Alla inlägg under juli 2016

Av EvaLena Hallgren - 20 juli 2016 06:29

It's early morning and today we're going on a long bike ride following the river Rhine. It'll be about 15 miles, and hopefully, Mom brings lots of water because it's 34 C- 93F..............in other words Florida heat.

We only drove for 3 hours yesterday which is a good thing when it's this hot.

 on this stretch of the road, we ended up in a lot of traffic and a lot of lane changes, so Mom had to rely on Alice in the box. She did very good



we drove past miles and miles of solar panels, and then there was a mall................guess where they got their power from ? Germans finally realized they have to figure out a way for cleaner energy. We have seen fields of panels in other places too, and lots of windmills too. 



We were told it's almost impossible to get a parking space in Heidelberg, so that's why we stopped in a town close by that's called Ladenburg. On weekends there's boat that takes you up the river, but we don't want to wait that long. 

After settled into a space here we went biking to explore this town, and it's as quaint and beautiful as the one we just left.


On the town square, there was a great market, vegetables, sausages, and cheeses were sold. Mom didn't buy anything even though she was tempted. In this heat it would have melted before we got back to Lucy and hr fridge.



As we always do we went to the tourist office to find brochures and facts about this area. This place had nothing in English, and the lady was rude, and didn't even make an effort to help. Guess she didn't like foreigners ? Since this is a big tourist place, Mom sent the town mayor an Email to let him know.

We stopped at a restaurant and had a marvelous burger. It had a potato pancake on top ? I tasted the meat, and it was awesome.



at the river there was a ferry to get across, wonder if it'll hold Lucy ? We are not trying 





doves are everywhere, and they don't care who they shit on......................


gorgeous flowers and buildings, and again these cobblestone streets that make me bounce around in my basket. I think it bothers Mom a little too, because she walks the bike a lot.


Again Mom got all nostalgic seeing this bike, but she thought it was a Triumph ??


it's now 7 am, and we're ready to start the ride before it get too hot..............................and finally please send Mom a note to let her know you're with me, or she start to think this is no use...........Thanks a bundle, Buttons.  


Av EvaLena Hallgren - 18 juli 2016 17:25

We didn't drive more than an hour when we got to this town, and it's too cute not to stop, so here we are. Mom navigated Lucy here and she didn't hit anything............she's getting pretty good.


The name of the town is Alsfelder and was probably founded during the 8-9th century. The earliest records of the settlement are from 1069 and 1076.
The city enjoyed rising prosperity due to its favourable location. Trades and handicrafts flourished and Alsfeldt developed into a wealthy, industrious community.Evidence of this is the church, monastery, towers, town hall and water supply system.


In the 16th century, the citizens creativity brought about a "golden age"in architecture and design, resulting in the erection of the town hall, and it sure is well preserved.



This little girl insisted on reading me the menu from the ice cream shop, but I didn't understand. She's cute and she was nice too.



Love the windows and the flower boxes, and the art painted on the walls.



whereas the geographical position of Alsfeld had been to its advantage it also led to its demise. The city was centered on important trade routes and the following 30 years War 1618-1648 resulted in plunder 1622 starvation 1626 plague 1635 occupation and destruction of 226 residential homes. By 1648 only 1100 people were still living in the city, mainly woman and children.

In 1832 Alsfeld experienced a renewed rise as the district capital.
Thankfully the historical town centre was preserved,and for the past 100 years a conscious cultural conservation has been nurtured to preserve the buildings and that's lucky for us so we get to experience this quaint gorgeous town.

This pigeon looks like she's laying an egg in the middle of the town square, but I'm sure it'll be a fried one in this heat.s heat


Normally Mom doesn't drink beer alone but this town and the atmosphere just called for it. Good thing she only had one since i think those are the strong ones.



This dress sure stands out in the crowd................Mom LOVED it, looks real tasty



Tomorrow we're getting up real early Mom says,(like we aren't every morning?) because we need to get to this place while it'still room for Lucy, in other words, we're heading to a very popular tourist place.






