio-a95388

Posted by LCP 01:18 Archived in Germany Tagged beer market town germany cathedral christmas old hall smoked bamberg hellerhaus Comments (1)

Vilnius Day 1

Lithuania

On our first full day in Vilnius we hit the ground running. We managed to see the Gate of Dawn (which was just outside of our AirBnb), Cathedral Square (Vilnius Cathedral and Palace of the Dukes) Gediminas Tower (which provided great views of Old Town Vilnius and the New Town area), the National Museum of Lithuania, St. Anne's Church, Bernardus Park, and The Bastion. We also managed to walk through Užupis, which is a Bohemian, artsy area of Vilnius.

But before we get to all of that, we ate breakfast at Gusto Blynine, which was right outside of our AirBnb and specialized in pancakes and crepes. It was a really cute restaurant, take a look at the fun decor!
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Walking right outside of our AirBnb was The Gate of Dawn. It was built between 1503 and 1522 as a part of defensive fortifications for the city of Vilnius, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Of ten city gates, only the Gate of Dawn remains, today. The Chapel in the Gate of Dawn contains an icon of The Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of Mercy, believed to have miraculous powers. For centuries the picture has been one of the symbols of the city and an object of veneration for both Roman Catholic and Orthodox inhabitants.
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We took a stroll through Town Hall Square and made our way to Cathedral Square, where we went to Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas' Tower, the National Museum of Lithuania, and the Palace of the Dukes. Cathedral Square was very cool and laid out quite well.

Vilnius Cathedral, the Cathedral Basilica of St Stanislaus and St Ladislaus of Vilnius, is the main Roman Catholic Cathedral of Lithuania. The coronations of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania took place within the church and many famous people from Lithuanian and Polish history are buried inside its crypts and catacombs.

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From the Cathedral, we did a short hike up the hill next to the church to reach Gediminas' Tower. The Tower is the remaining part of the Upper Castle in Vilnius. The first wooden fortifications were built by Gediminas, Grand Duke of Lithuania. The first brick castle was completed in 1409 by Grand Duke Vytautas. The three-floor tower was rebuilt in 1933 by Polish architect Jan Borowski. There are spectacular views of Old Town Vilnius and New Town Vilnius from the tower.
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These are some views from the tower of Old Town and New Town which are separated by Neris River.
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Next, we looped around to the National Museum of Lithuania. This was a fantastic museum and the docents were really friendly. There were some great displays and artifacts here. The museum also had great information on this history of the Lithuanian people.
Museum website: http://www.lnm.lt/en/
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After the National Museum of Lithuania we stopped at a really cute bagel shop for a quick bite before walking to St. Anne's Church, which is a beautiful red brick church.
Bagel shop
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St. Anne's Church is a Roman Catholic church in Vilnius' Old Town, on the right bank of the Vilnia River established around 1495-1500.
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St. Francis of Assisi (Bernardine) Roman Catholic Church is co-located next to St. Anne's Church. The Church of St. Francis and St. Bernard is a Roman Catholic church in the Old Town of Vilnius.
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After touring Bernadine Church, we took a casual stroll through Bernadine Park, near the church.
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We rounded out the day by strolling through Uzupis, the Bohemian part, of Vilnius and finding The Bastion.
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The Bastion is part of the Vilnius Defensive Wall, often called “barbican”. It is a Renaissance-style fortification characterized by its original construction. It consists of a tower installed in the city defence wall, underground gun ports and a connecting corridor, which turns into a 48-metre long tunnel. The Bastion was built in the first half of the 17th century by the German military engineer, Friedrich Getkant.
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Onto Vilnius Day 2...

Posted by LCP 01:08 Archived in Lithuania Tagged of town square new cathedral old st dawn gate hall bastion vilnius lithuania gemeninas annes Comments (2)

Dublin - Day 3

St. Patrick's Cathedral, St. Stephen's Green, and Museums

Our third day we had purchased tickets to go to St. Patrick's Cathedral and had planned to visit some of the gardens as well as explore more parts of Dublin.

We had tickets to St. Patrick's Cathedral as soon as they opened and I would highly recommend trying to get into the cathedral as soon as they open. After an hour or so of opening, the place was packed and almost too hard to take pictures or to move around to the different areas of the cathedral. St. Patrick's Cathedral was founded in 1191 and is the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland. The cathedral has BEAUTIFUL stained glass windows throughout, some of the most beautiful I've seen so far. We learned that stained glass was used to teach illiterate folks about the stories of the Bible.

St. Patrick's Cathedral:
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Interior:
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Relics in the cathedral:
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Interesting floor tiles:
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After the Cathedral, we walked through St. Stephen's Green and Merrion Square and went to the National Museum of Ireland - Natural History Museum and the National Gallery of Ireland, both had free admission. We also found Oscar Wilde's childhood home.

