Tag: Christmas Tree

Hawkes Bay Stay

Hawkes Bay Stay

Napier, New Zealand – December 19, 2015

Leslie and I drove to Napier today. It was about a four-hour drive from our home, north on Highway 2. As we got closer to the mountains, the slopes got steeper. At times, it seemed as if we were driving on a cliff face. Regardless of the pitch, the hues of green were just amazing. It was like driving through the green-section of a box of 120 Crayola Crayons.
The road became very narrow, with numerous curves. The scenery seemed to get more and more beautiful. At a couple of the sharper curves, we encountered logging trucks traveling the opposite direction. It seemed mere inches separated our vehicles.

View from the Rimutaka Pass overlook to the south.

The road summit is at Rimutaka Hill. There was a turn-out there, so we stopped to look. The short trail to the overlook was dirt and gravel. It was also steep. Because of that, Leslie opted to wait in the car. Within 50 meters, I was at the top of the overlook. The view up and down the rugged valley was spectacular.
Signs at the turn-out told the story of infantry reinforcements crossing at Rimutaka Hill during World War I. The pass is at an elevation of 555 meters above sea level, about 1,800 feet. The weather there must be terrible in the winter. I make that assumption because of the drop-arm at the side of the road, near the bottom of the hill.
On the downhill side of the pass, we mused that the mountain road reminded us of Independence Pass in Colorado. The road was very narrow, especially on some of the curves. I am not sure how two logging trucks could pass each other on such a route.

Some directional signs in Carterton, New Zealand.

In the valley, we drove through the town of Carterton. As we drove along the main street, I saw a sign for Paua World. Even though it was a kilometer or so off the main road, I thought we should see Paua World for ourselves.
Paua (pronounced pah-wah) is a fist-sized shellfish with beautiful mother-of-pearl on the inside surface. In English, we know it as an abalone. Paua World is a “factory” that makes a multitude of tourist trinkets from the shells. We bought a couple of things and then hit the road again.

About two hours into our drive, we approached the town of Pahiatua. It was nearly noon, time for lunch. Along the main street, we spotted The Black Stump Café. We decided that was the place for lunch. Inside, the lone waiter immediately brought us water and menus. I spied beer-battered Terakihi, fries, and Harrow’s tartare sauce for $18.50 (about $12 U.S.). I decided I would try that, even though I am not a big fan of seafood. However, I am determined to do better since we live on a beautiful island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Little did I know at the time, my selection was better described as fish and chips. I found them to be the absolute best fish and chips I have ever had anywhere on this planet.

The lunch stop in Pahiatua, New Zealand.

Continuing our drive northeast, we turned onto Highway 50 shortly after the town of Norsewood. We understood Highway 50 had less traffic, and it was more scenic. The route was incredibly beautiful. It was a good thing there was not as much traffic because there were three one-lane bridges we had to cross. Luckily, one could see far enough ahead to determine whether one might meet another vehicle on the span.

Sheep grazing on hillsides near Napier, New Zealand.

Much of the trip wound through rural areas. We saw several hay fields in which there were the large round hay bales. The plastic shrink-wrapped hay bales look much different from those in the U.S. That makes sense, given the climate in New Zealand.

With the one-lane bridges behind us, we began driving through some rolling hills, which were thick with grasses. The wind had picked up speed. It was mesmerizing to watch the wind blowing the grasses. It made the hills look more like a green ocean.

For the last 30 kilometers (18 miles) or so, we drove through one vineyard after another. The Hawke’s Bay area is well known in New Zealand for its wine production. A local map touted the locations of 32 different vineyards near Napier. We were glad to know we would be contributing to the wine economy during our stay.
At about 15:00 we pulled into the parking lot of the Pebble Beach Motor Inn. It is located on Marine Parade, directly across from the ocean. We walked into our top floor room and immediately fell in love with the view from our terrace. It was stunning. If I had a stronger arm, I probably could have thrown a stone and hit the ocean. Just 400 feet down the road to our right sat the National Aquarium of New Zealand.

View of our terrace (right center) at the Pebble Beach Motor Inn in Napier, New Zealand.

After checking in, we made a quick trip to the supermarket to get a few items to stock the kitchen of our room. When we returned to our space, we did not feel like going out. So we ordered pizza for dinner. It was brilliant, sitting in our room, eating pizza, drinking wine, and watching and listening to the Pacific Ocean’s lap at the beach along Hawke’s Bay.
Across the street from our room, in the park between us and the ocean, was a fountain. It was a beacon to all things children and all things seagull. If a group of children was not splashing around in the fountain, then a group of seagulls was there, trying to clean up and taking a drink.

A seabird finished with bathing in the fountain in Napier, New Zealand.

Once we got things sorted in our room, we decided to walk to the beach. On the way, we saw a seabird of some sort sitting on a nest in the pebbles under a log. As we watched her, she watched us. She turned her head to keep a close eye on us even though we never approached too close. Unfortunately, the next morning, we noticed she was dead. We have no idea what may have happened overnight.

A nesting seabird in Napier, New Zealand. The next morning she was dead.

The beach was not one of sand, but rather one of gray to black pebbles. The sun heated those small pebbles. I think the largest ones we saw were maybe two inches across. They were all reasonably flat. One afternoon, we decided to lay on the beach. I cannot express here just how comfortable that was. As one wiggled, the pebbles formed to one’s shape. The stones were nice and warm, which made the lie-down all the more relaxing and comfortable. I would highly recommend that to any visitor to the beach.

The sea receding from the beach in Napier, New Zealand.

On our first full day in Napier, we agreed we would go to the aquarium. Over coffee, we read up on the aquarium. We found that it opened at 09:00. We were at the door at 08:55. As soon as the aquarium opened, we made a beeline for the penguin exhibit. The literature noted that penguin feeding occurred at 09:30 every day.
We sat at the penguin exhibit, enjoying the antics of the penguins as they and we waited for feeding time. One penguin swam erratically in circles, appearing quite excited. Several others stood on the wooden pier, looking longingly at the door from which the feeders no doubt used to enter the exhibit. They too were quite animated.

A little blue penguin swimming at the National Aquarium in Napier, New Zealand.