Av EvaLena Hallgren - 17 juli 2016 21:26

Not much have been happening today it has been mostly driving since a rainy day is no fun for exploring, and Mom looks at the sky and says :It looks brighter that way.............and off we go.

I wish there were places to stop and take pictures of the beautiful landscape we're driving through, rolling mountains and deep valleys. It's mostly farmland and all the squares that go from brown, yellow and different greens remind me of a quilt.

This is the only picture Mom snapped while driving,  


A very common sight are these family bathroom brakes next to the road, (quite disgusting I might add) and think in America the big question is if transgender should be allowed to use the ladies room

Mom is doubling over the steering wheel laughing at the little guy's no hands approach.............and as she's doing that the horn blows, and she's caught taking a picture......................quite embarrassing I may say




only a few feet away is  rest rooms with self-cleaning toilets, but that cost 50 c according to Mom that's worth it

fun invention 


Don't know what's up for tomorrow, just hoping the weather will be as good as it  has been this evening

Av EvaLena Hallgren - 17 juli 2016 04:49

Waking up real early in a small quiet town called Halberstadt and it's raining again. I mean Mom is up I'm not, I think at least another 2 hours before I'll get up.. ....

Thinking about Berlin and what impression we got about the city that we were so longing to visit. The overall impression was depressing, gray and dusty. Of course, the constant drizzling didn't help but I can't picture it any "happier" with sunshine.

Anyway, we continued south a few miles and Mom is extremely impressed by German drivers. The traffic is fast as hell, but it works. EVERYBODY use their blinkers changing lanes and to get on the ramp, it's pedal to the metal and go, rest assured traffic behind you are moving over one lane and they do NOT stay in left lane, they all get back to the right. WOW

The church bell tower just rang 5 am so yes another couple of hours of sleep will be ok




This town is surrounded by churches and yesterday they all rang together but it didn't do much I think, because this town is completely deserted.


We had a difficult time finding the RVparking lot until finally an old man waived and asked if we needed help. Pretty obvious I guess since we passed him for the 4th time. He spoke no English, but Mom seemed to understand anyway.

He gave directions, a small road that Mom thought was for pedestrians only



as soon as we parked we went to explore, and this time by foot. At first, I was hoping for the carriage, but after walking on these streets I understood why not. I bet no ladies in this town wear heels




Here was a lot of interesting buildings, but no people ? although we did hear music from a church 



we also found a restaurant that was open, no guests except us ? Mom ordered a pork chop with mushroom gravy and fried potatoes. It was very tasty she said, but oh my so much butter..........I tasted a little but wasn't too impressed




Smart cars are very popular here, they buzz around like little bees, and here's a model that looked pretty cool


this house would be awesome to celebrate Halloween in 




this jeweler's store name gave Mom the giggles, 



on the way here we made a rest stop and I met a guy that even I had a hard time finding the front of. 

He was a cotton mop something............



German bread looked good but this tasted like cardboard, was loaded with butter and hardly any meat, so no more of that.



this is where we spent the night



whats next ?? who knows .............the weather gods have not been with us, and it does not look good in the next week either. Lots of flooding south of us, so we may have to choose a different direction now.

all is well  

Av EvaLena Hallgren - 16 juli 2016 07:03

So Mom got up real early and she seems to be ok despite yesterday's challenge.I'm not surprised she's up this early because last night she was out cold the minute her head hit the pillow.

To continue the story of yesterday.

As we're getting closer to the city this was the first monument that welcomed us.
The Victory Column. In 1939, as part of the preparation of the monumental plans to redesign Berlin into Welthauptstadt Germania, the Nazis relocated the column to its present site at the Großer Stern (Great Star), a large intersection on the city axis that leads from the former Berliner Stadtschloss (Berlin City Palace) through the Brandenburg Gate to the western parts of the city. At the same time, the column was augmented by another 7.5 metres, giving it its present height of 66.89 metres. The monument survived World War II without much damage. The relocation of the monument probably saved it from destruction


