Dresden – May 12

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Cyclists enjoying Dresden’s charm appear blissfully unaware of the scary chappie on their left.

We left Berlin early and headed for Prague. Focusing on Budapest, Poland and Berlin in my pre-trip research, I’d done no research on Dresden, the capital of Saxony. It was only a 2.5 -hour lunch stop on the way. Dresden’s beautiful transformation from bombed out ruin to architectural film-gobbler took me totally by surprise. We crossed the Elbe River from north to south and got off our bus in its old centre on the Elbe’s left bank. The Elbe flows into the North Sea. Our tour director told us about the intense, sometimes controversial, rebuilding that has taken place since Germany was reunified in 1989. She told us about Augustus the Strong and Friedrich the Wise. Post-trip reading on Dresden revealed the importance of Saxony in German history and the deep, torn religious fervour of its rulers. I pondered, chuckling about how Friedrich der Weise, a devout  Catholic in the early 1500’s who somehow found the courage to support Martin Luther, throughout his life collected and filled his castle church with about 19000 Catholic relics that included St. Anne’s thumb, a twig from Moses’ burning bush, hay from the Holy Manger and milk from Mary’s breast. Gems like this encourage me to keep on doing research on the olden daysContinue reading “Dresden – May 12”

If Europe Really Cared…

Acropolis from the Plaka Hotel, October 24, 2011
Acropolis from the Plaka Hotel, October 24, 2011 … Hey, is THIS for sale???

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Europe has never been asked what happened to what they gave Greece. They simply didn’t control it. Why not? Because Germany and France have done good business.

Petros Markaris

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Petros Markaris is a very popular Athens-based, Greek author and playwright who has created a series of novels based on an Athens police detective called Costas Haritos. Markaris was born in 1937 in Istanbul to an Armenian  father and Greek mother. The family moved to Athens when Markaris was 17. He went to university in Vienna and can write in German, Greek and Turkish. He has lived in Athens for four decades. He is a candid lover of Greece and an astute observer of its politics.

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Continue reading “If Europe Really Cared…”