Ultimately, a woman and a man entered the exhibit. The man, carrying a bucket, went to the far end of the enclosure, followed by a flock of penguins. There was also one lone seagull there. As the man fed the penguins, the woman spoke to those of us gathered about the penguins. All of the penguins there are Little Blue Penguins (the smallest penguin species), each of which was rescued from the wild. The rescues were necessary due to any number of maladies; for example, one penguin had lost an eye, another had lost a flipper. Even the seagull, a rescued bird, was missing a wing. The seagull received some fish too.

A man feeding the penguins at the National Aquarium in Napier, New Zealand.

Because of our visit to the penguin exhibit, I realized I saw Little Blue Penguin on a rock in Wellington Harbour. As I rode the train into town alongside the harbor, I saw a lone penguin standing on a small rock, just off the shore. I was surprised to have seen only one that day as I thought they were more of a social animal.
When the penguin feeding finished, we walked to the Oceanarium area. This large aquarium includes a glass “tunnel.” The tunnel allows one to walk literally through the aquarium while many of the fish swim overhead. It was similar to the tunnel we encountered in the aquarium in Valencia, Spain, but for one detail. At this aquarium, in addition to a carpeted path through the tunnel, there was a moving sidewalk too. All one need do is stand still and watch the fish as the sidewalk moves through the tunnel.

The tunnel under the large aquarium in Napier, New Zealand.

We took a trip through the tunnel. Just as we exited, we saw a diver in the tank, right on time for the 10:00 feeding. The diver was adept at communicating to the audience via hand signals and pantomime. It was fascinating to watch the fish swarm the diver each time he pulled his hand from the feeding bucket.

Feeding time at the main tank at the National Aquarium in Napier, New Zealand.

We continued through the rest of the aquarium at our leisure. We finished up at the Fish Bowl Café with a cup of coffee. We sat on the terrace while we enjoyed our coffee. When finished, we took a quick stroll through the Treasure Chest Gift Shop, emerging with our requisite refrigerator magnet.
Our next stop was the Art Deco area of old Napier. A disaster is the reason there is so much Art Deco architecture here. In 1931, an earthquake destroyed much of the city. The townspeople vowed to rebuild. At the time, the fashionable architectural style was Art Deco. For that reason, the central portion of old Napier has an abundance of Art Deco buildings. It was like going back in time. The town celebrates that heritage each February with an Art Deco festival.

A poster advertising the Art Deco Festival in Napier, New Zealand.

We stopped at a street-side café for a leisurely brunch. As we have done so often in the past, we enjoyed our meal as we watched the world.
Near the Art Deco center of the town, there was a bronze statue of a mermaid. It was ever so slightly more significant than the famous mermaid statue in Copenhagen, Denmark; although it does not seem to be thronged quite as much as that statue. The figure is known as Pania of the Reef. A plaque at the base of the sculpture relates the following story. “An old Maori legend tells how Pania, lured by the siren voices of the sea people, swam out to meet them. When she endeavored to return to her lover, she was transformed into the reef which now lies beyond the Napier breakwater. To perpetuate the legend the Thirty Thousand Club presented this statue to the City of Napier – 1954.”

Sculpture of a Maori legend in Napier, New Zealand.

We went for a swim near the Port of Napier. The water was anything but warm. Regardless, it was fun. When we left the beach, we drove back toward our hotel. I just happened to see a sign pointing up a road to Bluff Hill Overlook. I took a quick right turn and headed uphill. The closer we got, the more narrow the road became. I was delighted we did not meet another vehicle on the way up.
Once we parked on top of Bluff Hill and walked to the fence, we were astonished by the view. It was probably a 270-degree view of the area. We had a commanding view of the port. It was just amazing how many trees were on the dock, waiting for shipment out of New Zealand. One of our taxi drivers said the logs were destined primarily for either Japan or China. Quite frankly, with the environmental consciousness in New Zealand, I was surprised that so much timber is exported.

Thousands upon thousands of logs waiting to be shipped out of the port in Napier, New Zealand.

Ascending the pass from the south side.

