Band of Brothers

SCANDINAVIAN CRUISE (BALTIC SEA) 2016

Massive building in WWII where jets were assembled.
Massive building in WWII where jets were assembled. Â Parts were made in tunnels behind the building.
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Remains of assembly building. Â Look at the thickness of the walls to protect against bombardment.

 

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Mary at Dora Concentration Camp, Nordhausen, Germany. Background is crematorium where an estimated 20,000 inmates were cremated.   The Germans produced V-1 cruise missiles and V-2 ballistic missiles inside tunnels in the Hartz Mountains. Dora was a labor camp vice concentration camps in Poland.
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Tunnel into Hartz Mountains where V-1 and V-2 missiles were produced. Â This is a new tunnel built around 2009 as the original entrances were dynamited shut. Â Dora was behind the “wall” and in Soviet hands until the wall came down.

 

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Nose cones from V-1 cruise missiles rusting on the floor. Â Germans were short aluminum so they used thin steel sheets to cover their missiles…that’s why they are rusting.
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Gyroscopes from V-2 ballistic missiles or guidance system for the missile.
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Mary at Exterstein Rock near Paderborn, Germany. Â This odd out-cropping is said to have had people living around it for 12,000 years. Â Heinrich Himmler inducted his SS officers here because he thought the place had occult powers.
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Mary on top of Esterstein Rock. Â Google it for more info.
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I presented three awards at Bitburg High School in Germany on my trip. Â L-R Â Meghan Bernard-American Legion Military Excellence Medal, Vivian Mensch-Sons of the American Revolution Bronze Medal, and Matthew O’Conner American Legion Scholastic medal.
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The Royal Naval Church in Copenhagen where seamen go to pray before going to sea.
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Inside the Royal Naval Church. Â See the ship hanging in the middle of the church? Â Several 100 years old.
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Scandic Palace Hotel in the center of Copenhagen where we stayed first two nights.
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Famous mermaid in Copenhagen…seems to be the picture to get!
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Mermaid taking it all in…
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Home of Hans Christian Andersen in Copenhagen
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Andersen’s home on canal
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Canal in front of Andersen’s home
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Warnemuende, Germany. Â Small houses on the canal where fisherman live.
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Fishing fleet
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Warnemuende canal looking towards cruise ship.
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Kadriorg Palace Tallinn Estonia
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Alexander Nevsky Cathedral Tallinn Estonia
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St. Olaf’s Church tallest building in the world from 1549 to 1625 Tallinn
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Overlooking old town Tallinn…cruise ship in background
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Shop in Tallinn, Estonia
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At a festival in Tallinn these three guys said take my picture and I did…didn’t catch the shirt the guy on the right had-on until I looked at the picture!

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Hammer and Sickle not many left…welcome to Russia!

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St Isaacs’s Catherdal in St Petersburg, Russia
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Each column weights 100 tons.

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This is a model in the church showing how the 100 ton columns were raised in 40 minutes each! Â The columns were placed fist, then the church was built.

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Dome inside church
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During WWII St Petersburg was surrounded by the Germans. Â Cabbages were grown on the front lawn of the church is this WWII picture.
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Downtown street in the middle of the day…believe me, they have the worst traffic you have ever seen.
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Cadets from the Russian Military School in St Petersburg

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Peter and Paul Cathedral…burial place of the czars