Surrounded by a street circle,with millions of little cars speeding around the column is also accessible to pedestrians through four tunnels. Via a steep spiral staircase of 285 steps, the physically fit may, for a fee, climb almost to the top of the column, to just under the statue and take in the spectacular views over the Tiergarten including the Soviet War Memorial.We didn't bother doing that. Berliners have given the statue the nickname Goldelse, meaning something like "Golden Lizzy".



parts of the city has separate bike path with their own light which feels pretty safe



other parts we had to share with city busses, which was pretty scary at times


Berlin TV Tower is a television tower in central Berlin close to Alexanderplatz in Berlin-Mitte, the tower was constructed between 1965 and 1969 by the administration of the German Democratic Republic . It was intended as a symbol of Berlin, which it remains today, as it is easily visible throughout the central and some suburban districts of Berlin. With its height of 368 meters, it is the tallest structure in Germany, and the second tallest structure in the European Union (by a half-metre).



all those pink pipes you see, is for water ? in some areas they are painted blue. Like I said before, there is construction everywhere.


Humboldt, whose university model has strongly influenced other European and Western universities. In 2012, the Humboldt University of Berlin was one of eleven German universities to win in the German Universities Excellence Initiative, a national competition for universities organized by the German Federal Government. The university has educated 29 Nobel Prize winners and is considered one of the most prestigious universities in Europe overall as well as one of the most prestigious universities worldwide for arts and humanities.


Berlin Cathedral is the short name for the Evangelical (i.e. Protestant) Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church. It is located on Museum Island in the Mitte borough. The current building was finished in 1905 and is  main work of Historicist architecture of the "Kaiserzeit". The Cathedral has never been a cathedral in the actual sense of that term since it has never been the seat of a bishop. I think they should invest in some power washing equipment to clean all the black soot, and of course, there was scaffolding on this building too.


Graffiti seems to be a big thing here, it's everywhere and posters are plasters on every flat surface.Homeless people sleeping in the streets are also part of the picture.


Domino pizza delivery, wow...............I wonder if it's free if you have to wait 30 min. Mom tried to ask, but I guess her school German speaking wasn't good enough for this person to understand the question.


Mom is checking the map and continuing pedaling determined to see all the tourist sites despite the rain and crazy traffic.

The Berlin Wall was a barrier that divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. the Wall completely cut off  West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin until government officials opened it in November 1989. Its demolition officially began on 13 June 1990 and was completed in 1992.[ The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, which circumscribed a wide area (later known as the "death strip") that contained anti-vehicle trenches, "fakir beds" and other defenses. The Eastern Bloc claimed that the Wall was erected to protect its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the "will of the people" in building a socialist state in East Germany. In practice, the Wall served to prevent the massive emigration and defection that had marked East Germany and  the communist Eastern Bloc during the post-World War II period



The Gallery on the Berlin wall consists of 105 paintings by artists from all over the world, painted in 1990.
It is possibly the largest and longest-lasting open-air gallery in the world.The paintings at the East Side Gallery document a time of change and express the euphoria and great hopes for a better, more free future for all people of the world.
A 23-meter section was scheduled to be removed on March 1, 2013, to make way for luxury apartments. None of the artists whose work will be destroyed were informed of these plans. The demolition work actually started on March 1, 2013. Authorities were not aware of the start of the demolition. Due to the involvement of protesters, demolition was postponed until at least March 18, 2013.
Two-thirds of the paintings are badly damaged by erosion, graffiti, and vandalism. One-third has been restored by a non-profit organization which started work in 2000. The objective of this organization is the eventual restoration and preservation of all the paintings. Full restoration,

particularly of the central sections, was projected for 2008. Remediation began in May 2009.The restoration process has been marked by major conflict. Eight of the artists of 1990 refused to paint their own images again after they were completely destroyed by the renovation.

A long stretch was behind a fence to stop the graffiti painters.


On opposite side, there were life-size pictures of the destruction from current wars in middle east, and stories from survivors. 


