I can't help thinking, as I read your descriptions, and the memories of the people you met, at the people, old and young, caught up in Palestine and in Iraq in circumstances not very different. It is sad that we continue to live in a world where their wishes and hopes are of so little consequence to those who call the shots. Literally.
Originally Posted by Carlin Scherer: Beautiful image - grabbing on to the spider web and flying into a peaceful land/world. Reiner wrote beautifully!!! Reiner was a great writer, and I'm sure in the original German it's even more elegantly phrased than in this fine translation! PHeymont -- agree with the sentiment. Believe we'll always have evil, power grabbing tyrants in our midst and our challenge is not to keep them from seizing power. Not an easy task. I've been reading Eric Metaxas...
DrFumblefinger—I've been meaning to read that book about Bonhoeffer. In fact, I'll do so, as soon as I finish Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles Under German Occupation, 1939-1944 by Richard C. Lukas and Norman Davies . My affection for the Polish people I've met has spurred me to deepen my understanding of the German occupation and devastation of Poland.
My curiosity is also piqued about this Italian beer. Not sure if I tried beer in Italy. Wine seems to be flowing out of ever crack in every building, but I'll need to give it a try next time I'm there. Hi praise from a Canadian, I might add.
Thanks for the note, Pheymont. I saw the main BANK OF IRELAND building in Dublin a few days, which is windowless. All the window spaces were filled in with rock (in a tasteful manner). Seems the government decided to levy a window tax. The company responded in kind.
The picture reminds me of similarly-colorful rows of small buildings in Nyhavn (Copenhagen) and on Bryggen (in Oslo). There must be something to the width-and-taxes idea, because it's certainly been true elsewhere. In New York, from colonial times until the early 20th-century, the number of windows affected the property tax rate, and it was only 2009 when the city ended the practice of basing the water rates on "frontage."
It must be duck season in Europe! Moments after I posted the story above, I found an Italian weekend story, with video, of Rome police holding up traffic in the Italian capital. A passerby posted a video of the action, and now, perhaps, ducks will replace cats in internet popularity. Anyway, here's the story, with the video embedded near the bottom
I remember having the same feeling about Prague. A beautiful city of great architectural variety and all types of style. One of the more memorable views of the city is from up high, say from the observation deck of City Hall. The rooftops and towers are beautiful.
I would suspect there are two factors involved in this change. 1) The aging of the population. 2) Changing ethnic demographics of the country. If more and more of the people are non drinkers, there will be less beer consumed.
Canada got rid of the penny over 3 years ago. As Garry says, usually things are priced so that prices get rounded up to the nearest nickel, although they theoretically can also get rounded down. The reason was basic economics -- it cost about 1.5 cents to make the 1 cent coin. And a penny buys nothing any more. I'm glad to be rid of them.
The proposal to get rid of the penny keeps coming up here, too…and every time it does, it gets shot down by people who feel as if the ground will fall out from under the economy if there are no pennies. I wish we could follow Canada on that one (among other good ideas they’ve had). I’ve got a tray at my desk with leftover coins from here and there, and I’m always amazed by some of the little ones: Italian centimo coins from when they were 1/100 of 1/616 of a dollar. As nearly as I can tell,...
I was in Berlin on Saturday, the day of the 25th anniversary of reunification. There were tons of people in the city, as crowded as I've ever seen any major city. The main activities were in the Tiergarten, especially around the Brandenburg gate. By the time we made our way there, the police had closed down the area and were not allowing more people in because it was overcrowded. Still, everyone seemed well behaved and having a nice time. I think most Germans feel reunification was a good...
These fixed cameras are signposted and on maps so you have to be pretty unfortunate (or silly) to get 'done' by them. Far worse are their sneaky cameras that are hidden in roadside trash bins, under hedges and all sorts of camouflage. These are normally in villages where it makes real sense to slow right down.
Most of Mr O'Leary's predictions are just attention seeking and looking for free advertising. If you look on you tube you'll see a list of his comedy acts and predictions for Ryanair from the past years. A very successful man with an Irish sense of humour.
From a historic perspective, I think it's still a little early to know if this was all good for Europe or not. The border crossings are definitely easier and faster, and I, too, miss the passport stamps no longer on my pages. For me the greatest convenience is the common currency -- not having to change money so often, usually at a loss. Of course, some would argue that the Euro is the greatest weakness of the EU (will it survive?), so I'm not sure in the long run how this will all play out.
I don't share the nostalgia for border crossings, having experienced some of the worst crossings in the world in the late 80's And while Schengen said it wiped out land borders for travelers throughout most of Europe, I've still experienced controls in those countries . On one such occasion ,I took a bus from Brussels to Paris and the bus was stopped twice in France. ID was checked and people questioned. Even bags were inspected for people from Romania and Bulgaria.
Interesting, given the history of prejudice against Romany, that those countries were singled out. At the time they were not yet Schengen members, either, although they are now in the process of joining, leaving only Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland and UK out among EU members. The non-EU members of Schengen are Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland.
Another part of the agreement is of interest to US travelers. We can only spend 90 days in the Schengen country for every 180 day period,without having to contend with Visas . I haven't heard too much about the consequences of overstaying the 90 days ,until I saw this comment online about getting a $500 fine for overstaying. http://www.latimes.com/travel/...-20150405-story.html More info on the 90/180 day rule http://www.latimes.com/travel/...20150329-story.html#
Whitney your story about Reiner and retracing his steps gets people thinking about their own life and family too, so beyond being fascinating history, it's very relevant to us all.25 years ago this summer I went through an incredible ordeal in Europe. Your journey for Reiner has me thinking back to that time and has me thinking of retracing some steps too.Keep it up and thank you!
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