Thursday, 28 May 2015

Germany - Final Part.

Its so long since we got back, that I feel bit of a fraud posting this, but the last couple of weeks have been an absolute whirlwind, and there has been virtually no time to blog.  Please feel free to skip this post if you are bored with travel posts.

Day two of sight seeing in Hamburg saw us start off at the St Michaelis (St Michael's Church).  This has been rebuilt 3 times since 1641 - it was struck by lightning in 1750; completely destroyed by a fire in 1906; and again in the bombings of WWII.  At 10 o'clock each day there is a bells & trumpet show from the bell tower, which we happened upon quite by accident.  It was pretty spectacular.  So glad we got to hear that, but I bet you'd get sick of it if you lived nearby and had to listen to it each day.
 
 
Down an alleyway nearby, was the Krameramstwohnungen (don't ask me to pronounce that LOL).  These are the remnants of some buildings built in 1620 as housing for the widows of members of the Grocers’ Institute.  They are tiny - basically one room on the lower floor, rickety stairs, and one room above.



 
From here we headed for the waterfront, and jumped on a ferry for a ride up the river.  A nice man took our photo when he saw me trying to get a selfie.
  
 
Hamburg is a port city, so not much in the way of pretty sights.  But I did spy this.  Can you see the lips painted on the prow of this cruise ship?

 
It was a cold, bleak day, so we headed home pretty early.  We were flying out the next day, but not til late in the evening, so we headed out for another day sightseeing.  We started out in a park called the Planten un Blomen.  It is crossed by several roads and runs all the way to the waterfront.
 
Behind the flower display is a rink for roller blades, skateboards and roller skates.  In the middle is the Museum, and there are loads of lovely spots just to sit and contemplate.  There is also a large lake which freezes over for ice skating in winter, and a huge playground for kids.
 
There are some interesting cascades and fountains.....
 
And a towering statue of Bismark.
 
 
This is the waterfront

 
Where there was a whole band of street entertainment.

 
Can you see the gold man - he is sitting on nothing, just thin air.  What leg muscles!!!  And those monster soap bubbles bottom left.
 
We walked the St Pauli Elbe Tunnel - a tunnel built in 1911 under the Elbe River to carry cars and pedestrians to and from the port.  You can read a bit more about it here.

 
There are huge lifts which carry vehicles down to the tunnel, and although it is still used today, the vehicular capacity is quite limited, and there are several bridges to use instead.  This is the Hamburg waterfront from the other side.

 
And that dear peeps was the end of that trip.  Thank you for sticking with me.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Germany

After 4 days in London, I flew to Hamburg, Germany.  My paternal family is from there, so I wanted to see where they came from, and also do a bit of research at the archive.  And yes.  I did score a few goodies in the archive.  Yay!

The Dearly Beloved joined me 2 days later, and we had a few days of sightseeing.  We stayed in a nice apartment in Wandsbek. We were on the first floor above the red car.


Until the Second Schleswig War in 1864, Wandsbek was a part of the Duchy of Holstein and under the rule of the King of Denmark.  It then became part of the Prussian province Schleswig-Holstein until 1937, when the city of Wandsbek joined the city of Hamburg.  It is about 6 or 7 km out of the Hamburg CBD.

The weather was much colder than in England, and I was very glad to have my woollies.  Although the sun shone sometimes, there were many clouds, and it was always cold.  This was from our window - sunshine overhead and darkest, blackest clouds just meters away.

 
Wandsbek has a weekly Farmers Market which operates 6 (??) days a week.  LOL. 
 
A wonderful array of plants, fruit and vegetables, and meat and and just look at that display of cheeses. I would love to shop like that on a regular basis.

There is a pretty little stream running through the town, a tributary of the Wandse River.

 
Hamburg is an old city.  A castle was built there in 808AD by the Emperor Charlemagne.  However a major fire in 1842 destroyed most of the city and the bombing of World War II finishing off what survived the fire, which means that there are few buildings of any age.

Our first stop was the Rathaus, or Town Hall if you don't speak German. 

 
The city is built on a bazillion canals, some of which have locks. 

 
We watched this boat come through one of the locks, close by the Rathaus

 
There are quite a few Lutheran pastors in my ancestry.  Most of which were pastors at the St Nikolai Church, originally built in 1135.  It was destroyed by the fire in 1842, and rebuilt with the spire completed in 1874.  This is a photo taken at the time of its completion.

 
Sadly, this (and the spire) is all that remains after the bombings of WWII.

 
The spire was bombed too, and is a ruin surrounded by scaffolding.  We went up it, but with the bad weather and the scaffolding, there was virtually nothing to see.
 
This is the other church which features largely in my ancestors' lives; St Petri (St Peters).  This church was also destroyed by the fire of 1842, and rebuilt 1844-49 on the same site.

 
These two imposing statues were on either side of the Trostbruecke Bridge over one of the canals.
 
 
St Angsar, Hamburg's archbishop (801 – 865AD) on the left and Adolf III of Holstein (1160 – 1225) on the right.
 