The Oberbaum Bridge is a double-deck bridge crossing Berlin's River Spree, considered one of the city's landmarks. It links 2former boroughs that were divided by the Berlin Wall and has become an important symbol of Berlin’s unity.The lower deck of the bridge carries a roadway, and the upper deck of the bridge carries trains.
Since 1999, the traditional rivalry between the two boroughs is played out in the annual "water battle", where residents from both areas, organized in groups pelt each other with rotten vegetables, jello, eggs, flour and water and try to symbolically "reconquer" by driving their participants from the bridge.


Checkpoint Charlie was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War. Checkpoint Charlie became a symbol of the Cold War, representing the separation of East and West. Soviet and American tanks briefly faced each other at the location during the Berlin Crisis of 1961.
After the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc and the reunification of Germany, the building at Checkpoint Charlie became a tourist attraction with actors in uniform.

Not sure I wanted to pose here, but oh well............being a tourist, and Mom made me do it



Look at this group of kinder garden kids getting around the busy city, many of them do not look very happy. I bet they are daydreaming about a greener pasture ;-)



The best way to see the city is by bike, so there's a lot of rental places like this, just pop in your credit card and off you go. We of course, have our own



what a crazy looking hot dog stand ? this must get heavy towards the end of the day ?


typical tourist souvenir crap, Mom didn't buy one thing except food and a water all day...........unbelievabe I thought.



Pigeons must be at least bilingual, the sounded exactly the same as in New York 




The Neptune Fountain in Berlin was built in 1891 and very impressive. The Roman god Neptune is in the center. The four women around him represent the four main rivers of Prussia at the time the fountain was constructed: the Elbe (with the allegorical figure holding fruits and ears of corn), Rhine (fishnet and grapes), Vistula (wooden blocks, symbols of forestry), and Oder (goats and animal skins). The fountain was removed from its original location at the Schlossplatz in 1951 when the former City Palace there was demolished. Eventually, after being restored, the fountain was moved in 1969 to its present location between the St Mary's Church and the Rotes Rathaus.


The story of the Buddy Bears started with an artistic event in Berlin in 2001. Inspired by the idea of bringing art to the streets of a metropolis like a cow parade in Zurich and New York, the initiators of the Buddy Bears, Klaus und Eva Herlitz, decided to start a street art project in Berlin. 

It was quickly agreed that a bear would be the ideal sculpture for the backdrops of the German metropolis. The bear - Berlin’s heraldic animal with a high level of public appeal – was envisaged to capture the hearts of Berliners and their guests in various different designs.



Funniest bar bike I ever saw ? a bunch of guys had to keep on pedaling to have the beer contiuing to flow............haha



 Marx and Engel



there are so many statues and memorials so, at the end of the day, Mom was tired to write down what they all are and represent, the top picture is of Bismarck but the bottom one ????



The Soviet War Memorial  is one of several war memorials here. It's erected by the Soviet Union to commemorate its  80,000 soldiers of the Soviet Armed Forces who died during the Battle of Berlin in April and May 1945.This memorial was erected within a few months of the capture of the city. Early photographs show the memorial standing in a wilderness of ruins, the Tiergarten having been destroyed by incendiary bombs and then stripped of timber for firewood during the last months of the war. Today, it is surrounded by the extensive woodlands of the reconstituted Tiergarten. Although the memorial stood in the British sector of Berlin, its construction was supported by all the Allied powers. Built in a style similar to other Soviet World War II monuments once found all over the former Eastern bloc, the memorial takes the form of a curved stoa topped by a large statue of a Soviet soldier. It is set in landscaped gardens and flanked by two Red Army ML-20 152mm gun-howitzer artillery pieces and two T-34 tanks. A large Cyrillic inscription is written underneath the soldier statue, which is translated as "Eternal glory to heroes who fell in battle with the German fascist invaders for the freedom and independence of the Soviet Union". The Soviets built the statue with the soldier's arm in a position to symbolize the Red Army's putting down of the Nazi German state............


Mom was doing great following the map on our way back to Lucy, but the problem was that our map didn't show the entire route. So at the end she just improvised, and that didn't turn out so well.

But when lost you get to see places that weren't intended, like this shanty town which probably had the best location in the entire city.


All in all, it was an exciting day, but Mom feels like she inhaled 3 packs of cigarettes from car fumes and    so many German smokers. She said we will not visit this city anytime again soon. We are both ready for some nice countryside, enough of big city stuff for a while.  

