Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Photos from Rügen

Rügen is a Baltic Sea island belonging to Germany that I visited last Saturday.

Site of the last major Slavic pagan temple. The ridge behind the tower is all that remains of the temple fortifications. Wikipedia has more on the Rujani, the Slavic inhabitants of Rügen from the 7th to the 13th century.

A modern interpretation of the four-faced Slavic deity Svantovit.

View of the Baltic
View of the Baltic from Cape Arkona.

Flickr won't let me create any more photo sets without a paid account, and I'm too stingy to pay up, but there are more photos from Rügen in my photostream.

Berlin photos, June 2008

The Reichstag, home of the German parliament.

The S-Bahn (commuter rail) station near my hotel.

Soviet tank
Soviet tank
A tank at the Soviet war memorial. I can still remember when the memorial was guarded by a bunch of not-to-be-messed-with Soviet troops. Back then this guy would have ended up skewered on a bayonet.

Inside the main passenger rail terminal. This building fascinates me, inside and out.

More photos from Berlin here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Serbia June 2008

A few photos from our stay with my wife's family. My daughter Valerie is on the front left; my wife Tanja is in the back in front of the little white truck. The rest are Tanja's parents and brother and his family.

Looking down from cave
From cave
The view from the mouth of a large cave in the Serbian mountains.

View from Zlatibor
View from Zlatibor
View from a stop on the Šargan Eight narrow-guage railway on the mountain Zlatibor.

More photos from Serbia here.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Berlin June 1, 2008

Yesterday I spent more time searching for wifi hotspots than anything else. Hotspot, by the way, is accurate in more ways than one -- we're in the middle of a heat wave, practically nothing is air-conditioned, and the signal is usually not strong enough to sit outside.

The upshot is that I haven't been able to find anything near my "hotel" (more on that below) except one slightly pricey restaurant. At least the service is friendly. There's a cluster of cafes with free Internet across town in the Friedrichshain district -- I'll try to find accommodations there next time if I can't get wireless in my room.

My "hotel" -- Steven's Cool & Cozy Little Backpacker Hostel -- is about what you'd expect from literally the cheapest place in town. (I'm going ultra-cheap because I've got to stretch my funds for two months in Europe.) Imagine a couple of college-age guys with no experience and no money deciding they want to open a party hostel, then arriving for a room when the place is half-finished. I haven't seen any sign of about a third of the "facilities" listed on the website, including breakfast, linens or air conditioning. Luckily there haven't been many other guests while I've been here, so it's quiet aside from street noise. The management is friendly but usually not around. Hey, it's all good.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

London May 2008

A few photos from our recent visit to London. Here's my wife Tanja and daughter Valerie taking pictures at the Tower.

The Tower Bridge.

A young lady making crepes at a booth near Parliament.

We mostly did the tourist thing in London. More later on Prague and Berlin -- I seem to be spending most of my time here searching for WiFi hotspots....

More London photos here.