I confirmed my first genetic match using 23andMe’s Relative Finder the other day. Nice to know it really works! A lady by the name of Sandra was predicted to be a 3rd cousin, turned out to be a 2nd cousin once removed. She is also a descendant of Jack Kakoschke and Emilie Wittwer. I’ve over …
Not many people know about it, but back in 2001 whilst travelling in South Africa I was attacked by a lion. Three actually. Only through quick thinking and by using my video camera as a weapon was I fortuitously able to escape the jaws and claws of death… *Video: lion attack
A Visit to “O Old Country” (This post continues on from the earlier post: Alemanha e um cruzeiro pelo Báltico) We had a few days spare after our Baltic cruise, so I decided this would be an excellent opportunity to vist the town that my Great Grandfather hailed from. After picking up the hire car in …
Amani, Anjos & I teve um muito agradável 2 semana de férias Europeu em Junho. Voamos Lufthansa para Berlim através de Riade e Frankfurt, chegar em aeroporto de Tegel no início da manhã. Em seguida, pegou o ônibus público para a cidade – meu plano era colocar nossa bagagem em armazenagem na Hauptbahnhof e fazer alguma …
A very kindly chap by the name of Jerzy sent me a swathe of scans of old German documents, para ajudar com a minha pesquisa sobre a história da família. A maior parte são da Pommerzig e Blumberg Groß Zivilstandsregister 1874-1937, além de haver alguns documentos mais antigos também. Varreduras Jerzy enviados de todas as páginas, ele descobriu que fez …
I confirmed my first genetic match using 23andMe’sRelative Finderthe other day. Nice to know it really works!
A lady by the name of Sandra was predicted to be a 3rd cousin, turned out to be a 2nd cousin once removed. She is also a descendant of Jack Kakoschke and Emilie Wittwer.
I’ve over 400 more distant relatives predicted, but proving the connection can be difficult when you need to go back 6 or more generations. Hope to find some more though. https://www.23andme.com/ancestry/recent/
Postscript: Another success! I’ve recently connected with another cousin, Vivianne. She’s my 3rd cousin once removed, also a descendant of Johann Hempel Sr (born 1818).
Not many people know about it, but back in 2001 whilst travelling in South Africa I was attacked by a lion. Three actually. Only through quick thinking and by using my video camera as a weapon was I fortuitously able to escape the jaws and claws of death…
(This post continues on from the earlier post: Alemanha e um cruzeiro pelo Báltico)
Enroute to Radnica
We had a few days spare after our Baltic cruise, so I decided this would be an excellent opportunity to vist the town that my Great Grandfather hailed from. After picking up the hire car in Frankfurt Oder, it was back to the hotel to load up our luggage, then I fired up my GPS unit (just in case!) and we set off on the drive to Radnica. There were no border formalities between Germany and Poland and the road was in good condition, so it didn’t take us long at all to reach the town where my great grandfather had set off from when he emigrated to South Australia in 1878.
The first thing that struck me as we drove through Poland was how green and lush the countryside was – a far cry from the relatively desolate saltbush interspersed with mallee scrub that is typical of SA’s Mid-North east of theGoyder Line.
We passed throughKrosno Odrzańskie (formerly Crossen an der Oder) on the way. This was and still is the provincial capital.
Radnica Cemetery The only remaining German headstones are stacked around the tree directly behind the children
First impressions of Radnica were that it’s a small, sleepy town, far removed from the hustle and bustle of modern life. We drove around and soon found the cemetery – I was curious to see if any old German headstones were still standing. They weren’t unfortunately. It looked as though everything had been flattened at some stage. The only remnants were a few pieces of German headstones stacked around a tree.
The kids spotted a small playground across the road from the cemetery, so we stopped there for a bit to let them get some of their beans out. I’d spotted a sign for an Inn on the outskirts of town, so we drove a little further east to check it out. It turned out to be a lovely spot namedStary Młyn – comfortable rooms, lovely restaurant, gardens with a dam, stream and water-wheel. No-one there spoke English though (we were off the tourist trail), but one lady did speak German, so even though my German is terrible, we were still able to communicate!
After a nice hearty lunch at Stary Młyn, we drove around some more, visiting Brody (formerly Gross Blumberg) and Pomorsko (formerly Pommerzig). We stopped at the cemetery at Brody, but there too all the old gravestones had been removed and only recent Polish ones were standing.
We only had spare time to stay the one night, then the next morning we drove back to Frankfurt, returned the hire car, walked to the train station and caught the train back to Berlin. We were out of luck with the weather again as it was raining again. Since it was the last night of our trip and we were staying at an airport hotel, I didn’t want to go there too early as I thought there’d be very little there to keep the kids occupied, so we tried our luck and jumped on one of the double-decker tourist buses that ply routes around the city. The rain didn’t let up though, so we ended up staying on the bus for the whole circuit – nearly 3 horas!
When we got back to the Hauptbahnhoff the kids spotted a pretty awesome ice cream shop, so after indulging ourselves we jumped in a taxi and headed off to theMercure Hotel at Tegel. It turned out to be really quite nice and the little guys even got to have a bubble bath.
Next morning, courtesy bus to the terminal then flew home via Zurich on Swiss Airways. All in all a very enjoyable trip.