Commemorative sign at the top of Rimutaka Pass.
View to the north from the Rimutaka Pass overlook.
Looking from the south toward the summit of Rimutaka Pass.
Road sign on Highway 2 in New Zealand, warning of Kiwis crossing the road.
Closer view of sheep grazing on hillsides near Napier, New Zealand.
A dog near the side of the fountain, seemingly playing hide and seek with his owner. This is in Napier, New Zealand.
View along Marine Parade in Napier, New Zealand.
A young boy playing in a fountain in Napier, New Zealand.
A man fishing from the beach in Napier, New Zealand.
View of Cape Kidnappers from the beach in Napier, New Zealand.
Wild grass at the summit of Rimutaka Pass.
Looking toward the port from the beach in Napier, New Zealand.
Pebbles on the beach in Napier, New Zealand.
Trees along Marine Parade in Napier, New Zealand.
Several seabirds departing the fountain in Napier, New Zealand.
A seabird seems to be doing the backstroke in the fountain in Napier, New Zealand.
Some flowers in the median of Marine Parade in Napier, New Zealand.
Enjoying some Sauvignon Blanc wine on the terrace of the Pebble Beach Motor Inn in Napier, New Zealand.
Vacancy sign as evening comes in Napier, New Zealand.
The view along Marine Parade at sunrise in Napier, New Zealand.
A breaker at the beach in Napier, New Zealand.
On the beach in Napier, New Zealand.
A pohutukawa tree, affectionately known as a Christmas tree, in Napier, New Zealand.
The Millennial Sculpture in Napier, New Zealand.
Sitting by the fountain in Napier, New Zealand.
The National Aquarium of New Zealand in Napier.
Penguins waiting to be fed at the National Aquarium in Napier, New Zealand.
A lone penguin at the National Aquarium in Napier, New Zealand.
This woman explained what was happening while her colleague fed the penguins at the National Aquarium in Napier, New Zealand.
The fountain changes colors throughout the night in Napier, New Zealand.
A starfish at the National Aquarium in Napier, New Zealand.
A shark in the National Aquarium in Napier, New Zealand.
A pufferfish in the National Aquarium in Napier, New Zealand.
The diver feeding the fish in the National Aquarium in Napier, New Zealand.
Christmas decorations National Aquarium style in Napier, New Zealand.
Some koy fish in the National Aquarium in Napier, New Zealand.
A lizard in the National Aquarium in Napier, New Zealand.
An alligator in the National Aquarium in Napier, New Zealand.
A sea turtle in the National Aquarium in Napier, New Zealand.
Ready for lunch in Napier, New Zealand.
Our server for lunch in Napier, New Zealand.
Trying on a mask in Napier, New Zealand.
Trying on a pink hat and boa in Napier, New Zealand.
The museum in Napier, New Zealand.
The city hall building in Napier, New Zealand.
The Soundshell in Napier, New Zealand.
The lawn between the fountain and the Soundshell in Napier, New Zealand.
A chrome globe near the Soundshell in Napier, New Zealand.
Pohutukawa trees near the museum in Napier, New Zealand.
Seeing an old car on the street in Napier, New Zealand is not unusual.
A scooter parked outside Cafe Divine in Napier, New Zealand.
Another view of the city hall building in Napier, New Zealand.
A traditional Christmas tree in Napier, New Zealand.
Detail view of an overhead door in Napier, New Zealand.
A mannequin in the Farmers store in Napier, New Zealand.
A bouquet Christmas decoration in Napier, New Zealand.
A touring car in Napier, New Zealand.
A unique wall on the museum in Napier, New Zealand.
The Tom Parker Fountain in Napier, New Zealand.
View toward the Soundshell in Napier, New Zealand.
One of the many Art Deco buildings in Napier, New Zealand.
A decorated lawnmower in Napier, New Zealand.
Some bird of paradise flowers in Napier, New Zealand.
View of the wall through some bird of paradise flowers in Napier, New Zealand.
More of the beautiful flowers in Napier, New Zealand.
View of the port in Napier, New Zealand.
A view of the Pacific Ocean from the Bluff Hill Lookout in Napier, New Zealand.
A Norfolk pine near the Bluff Hill Lookout in Napier, New Zealand.
The safe swimming area near the port in Napier, New Zealand.
On top of Bluff Hill in Napier, New Zealand, a geodetic beacon used for surveying.
A musician at a local pub in Napier, New Zealand.
The museum in Napier, New Zealand.
A half-moon during the day in Napier, New Zealand.
A homemade earthquake detector in Napier, New Zealand.
People enjoying a ride in a touring car along Marine Parade in Napier, New Zealand.
The bar at the Thirsty Whale in Napier, New Zealand.
A Kiwi leather bank near the homemade earthquake detector in Napier, New Zealand.
Love on driftwood.
The fountain at night II.
The fountain at night III.
The fountain at night IV.
The National Aquarium at sunset.
A sculpture commemorating fishermen. The sculpture is next to the National Aquarium.
Yellow flowers at Bluff Hill Lookout.
Flowers at Bluff Hill Lookout.
Another grouping of flowers at Bluff Hill Lookout.
Purple flowers at Bluff Hill Lookout.
Some deeply purple flowers at Bluff Hill Lookout.
The Pania of the Reef statue.
The green hills on the way to Napier.
A ship making for the port.
A stunning blue sky!
Looking across Hawke’s Bay.
Two men walking a dog.
A woman walking her dog by the fountain.
A jogger passing by on the beach track.
Marine Parade in the afternoon.
An afternoon moon.
The Shed 2 restaurant.
Some of the restaurants on West Quay street.
Fishing boats.
A portion of the marina.
People enjoying the entertainment and a lovely evening on the deck.
A dog waiting patiently for its owner.
The BBQ pizza was delicious.
The evening’s entertainment during cocktails and dinner.
A Norfolk Pine.
The pebbles at Pebble Beach.
An incoming wave at Napier.
The Black Stump Cafe.
The other lunch guest.
Lunch at The Black Stump Cafe in Pahiatua, New Zealand.
A section of Highway 58 on the way to Lower Hutt.
The lush vegetation in New Zealand is amazing.
The Tasman Sea with Kapiti Island just on the right.
Even on a cloudy day, it is beautiful.
Such a lush landscape.
An antique tour car driving by as we sat on the terrace of our motel room.
The bar at the Thirsty Whale restaurant.
The Thirsty Whale.
Tallinn

Tallinn

Tallinn, Estonia – January 5, 2015

Our flight from Frankfurt, Germany to Tallinn, Estonia took about two, uneventful hours. We landed around 16:30, but it was already quite dark, snowy, and cold. We walked from the gate to the baggage claim area and began our wait.
The various bags continued around and around on the carousel. I noticed the man I had met in Frankfurt standing at one end of the carousel. Shortly, he and his wife retrieved their bags and headed for the exit. Meanwhile, Leslie and I continued to wait. Finally, Leslie’s bag showed up, but mine did not emerge from the bowels of the airport. We took what bags we had and exited the terminal to meet our Embassy driver. We told him of the missing baggage. He went with us to the baggage counter to file a claim for the missing bags.
We left the warm confines of the terminal and braced against our first bout of winter in several years. It was freezing for two people that have spent the last couple of years in a Caribbean climate.
On the way to our apartment, the driver went by the Embassy. That was so I would have some idea of how to walk to work the next morning.
Another five minutes, and he dropped us at the apartment. It was only about one-half mile from the Embassy, at Tuvi 12/2. The apartment had three bedrooms and a commanding view of the Baltic Sea to the northwest. There were also two terraces, one off the breakfast area and one off the living room area. At the entry, there was a powder room. Just down the hall from the powder room in one direction was a full bathroom. Down the hall, the other way was a room with a Jacuzzi tub, shower enclosure, and sink. That room also opened on to the living room terrace. Beside the shower was the entry to the sauna.

The apartment building in which we lived.
To the north, one could see the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral from our apartment.
Panorama to the east from our apartment.
The icy and snow-covered park near our apartment.
Northwestern view from our apartment.
An interesting looking building on Tõnismägi, near our apartment.

All of the bathroom areas, as well as the front entry, had tile floors, all heated by in-floor hot water loops. The sauna became my morning coffee room, at least for my first cup.
When I arrived at the office the next morning, I got into my work email. It is worth noting at this point that we had been waiting for our Pakistan visas since March 24, 2014. When I opened my work email account, I saw an email that had the timestamp of 16:30 the previous day, stating I had my visa and Leslie’s would follow shortly. How ironic I finally received my Pakistan visa when we landed in Estonia!
After finishing the workweek, Leslie and I decided to take Saturday to explore Old Town Tallinn. We walked the three­ quarters of a mile from our apartment to Old Town. Since it had rained a little the previous night, some spots were very slick with ice. Just entering the Old Town area, we saw an outdoor ice-skating rink. I found it interesting that every song played was from the United States, circa the 1950s and 1960s.

