#2 Sweden/Berlin, May 19, 2000

I flew from Stockholm to Berlin and my friends, Gisela and Wolfie were there to meet me.  My Minnesota friends, Judy and Jim, and my sister and brother-in-law, Jeanne and Bob, arrived and Gisela made wonderful rouladen for dinner. That evening we heard Wolfie and his son, Jorg, play bluegrass banjo and double bass in a pub with a pickup group.






We walked where the Berlin wall used to be—what a change!  Only a  graffitied remnant remained after all those years—






We spent some time in Blankenfelder at their cottage. This property belonged to Wolfie’s family but was confiscated by East Germany in the Communist days. They got it back recently as the German government attempted to return property to their rightful owners.

Gisela and Wolfgang took us around to many wonderful sites. We went to the Music Museum and heard the mighty Wurlitzer demonstrated. We went to Potsdammer Plaz and then to a Marlene Dietrich play. We drove to the former East Berlin to visit a childhood friend of Gisela’s and her husband; I had met them before. Gisela and Juta were best childhood friends but when Berlin was divided after World War II, Juta wound up in East Berlin.  For years and years Juta and her husband, Alfred, could not come to visit Gisela and Wolfgang.

That night we went to a symphony concert at the big Berlin concert hall.

The next day we were on a boat for three hours to tour around Berlin, and then went to Blankenfelder again, visiting with Irene, Wolfie’s cousin.

A lazy day involved walking in the Greunwald, a beautiful woods. We ate apfelstruddle and coffee and then had spaetzle and goulash for lunch. We visited other relatives for dinner. What wonderful food!

It is spargle time (asparagus) and so we had it for lunch at Kamenz as we drove to Ratchen, which is near the Czech border. We drove to the Fortress from the 1100’s in the rocks and hiked all around. We also visited Konigstein on the other side of the Elbe.





We had lunch and then took a train and elevator to the top to admire the views.






The next day we boarded a paddleboat and went down the River  Elbe to Dresden. What a beautiful city, which has been mostly restored since the terrible bombing in World War II. We enjoyed an organ recital at the Cathedral.

We drove to the Spreewald, a wonderfully green area in what used to be East Germany. We spent a whole day on a boat that was polled throughout the Spreewald. Dinner was at the Old Bahnhof.





We saw a strange pyramid which turned out to be the tombs of a man and his wife in the Prince-Pueckler Park in Branitz.

The flower show at Lucknau was beautiful. We went up in the Bismark tower in Burg. I had my last spargel tonight. We drove back to Berlin, and then I flew home the next day.

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