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5 hours ago, Canal archive said:

Whatever is happening with Eurostar, I did not get my info from a newspaper but from the company website,

 

On the Eurostar website they list  Eurostar train times from London to Amsterdam after May 2024,

but none from Amsterdam to London after May 2024.

 

Seems the newspaper was accurate.

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I went to East Berlin from West Berlin for a day trip (while visiting Berlin for a few days) and went through the customs with the border control and the money exchange. We were all German so they treated as with that little bit of disdain they liked to display at those booths. One female member of our group had an Italian passport - she was swiftly ushered through without that procedure... I will never forget that day. Went through the ghost station, the most famous one, once. They were strange days - and times.

 

With all the security for border checks necessary, including the back offices we never see as passengers I guess it is too complicated to have the controls at Amsterdam. Still, if it was absolutely needed I am sure it would be done. I suspect economical reasons play a part even if running an empty train is hard to fathom for anyone with common sense, i.e. us travellers.

 

Christmas lights are on everywhere, have actually seen the first two ships on the river where I could make out the Christmas tree in the lounge or reception area. Ooooh, it looks so nice. Wish I could be on a ship.

 

notamermaid

 

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18 minutes ago, capriccio said:

Oops, make that 1989!

 

I was wondering why you were there 10 years prior. 

 

Chris and I watched the wall come down on a tiny TV in her dorm room, during her first year of med school. 1989 sounds right for that.

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9th of November it was in 1989. I admit I could not remember the day, but I did remember the month and the year. We watched it unfold on telly, the Hungarian embassy and all that. I was a busy young person, but, my, I still took in those events... An emotional autumn for us folks, a year prior nobody would have believed this could ever happen.

 

notamermaid

 

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I went to East Berlin for a day when on a Army orientation tour in 1987.  They turned us loose in a department type store, I guess they wanted hard currency?  I bought a little clock, gold plated/pewter looking shot 'glass' set (that probably leached out nasty stuff when used), and the nicest looking pellet gun, all roughly $20 each.  No one said I couldn't buy a pellet gun, so young and dumb, I did.

 

The duty train heads back to Frankfurt, traveling at night, blinds down, so you can't see the countryside.  We stop at the border check point heading back into West Germany.  the East German border guard checked our bags, did a double take at the pellet gun (just fits in a duffle bag), I shrugged, he grumbled and I got to keep it.  The seal finally went bad on it, and I tossed it a few years back.  One pump, quite accurate.  Fortune favors the bold, and sometimes the stupid as well.

 

Went back to Berlin last May, and when you stand with your back to Checkpoint Charlie to have a picture taken, the McDonald's Golden Arches stand proudly just over your shoulder.  

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The season has started - advent candles in Spode Christmas Tree stands lit and burned off for the first day. Had to go to Bath on business today not again now till after the season as the market is in full swing. Looks like it will be really good for the visitors and business but locals well we won’t be visiting again just yet. Maybe the powers that be should have just a locals day, wouldn’t that be lovely. 🥰 

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We had our Christmas parade last night in the rain, with today and tomorrow being our local village's Christmas weekend. Woke up this morning to snow on the ground, so sleigh rides through the village will be much better. It’s pretty seeing the snow on the trees, and all the decorations and lights.

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On 11/30/2023 at 9:54 AM, notamermaid said:

I went to East Berlin from West Berlin for a day trip (while visiting Berlin for a few days) and went through the customs with the border control and the money exchange. We were all German so they treated as with that little bit of disdain they liked to display at those booths. One female member of our group had an Italian passport - she was swiftly ushered through without that procedure... I will never forget that day. Went through the ghost station, the most famous one, once. They were strange days - and times.

 

With all the security for border checks necessary, including the back offices we never see as passengers I guess it is too complicated to have the controls at Amsterdam. Still, if it was absolutely needed I am sure it would be done. I suspect economical reasons play a part even if running an empty train is hard to fathom for anyone with common sense, i.e. us travellers.

