Steven's Trip to Germany - January 2006

Yuliya in front of the theater in Hamburg where The Lion King (the musical) is playing. Yuliya and her friend Tanya. Yuliya and Tanya in front of the ferry that brings people to the island where the theater is built.
Yuliya playfully posing in front of a strange statue in front of the theater. Tanya also posing playfully. Yuliya and I, still in front of the theater. Do you see this balloon?
It's comming down, but it goes up pretty high. It doesn't look that safe! I'm thinking about it. Ok it's almost on the ground now...
Yuliya says: Lets go! Doesn't it look like fun! Sit next to me while we wait! I'll hold your hand :-) See, I can do it!
Ok, she convinced me, here we go! Higher... Higher... Higher over Hamburg!
As long as you look straight out, it's ok. Like an airplane, you just look forward. Lots of great things to see, as long as you don't look down... Stand over here at the very edge with me!
It's almost sunset over Hamburg. It's safer with Yuliya. Lots of churches near by.
Yes, see I did go all the way up! But I'm glad that we are going down now :-) Sunset over Hamburg Yuliya, and the Mercedes we drove all over Germany!
We stopped in another section of Hamburg where there are lots of shops and places to walk. These strange little guys were everywhere in Hamburg. They probably have some historic meaning for the town. That's me. Yuliya!
A little fuzzy but better light. Experimenting with the camera's auto and night settings. This was on night setting. No flash. If you look closely you can see Yuliya posing under the Colonnaden sign.
There she is :-) Yuliya noticed a funny sign More experimenting with the flash/no flash on the camera. This one came out much better. No flash, night setting. This is the town hall in downtown Hamburg.
Yuliya posing by a statue in an inner courtyard of the town hall building. Ahhhh... Dinner! Sometimes the night setting of the camera isn't really what you want. Ok, next day, we're off to Claushal-Zederfeld. (not sure about the spelling of that one. Yuliya?)
We stopped for pictures along the way. It was nice and warm in the car, but out here it's cold! Isn't she beautiful! Yuliya's comming over to make sure I don't take pictures of just her :-)
The woods and canyons along the road we are taking. There's some sort of monument in the background. Here's a close-up. An eagle of some sort. Yuliya's ready to go again :-)
Here we are in Margaret's house. It's a wonderful place. She baked a cherry cake for us! I never did quite understand if it was just coincidence or not. She doesn't speak english. Margaret served up generous portions of everything, including the cake! :-) Yuliya's being playful ;-)
Yuliya and Margaret talking in German Yuliya and Margaret still talking Ah, that's better light. Great pose! :-) Margaret loaned me some house-shoes since I didn't bring any of my own.
They kept my feet warm :-) Wonderful and typical German dinner. Cheers! Cheers!
We're going out for a day of driving around the Hartz region of Germany with Margaret as our tour guide. Bundle up! Yuliya bundles up too! That's me in the driver's seat. Cheeze!
Our first stop is one of the ranger stations for the Hartz national park. It has lots of stuff about the Hartz mountains and national park. Yuliya wonders why the bear is mad at me and trying to beat me over the head with a log. Now it just wants to eat me! It seems more calm now that Yuliya's with me in the picture :-)
Margaret in front of an example of a water powered mining setup as it used to be in the Hartz mountains. I can't read German, sorry. Lots of different national parks in Germany.
Here's a better look :-) Back in the car again. Mountains and trees everywhere. There's Steven, still doing a good job driving us everywhere :-)
A picturesque bridge and Yuliya and Margaret pose. Now just Yuliya Little bit closer :-) Now we're in a town park with a lake and wonderful trees covered in snow. Yuliya looks wonderful!
The small lake in the park. Somewhat frozen, but not completely. Yuliya and Margaret Yuliya and Margaret Pinecone in Russian is "chichka". Like the first word in shiska-bob :-)
Lots of ducks at one end of the lake. Let's see if we can fool them? Yuliya makes a snow-ball but pretends it's a piece of bread :-) And the ducks come running! Silly ducks! :-)
Now they're confused because they can't find the bread. Eventually they loose interest. Some still hang around waiting. Most wander off.
Yuliya on stage! Yuliya! Yuliya! Me, posing under another of those trees completely covered in snow.
We thought this was one tree at first, but it's really two different trees growing together. Two trees, two people. The mountain in the background is the end of the Gothe trail. We're standing at the beginning. We're not going to walk it today, a zoom lens is enough for us :-)
The mountain is famous because Gothe describes it as a place where witches gather during the summer and winter solstices. I think it's in his book on Faust or something. Everyone is enjoying the winter weather and activities in the snow. Some of the roads and forests that we are traveling through.
Wait for the cars to go all the way down the hill first... ...ahh, that's better! :-) Sunset behind the trees covered in snow. The forests in Germany in the Hartz region are really gorgeous.
Tucked behind the trees is a little place that looks like a private residence. Yuliya and Margaret go check it out. Wouldn't it be lovely to live someplace like this? More sunset pictures
That's me :-) Yep, me again ;-) This is a small hut, open on one side at the side of the trail. Something simple but covered for people to rest in for a moment. Yuliya, looking out the far side of the hut.