Colorful buildings along Rüütli (Knight Street). The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is in the background.
Colorful buildings along Rüütli (Knight Street).
Bird-shaped barriers along Rüütli (Knight Street).
Approaching Old Town Tallinn.
The cafe building at Kullassepa and Kuninga.
A cafe at the corner of Kullassepa and Kuninga.
The view to the north along Kullassepa.

We made it to our destination, Town Hall Square, where a Christmas market was on its final day. I understand it ran into January because of the Russian Orthodox Church calendar. Regardless of why, the market held many sights and experiences. To begin our shopping experience, we bought some of the obligatory warm wine, known as Glögg. At about a 25% alcohol level, the wine packed a punch.

Glögg is a surprising potent, warm wine. It was for sale at nearly every booth at the Christmas market.
More glögg for sale!
One can also buy Christmas trees at the Christmas market.
This sign lists everything happening at the Tallinn Christmas Market.
The Christmas market with the steeple of Holy Spirit Church in the distance.
Looking to the west on Dunkri.
A nativity scene along the side of the Town Hall building.
This sign lists everything happening at the Tallinn Christmas Market.
Many Christmas items for sale in the market.
A wider view of the main plaza.
Two women and two children walking in the main plaza.
The Town Hall building with its tower.
Looking to the north along Mündi.
City Hall and a Christmas tree dominate the Christmas Market.

As we wandered around, we bought several trinkets and souvenirs to bring back with us. One of the items I purchased was wild boar sausage. Later that evening, it went quite well with our wine. It did not have a gamey taste. It had a somewhat summer sausage taste with a very definite smoky flavor.
The town hall building had some unique rain downspouts; they looked like a green dragon. They stick out from the building quite far. I would hate to walk under them during a shower because the spouts looked large in diameter. On the side of the building, I saw a religious painting surrounded by the masonry of the building, something one would not see in the United States on a public building. I saw a nativity scene on the side of the building too, but that was much less surprising. Lastly, an attractive young woman was sitting on the steps with a friend, just strumming a guitar. I thought that made a good photo.

A dragon downspout at the Town Hall building.
A young woman playing guitar on the steps of the Town Hall building.
People gathering outside the Town Hall building.
The artwork on the side of the Town Hall building.

The cityscape in and around Old Town is unique. The home and buildings sport a variety of pastel colors. That, combined with the sharply pitched, red tile roofs make for a quaint scene. Many of the refrigerator magnets sold in the tourist shops mimic those scenes.
At about noon, we finished our shopping and looked for a lunch spot. At random, we selected the “Old Estonia” restaurant, overlooking the Town Hall Square. Lunch started with smoked salmon rolls with a cream cheese filling. A little bit of lemon and fresh dill topped off the rich but delicious course. At the same time, Leslie ordered each of us a large mug of beer… a one-liter beer! At first, I could barely raise the glass containing Saku beer, a locally brewed variety.
Our main course consisted of roast pork with French fries (seapraad friikartuliga). That had to have been the best pork I have had in quite some time. The plate had a bed of large, flat French fries and four very thick and generous slices of pork. The accompanying reddish-clear sauce complemented the pork well. Neither of us could eat it all. We took a large portion home for dinner.

The Olde Estonia restaurant.
Taking a sip of the one-liter beer.
The first sip of the one-liter beer in the Olde Estonian restaurant.
Cheers from the Olde Estonian restaurant.
Leslie was dwarfed by the beers!
An Olde Estonian portrait.
Happy to be inside where it was warm.
Mirrors in the Olde Estonian restaurant.
Artwork above the bar in the Olde Estonian restaurant.
Artwork above the other side of the bar in the Olde Estonian restaurant.

After lunch, we stopped in the Town Hall Pharmacy, the oldest continuously operating pharmacy in all of Europe. I got in on the last of a tour, but I did not hear anything substantial about the shop other than the board game inlaid in the tile floor. They had copies of the game for sale. I opted not to buy one. Outside the pharmacy, mounted on the wall, is the iconic sign. It was a must for a photo.
Above the pharmacy was an antique store. I went up the stairs to check it out while Leslie waited below. In the antique store, I found an early 20th century Russian Orthodox crucifix, made entirely of brass. I bought it for Leslie to add to her cross collection.

A portion of the interior of the Revali Raeapteek, the pharmacy that dates from 1422.
A game on the floor of the Revali Raeapteek.
A coat of arms in the Revali Raeapteek.
The exterior of the Revali Raeapteek.
The sign hanging outside the Raeapteek pharmacy.
People at the arched entry to the small walkway to the smallest store.
The view to the north on Vene.
A group of people walking on Vene to or from an event.
Pedestrians on Apteegi coming from the direction of the pharmacy.
The flags are above the entrance to the Hotel Telegraaf on Vene.
Some graffiti in an alleyway off of Vene.
Several shops along the alleyway off of Vene.
A woman talking on her cell phone.

Essentially behind the pharmacy is the Holy Spirit Church. It is a Lutheran church dating to the 14th century. I wanted to see it because on the face of the church, just above the main entry door is a clock. It is the oldest timepiece in Tallinn. For one Euro each, we entered the church. Some of the woodcarvings inside are amazing — the altar, painted by Bernt Notke, dated from the 15th century.
At about 15:30, when we left the church, it was getting dark. As we walked through Freedom square, on the way back to our apartment, we came upon a candlelight vigil for the Charlie Hebda massacre in Paris. At the time, we did not know what was happening because we had yet to hear the news of the tragedy.