It's now 8 am and I'm ready for my breakfast and walk. Then it's time to load up the bike, pack up and continue south. It's sunny and not too hot, so it'll be a great day.

all is well














Av EvaLena Hallgren - 15 juli 2016 21:51

OH. what a day, so much to see and we got lost..............Now Mom is mad at me for squealing but I think deep inside she's a little proud to have biked from 9AM this morning to 5.45PM with only one stop for lunch. We had pasta carbonara at this place, very good food but the ambiance wasn't that great




The weather has not been very good, it has been raining off and on all day. Not heavy rain only fine wet stuff, so I've been damp all day but since Mom wasn't complaining neither would I 

What about Berlin? well, First I have to tell you that the every single monument, every single street, every single attraction we wanted to see was either covered with scaffolding or like at the Brandenburg there was tents and a stage put up, getting ready for a party



The Brandenburg Gate is the only remaining gate which people used to enter Berlin. It was built between 1788 and 1791. During the Cold War, the Reichstag was in West Berlin and the Brandenburger in East Berlin

The Brandenburg Gate has twelve columns, six on the entrance side and six on the exit. The columns form five roadways, citizens originally were allowed to use only the outer two.The central roadway is reserved so that royal and important traffic is not delayed. On top of the gate is the Quadriga This is Viktoria, the goddess of victory driving a Quadriga, a type of horse-drawn chariot.

After 1806, when Prussia was defeated, Napoleon stole the Quadriga and took it to Paris. When Napoleon was beaten in 1814 Prussian General  took the Quadriga back to Berlin, the olive wreath was changed to an iron cross. The Goddess Viktoria became Nike goddess of victory

When the Nazis came to power, they used the Gate as their symbol. The Gate was damaged but not destroyed during World War II. The governments of East and West Berlin restored it but it was closed when the wall was built in 1961. The gate was in the middle of the death strip

In 1963, U.S President John F Kennedy visited the Brandenburg Gate. The Soviets hung large banners across it to prevent him looking into the East. 

In 1986, President Reagan gave his famous speech "Tear down this wall" outside of the gate.

and now here I am  



and just like on Manhattan, here's the poor horses working


We should have one of these bikes, it would keep us dry




Mom is beat,and I can't blame her,  she wants to go to sleep. to be continued tomorrow morning


Good Night






Av EvaLena Hallgren - 14 juli 2016 20:56

Another short drive and we arrived in the city where our ferry to Germany is. We got there too late for visiting the office (Mom didn't want to buy tickets before making sure I didn't have to stay in Lucy on the ride over) so we found a great campsite right on the ocean where we stayed the night.

We explored the city and this fountain is one of the prettiest we have seen.



Here's another statue with water that we really liked, sure picture a typical Swedish summer 




we had parked at the wharf, and we watched some kids fishing, catching a herring almost as soon as they put out a line. Mom felt sorry for the little guy so she went out and gave him her small fishing rod, that seemed more suitable for him. He was so excited he was jumping up and down, we didn't stay long enough to see if he caught anything.



In the morning we went for a long walk on the beach and on the boardwalk, here I am waiting for Mom to climb up from her swim




haha, I'm lying, can you see her shadow taking the picture of me ? Mom is NOT about to get in the water unless it's at least 75 degrees, and these waters are not.

It's a little windy today, and maybe we're going on a ferry ?

This ramp is for people in wheelchairs,Great idea something to think about at our beach 


At noon (seems like Mom never is in a hurry in the mornings lately) we went to the ferry office and was told I can go anywhere I want except the cafeteria, so Mom bought us a ticket, and here we are waiting to get checked in. You can see an itty bitty piece of Lucy behind the big truck




Mom got her seasick medicine and off we went




We were directed to get up on the top floor,made Mom a tad nervous because it was a very steep ramp. There was a great view but nobody is allowed to stay in your vehicle, so we found a nice reclining seat for me to nap, and Mom read a book that she almost finished on the 6-hour long ride.

