Once again it's been a busy few days. Getting Laura off on her big adventure, getting Mark settled back in at home and back to work, teaching a class yesterday (5 down, 1 to go)... Whew! I need a vacation...lol I am hearing from Laura (brief emails) fairly frequently.. that may change now that she is in Poland. Not sure how easily she will be able to access wifi from here on.... She was very impressed with Berlin and the little of Germany that she saw. They had a very busy day and a half in Berlin, visiting sites such as the Brandenburg Gate (photo here courtesy of Internet), Bebelplatz (a large public square surrounded by beautiful buildings such as the State Opera House, the former Royal Library and St. Hedwig's Cathedral, but most well known for the dark day in May 1933 when the Nazis burned 20,000 books there), the very moving Holocaust Memorial (officially known as the Monument to the Murdered Jews in Europe), Grunewald train station and Track 17 where over 50,00 of Berlin's Jews were deported to the camps, Grosse-Hamburger-Strasse which is Berlin's oldest Jewish cemetery and lastly the Wannsee Villa. This beautiful estate in Berlin's suburb of Wannsee (VON-say) was the site of the Wannsee Conference, when 15 top Nazi bureaucrats discussed and co-ordinated the implementation of what they called the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question". The "Final Solution" was the code name for the systematic deliberate annihilation of the European Jews. Laura said it was such a beautiful spot with gorgeous gardens and a beautiful lake out front- hard to comprehend it was the site of such evil...
Today at noon, they boarded their busses for Poland - a 9 hour ride over less than wonderful highways... she described it as much like a rollercoaster - but she thinks Poland is beautiful - picturesque countryside, rich forests, etc. They are in Krakow for the next 2 nights and tomorrow they spend at Auschwitz and Birkenau, a difficult day for sure. She has made a number of wise "observations" already - #1. she doesn't think it's fair to "have to pay to pee". #2. European toiletpaper is less than wonderful (I told her she would appreciate Canada AND Cottonelle SO much more when she returns...) #3. European coffee is very strong- not the best choice before a nine hour busride when you were hoping to catch up on some much needed sleep. It costs in more ways than one... see #1 above. #4. Having a Canadian flag on your backpack is a wonderful thing... Visit her Blog here to follow along on her adventure... I'm sure there'll be more tidbits of wisdom, amusing anecdotes and lots of serious stuff too... This whole adventure is going to be such an amazing experience for Laura, I am so very proud of her...
To end this post on a cheerful note, as it is now 1 a.m. and I really must get to bed, tonight was our final Guild meeting of the season. The Viewers' Choice winners from our recent Quilt Show were announced. You can go here to see the winning quilts and their makers. One of them should look familiar... I won the Miniature category and as well the CQA ribbon for the quilt which received the greatest number of votes!!
"There are only two lasting bequests we can leave our children: one is roots; the other, wings."
~ H. Carter