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US: Pooler GA – National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Flies High

National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force – Wow, right in the middle of their combat gallery you can watch volunteers restore the fuselage of a WWII B-17 bomber. It was unnerving to find out that the aluminum is so thin that your finger can make it wiggle.img_3382

Hear first-hand stories of brave men and women who were not only pilots, but navigators, ground crew, radio operators or even POW’s from 1942-1945. You can set the stage watching a 20 min. movie depicting the perils of a World War II strategic bombing mission over Nazi Germany, where at times 60% of the flights were one way (now that’s bravery).

Find the story about Tyre C. Weaver, who was so badly wounded that he asked to be thrown from his plane to parachute into enemy territory hoping to receive medical
treatment, and of the 10-year old girl who found him.

Learn about Jacqueline Cochran who founded the women’s air force and flew every plane, and Nancy Harkness Love, who delivered planes, tested them and towed targets, and Ann Baumgartner Carl, the first woman to pilot a jet.

Peer into a MIG 21 nose section. See if you can find the dollar bill signed by Clark Gable or what tora tora tora means. There’s a museum store, and outside you can view an F-4C Phantom, MiG-17A and B47 bomber. 

Location: National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force,
175 Bourne Ave, Pooler, GA 31322
Hours: Opened Daily 9am–5pm
Tel: 912-748-8888
mightyeighth.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: poolerchamber.com

US: Lincoln, MA -See Bauhaus Home Furnishings In Bauhaus Home – National Historic Landmark

If you’re a fan of architecture and design you’ll want to check out The Gropius House. Walter Gropius, the founder of the highly influential Bauhaus School and one of the most prominent architects of the 20th century designed this striking home in 1938 after moving from Germany to Massachusetts to teach at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.gropius-house

Modest in scale, the house was revolutionary in impact. It combined the traditional elements of New England architecture — wood, brick, and fieldstone, with innovative materials rarely used in domestic settings at that time: glass block, acoustical plaster, and chrome banisters, along with the latest technology in fixtures. gropius-house-furniture

At the Gropius House, Bauhaus ideals remain alive, and throughout Gropius’s life, he and his wife Ise continued to add newly designed furnishings that reflected their belief in the marriage of design and industry.  In keeping with Bauhaus philosophy, every aspect of the house and its surrounding landscape was planned for maximum efficiency and simplicity of design. gropius-house-study

Two years after Mrs. Gropius’s death in 1983, the Gropius House opened as a historic house museum. The house contains a significant collection of furniture designed by Marcel Breuer  and fabricated in the Bauhaus workshops. The house also contains works by Eero Saarinen, Joan Miró, and Herbert Bayer that were given as gifts to Walter Gropius. With all the family possessions still in place, the house has an cohesiveness rarely found in house museums.

All images are “Courtesy of Historic New England.”

Location: Gropius House. 68 Baker Bridge Road, Lincoln, Mass. 01773
Dates: Sat and Sun, until May 31
Hours: 11 – 4pm, Tours on the hour
Tel: 781-259-8098
historicnewengland.org/historic-properties/homes/Gropius%20House
For Regional Information, Restaurants & Attractions: merrimackvalley.org

Cosmos Tour: Prague Vienna Budapest – Danube River

The Cosmos Tour through Prague, Vienna and Budapest criss-crosses the Danube River.  The river flows from the Black Forest to the Black Sea for 2,872 km, and passes through or touches the borders of 10 countries: Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, Ukraine, and Moldova.

www.cosmos.com/Product.aspx?trip=46050

Germany: Munich Hotel Bayerischer Hof

The Hotel Bayerischer Hof was opened in 1841 because King Ludwig I wished to have a comfortable place for his guests to stay. (What – no extra rooms in his gi-normous palace?). Today it is still a gorgeous 5-star hotel, but we think the best places are on the roof and in the basement.

Palais Keller, situated in the old salt cellar from the Middle Ages, is an inexpensive but delicious place to dine on traditional Bavarian food. Go down the stone steps to this bustling restaurant with waitresses sporting frilly aprons, carrying big mugs of Lowenbrau beer and wearing big smiles. The folkloric atmosphere only adds to the taste of the veal in cream sauce with spaetzle, potato salad, sauerkraut, bread dumplings, weiswursts and cheese wursts, along with pretzels with mustard.

After you’ve dined head for the roof, to the Blue Spa Bar & Lounge. Have a drink in the sky and take in the birds-eye view of all of Munich before you.