In the warehouse district the buildings are right on the canals.
 
 
I always wonder if buildings like this are damp.  And look at these interesting turrets and towers and carvings.

 
We were puzzled by these padlocks on the Wilhelminen Bruecke (Bridge) down in the warehouse district of Hamburg.  Having taken this photograph, I realised that many of the bridges in Hamburg were festooned with these padlocks. 


A search on the Net when we got home revealed that these are love locks or love padlocks which sweethearts lock to a bridge, fence, gate, or similar public fixture to symbolize their love.  Typically the sweethearts' names or initials are inscribed on the padlock, and its key is thrown away to symbolize unbreakable love.

Hamburg is the major entry point for hand woven carpets into Europe.  The other interesting thing about this bridge is the thousands of pieces of coloured stone reproducing the design of a Persian carpet.  Can you see it in the photo?

Here are some interesting modern buildings I spied in my rambles.
 

On the left is the circular Cosco building; in the middle is a Docklands Office Building; and on the right are the Dancing Towers, on the Reeperbahn. 

Now I have to crow.  I had no idea what two of these were, and I found out be Googling the image.  You upload the image and search.  Hey presto!  Some suggestions are returned.  Totally blown away by this.

I have one more travel post to do.  Hope you aren't all bored to tears by these posts. 

Saturday, 24 January 2015

January Blues

No not the depressing kind, but the Rainbow Scrap Challenge kind!

Firstly this week, I made up another three little Twinkler Stars.  I now have 5 of the small sized ones.   Love these!

 
Then I made up some Bow Ties. 

 
I have seen them around a lot on the Net recently.  Sharon at Vrooman's Quilts had some pretty straightforward instructions here.  Hers are much bigger than mine - I used 3" squares for the bows and 2" ones for the centres.  The block measures up an 5.5".  One of the people I follow on Instagram @redandgreenquilts said recently that they are addictive to make.  They sure are!  I had not intended on making as many as I did.
 
During the week I had a birthday.  And was absolutely spoilt by my daughter and my 3 lovely grandies.  Here is my booty:

 
A self sharpening ruler; a fat quarter and a "Beetle" bag (project bag)

 
My gorgeous girl made the bag.  So useful.  It has two pockets and a pin cushion on the inside of the front and back cover, and some little zip baggies in clear plastic to pop the blocks or embroidery or whatever into for travelling or just keeping things neat.  I can see this being used a lot.
 
We had a sumptuous afternoon tea, and then played Carcassone.  Have you ever played that?  It was a Christmas present to my Dearly Beloved, and we have had great fun playing it.
 
This week I have also finished up the quillow I was working on last week.  Here it is all folded up into its pillow....
 
The Front

The Back

Linking up this week to Angela's RSC link party at soscrappy.  Why not go and take a look at what others have done this week.
 
Til next time.....Keep on stitching.

Monday, 18 August 2014

The Mystery Quilt

A couple of weeks back, I put my hand up to make some blocks for an Aussie Hero Mystery Quilt, and I offered to put it together.  I put up a post about it here.
 
The brief was royal blue background, and stars made with a centre feature of sport or Australian theme.  The stars were made from the block of the month tutorial on the AHQ website (here) (towards the bottom of the page).  The last sewing day at Jan-Maree's I made up 5 blocks as there weren't sufficient sewers put up their hand to make a block.  The rest came in the post over the next few weeks.
 
Here are some of the contributions: 
 


Last week I laid it all out and got it sewn together.

 
I then took it on Friday to get it pinned for quilting.  Disaster!  It wasn't long enough.  We make Aussie Hero quilts at 72" long - some of them are big boys!
I had made the assumption that since I was getting the blocks, there would be sufficient sent to me for me to make the quilt.  Silly me.  Should have measured it eh?
 
So back home it came and I put my thinking cap on.  I decided to unpick the seam between the second and third rows and insert a 6.5" strip with an appliqued Aussie saying.  While thinking about this, I picked up an absolutely hilarious book called "Lost for Words" by Hugh Dunn, which is all about Aussie slang and sayings.  Totally distracted, I flicked through and read bits here and there, which is really the only way to read that book. It made me realise that we are losing our identity.  With all the immigrants here and the television shows from the US & UK, we are becoming less Aussie in the way we speak.   I try hard not to use a lot of Australianisms in this blog because I know a lot of my readers are from overseas, but reading it, I realise that in normal conversation I tend to use quite a bit of slang.  Not a bad thing I guess, we are Aussies! 
 
I have come up with this.
 

Tibby was most interested as I laid it out to photograph.  It was so hard to get the photos without her in it.  LOL  Didn't quite manage it here.

 
This afternoon I did some of the lettering using the buttonhole stitch on my machine.  Love that machine!!

With a  bit of luck I'll have it all done by Friday and the quilt sewn back up, so then I can take it to pin on the trestle tables.

Til next time.....Keep on stitching.