The tower of Kaiser Wilhelm Cathedral has been left standing since it was bombed during W.W.II as a reminder of the devastation of war. Around it is a monument and visitors center, but it can never blend in with the modern buildings now surrounding it.

This view of the reunited Berlin is from a restaurant on the top floor of a major department store. We were delightfully surprised by this city of the future. It has 2 or 3 times the land area of Paris and is one of the greenest cities in Europe. Parks, shopping and public transport join the East & West and very few visible signs of the separation remain.
Berlin is also the construction leader of all Europe, with not only more buildings going up than any other city, but more height, more glass, more imaginative designs than any where else. This photo of modern building construction really captures their spirit of "pushing the envelope" with new styles and techniques.

Our favorite sight to visit was this marvel of engineering, a water clock. Standing 3 stories high in a shopping plaza, the yellow-green liquid flows from the tube on top into the thirty flat beakers on the right, at precise two minute intervals. When these are all filled, the liquid flows to the 12 globes stacked on the left, filling one each hour. The real fun occurs at 12 noon & 12 midnight, when all the globes are rapidly drained to a reservoir below and the process begins all over again. These events always draw a crowd.

The fastest train in Europe, the German ICE (inter city express) travels at 220 miles per hour. We rode this one from Berlin to Hanover. The Ice does not cross borders, but always stays in Germany.

The German ICE trains provide spacious, luxurious, generally uncrowded interior compartments which exemplify the epitome of train travel in Europe for the year 2000 and the new millennium.
King Ludwig II is famous for his Neuschwanstein Castle which Disney used as a model for Cinderella's Castle in each of his Theme Parks. However, few people know that King Ludwig built several other castles such as Linderoff, shown here. This small, intimate castle was originally a hunting lodge. The original wood rafters and fireplaces have been blended into a magnificent, elegant décor.
Ludwig added the beautiful formal gardens with fountains and gold statuary, but he also left a rustic lodge with a massive tree growing up through its roof. On the grounds around the castle Ludwig created his own fantasy land complete with an cave 'grotto' where Wager's operas were re-enacted with piped in music and colored lights. The King could watch, or become a character in the story. It's clear that Walt Disney 'borrowed' quite a few ideas from this eccentric, romantic King.
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Fred & Melody Squires
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