Amani, Anjos & I teve um muito agradável 2 semana de férias Europeu em Junho. Voamos Lufthansa para Berlim através de Riade e Frankfurt, chegar em aeroporto de Tegel no início da manhã. Em seguida, pegou o ônibus público para a cidade – my plan was to put our luggage into storage at the Hauptbahnhoff and do some sightseeing, but, unfortunately it was raining so I gave that idea away and instead we continued our journey to Hamburg. We jumped on to our ICE high speed train and arrived at Hamburg less than 2 hours later.
I’d intentionally booked a hotel near the main train station in Hamburg so that we wouldn’t have to bother with a taxi and thankfully it wasn’t raining when we arrived so we soon found our hotel, o Terminus Hamburg. The hotel was fine although the neighbourhood looked a bit dodgy, something of a red light area by the looks! Anyway, we went for a stroll in the afternoon and found a double-decker tourist bus stop next to the train station – the kids pleaded to hop on board, so we did. A pleasant way of seeing the highlights of downtown Hamburg in the short time that we had. We disembarked at the harbour and as we stood looking at all the ships, it reminded me that this was the place my great grandfather had set sail from when he emigrated to Australia 134 anos atrás… My how the world has changed since then.
Cabin 8079 MSC Magnifica
Next morning it was back to the train station to continue our journey to Kiel, where we boarded the MSC Magnifica for our Baltic cruise. The boarding process was reasonably streamlined and we soon found our way to cabin 8079 – our home away from home for the next 7 days. After a brief rest, we headed up to deck 13 where the main restaurant was located. Amani and Malaika ate pasta, pizza and sausages until they were as full as two googs!
Lunch on board the MSC Magnifica
Meanwhile I got stuck in to my chicken salad while enjoying the view out over Kiel. I asked the kids if they wanted dessert, which naturally they did and sent them off to peruse the Sweets section. They came back a short time later and asked for some money. When I told them they didn’t need money and could take whatever they wanted, the looks on their faces was priceless! They literally ran to the desserts and both returned a short time later with two each.
We very much enjoyed the cruise. The staff in the Kid’s Club on board were great and Amani & Malaika spent many hours there being entertained and playing with other children. Meals on board were OK, nothing special, but nothing to complain about either. The standard of food seemed to me to be better on the Costa cruise we did a couple of years ago.
The first port of call was Stockholm and we enjoyed walking around the city, munching on Swedish hot dogs and eating ice-cream, while enjoying the free live opera in a city park. We jumped on and off the “Hop on Hop off” cruise tour boats that ply the waterways around central Stockholm. A very pleasant day – cool temperatures, but no rain.
Next stop was Tallinn in Estonia. Again we didn’t bother with any packaged shore excursions and enjoyed just wandering around town at our own pace. We climbed to the top of St Olaf’s church for an amazing view of the city. It was sunny and warm that day – very pleasant.
St Petersburg was the next stop on the itinerary. I’d studied shore excursion options before the trip, and decided ahead of time that I didn’t think Amani & Malaika would enjoy the organized excursions here due to the amount of walking involved, so they stayed on board the ship under the care of the nice ladies in the Kid’s Club while I went ashore on a pre-booked excursion to The Peterhof Palace and The Hermitage Museum. I enjoyed the tour very much, and leaving the kids on board had definitely been a good decision. The crowds were awful and they would not have enjoyed the Hermitage at all.
On board the ship we had the pleasure of sharing our dinner table with a 95 year old gentleman – Egon. He was such a character – told me how he worked out that cruising full time was less expensive than living in a retirement home – and that’s why for the past year he’s been cruising non-stop! He’s also an accomplished musician and kindly played his rendition of Waltzing Matilda for us one afternoon on the ship.
Tivoli Gardens Copenhagen
After another day at sea, the final stop was in Copenhagen, where we walked in to town and met up with old friend Jesper, who used to work in Muscat. Had a nice lunch together, then he guided us around Tivoli Gardens. Another very pleasant day.
Next morning we were back in Kiel, disembarked then caught the train to Hamburg, changed to the ICE train to Berlin, then on to another train to Frankfurt an der Oder. We didn’t have much time for each connection and I knew from past experience with German trains that you need to find the right platform and the right place on the platform (where your carriage will stop) quickly, otherwise it’s easy to miss your train – especially when you’re the only adult with two young children in tow! We did fine though, arrived at Frankfurt about 6pm and walked to our lodging – o Hotel Zur Alten Oder.
The beer was pretty heavy so M&M had to help lift it :)
Diner at the hotel turned out to be one of the best I’ve ever eaten! It was a house specialty – a pork schnitzel with tomato, mushrooms and cheese inside, served with sauteed potatoes cooked with onions and bacon bits and accompanied by a lovely green salad with a creamy balsamic dressing. Washed down with a local Frankfurter beer, it was absolutely delicious!
We walked from Germany to Poland!
The next day we walked a few kilometres, crossing the bridge over the Oder river into Poland, where Malaika once again twisted my arm into buying them ice-creams. (I’ve never eaten so much ice cream in my life as I did on this trip thanks to the arm-twisting by the kids!) On the way back to the hotel I called into Sixt and booked a hire car for the next day, so that we could drive into Poland and visit the village of Radnica, where my great grandfather came from. More about that part of the journey in another post.