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  1. #71
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    Overland to Scandinavia and more!
    Spring 2017


    Second day in Gdansk

    As we set off for our second day in Gdansk we found ourselves at 08:30 as the only passengers on the tram as it left the terminus near the camp site, but that might have been because quite a number of places like Spain do not open until 10:00! …….



    We get off at the stop nearest the centre of the old town and as we pass through the archway looking up and left we see a picture of this part of the city taken in 1945 at the end of WWII.....



    While now it looks like this from the opposite direction up the street…...



    With the buildings now restored to their former glory on both sides……





    Next up as we stroll around was this church, but as I was in shorts and a tee shirt on a hot day, it was considered inappropriate dress to go inside….



    So I joined a number of other photo takers and stood at the entrance door……





    Not sure if this door was ‘found’ in 1945 or ‘created’ from a picture……



    It wasn’t long after this next picture was taken and the children were running through the fountains to keep cool! How many recognise the football club of the football supporter on the right?







    Getting to this rather high tower we go in through the archway……





    Then we see the ‘shackles’ on the bar running above head height as this place while now a museum was once a prison…….



    While this building looked like a ‘Town Gate’ with the portcullis on the far side……



    The placards alongside were more interesting and at times quite funny……







    Recognise anyone?……







    Seems like all the weddings come down to the river and quayside to have their pictures taken……



    WOW! A floating BUG!......





    Remember those Steam Turbines from the GE visit in Elblag? Well we found a ‘used one’ from a competitor here……





    Next along the quayside was this oddly shaped but interesting building……



    It is ‘The Stronghold of two Cranes’……



    With the ‘Anti Pidgeon Netting’ in place a picture was difficult, but!......



    While hopefully you can see the end of each of the ‘steps’ on the inside of the circumference of the wheel?
    In simple terms it worked a bit like the exercise wheel inside a Hamster cage!......



    The side view drawing of the crane……



    With a small brass model outside, while the small plaques provide information for visually challenged people, which was excellent!……



    Odd shaped hotel……



    Time for some lunch in a typical Polish place favoured by local people, where the food was excellent and around half the cost of the surrounding restaurants!......



    Then it was back into the main street……







    As I spot this lady who was initially apprehensive but then had this Boa Constrictor placed around her neck, while the snake’s owner kept it hypnotised!.....



    As we went back through the archway and saw the ‘Cruise Boat’ we decided to take a trip on the water to Westerplatte for a different perspective of the city……



    The results are in the next update……

  2. #72
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    Overland to Scandinavia and more!
    Spring 2017


    Second day in Gdansk Cont’d

    OK, so now we are on the river! …….











    Just going under the lifting bridge which has a timetable for Pedestrians of its ‘opening’ times….





    The ‘leaning’ building is the WWII Museum, which during this visit we did not have time to go and take a look, but have been told that it is very good!……









    Another ‘3 Master’ on its way back to the city centre……



    This strange looking ship is a cable and pipe laying ship called the ‘Seven Mar’ and is registered in Ramsey, Isle of Man, while the section that has the large wheel at the end can swing through 90 Degrees using hydraulic rams when the ship is in the process of laying cable or pipes on the sea bed……



    A barge being pushed up river……



    Xianthos registered in Monrovia, in front of the deckhouse was a very large ‘NO SMOKING’ sign so it looks like a flammable cargo carrier…….



    Two large vessels in ‘floating dry docks’ both undergoing repair/refurbishment……



    While to the left is the 3 ‘legs’ of a rig that can be lowered and fixed to the sea bed……



    I did wonder if the large ‘bulbous nose’ at the front of this ship was some sort of icebreaker?......



    Oops! Looks like these caravans on the quayside have been blown around a bit!......



    Interestingly, as this ship was being unloaded of it cargo of Coal, as we made our way back to the campsite a little later on the tram, a very long coal train was making its way to the docks for its wagons of coal to be loaded onto a ship!……



    The largest ‘Floating Crane’ in Poland……





    We think this was a castle and is now a museum, but is not mentioned on the city map!……



    View looking astern towards the city......



    Any offers!......



    Gravel yard……



    Fuel Oil Wagons waiting on the dockside to be filled and hauled away……



    The Stockholm Ferry which leaves at 18:00 and arrives in Sweden 18 hours later, while the 2 master ‘Pirate Cruise Boat’ makes its way back to the city……



    The house of the Polish Baltic Philharmonic……



    Oh dear! The Groom has gone AWOL!......



    Another nice but questionable door!......



    Then back on dry land we see this sign that seems to be the only Polish Restaurant with an ‘Edible Menu’!……





    Nice advert for an American style Burger Bar not far away!……



    While this was just a very nice American Cadillac!......