 

Christmas lights are on everywhere, have actually seen the first two ships on the river where I could make out the Christmas tree in the lounge or reception area. Ooooh, it looks so nice. Wish I could be on a ship.

 

notamermaid

 

I'd be VERY happy overlooking the Rhine any time of year!

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1 hour ago, jsn55 said:

I'd be VERY happy overlooking the Rhine any time of year!

I do admit I feel fortunate to be able to go to a large river within driving distance and enjoy the landscape. As it gets dark so early now I can occasionally see the river cruise ships with the decoration lit up. Mind you, I miss seeing the realm of Canal archive, i.e. the British Isle, I mean miss everything from the litter bins at Rochester Castle to speed cameras.

 

I know I will be all "moisture-eyed" when I finally can enjoy Wensleydale cheese with cranberries. Import is very difficult these days so I get little dairy and no meat (sausages) from England.

 

At least the biscuits and the mince pies have arrived. 🙂

 

notamermaid

 

 

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On 12/1/2023 at 9:59 AM, ural guy said:

East German border guard checked our bags,


In my experience in the ‘70s there was no interaction between the western allies military and East German officials. The only person to person contacts on the US duty train were between the US Train Commander and translator with the Soviet officer on duty and translator to formally process the passengers. An armed MP dismounted the train but had no part in the processing. 
The MP and Soviet enlisted men might have brief unofficial interactions, swapping Marlboros for various uniform items. That was mostly during colder weather when long overcoats were part of the uniform of the day. Good cover for the trade items😉

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Wasn't sure whether to post this here or on the Christmas Markets thread, but you can't visit it so that would be a tease.

 

German Family Breaks Their Own Christmas Tree Record with 420:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2021/12/08/christmas-trees-record-german-family/6434689001/

 

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Some people really do need to go over the top with this decorating, etc., don't they? Still I love decorating for the season. I have so far just managed to put up my Advent wreath and one set of lights in the hallway...

 

We have official Christmas trees here also of course. In Berlin all federal states have officials working there, so that building of Rhineland-Palatinate in Berlin is adorned now with a 15m high Christmas tree. The curious thing is: the news reported that it came from a front garden in a village in the Wied valley which is in the Westerwald hills. The place is called Waldbreitbach and famous locally as a Christmas village due to the efforts of one family. Lovely place in winter and pleasant all year round. I do wonder though how that tree came to be chosen for Berlin. I mean, does some guy who has got a tree that has grown to big for the garden know some other guy who knows an official - no clue.

 

You could get to Waldbreitbach from a river cruise ship docked in Koblenz or Andernach but it would be a struggle if you have limited time.

 

notamermaid

 

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Advent, Advent, ein Lichtlein brennt. Erst eins. 🕯️

 

Lighting the first candle on the virtual Advent wreath.

 

Is it time already again?! Somehow this year has gone so fast. Apart from the absolute essentials I have been avoiding the news, the bad world. Dealing with transition in management, the corporate identity and sameness of design in Germany and governmental and other policies have been enough to keep me away from most of media for the most part, there is only so much this dainty woman with old rebel soul can take...

 

But not too worry, a smile of a happy customer at work - just like yesterday - or a problem solved gets me quickly back on track. So, although I have only been to two mediocre Christmas markets away from the tourist centres, life is good. I mean, seeing a river cruise ship in Christmas lights? Enough to keep you sane for hours. :classic_smile:

 

"A problem solved" - that reminds me. I do local history research, sometimes directly about the river and the landscape. You can go without progress for weeks on such tiny details, but this week I phoned an engineer and things fell into place... I struck gold. We exchanged facts and then he said "I have got this book"... So he opened the relevant pages and told me exactly what I wanted to know from a book over 100 years old. He even sent me several pdf-files. And then I also heard that in a couple of months I will be able to access a private archive currently closed.

 

So after a bleak November December started on a happy note and I can already look forward to something in 2024.

