Take it away, Fishducky.
Last week I left you in Garmisch-Partinkirchen, Gernany. Did you enjoy your visit? I think it was from there we went to Berlin. It may have been on a different trip, but I don’t think so. This was in the early 1980’s, which was several weeks ago, & my memory’s…who’s calling, please?
At this time, there was still an East & West Berlin & the Berlin Wall was still standing. The Wall was covered with political graffiti & every few yards there was a small memorial to someone who had unsuccessfully tried to escape.
West Berlin was essentially rebuilt, although some bombed out buildings were deliberately left standing as a reminder of the war.
We had two interesting experiences in West Berlin. They had just completed a new concert hall, built in the round, with the orchestra in the center. The concierge tried to get us tickets. All they had left was seating in the student’s section, behind the drums. We took them & I’m so glad we did. Since we were behind the orchestra, we could watch the face of the conductor. We never realized how hard he worked or how completely he was consumed by his job. It was fascinating! Our other marvelous surprise happened when we went to a small museum & found this bust of Nefertiti. I had seen pictures of it before, but seeing it in person was breathtaking! She was so graceful—just exquisite!
We took a bus tour of communist East Berlin. What sticks in my mind is that although the rest of Germany was lovely, in hundreds of shades of green, East Berlin (& its people) seemed to be only in shades of grey. Our military guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are always standing & marching with dignity. Not so at the Russian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Below is a picture of some guards leaving the tomb.
We took the QE ll back to the US. The clocks were turned back 1 hour each night to adjust to the time change. The notice posted next to them always made me smile. It said, “Clocks will be retarded for 1 hour each night at 3:00am.” I imagined them acting very silly. The cruise was fine, except for the bland English food--& the hellacious storm on the last night. The waves broke 50’ above the bow. There were open fractures in the dining room from people being thrown off chairs. The picture below was shot by the ship’s photographer—no way was I going to be on the deck! By the way, there’s a shot you can take that gets rid of seasickness, which we both had. I believe it’s called PHENERGAN. The doctor injected lots of people, including us, the next day & it worked within a half hour. We were blown 250 miles off course. We got into New York about 12 hours behind schedule.
We had reservations for a suite (2 small rooms) at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. By the time we arrived, they had given it to someone else. They managed to find another suite for us at the same price. It was normally used by foreign dignitaries, but, after all, we HAD reserved a suite! The 2 pictures below show part of the living room (yes, that IS a full size grand piano!) & the dining room, which seated 20 people & had a working fireplace. There was also a full kitchen with a breakfast room & service porch (with a washer & dryer) & 2 bedrooms. I took a bubble bath & would you believe the TV over the tub wasn’t working? I decided NOT to call maintenance. I believe you should just accept whatever little you are given & not be a complainer.
I’ll tell you about our drive up the East Coast next time.