St. Stephen's Green
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Merrion Square:
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Natural History Museum:
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We had a fantastic time in Dublin. There is so much to do and see and the people are so friendly. We definitely hope to make it back at some point. On to the next adventure!

Posted by LCP 07:53 Archived in Ireland Tagged st. history gallery of square green ireland dublin museum cathedral national st stephens oscar wilde patrick's merrion Comments (0)

Dublin - Day 1

Christ Church Cathedral and Guinness

Since we got into Dublin a little ahead of schedule, we decided to drop our bags off at our Airbnb and take advantage of the extra time. The first stop on our tour of Dublin, we decided to go to Christ Church Cathedral. We had purchased tickets ahead of time for a guided tour. Our tour guide at Christ Church Cathedral was FANTASTIC. He was very funny and really knowledgable, which made the tour more interesting.

Christ Church Cathedral, The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, was originally built around 1030 and has undergone rebuilding and renovations over the years. St. Laurence O'Toole is the patron saint and was also the second archbishop of the diocese. The heart of the patron saint was stolen in 2012, but recently recovered and returned to the archbishop of Dublin, Michael Jackson.

Christ Church Cathedral exterior:
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Christ Church Cathedral Interior:
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Archbishop's seat:
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The wall slightly leans to the right here:
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Interesting floor tiling throughout the cathedral:
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Laurence O'Toole Heart:
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View of the city:
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The tour included the Belfry, where you could ring the bells:
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Window in Belfry:
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After the Belfry experience, we went underneath of the cathedral to the Crypt. This was a really interesting area of the church. There was a copy of the Magna Carta here as well as the famous "cat and rat" who apparently were found in the organ pipes.
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Magna Carta, copy:
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Cat and Rat:
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We really enjoyed the cathedral and would certainly go back. After Christ Church Cathedral, we walked to the Guinness Storehouse for the tour. I was underwhelmed by the Guinness Storehouse and tour. It was rather expensive (ticket price included a pint of Guinness) and I didn't find it interesting, granted I do not like Guinness, but I figured the tour would go into the history of the family and the beer process, which I would have been interested in learning about. I didn't feel as though the cost of the ticket was a good value for what was offered and it was overcrowded, naturally. The most entertaining aspect of the tour was probably the fish on the bicycle display.
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"A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle."
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We finished up the day, having dinner at Wuff, which was fantastic. And then called it a night. Onto Day 2...

Posted by LCP 09:21 Archived in Ireland Tagged fish church on ireland dublin a cathedral bicycle christ guinness wuff Comments (0)

The Trip to London

Thanksgiving 2018

If you have come back to the blog, you are a glutton for punishment...just kidding...hopefully this is getting better, ha ha! I think I'm finally understanding this process and quite honestly, I give kudos to the people who do this for a living. It is much harder than it looks. Enough rambling...on to London!

We travelled to London for Thanksgiving for a few days. We took the train down and it only took a little more than an hour or so. I honestly LOVE riding the trains here and much prefer them to driving. The trains are clean and timely and certain companies will reimburse you if their particular train is more than 15 minutes late! The whole rail network here is pretty crazy in terms of sheer number of rail companies and timetables, so it takes a bit of time to learn and research. And then there is the whole issue of rail maintenance and the rail companies changed all of the timetables last year which caused massive delays, but so far we haven't encountered any issues (knock on wood). There are even train ticket deals that can be used to reduce the cost of entry fees to museums and sites (like a two-for-one deal) which is what we did for a few of the places we visited down in London.

To begin, we stayed at the Byron Hotel, which was located right across the street from Kensington Gardens. It was very convenient the London Underground. We had a very small room, but that is fairly common across Europe as a whole. We strolled through the gardens and saw The Albert Memorial and then made our way to the Victoria and Albert Museum. It was founded in 1852 by, yep, you guessed it...Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The museum is FREE (although a small donation is appreciated as was the case with a lot of the museums and galleries we visited) and massive, one could spend several days inside looking at all of the different exhibits, collections, and art work. It is very impressive and there are so many collections of artifacts. After spending a few hours there, we walked across the street to the British Natural History Museum. This museum is also free and covers a large space. Apparently the site used to be a railway station. It was interesting, but was also really busy. I did learn the difference between African and Asian elephants (their ear size and head shape). After touring the museums we ate at Honest Burger in South Kensington and walked back to the hotel. We also passed by the Royal Albert Hall on the way back.