Tourists photographing the smallest store.
One of the smallest shops in Tallinn.
Artwork outside the Saiakangi kohvik (cafe) in Old Town Tallinn.
The yellow building is direct across the street from the Püha Vaimu Kogudus (Holy Spirit Church).
The clock is just above and to the right of the main entry door to the Püha Vaimu Kogudus (Holy Spirit Church).
The clock on the exterior of the Püha Vaimu Kogudus (Holy Spirit Church) dates from the late 17th Century.
A stained glass window in the Püha Vaimu Kogudus (Holy Spirit Church).
Carving on the side of the stairs to the pulpit in the Püha Vaimu Kogudus (Holy Spirit Church).
I could not quite make out the words on this item in the Püha Vaimu Kogudus (Holy Spirit Church).
A small piece of stained glass in the Püha Vaimu Kogudus (Holy Spirit Church).
A stylized crucifix in the Püha Vaimu Kogudus (Holy Spirit Church).
This ornamentation is directly above the pulpit in the Püha Vaimu Kogudus (Holy Spirit Church).
A blue-themed stained glass in the Püha Vaimu Kogudus (Holy Spirit Church).
Wider view of the altar in the Püha Vaimu Kogudus (Holy Spirit Church).
The organ in the Püha Vaimu Kogudus (Holy Spirit Church).
Another small piece of stained glass in the Püha Vaimu Kogudus (Holy Spirit Church).
Paintings on the front of the balcony walkway in the Püha Vaimu Kogudus (Holy Spirit Church).
A candle in front of the altar in the Püha Vaimu Kogudus (Holy Spirit Church).
Detail of the altar in the Püha Vaimu Kogudus (Holy Spirit Church).
An impressionist painting of Luke (left) and John (right) in the Püha Vaimu Kogudus (Holy Spirit Church).
Carvings on the front of the pulpit in the Püha Vaimu Kogudus (Holy Spirit Church).
Looking along the main aisle to the altar in the Püha Vaimu Kogudus (Holy Spirit Church).
A plaque for Balthasar Russow, a beloved Lutheran priest. Below his name reads, “From 1563 to 1600 the priest of the Holy Spirit Congregation.” Below that is, “Therefore, the Livonians may say with the Holy Prophet Daniel: You are fair and your judgment is right.”
A memorial for the Charlie Hebdo tragedy in Paris, France quickly formed at the Estonian Free Army site.

We made it back to our apartment that evening without any of the icy treacheries of the morning walk.
When we awoke on Sunday, we saw that it snowed overnight. From the apartment, it appeared that three or four inches had fallen. Regardless of the snow, we set out for the Russian Orthodox St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. A church we had a good view of from our bedroom window. On our way, we saw a bust of Johan Pitka in a small park. He was a Rear Admiral responsible for forming the Estonian Navy.

The Johan Pitka, 1872 – 1944, memorial.
A very stern looking and cold sculpture of Johan Pitka. He was a Rear Admiral responsible for forming the Estonian Navy.
A man walking his dog on Sunday morning. The Maiden’s Tower is on the left.
Outside the walls near the Maiden’s Tower, one could see the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
The Maiden’s Tower was closed.
Obviously, something is sold from the wagon, but not on cold, snowy Sundays.

Nearing the church, we saw dozens of people going inside. We figured it must be time for mass, so we decided to take a detour. We ended up at the Maiden’s Tower, hoping to have a coffee in the cafe. Unfortunately, it was closed. Near the tower, down several stairs, we saw a sign for the LT Kohvik-baar. We descended the steep stairs and went inside. When we entered, we found ourselves in an entryway with a couple of doors and a steep staircase leading down one more level. We could tell we needed to navigate those stairs to get to the coffee/bar. The handrail of the stairs consisted of a thick rope strung through several iron eyelets. A knot before each hole kept the rope from ending up in a heap of hemp at the bottom of the stairs. The handrail offered virtually no assistance on the descent. It seemed better suited as a lifeline with which to pull oneself back to the surface when exiting.
Nevertheless, we found ourselves in what may have been a cellar storage vault or a dungeon some 600 to 700 years prior. Before entering the vault, one passed by a small bar from which the served beverages emanated. We both had a coffee.
The only furnishings consisted of nine or ten tables with chairs. The vault had a half-round structure, built entirely of stone blocks. At its highest point, the ceiling could not have been more than eight feet high. One lone window poked through the stone wall. The windowsill, sides, and header tapered down through the two-foot thick wall to its final dimension of roughly ten inches square. The hand-rolled glass made it difficult to see well through the window. It all made for a very quaint an intimate space. Besides the server/bartender and us, no one else was in the establishment. I do not know if that was due to the storm or the fact that it was a Sunday morning.

The snow-covered walkway to the LT Kohvik-baar.
The dungeon-esque seating area of LT Kohvik-baar.
The lone server in the LT Kohvik-baar (the LT Cafe Bar) sat behind a computer screen.

Leaving the coffee bar, we carefully made our way back up to the cathedral. We found the front of the church faces the Estonian Parliament building. The stairs to the cathedral were very steep and, without handrails of any sort, rather treacherous in the continuing snowstorm. At the top of the stairs, we saw through the windows in the doors that everyone inside was standing. We assumed the mass was over, so we walked inside. I was instantly stunned by the ornate beauty of the church. While it dates from about 1900, it feels like a structure three or four times as old. My disappointment at not being able to take photos nearly left me grumpy.

The front of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
The art on the front of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
The detail on the front of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
The detail on the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

The church has no pews. Instead, nearly everyone stood in a large circle. The large circle of people surrounded another, smaller circle, which happened to be a choir. Boys and girls ranging in age from 10 to 16, all dressed in traditional Russian costumes, made up the choir. The songs appeared to be Russian Christmas carols.
Walking around the circle, we finally made it to a good vantage point. There, in the center of the ring, sitting on one of the only chairs in the church, sat the priest. He was lost in the enjoyment of the singing. As we stood watching him, the choir began to sing Silent Night, the first pass in Russian and the second in English. It was so beautiful and moving that it nearly brought tears to our eyes.
While the choir sang, we walked around just a little. The level of decoration was incredible, particularly on the screen separating the people from the altar. During the mass, the priests conduct much of the service from behind the screen, out of view of those gathered.
We noticed two beautiful icons as we wandered around, both depicted Mary and baby Jesus. They were each about two feet by three feet in size. The faces and hands were painted in oils, while the remainder of the figures and background were ornately done with silver. Those made each piece look quite impressive. In front of each piece, as well as maybe another dozen icons were brass stands. The stands had a circular bit on top, each with multiple small candleholders. The candles were about 3/8 of an inch in diameter and six to eight inches long. As we watched, many people approached the icons with a candle, made the sign of the cross several times, bowing each time, and lastly lighting the candle and placing it in a holder. The candle stands provided an ambiance I had never seen before.
The snow came down much harder as we left the cathedral. Just to the north of the church, we found a souvenir shop that seemed to specialize in amber jewelry. On the front door, I saw a sign; Kodak tooted. Being a male, I had to take a photograph. What could be better than international fart jokes?! I looked it up later. In Estonian, that phrase translates roughly to; Kodak sold here. Regardless, I thought it was funny. In the store, Leslie found an amber charm for her Pandora bracelet and an amber ring.

