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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Washington, District of Columbia, United States

Jun 4, 2016 - Prague Castle complex

Today we took the tram up to the Prague Castle Complex which is across the river from the Old Town and The New Town, as well as our hotel. We met our local tour guide, Martin, and began our tour at St. Vitis Cathedral, a beautiful mix of Gothic (1344) and Neo-Gothic (1929). There was some beautiful stained glass, one in particular by Mucha. For four hundred years the earlier part of the building was sealed off at one end by a "temporary" wall. The whole was quite impressive with open, Lacey spires. Then we walked into a 12th century part of...

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Jun 3, 2016 - Prague

Our experience in Prague began with our local tour guide, Martin, a university professor and scientist. We toured Old Town (11th century), New Town (Art Nouveau), the Jewish Quarter (1535) and the Velvet Revolution St. (1960's). On our brief introductory tour the night before we saw this very cool Astronomical Clock striking six pm. This clock, constructed in the 1400's was a marvel when it was installed and is still very unique today. Did you know the Austro-Hungarian Empire invented the postcard? Back to the Jewish Quarter, which,...

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Jun 2, 2016 - Dresden to Prague

Today we left Dresden and motored our way into the Czech Republic. The land is hillier and there are lots of hardwood forests. Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia are three separate areas of the Czech Republic. Our first stop was a small village called Terizim. It was originally a village of about seven thousand inhabitants built in the 1780's with a star shaped pattern to it's walls which were built to keep the Prussians out. In 1941 the Nazis kicked out the original inhabitants and moved in 60,000 Jews. This was Hitler's "model" town, used for...

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May 31, 2016 - On the road again 2

We were up and on the bus today by 7:40am. We saw the last of the original wall, a section called the Eastern Gallery. Then we stopped to look at a huge Russian memorial to the Russian soldiers who freed Berlin from the Nazis. I guess it was a terrible fight, from building to building. This memorial holds over five thousand graves. It was a massive place with giant statues. We got stuck in a downpour and had to race back to the bus. As we traveled thru the countryside we listened to a speech JFK gave in 1961 when he declared "Ich bein ein...

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May 30, 2016 - A fitting birthday

Today is Dean's birthday and we woke to blue sky and warm breezes. This, unfortunately, progressed to windy, cloudy and eventually to a huge thunderstorm in the evening. We walked over fifteen thousand steps! We began as a tour group about 8:15am and ended about 6:30! Exhausted, to say the least. We met Caroline, our local Berlin tour guide, in front of the Reichstaag and went from there to the Brandenburg Gate, Pariser Platz, US Embassy, Holocaust Memorial to the Murdered Jews, the spot where Hitler's Bunker once stood, Humboldt...

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May 29, 2016 - A Sunday beginning

We were up early this beautifulSunday morning. Beate, Ralf and I dropped Dean off at the hotel where our Rick Steves tour will begin this afternoon. We drove through the old East German commercial district and then through what I would call Embassy Row ( saw several different embassies, Italian, Indian, Japanese) as well as diplomatic quarters. We were headed for the local Mormon chapel to attend Sunday meetings. It was so nice to hear the hymns, even in German. They had a translator available for me. I heard a Cambodia, a Thai person, a...

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May 28, 2016 - A visit to the garden

Julian and Anna left for their home in Innsbruck today. It was a day of blue sky, sun and some clouds. When the sun was out it was very warm. After the kids left, Ralf, Beate, Dean and I got in their car and drove to their 'garden'. It was a small lot of land that the originally purchased in the 70's. When they first bought it , it was surrounded by many other lots of a similar size. Now, all the lots except theirs, have homes built on them! After they owned the parcel for a while they bought a three room, prefabricated bungalow to put on...

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May 27, 2016 - Neighborhoods

Sigh......I had an hours worth of this day written, and then it disappeared!! Very bummed about the loss. This day dawned with bright blue sky and sunshine. Anna and Julian had things to do and so her mother and father, Beate and Ralf took us on their 'backyard tour'. The backyards in question are actually courtyards hidden behind the buildings facing the street. The would be better called courtyards, and in German, are called 'hof'. I was later told that the business was on the street and the apartments above the business, and on the...

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May 26, 2016 - Supreme Court, Arlington and White House At Last

Today's schedule is a tour of the Supreme Court building and Arlington. We were not able to schedule a tour of the White House. We were told that tours were booked through August. Once again Anne had arranged the Supreme Court tour ahead of time, so we were able to go inside the chambers and hear a 30 minute presentation about the court and the Justices. The courtroom was smaller than I expected but nonetheless grand. Afterward we ate lunch in the cafeteria at which time I asked if we could include a look at the White House from the gates....

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May 26, 2016 - A visit to Berlin

Anna, Dean and I left the flat and walked to the subway. We were headed for The Bunker, a remnant on one of three massive bunkers built at the beginning of WWII to defend Berlin from the air power of England and the US. Each bunker consisted of four towers built of concrete and reinforced steel. Each tower had gun emplacements that shot out flak grenades against the planes. There were also living quarters for the soldiers and area to provide shelter to civilians during the attacks. At the end of the war it was decided that, as part of the...

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May 25, 2016 - Touring Capitol and Monuments

Washington DC, day 2. I am telling you this is one beautiful city and one of the greatest highlights of this trip, which I am thinking of renaming. Thinking of renaming to Bob and Rita's Trip through History!! There was lots of great history going through Savannah and Charleston and now Washington!! Today we had an appointment to tour the Capitol through Representative Babin's office, arranged by Anne. And it was a good thing Anne scheduled this for us because the wait was long for those without appointments. What a tour it was!! It was...

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May 25, 2016 - On the road again 1

Well, we packed up our bags, bid our Air B&B host, Elsie, goodbye, caught the tram to Central Station and got on our train to Berlin with no problems. It was another gray, cool and cloudy day. On the train we were in a four person compartment. Initially we had two other seat mates but the young woman disembarked at the first stop. The rest of the six hour trip to Berlin we were accompanied by a young Coast Riccan man, Ignacio. He was very nice and we had some interesting conversations. He lives in northern Spain currently but is traveling...

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