 

Hope you have had a good start to Advent. Have a good week.

 

notamermaid

 

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10 hours ago, Canal archive said:

Our nations yearly lovely present from Norway of a huge Christmas tree is on its way to Trafalgar Square. So if your visiting on your way through to mainland Europe have a look, it may not be as big as those in North America but it is very special.

 

We saw it last year. Was lovely!

 

20221224_104236.thumb.jpg.a2d3b4fc6ddca66b4468595fecf610d2.jpg

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My neighborhood does a Holiday House Tour as a fundraiser.  I have five trees up.  It was a beautiful day for the tour yesterday and I got a lot of compliments on the decorations.  Here’s four of them.

 

 

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Wow I can only get away with one and I have to wait to dress it as the tree (artificial) is near a radiator that is playing up which has to be checked by an engineer on Tuesday.
Watching a fascinating programme on tv about Western Australia by a guy named Bill Bailey what an interesting part of the world.

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5 hours ago, UDChE89 said:

My neighborhood does a Holiday House Tour as a fundraiser.  I have five trees up.  It was a beautiful day for the tour yesterday and I got a lot of compliments on the decorations.  Here’s four of them.

 

 

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Lovely!  I just discovered that DISH will play "Minnesota Lutheran Christmas Carols" as long as I want them.  What fun to sing along to those songs I learned when I was 14 in church choir.  Wishing everyone a great Christmas!  I'll be in San Diego walking the beach, looking for Santa.

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1 hour ago, jsn55 said:

Wishing everyone a great Christmas!  I'll be in San Diego walking the beach, looking for Santa.

Merry Christmas to you!  San Diego beach would be a good place to look for Santa, but on Dec. 26 in his R&R time.  😀

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8 hours ago, notamermaid said:

Advent, Advent, ein Lichtlein brennt. Erst eins. 🕯️

 

Lighting the first candle on the virtual Advent wreath.

 

Is it time already again?! Somehow this year has gone so fast. Apart from the absolute essentials I have been avoiding the news, the bad world. Dealing with transition in management, the corporate identity and sameness of design in Germany and governmental and other policies have been enough to keep me away from most of media for the most part, there is only so much this dainty woman with old rebel soul can take...

 

But not too worry, a smile of a happy customer at work - just like yesterday - or a problem solved gets me quickly back on track. So, although I have only been to two mediocre Christmas markets away from the tourist centres, life is good. I mean, seeing a river cruise ship in Christmas lights? Enough to keep you sane for hours. :classic_smile:

 

"A problem solved" - that reminds me. I do local history research, sometimes directly about the river and the landscape. You can go without progress for weeks on such tiny details, but this week I phoned an engineer and things fell into place... I struck gold. We exchanged facts and then he said "I have got this book"... So he opened the relevant pages and told me exactly what I wanted to know from a book over 100 years old. He even sent me several pdf-files. And then I also heard that in a couple of months I will be able to access a private archive currently closed.

 

So after a bleak November December started on a happy note and I can already look forward to something in 2024.

 

Hope you have had a good start to Advent. Have a good week.

 

notamermaid

 

Indeed, notamermaid,

"One candle is lit for the Hope of the age" - as ends the first verse of the hymn that we sang today. One of the greatest hopes would be for the realization of what next week's candle stands for: "the reign of God's Peace".

 

Irreverently there is a funny Christmas season story from the Oberpfalz called "Apfent Apfent, der Bärwurz brennt" .. (Erst trinkst oan, dann zwoa - drei - vier...)  from Toni Lauerer. Even Ilse Aigner, former Bavarian Landtagspräsidentin once read it for an Advent ceremony - what a hoot!

 

Have a blessed Advent season!

RDVIK

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jsn55 don’t tell my daughters they loved walking that beach they’re both now late 40s early 50s they met a lady who was over the moon meeting two English girls, at the time the only English voices she had heard in person since becoming a war bride. What a long time, we cancelled our next venue so that she could hear as much as she wanted to.

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