Walking along Toom-Kooli, we got our first glimpse of Toomkirik (Dome Cathedral).
Detail of the clock on the steeple of St. Mary’s Cathedral.
The door to a gift shop.
Even though it is sold here, it is no doubt embarrassing…

Another block or two north brought us to our final planned destination for the day, the Dome Church, located on the Kiriku Plats. It is also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin, currently the seat of the Lutheran Church in Estonia, dating from some time before 1233. Entering the church, one sees seemingly endless coats of arms hung on the walls and building columns.
We paid two Euros each to enter. The attendant said I could take all of the photos I wanted, with or without flash in small part, that made up for my disappointment in the Russian Orthodox cathedral. In years past, when noblemen died, the hand­ carved coats of arms accompanied the casket and procession through town to the church. Once at the church, a crypt in the floor received the coffin, while the coat of arms hung on a wall or building column as close as possible to the place of burial.
Both the altar and the pipe organ in the church were spectacular, but the coats of arms stole the show.

The main aisle leading to the altar in the Dome Cathedral (Toomkirik), also known as St. Mary’s Cathedral.
A panorama view of the altar in the Cathedral.
The main entry door to the Cathedral.
Some of the coats of arms funeral shields on display in the Cathedral.
Paintings on the gospel pulpit.
The organ in the Cathedral dates from 1878.
Detail of the top of the altar.
The bas reliefs and coats of arms funeral shields near the altar.
Marble bas reliefs near the altar.
The altar in the Cathedral. The painting is Christ on the Cross by Eduard von Gebhardt, circa 1866.
One of the coats of arms funeral shields in the Cathedral. The dates read 1808 – 1863. The shield is that of Georg Wolter Baron Stackelberg.
Trying to decide whether or not to come into the Cathedral.
The aisle to the main entry door.
The white marble sarcophagus of the Russian admiral, Samuel Greighi’s. The Roman numeral dates on the sarcophagus read 1735 – 1788.
Joseph Haier’s “Madonna with the Christ’s Father” (1861).
The rather smallish coat of arms funeral shield of General Adjutant Admiral Baron Ferdinand Wrangell, 1797 – 1870.
Flags and coats of arms funeral shields over the white marble sarcophagus of the Russian admiral, Samuel Greighi’s.
Detail of brass items in front of the name plaques in the Fersen Chapel inside St. Mary’s Cathedral.
The tomb in the Fersen Chapel and name plaques inside St. Mary’s Cathedral.
Coats of arms funeral shields were very abundant.
The coat of arms funeral shield of Baron Eduard von Mandell. The dates read 1830 – 1899. Note the seven loaves of bread and three fish.
The coat of arms funeral shield of Alexander Baron von der Pahlen. The dates read 1819 – 1895.

The snowstorm had increased in intensity yet again as we left the church. Walking along the sidewalk, we saw a small frontend loader scooping snow and dumping it in a small dump truck. That activity had to take place, or the roads in Old Town would quickly become impassible.

A souvenir shop across the street from St. Mary’s Cathedral. The domes of Alexander Nevsky Cathedral are visible in the background.
Two women walking on the icy Piiskopi (Bishop) Lane toward the back of Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
Removing the snow behind the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
The old building containing the Boga Pott Restaurant.

We continued to another set of steep stairs. At the top of the stairs, we found the LB bar. We decided to go in, have a glass of wine, and warm-up. We sat by a small fireplace; unfortunately, it was not lit, maybe because we were the only two in the bar.

Coming through a small arch to the top of the sidewalk known as Lühike Jalg (Short Leg).
The sign for the L8 (Late) Bar.
It was a cold and snowy Sunday.
Looking down the stairs of the sidewalk known as Lühike Jalg (Short Leg) from the landing in front of the L8 Bar.
The lone server at the L8 Bar.
Light through the Merlot.
Enjoying the warmth and a glass of wine in the L8 (Late) Bar. It is at the top of the sidewalk known as Lühike Jalg (Short Leg).

At the bottom of the stairs, after leaving L8, we entered Hindricus Pood – Galerii. I bought some beautiful handmade postcards done on handmade paper. The building, not the gallery, has been around since 1393.
When we left the gallery, the snowstorm was now a blizzard. We fought our way to the grocery store. After we purchased what we needed, we called a taxi and headed home to the warmth of our heated tiles and wonderful sauna.

The snow-covered sign for the Helina Tilk shop.
A woman on the sidewalk known as Lühike Jalg (Short Leg), passing by the Helina Tilk shop.
Leslie coming down the sidewalk known as Lühike Jalg (Short Leg).
Women walking up the sidewalk known as Lühike Jalg (Short Leg) in a bit of a snowstorm.

After my last Friday in the Embassy, I walked to the National Opera Theater. It has a unique parking arm that looks like a hand holding a baton. From a photographer standpoint, it was a must-see. Walking home from there, I took the opportunity to take some random photographs; including St. John’s church at Freedom Square, some of the street trolleys, a boutique sign, and an advertising sign. All had a definite Tallinn charm.

The Estonia National Opera building.
A memorial to the Estonian Free Army.
An office building in Tallinn.
BonBon Lingerie for women and men.
A different style of love seat at the optometrist…
The side of this trolley is advertising Farmi Yogurt.
The ER Boutique says it like it is, Forget the Rules if you Like it Wear it.
I believe the top sign reads, “Definitely Ahead!” The bottom sign reads, “For the Names!” It is an advertisement for the Socialist Democratic party. He is the Minister of the Interior.
One of the street trolleys during the evening commute.
A conductor’s baton is used as the barrier arm for the parking lot next to the Estonian National Opera building.
The conductor’s baton.
Back in the D.C. Area

Back in the D.C. Area

Washington, D. C. – December 8, 2014

My arrival back in the DC area was wet.

A rainy, wet return to Arlington.