Inside the British Natural History Museum:
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Whale exhibit in the history museum:
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Royal Albert Hall:
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For Day 2, we started out by going to Westminster Abbey (photography wasn't allowed, but my better half took a few pictures of the places around the Abbey). The Abbey is beautiful. Fun fact, Lord Lytton, whose family owned Knebworth House (see the previous posts), is buried here as are Edward the Confessor and Mary I and Elizabeth I and lots of other famous and important people. Mary I and Elizabeth I are half sisters and former Queens, both daughters of Henry VIII. Mary I, also known as Bloody Mary, was the daughter of Catherine of Aragon (who died at Kimbolton Castle) and Henry VIII. Elizabeth was known as The Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess and was the daughter of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. The Abbey is beyond impressive and it is astounding being in a place rich with so much history. It was also really cool to experience the Abbey after having watched William and Kate's wedding on TV in 2011. After Westminster, we walked by 10 Downing Street and then made our way to the Churchill War Rooms and Museum. This was probably my favorite part of the entire trip (even better than the possible royal sighting!)! The war rooms are interesting and the museum is fantastic (photography was not allowed). It was very crowded, but one could literally spend a day here. I didn't realize what a prolific writer and painter Churchill was or that he basically wore a track suit most of the time. We plan to go and see his Chartwell home one day as well. It is located south of London in Kent. We rounded out the day by going to the National Portrait Gallery, also free! It was nearing closing time, so we went to the Tudor rooms. I have become obsessed with the Tudors since arriving here, if you can't already tell. The overall history of the royal family captivates me. We ended the day by eating dinner in the West End at The Chandos (famous for homemade pies...meat and vegetable filled pies).

Westminster Abbey:
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Courtyard at Westminster Abbey:
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These were from a small chapel on the abbey grounds:
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On Day 3, we decided to go to the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. This was the "off" season, so the "changing" takes place on a reduced schedule. We had to research this and then plan our trip around the specific day and time of the event. I had seen the "changing" before, but was still impressed. On the way over, we walked through Hyde Park, Green Park and St. James Park. Following the show, we made our way over to Regent Street in Soho (known for its shopping) and strolled around. In the afternoon, we headed over to Harrod's in West London. Harrod's was insanely busy! The bottom floor was like a gourmet grocery store and there were several floors above that sold everything from housewares, to art and furniture and electronics, and souvenirs. It was literally a one stop shop for everything imaginable, but with some hefty price tags. After that overwhelming experience, we took a little break and wandered back to the hotel before heading out to Mayfair. Our possible royal sighting occurred as we were leaving our hotel for Mayfair. A motorcade had prevented us from crossing the street. The motorcade consisted of a few police motorcycles and vehicles and one dark Land Rover. Inside the Land Rover was a young lady and three men, including the driver. The young lady looked like, at least to me, Kate Middleton. Naturally, I queried the internet to see if she had any royal engagements that day near us and low and behold both she and Meghan Markle had engagements that day! Kate's engagement was near our hotel, so I was pretty convinced that this was a possible Kate Middleton sighting! Following that excitement, we headed to the Hard Rock Cafe in Mayfair, which is an affluent area of West London, for dinner and t-shirts :). The Hard Rock has some pretty interesting memorabilia, which I think is pretty common for those cafes.

Buckingham Palace:
Buckingham_front.jpg

Facing opposite the palace:
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Hyde Park:
Hyde_Park.jpg

Harrod's:
90_Harrods.jpg

Our last day happened to be Thanksgiving Day. We went to St. Paul's Cathedral where a special Thanksgiving service is held every year. The US Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Woody Johnson, was the keynote speaker. St. Paul's was really interesting. The church has been around for over 1400 years and been rebuilt five times, including when the cathedral was bombed during World War II. Fun fact, Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana were married here in 1981. After the service, we were able to tour the cathedral, again photography was discouraged. We then walked to the British Museum and on the way, passed by the London Stock Exchange. The British Museum was also impressive and rather large. The Rosetta Stone is on display here and we managed to get a peek at it despite crowds of people surrounding the glass case. It was almost closing time when we arrived, so we didn't get to explore a lot of the works. We had Thanksgiving dinner at the Museum Tavern and called it a day. The next day we said goodbye to London and took the train home.

St. Paul's Cathedral:
St_Pauls_Cathedral.jpg90_St__Pauls_cathedral.jpg

View of the city of London from the second level of the rotunda:
90_view_from_..t_St__Pauls.jpg90_view_of_th..rom_rotunda.jpg

It was a great trip and there is quite a bit more we need to see in London! I'm sure we'll make it back.

On to the next adventure...

Posted by LCP 09:33 Archived in England Tagged victoria london park st. history museum cathedral abbey james buckingham albert hyde westminster pauls kensington churchill royals Comments (1)

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