It's a really gorgeous view :-) Down the hill behind the hut. Yuliya posing in the sunset. Are you ready yet? The snow is deep!
Yuliya! Closer on the forest around us. Well! I think it's your turn to pose! Ok, one last picture
I told you it was your turn! Steven! Closer :-) Margaret struck up a conversation with a passing skiier
She said it's also wonderful out here in the summer months. There are many many kilometers of trails in this area. Here's the start of the trail by the hut where we took the pictures. Yes, I did propose! Here's the ring :-)
Back at Margaret's house, Yuliya is playing with the camera. We went to church that evening. It's the New Apostolic Church. Yuliya and Margaret.
Wo ist Donndorf? We're searching for Donndorf, which is our destination for tomorrow. We decided to make a quick stop in Erfurt first :-) This is the town square in Erfurt.
Every town square should have a statue! And buildings with great architecture all around it. The restaurant where we ate lunch is on the ground floor in the middle. Closer
Closer. The other side of the town square. Nice German feel to everything. Yuliya in front of the city hall building. Ok, train is gone, now you can pose for real :-)
Near where we parked our car, I told Yuliya to pose for one last picture... Wait, just one more... There, perfect! I got three pictures out of one request! :-) We have arrived in Donndorf finally!
Yuliya and little Christina. Christina is a very happy child. Yuliya holding Christina, Natalya and Gerhart looking on. Gerhart and his daughter, Christina :-)
There's the family together! :-) Looking out the 2nd story window across the street at some of the houses in the village. Mostly appears to be a farming community. Looks like a church or something off in the distance.
Zoom lens to the rescue, yep something like that :-) Yep, farming community. Another view of the house across the street. and the fields behind, misty in the morning air.
The family again Natalya, Christina, and Gerhart We had a very nice cake again :-) Father and daughter.
Here daddy, try this! She had a toy birdy that she loved :-) And she loves posing for pictures :-) Pretty soon she'll be running all over the place!
There she goes! Mommy's here! Here's the birdy! Ok, just a few more pictures
There's the camera :-) No, it's over there! Just a few more, Christina. Yuliya, now you pose with them :-)
Now one more... Ok, thats great! Off we go again on the road back to Rastatt Yes, I am having fun driving on the Autobahn! :-)
We're in Baden Baden now, not to far from Rastatt. Harald, Susanne, Yuliya, and Karolina. Susanne, Steven, Yuliya, and Karolina. Same crew :-) There are some Roman ruins in Baden Baden and this is a small part of them.
Yuliya looks great! Harald and Susanne, we're taking a break from the cold in a coffe shop. Karolina and Harald The whole group again :-)
We're touring the ruins of one of the castles on the Rhine river. Note someone was brave enough to ride their motorcycle on these roads! Yuliya showing us the way! You can see the ruins in the mist behind the trees.
Up, up, and up. Careful, these stones are covered in ice! Maybe I'll just stop here and take a picture :-) Made it! Look at the ice all over the ground!
More of the ruins Yuliya likes dramatic poses! Inside the ruins. Closer
More ruins Yuliya, Karolina, and Susanne Turns out there was a whole group of people having a picnic in the ruins. I hope someone brought a lot of hot chocolate! It's cold!
Yulia's exploring. TaDa! Yuliya and Steven :-)
Yuliya wants to explore some more. But it's really high! Nothing much in there, what we really need are... Stairs! Up and up we go! You know, it's really a good thing that you can't see so well in this mist.
It makes looking down from high places a little bit easier. Note to audience: I'm not actually close to the edge, I'm holding the camera way out in front of me, pointing it down and taking pictures at random. It just looks like I'm close to the edge :-) You can't tell, but it's a long way down...
Yuliya! She has no fear. Ok, back safe and sound in the car again. Harald mugs for the camera! We are in a restaurant owned by Susanne's uncles. Her family has a long tradition of cooking!
Hmmmm... it's all in German. Susanne helps me find something tasty :-) Some shots of the restaurant Harald returning from the WC
Harald and Susanne get out their own camera. Harald loves mugging for the camera :-) On 3! 1...2...3! Harald and Susanne
Oops, a little to the right They have a great time together :-) Apple Strudel and Ice Cream for desert! Dinner conversation.
Yuliya getting ready. Hey! Get that camera out of here! Revenge! Steven's getting ready. Lets see, I haven't worn one of these in years, so is it over under up around through, or under over around up through?
See, I managed to get it tied straight :-)
Yuliya shows off her new ring :-) Steven, come and sit here with me. Ok, let me figure out the timer first... Got it :-)
This was our last night in Germany. We were getting ready to go out to a nice restaurant for dinner. Dinner lasted 4 or 5 hours if I remember correctly. It was wonderful :-) This was our original map of our route.
We had a navigation system in the car, and it worked very well. But we still kept the map, just in case :-)