    Interesting picture! The boat that is ‘sunk’ was not from WWII but happened 7 years ago and nothing has happened to get it up or out, while the two ‘Fishing Vessels on the right have also not moved in a very long time as the deck ‘tackle’ is totally rusted up and the cobwebs are a long time in place!……
    That information was provided by a local man explained in a mixture of English & German!......



    Nice little figure by the ‘sunken boat’ but no plaque in English……



    Anyone into small submarines?.....







    It struck me when I looked at this hotel, that it looked like in a former life it was a ‘prison’ but now the bars have been removed from the windows!......



    King Jan III (Sobieski Monument)……



    The time had soon arrived to head back to the campsite, so we made our way back to the Tram stop……
    Back on the road tomorrow for the next stage……

  3. #73
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    Overland to Scandinavia and more!
    Spring 2017


    Gdansk to Człuchow and then on to Szczecin

    Back on the road from Gdansk to a ‘Council’ run campsite in the town of Człuchow…….







    As we came into another town the GPS (TomTom) decided that although we could have gone around the centre, the route for us was through the centre which turned a few heads as we ‘wiggled’ through the one way system and narrow roads!......





    Nearly stopped for a coffee but could not see the machine or power cable that drove it, so pushed on!……



    Seems to have been the fashion here as we pass another church with a strange shaped roof……



    An old horse drawn fire engine in a glass case!……



    But as we looked back we then saw it was outside the fire station……









    We finally arrived at the Council Camping Site in Człuchow which is just alongside the main road.
    Then making our way down to the camping area we had difficulty finding a pitch that was not under a few inches of water after all the rain the place had received, while having found one spot as we went to get set up the sky went black and the heavens opened, so it was inside till that passed and try again!……
    We decided to give it a go and stay for 2 nights which in hindsight was a mistake as our second night was one of very little sleep thanks to the noise level provided by 2 caravans playing their BOOM BOOM Boxes till 03:00 and then a party of school kids who stayed up till 05:00 having a very loud conversation with each other, while the lady on reception told me that they do have a security guard on duty while my reply was that I thought he was asleep as there was no sign of him moving around!.....
    On the morning of our 1 full day there we went into the town and the only thing we saw of any interest was the town square with a fountain running near the top……



    After a really cold wash to stay awake we got back on the road to get to Szczecin and hopefully a better place to stay!……



    Anyone fancy a duck for dinner? As we saw all these alongside the road!…….



    Now entering another different region of Poland……







    Seems like the towns really like to put in some nice floral displays in the town centres!......









    Another new road under construction, while the base was again a very sandy soil!……



    So you stick a Citroen up on a high stand and you can pick out the ‘Scrap Yard’ a long way off!......





    As we get off the main road towards the campsite we cross over the railway lines into Szczecin……



    Then a short distance later on the road direct to the campsite we see this in front of us!..…
    While the GPS cannot re-calculate an alternative route to get around it, so I just go with the gut feeling and sense of direction by turning around and heading towards Szczecin City and hoping to approach from the other side if the GPS finally got itself sorted out!



    It worked! After another 11 miles we found ourselves outside the campsite gate going in!……





    Behind the trees here is the bar and restaurant......



    While this is the central facilities block which also has a washing machine and tumble dryer, which was needed thanks to all the rain we have been having!......



    While down at the edge of the marina is the ‘Boss’s Cabin’ with a couple of old threshing machines in the garden!……



    The marina……







    With a lull in the rain we took off for a bit of exercise and walked along the road from the campsite to the bridge that is being rebuilt as it is not very far away, then across it on the pedestrian walkway were we see an 'EU Grant' billboard which tells us the the funds for the work were provided in 2013, while now there is no sign of any machinery to finish the job. Reception on the campsite tells us when we got back that the road has now been like this for over 4 months.
    We then continued into the village with this floral display near the centre!......



    As we just got there the rain started again so we headed back and passing the gates of a transport company we see this ‘Guard Dog’ inside the gates who looked up at us as I whistled, but made no attempt to get up, while he really looked like he could do with a bit of TLC and a good brushing as tufts of his coat were literally hanging off him!……



    According to the weather forecast there is supposed to be a significant improvement in the weather tomorrow, so we are hoping to be able to go off into the city of Szczecin for a look around! (Fingers crossed!)……

  4. #74
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    Have spent the last few days catching up on your trip. Looks like your rain curse is still holding a bit but the last few weeks and further south have certainly made a big difference in the weather and greenery.

    As always the pictures and your time and trouble are appreciated.

