Sunday, 23 August 2015

Day 1 Switzerland

First a travel day to fly to Zurich from Berlin where we were met by the beautiful Stephanie who then drove us to her home town of Winterthur.

We had coffee in the town then went to see the first Goddess Temple in Switzerland started by Stephanie. A wonderful nurturing space of two rooms, one used for workshops and the other a Temple to the Goddess and the Green Man who face each other in beautiful harmony to each other.

Then we went and checked into our hotels.

The next day I walked into the town of Winterthur and Stephanie picked me up and we went to see the Rhinefalls.

The Rhine Falls (Rheinfall in German) is the largest plain waterfall in Europe.

The falls are located on the High Rhine between the municipalities of Neuhausen am Rheinfall and
Laufen-Uhwiesen, near the town of Schaffhausen in northern Switzerland, between the cantons of Schaffhausen and Zürich. They are 150 m (450 ft) wide and 23 m (75 ft) high. In the winter months, the average water flow is 250 m³/s, while in the summer, the average water flow is 700 m³/s. The highest flow ever measured was 1,250 m³/s in 1965; and the lowest, 95 m³/s in 1921.

The Rhine Falls were formed in the last ice age, approximately 14,000 to 17,000 years ago, by erosion-resistant rocks narrowing the riverbed. The first glacial advances created today's landforms approximately 500,000 years ago. Up to the end of the Wolstonian Stageapproximately 132,000 years ago, the Rhine flowed westwards from Schaffhausen past Klettgau. This earlier riverbed later filled up with gravel.

About 132,000 years ago the course of the river changed southwards at Schaffhausen and formed a new channel, which also filled up with gravel. Part of the Rhine today includes this ancient riverbed.

During the Würm glaciation, the Rhine was pushed far to the south to its present course, over a hard Late Jurassic limestone bed. As the river flowed over both the hard limestone and the easily eroded gravel from previous glaciations, the current waterfall formed about 14,000 to 17,000 years ago. The Rheinfallfelsen, a large rock, is the remnant of the original limestone cliff flanking the former channel. The rock has eroded very little over the years because relatively little sediment comes down the Rhine from Lake Constance.

After a relaxing coffee overlooking the falls Stephanie drove me to Kyburg Castle (German: Schloss Kyburg) is a castle in the municipality of Kyburg and the canton of Zurich southerly of Winterthur in Switzerland. It is a Swiss heritage site of national significance.

The castle is situated above the river Töss. It is first mentioned in 1027 under the name of Chuigeburg (Castle of Cows) what points to an original use as a refuge castle.

The little village is so quiet and peaceful and full of wonderful Swiss homes.

Stephanie’s parents were married in the chapel here.

We had a wonderful home cooked meal in the village restaurant and this was the view from our table.

We then walked back through the village to the car.

We returned to Winterthur to get changed and make our way to the venue for the concert that Anique was giving tonight, singing a little jazz as well as her Goddess Songs.

The priestesses of the temple made wonderful altars to the directions in the hall before the concert. This is also the venue where the workshops on the Chakras will be held for the following two days.

The earth altar.

The air altar.

The fire altar

The water altar

The central goddess altar

Anique singing during the evening concert.

The thing that moved me the most during the evening was during Anique’s song of No Separation everybody just quietly stood and moved to be holding the person next to them. There was nobody in the room not connected in this chain of love for each other, very moving.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Berlin Day 6

Today was my last day in Berlin, I started out early trying to beat the queues for the Museums, due to the crowds even at 9.20am when opening is not until 10am I was not as alert as perhaps I could have been and waited in line to the Alte Museum which is an art museum and not the Altes Museum of the Ancient World I was actually wanting to go to. So I walked through the art gallery of the Alte Museum.

The foyer was filled with beautiful marble statues this one of Ceres & Proserpina dated 1843.

Psyche 1806

Hebe 1796

Claude Monets In The Rowing Boat at Giverny circa 1887 really struck me.

Also the Hans Herrmann painting of Potsdamer Platz in 1894

Jakob Phillip Hackert’s painting of The Venus Temple in Baja 1799

I decided that I would then look to see what the queues for the Altes Museum of the Ancient World were like and I was pleased to see that I could get in without hours to wait in line. Built between 1823 and 1830 according to plans by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, it is one of the foremost examples of classical architecture with a rotunda, dome and portico in 1830. It was thus the first public museum in Prussia. The permanent exhibition entitled “New Antiquity in the Old Museum" (collection of classical antiquities and gold treasury) presents Greek and Roman art and sculptures. The newly designed main floor of the building houses an exhibition of stone sculptures, clay and bronze figures, friezes, vases, gold jewellery and precious silverware from Greek antiquity. Roman art is represented by portraits of Caesar and Cleopatra, sarcophagi, mosaics, the Berlin Goddess, the praying boy, frescos and Roman-Egyptian mummy portraits.

These goddesses made of clay from 7th Century BC from Crete

The So Called Berlin Goddess ‘Bride of the God of the Underworld’ 580 – 5600BC

An enthroned Athena 500 – 480BC

In this bowl Selene descends into the oceanus with her chariot 490 BC

An earring of Nike 3 century BC

A marble statue of Aphrodite 420 – 400 BC

A bronze Artemis 470 – 460 BC

This vase shows the children of Leto – Artemis

Here a relief of Cybele 340 – 320 BC made of marble

Another marble relief this time of Cybele from 340 – 320 BC

Another vase showing a woman in procession made of clay from 440BC

Flasks for anointing oil made of alabaster from the 6th & 5th century BC

7th century BC jewellery

3rd – 2nd century Enthroned Goddess with 10 Swaddled Babies

Vesta statue 140 – 150 AD







The Altes Museum of the Ancient World

With its magnificent dome, the Berlin Cathedral built in the 19th century, the ruling family of Germany, the house of Hohenzollern, was living right next door in the Berlin Castle and they thought that Schinkel’s rather modest domed cathedral no longer corresponded to the image they wanted to project of their family. King Frederick William IV thus decided that a magnificent cathedral should be built.

The cornerstone of this beautiful cathedral was laid in 1894 and the inauguration ceremony took place in 1905. During World War II, the cathedral suffered heavy damage. Only in 1975 did the GDR begin restoring it. The restoration was finally completed four years after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1993.

I crossed the lovely river on my way to the tram to return to the hotel.

I then walked towards the tower which dominates the skyline in Berlin

And found this fountain in the park.

I now say goodbye to Berlin as tomorrow I fly to Switzerland.