During my stay, I worked at the headquarters of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO). I worked there while I continued my agonizing wait for a visa so I could fulfill my assignment to Islamabad, Pakistan.
On one of the clear weekends, I decided I would walk about the Washington, D.C. area. Since my profession deals with buildings, I thought it appropriate to travel to the National Building Museum. I clambered aboard the Metro, disembarking at the Gallery Place – Chinatown Station. Once I was back on the ground level, I opted to stop at a Starbucks for a coffee and blueberry muffin. After my coffee, I had to take a photo of the Friendship Archway that marks Chinatown.

A group of people at the Starbucks in Chinatown at H and 7th Streets NW in Washington, D.C.
The Friendship Archway in Chinatown in Washington, D.C.

With the preliminaries out of the way, it was time to walk to the National Building Museum. Within a couple of blocks, I was at my destination.
From the outside, the building appears as an immense redbrick structure. There is not much ornamentation on the exterior. Once inside, the sheer scale of the interior space overpowers one. There are massive marble and gold painted columns throughout the atrium area. Apparently, in addition to being built for the United States Pension Bureau, the space lent itself to political gatherings.

Looking along the center of the atrium in the National Building Museum.
A view of the seemingly endless columns in the atrium area of the National Building Museum.
The fountain in the center of the atrium.
Workers setting up for a holiday choir performance.
A man and his family traversing a hallway on the upper level of the National Building Museum.
A strange device in this day and age… This payphone was tucked away near the toilets in the National Building Museum.
A sign commemorating the completion of the building to house the United States Pension Bureau. It is now home to the National Building Museum.

While the museum was nicely done, it was not one of my favorites. After buying my perquisite refrigerator magnet from the gift shop, I exited the museum to the south. I found myself facing the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. That was a bit of luck.
As an ex-cop, I have a special place in my heart for the police; especially those who have fallen on duty. I can still vividly recall sergeants reading accounts of fallen officers to us during squad meetings. That seems so far away now. Regardless, the memorial is understated but tastefully done. The names of the fallen are engraved on a curved marble knee-wall. Throughout the grounds are bronze statues of lions and lionesses watching over the names. Probably due to the time of year, there were many colorful wreaths placed throughout the memorial. The walls at the monument hold more than 21,000 names of fallen officers. It was a poignant reminder having a couple of police cars parked near the memorial.

A lion sculpture at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
The curved wall holds the names of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
The emblem in the center of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
Another lioness sculpture watches over the names of the fallen, while, appropriately, a police car is parked nearby.
A lioness sculpture above the inscription, “In Valor There is Hope.”
A view of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. The National Building Museum is in the background.
The memorial and the museum side by side.
Looking back at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
A lioness sculpture and wreathes at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
Looking over the roof of patrol car 9510 to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

Near the end of my visit, I noticed a sign for the National Law Enforcement Memorial Visitors Center and Store. The location of the store is 400 7th Street NW. That was about three blocks away. I walked there, collected some souvenirs, and continued on my way.
Perchance, I stumbled across the Navy Memorial. Since my son is now a sailor, that was a unique find. Across the street to the east is the memorial to the Great Army of the Republic.

As seen from across the street, the Navy Memorial is very unassuming.
The bronze sculpture of a seaman at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The compass rose at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The memorial to the Grand Army of the Republic is at the Indiana Plaza in Washington, D.C.

Across the street to the south is the National Archives Museum. As I crossed the road, I saw a couple trying to entice a squirrel just a bit closer so they could get a photograph. I am not sure if they were successful or not because I continued to the front of the building. It was the first time I had ever visited the museum. I was awestruck by the founding documents of the United States. The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are all on display. It was genuinely fascinating to see them in person. I liked this museum much more than the National Building Museum.

A couple trying to entice a squirrel into a photo op.
A sculpture at the National Archives above the inscription, “Study the Past.”
The pediment on the south side of the Archives of the United States of America.
A sculpture at the south side of the Archives building. The inscription reads, “The Heritage of the Past is the Seed that Brings Forth the Harvest of the Future.”

The following weekend I was back in Washington, D.C. Following a stunning sunrise, I returned to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Leslie, Hillary, Tyler, and I visited the Basilica in 2009 while we were stationed in the area for training with the Department of State. I found it every bit as impressive on this visit. That may be due in part to the Christmas decorations.

The stunning sunrise from my apartment. One can see an airplane on final approach to Reagan National Airport.
Stunning sunrise II.
Stunning sunrise III.

For those who have not visited the Basilica, it is difficult to get a sincere feeling for the scale and grandeur by merely looking at photographs. It is by far the largest church in which I have ever been. I shall cease the narrative now and try to let the pictures of this magnificent structure tell the story. The narration shall resume after the Basilica photographs.