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Russian equivalent of Life Star
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Tallest building in St Petersburg. Â Czar said no building would be taller than his palace except this church
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Hydrofoil boat-we rode on one just like it.
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St Petersburg subway-very clean and fast. Â Trains run just a minute apart at rush hour
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Subway station is decorated with art…you can see everyone is looking at the walls
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Escalator is very fast and steep…we are a long ways from the surface!
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Peterhof summer estate built by Peter the Great 1700s
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Peterhof summer estate built by Peter the Great 1700s. Â Russians restored the place after WWII…see next picture
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Peterhof summer estate after it was destroyed at the directions of Hitler…he tried to destroy all of Russia’s history.
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The Famous Amber Room recreated! Â When the Germans invaded, the Russians hid the room…but the Germans found it and stole it. Â It later disappeared and to this day has not been found. Â Pictures were not allowed in the Amber Room but you know not to tell me I can’t take a picture! Â This off the hip picture is the best I could do…
The Throne at the Winter Palace.
The Throne at the Winter Palace.
After winning the Neapolitan War, the Czar had pictures of all his generals (300+) placed on walls in the Palace. Dead generals were recognized with a blank picture on the wall…you can see a couple of those. Higher ranking Generals got bigger pictures.
After winning the Neapolitan War, the Czar had pictures of all his generals (300+) placed on walls in the Palace. Dead generals were recognized with a blank picture on the wall…you can see a couple of those. Higher ranking Generals got bigger pictures.
The Winter Palace contained a church...gold everywhere which was normal for these palaces and churches.
The Winter Palace contained a church…gold everywhere which was normal for these palaces and churches.
Canals in St Petersburg
Canals in St Petersburg
We went for a boat ride on the canals in St Petersburg.
We went for a boat ride on the canals in St Petersburg.
Cold didn't stop the picture taking.
Cold didn’t stop the picture taking.
Ronald is everywhere
Ronald is everywhere
Alexander II was assassinated by a terrorist bomb. At the place of his death they built this church in his honor.
Alexander II was assassinated by a terrorist bomb. At the place of his death they built this church in his honor.
Church built to honor Alexander II jutted out into the canal.
Church built to honor Alexander II jutted out into the canal.
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The Rock Church in Helsinki-note blond lady in the middle of the picture playing the piano. Â The acoustics were perfect!
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The Rock Church is built underground.
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The Rock Church Helsinki, Finland
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Our only day of bad weather was when we visited Helsinki
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Helsinki street signs in three languages…Russian (bottom), Finnish, and Swedish.
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Helsinki
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Your local seafood shop…Helsinki
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Public transportation…very good and plentiful in the countries we visited. Â A lot of folks do not own cars.
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Statue to Alexander II in Helsinki. Â Although a Russian Czar, he was very good to the Finnish people…thus the statue. Â Guide says it always has a seagull on top. Â She also told us he was the one who sold Alaska to the U.S. Â I didn’t know that! Â Seems Russia was coming off a very expensive war and needed cash. Â Alexander II looked around for something to sell and decided on Alaska because it was too far from Russia and would be difficult to defend. Â She made the comment we got a lot of “gold and oil” in the deal. Â She seemed envious.
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Downtown Stockholm, Sweden
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The Swedish King built an enormous warship, The Vasa, in 1628. Â When it set sail in Stockholm Harbor, it went about 1400 yards, rolled over, and sank. Â Seemed the structure was top heavy. Â They managed to salvage some of the modern bronze cannons (1660s) it carried, but that was it.
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After being rediscovered in the late 1950s, the ship was raised (1961) and has been undergoing restoration every since. Â It is 98 percent original and remarkably well preserved. Â It is a time capsule on the 1600s.
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The ship is so large, they built a museum around it. Â The Vasa Museum is the most visited museum in all of Europe. Â It was one of the highlights of the trip for me.
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The Kings Guard (Sweden) awaits for the Changing of the Guard Ceremony at the Palace. Â They rode to the other side of the square for the ceremony and buses blocked our view. Â The middle person in the last row of three is a female…I saw at least two females in the group…but it was hard to tell because they wore the same uniforms and had their hair up.
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Narrow street in Old Town Stockholm.
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This is a very old Viking Stone. Â About 2500 have been found in Sweden. Â It marks a person’s property. Â The stone says something like “I am John Doe, my wife is Mary Doe, we have three children and this property is ours.” Â This stone was found on the property where this house was built. Â The owner had it placed in the wall for all to see. Â The carved lines in the stone have been painted red so they can easily be seen. Â This is the end of my trip to Scandinavia. Â June 9, 2016
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Thanks for following my trip.

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