RooftopResto RooftopResto2

In 1897 Herrmann Volkhardt bought the hotel, and today Innegrit Volkhardt, the fourth generation, is the General Manager.  It was bombed in WWII; Falk Volkhardt, the son of Hermann  made an amazing discovery under the ruins of the destroyed hotel – the Spiegelsaal (Mirror Hall) had survived almost intact.  In October 1945, this was where he opened the first restaurant in the centre of Munich after the war.

http://www.muenchen.de/int/en/tourism.html

Germany: Munich’s Door Handles

When you’re walking around Munich, make sure to notice their great door handles. The city is known for them.

DoorHandles

www.muenchen.de/int/en/tourism.html

Germany: Munich Residenz

The Wittelsbach dynasty ruled the German territories of Bavaria from 1180 to 1918 – that’s 738 years,  pretty impressive.  Munich Residenz,  their former royal palace, is  located right in the center of Munich and very much open to the public. After 4 centuries of building it, the giant palace is made up of  many styles: late Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and Neo-Classicism.PalaceMunich

Though spartan on the outside, it is very opulent inside. You can tour it for its architecture, over-the-top room decor (130 rooms), and displays from the former royal collections. After WWII, the Cuvilliés Theatre was built into the Festsaalbau wing. You can also catch the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Hercules Hall. In his time, Mozart performed in this palace.

The Treasury houses the jewels of the Wittelsbach dynasty and spans 1,000 years, from the early Middle Ages to Neo-classicism, and includes: crowns, swords, golden objects, rock crystal, ivory, goblets, icons, tableware and toiletries.

The palace suffered huge damages during WWII, but the curators managed to store furnishings, art and  details of its architecture in mines. When you are wandering around the 10 PalaceStatuecourtyards, see if you can find this fountain with statues of  fire, water, earth and air on its corners.

The Wittelsbach family’s head, since 1996, is Franz, Duke of Bavaria, and he still hangs out in Munich. During WWII, the Wittelsbachs were anti-Nazi and were arrested when Franz was 11. He spent time in several Nazi concentration camps. After the war, he studied at the University of Munich and became a collector of modern art. Some of his collection is on loan to the Pinakothek der Moderne Museum (see other post).

www.muenchen.de/int/en/tourism.html

Germany: Munich’s English Garden

The “English Garden”, really the Englischer Garten in Munich is  known as one of the largest urban public parks in the world. Believe it or not, it was designed by an American physicist, Sir Benjamin Thompson in 1789.EnglishGarden

Born in Woburn, Massachusetts, he served as a Lieutenant-Colonel on the British side during the American Revolutionary War for which he received a knighthood from King George III. He later lived in Germany and became Count Rumford.

www.muenchen.de/int/en/tourism.html

Germany: Munich Modern Art Museum

 Haus der Deutschen Kunst (“House of Aryan Art”) was the Third Reich’s first monumental structure of Nazi architecture and a showcase for  Nazi propagHitlerMuseumanda. It  opened  July 18, 1937 to highlight what the Third Reich regarded as Germany’s finest art.  Since Hitler thought Modern Art was crap, he intended this as an edifying contrast to it.

Ironically, since, 2002, it has housed the the National Collection of Modern and Contemporary Arts and is called the Pinakothek der Moderne.

Just to make sure we get it, crowning the top of the building are 20 words written in Yiddish such as “meshiginer or nudnick” – all words relating to the fact he was a fool.

www.muenchen.de/int/en/tourism.html

Germany: Munich – White Rose Nazi Resistors

From June 1942 to February 1943, Munich was the center of the White Rose, a student resistance movement WhiteRosewhich was known for an anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign. The group was in active opposition to dictator Adolf  Hitler’s regime. Six well-known members were arrested and be-headed following a distribution of leaflets in Munich University by Hans and Sophie Scholl.

You can see the black granite monument to the White Rose Movement in the Hofgarten. Their words carved on it say that every human being has the right to live in freedom of their faith and welfare.

www.muenchen.de/int/en/tourism.html

Cosmos Tour: Prague Vienna Budapest – Trabant Car

The Trabant car was pretty much the only one you could buy in the Soviet Bloc of countries. They had a long waiting list. In Hungary you would have to wait about 4 years. If you thought that was bad, if you lived in East Germany it was a 15 to 20 year wait. You might have ordered it, but by the time you received it, your children were ready to drive it. www.cosmos.com/Product.aspx?trip=46050

 

Trabant