It's amazing how many trucks,cars,RV,sand trains the boat took in




We finally arrived in Rostock Germany at 9pm. The sky looked amazing, but Mom just kept driving hoping the lady in the box on her dash would give correct directions.

We are not on autobahn but traffic is fast, the speed limit is 80 miles,but many drive much faster than that. Mom stays in the right lane because Lucy is most comfortable in speeds around 55miles. Faster than that she wants a lot more fuel and Mom want to look around too. We see a little black dot in the rear view mirror, a second later the dot is a BMW next to us, which in next second disappeared in the distance.

We stopped around midnight to sleep at a rest stop. Mom got up early and woke me too ............not sure why ?



we are now on the outskirts of Berlin. Lucy is not allowed into the center because she has a diesel engine and the Germans have strict emission laws in big cities. No worries, we do plan to bike in tomorrow, it's only about 8 miles. Today we rode around a little bit, so Mom found a place to buy a new sim card for her new modem that works in Germany for a week............no excuses for not updating my blog.

this place is in the flight path of a busy airport, so we're hoping no planes will leave at night ....but that may be wishful thinking 




Ove and Elvy, look what I found !!! this must be a relative to your guy, right ?




the place we are at is not super nice, but the price and location are very good, so it'll be ok. The rest stops here in Germany is worth mentioning, though. Next time Mom goes to the bathroom she'll promise to bring a camera because the self-cleaning toilet seats are amazing, no sprinkle on the seat. It cost 50 cents but with this service it's ok. You can even pay to get a bubble bath or a shower at these stops too. Maybe even a dog bath ? 

ok, tomorrow will be an interesting day with lots of pictures and stories to tell.

 miss you all 



PS. Mom didn't want me to tell, but I think she got her first speeding ticket in this town. The limit was 30 and driving along all of a sudden there was  a huge flash, a camera recorded her speed.............oh well






Av EvaLena Hallgren - 12 juli 2016 15:28

 I'm not sure what's up with Mom but we sure aren't getting very far every day. She stops a lot, rests a lot, and now Lotta gave her a book that she HAD to finish, which meant she read and I napped. Book is finished but I know there's a second to continue and it's just a matter of time..........oh well, I don't mind napping.

Looks like we go to a lot of churches lately, but don't worry, Mom has not changed her ways, she just happens to think a lot of them are beautiful buildings. Another good thing is that they usually have big parking lots that aren't used, and a perfect place to park overnight for free and every small village seems to have an old church. This one was designated the most beautiful church in Sweden 2000,and is a Neo-Gothic church from 1869.



We slept great there and continued on early in the morning to next town called Hörbo, and here Mom bought a new modem. As things turned out it wasn't being in the country that prevented Mom from having wifi, it was the modem gone bad. There should be no more excuses for not updating my story from now on. Well, see what happens when we get to a different country................if we ever do ?


waiting for the store to open we went for a walk and somehow this machine measured Mom's ???

only a 3, I could have sworn it was at least a 9 ...



these birds are pretty, but staying close to a harbor they have a way to keep you awake buy partying all night.




these guys aren't very quiet either, but at least they don't stay up all night




you know you're in the most southern province of Sweden when all you see is giant farms and rolling hills growing wheat, and Dad, No it's not dead when it's yellow.




Next city we stopped at is Ystad another small town with 18,350 inhabitants.The settlement dates back to the 11th century and the town has become a busy ferry port, local administrative center, and tourist attraction. we parked Lucy at the harbor and went for a long walk.



I noticed Mom getting real nostalgic when she saw this motorcycle, leaking oil just like the old days




there was in the middle of town a well-preserved medieval monasteries




The town was extremely busy since there happen to be a food festival. Mom carried me a lot and wished we had the stroller with us, but the small wheels would have been difficult on these cobbllestone streets.


there was also a craft fair,and here's a guy protecting his Mom



We are now back in Lucy, me resting and Mom says we have to drive a little bit, even though she too feel like resting........

Oh well, it's not very far to the city with ferries to Germany, so we'll see you never know what else Mom comes up with 

I'll keep you all updated, 



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