The front of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
The rosette over the main door to the Basilica.
The southern face of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
A similar view of the Basilica.
The main dome of the Basilica is visible just beyond the front rosette.
The tomb of Bishop Thomas Joseph Shahan (1857 – 1932) in the Founder’s Chapel. His is the only burial in the Basilica.
Dozens and dozens of donors to the Basilica are listed in Memorial Hall.
The mosaic behind the altar in the Mary, Queen of Missions Chapel.
Detail of the mosaic behind the altar in the Mary, Queen of Missions Chapel.
Our Lady of La Vang.
The Crypt Church on the lower level of the Basilica.
Women placing poinsettias in the Crypt Church.
Detail of the mosaic at Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu.
The stained glass door to the lower level sacristy.
A mosaic depiction of Joseph in the North Apse of the lower level.
The mosaic of Jesus in the North Apse is just behind the tabernacle.
Our Lady of Vailankanni.
The Schudi Organ in the Crypt Church on the lower level.
A man cleaning the floor in front of the Nativity scene in the Crypt Church.
Our Lady of Hope Chapel.
Detail of the Our Lady of Hope Chapel.
Pope John Paul II?
The Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel.
A painted crucifix.
The Byzantine-Ruthenian Chapel.
A mosaic in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel.
Detail from behind the altar in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel.
Our Lady of Pompeii.
A sculpture of Mary and Jesus surrounded by Christmas trees.
The Mother of Divine Providence sculpture on the lower level.
Detail of the Mother of Divine Providence sculpture.
The Holy Family at Rest bronze. Note the stained glass reflection.
A sculpture of Saint Maria Goretti on the side of the pews in the upper church.
Part of the tour group listening to the guide while in the Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel.
Detail of the mosaic behind the altar in the Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel.
The painting behind the altar in the Our Lady of Czestochowa Chapel.
The mosaic of Christ on the ceiling of the North Apse.
Detail of Christ on the ceiling in the North Apse.
Wider view of Christ on the ceiling of the North Apse.
The tour group marveling at the West Apse.
A small mosaic of fishes and loaves of bread.
A mosaic of Joseph with Jesus on the ceiling of the East Apse.
In the Founder’s Chapel with our tour guide.
In the Memorial Hall.
A sculpture of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in the Hall of American Saints.
Our Mother of Africa.
A bas relief in the Hall of Our Mother of Africa.
The guide providing information in the Byzantine-Ruthenian Chapel.
Stained glass detail of Jesus in the Byzantine-Ruthenian Chapel.
Stained glass detail of Mary and Jesus in the Byzantine-Ruthenian Chapel.
A sculpture of Pope Saint Pius X.
The crucifix in the Founder’s Chapel.
Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel.
A mosaic of the Hail Mary prayer.
The Miraculous Medal Chapel.
Detail of a mosaic in the Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel.
A man praying at the Our Lady of Czestochowa Chapel.
The Mother of Sorrows Chapel.
The Pieta in the Mother of Sorrows Chapel.
The Our Lady of Siluva Chapel.
Mary, Queen of All Hearts Chapel.
A woman at the Nativity scene on the upper level.
The Assumption mosaic near the sacristy.
The Immaculate Conception mosaic near the sacristy.
A Christmas tree under a stained glass window.
View into the sacristy.
Jesus carrying the cross mosaic.
Looking through the Baldachin Altar to the West Apse.
The stained glass to the right of the Jesus mosaic in the North Apse.
Looking through the Baldachin Altar to the organ at the rear of the upper church.
The Holy Family is in the mosaic on the left.
The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.
The Triumph of the Lamb mosaic.
Detail of the Triumph of the Lamb mosaic.
The Blessed Sacrament Chapel.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Chapel.
Looking to the East Transept.
View to the rear of the upper church.
The bas relief of the Universal Call to Holiness.
The east side of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Back at work, since Tyler’s graduation from boot camp was finished, I began asking the OBO folks if they needed me to fulfill another TDY assignment for them. Initially, I did not get much traction. That said, I did hear talk in the bullpen area that an FM was needed in Sanaa, Yemen. I had zero desire to go there. I would have gone if I had been tasked; however, I had zero appetite for such a destination.
After a couple of days, I broached the question again. The answer I was given was, “What about Tallinn?”
“Where the hell is Tallinn,” I replied, “I have never heard of it.”
My OBO colleague shared with me that Tallinn is in Estonia. I was still not sure of the location, but I knew it was Eastern Europe. I said, “Sure, send me there!”
I discovered the embassy in Tallinn needed some assistance from an FM for several issues they faced. That embassy receives service from the FM in Helsinki, but they needed someone onsite. My colleague told them he would send me, but there was a caveat. I would only be in Tallinn until the issues were resolved or until I received my visa for Pakistan, whichever came first. The team in Tallinn agreed to that stipulation. So, I found that I would travel to Tallinn just after the New Year.

Museum of Science and Industry

Museum of Science and Industry

Chicago, Illinois – December 7, 2014

On a sunny but cold day, we drove back to Chicago to go to the Museum of Science and Industry. Tyler wanted to see the museum. I remembered seeing the museum in the mid-1980s. One of the exhibits I never forgot was the captured German U-boat. Tyler could not wait to see it for himself.
Upon arrival, since Tyler was in uniform, he received complimentary admission. Once we were in the museum, we stopped for the obligatory family photographs.

The new Navy Seaman with mom.
The new Navy Seaman with mom and sister.
The new Navy Seaman with the papa.

As we began our tour of the museum, one of the first things I spotted was a drawing by Salvador Dali. Because of our time in Spain, I found that very interesting.

A Salvador Dali drawing signed to the Museum of Science and Industry.

One of the exhibits had to do with the circus and side-shows in small-town America. Tyler and Hillary got a lot of enjoyment out of the exhibition and the photo ops.

I think our kids may be clowns…
…yep! It is confirmed!!
Two movie posters from the silent film era.
What?! A Navy Seaman at the helm??
I may have mentioned that our children are clowns…

We made our way to the U-505 exhibit. The exhibit centers around the German u-boat captured by the Americans during World War II. It is vastly different from when I initially visited the museum. Most notable is the fact that the submarine is now inside. Installations were showing the period newspapers and dioramas of sailors clinging to life after u-boats torpedoed their ships.
About halfway down the ramp toward the submarine, a young man met us to take our photo that we could purchase later. We allowed the picture.
Our submarine tour began at about 11:00. I did not recall a tour when I visited previously. I remember walking through the submarine. Regardless, the tour added a lot to our experience. There is not a great deal of space in the sub. One of the facts from the tour that stuck with me regarded the number of men on the submarine, 59, with only one working bathroom. I can only imagine the stench there must have been when the capturing American forces opened the submarine. One of the Americans haled from Grand Junction, Colorado according to the documents on display outside of the submarine.

This silhouette made on December 7 has an element of irony.
Various headlines in the U-505 exhibit.
A diorama in the U-505 exhibit.
A recruiting poster for the WAVES.
Another recruiting poster for the WAVES.
The u-boat U-505 as seen from the bow.
The starboard side of U-505.
Projectile holes near the insignia on the conning tower of U-505.
Onboard the U-505. This bunk area is shared with torpedoes.
The galley area of U-505.
The captain’s quarters on U-505.
The chadburn or engine order telegraph on the U-505.
The way to the top of the conning tower on the U-505.
Various communication tubes on the U-505.
Walking through the engine room of the U-505.
A small lion head on the U-505 caught my attention.
Another sleeping area on the U-505.
An epaulet on display on U-505.
The lead-weighted secret codebook from the U-505.
Sleeping may not have been so comfortable for this Navy Seaman on the U-505.
The captain’s log from the U-505.
One of the twin anchors on the U-505.
I noticed this medal of honor recipient, Philip N. Trusheim, is from Grand Junction, Colorado. The medal was for his part in the capture of U-505.