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
    Have spent the last few days catching up on your trip. Looks like your rain curse is still holding a bit but the last few weeks and further south have certainly made a big difference in the weather and greenery.

    As always the pictures and your time and trouble are appreciated.
    Hi ssicarman!

    After the first 2 days at our latest location, the weather has made an improvement and so we were able to get out and do a bit of exploring today, so I am now working on that update!

    Having said that the forecast seems to be improving so fingers crossed!

    Thanks also for your kind comments....

  6. #76
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    Overland to Scandinavia and more!
    Spring 2017


    A day in Szczecin

    After a trip from the campsite by Bus and then Tram into the centre of Szczecin using our Free Travel (Over 70) ID Cards, it was time to have a look around this city, as we learnt when we got there that the country was only allowed to join the EU a number of years ago as 2 shipyards were bankrupt in this city and the EU would not allow them to be re-started due to over-capacity in Europe, however it now turns out that a new shipyard has now opened up recently with alternative funding!…….

    The initial view of the city as we got off the tram and went back across the main bridge to enjoy the view!......



    Looking in towards the city centre……



    The view on the other side of the river……



    A lift bridge upriver……



    The old trams are still running as are the new ones and all of them have Wi-Fi connection as you travel!......



    A strange monument……



    Instead of a ‘Tugboat’ with this one we have a ‘Pushboat’!……



    Saint James’ Arch Cathedral Basilica, but up around the front the door was locked!……





    Continuing along the walkway……



    The Harbour Gate……



    Former seat of the Pomeranian Landowners’ Bank while today it is the PKO BP Bank, and the front doors were in the process of being re-hung in place!......









    One of the main roads through the city……



    A monument to a number of several Polish Cities during the conflicts……



    As I took this next picture a Pidgeon went flying through and nearly knocked the camera out of my hands!......







    As we then get onto a pedestrian way with fountains and cafes down the middle!......





    While at the end is this statue of a Sailor!……











    While this area which is circular with tram lines running through the middle is the Centre of the city!……





    Bring your own Draughts or Chessmen and you can enjoy a game on these stone tables……



    Arrrgh!!! The ‘Birds’! As I stopped to take this picture of all these Pigeons around the seat, they started to make their way towards me thinking I had food!......





    An old water pump as we saw a few of them in different places in the city……







    One of the University buildings......



    The view up towards the Town Hall..…



    Some history about the events that took place outside the Town Hall, as Marshall Law was introduced……











    While this is the view at the rear of the Town Hall……



    A memorial to an event in Hungary in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution……







    While way down the garden is this HUGE Monument……



    They are 3 Eagles that weigh 20 Tonnes each, so the monument weighs over 60 Tonnes when you add in the column holding the Eagles up!......





    While the monument has been erected to the ‘Polish Endeavour’……





    This is the title in front of the monument on the ground……



    Back on the road tomorrow to Germany as we move out of Poland. To a campsite in the place where the ‘Doodle Bug’ Rockets were developed and sent over to the UK under their own power!.....

  7. #77
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    Overland to Scandinavia and more!
    Spring 2017


    Szczecin to Peeneműnde

    This is a deviation to our plan but then all plans need a degree of flexibility!…….
    As we set off from the campsite a main bridge that is in the process of being re-built caused the GPS to nearly fall over in getting us on the alternative correct road, so for a time the self reliant ‘direction finder’ took over and after around 20 minutes we found ourselves on the right one and going in the right direction, but we ended up going through the city centre which in Szczecin ‘Rush hour’ was fun with 40 Tonne Trucks and Trams on the same road!......











    As we get very close to the border with Germany……



    Then we are after 200 yards, leaving Poland……



    As we then pass the German Border sign, we see 3 uniforms in front and one looks like he has a camera of some sort?……

    He was holding one of those little ‘Traffic Directing’ little lollipops, and we got waved over and asked for our Passports, Car Owners Paper (So I passed over the Welsh version of the registration document and they never batted an eyelid!) & Caravan Papers!

    The Passports disappeared for a couple of minutes with one uniform, not sure why, while the uniform who had the Car Registration Paper wanted to look inside the back of the car and then inside the ‘TinTent’.

    I used the term ‘Uniforms’ as I was not sure if they were Border Patrol Officers or normal Police, but the word ‘Please’ in German (‘Bitte’) was a problem and never came out when they asked for something, which I think paints a poor picture for helpful relationships!.....

    We then got back everything and moved on.





    As we passed this place it looked like a permanent zoo on the front lawn!……





    This was the last one in a line of what I think were Jawa Motorcycles complete with Sidecars out for a spin!......





    Thought for a minute that this was a little chapel with the spire!......





    While on this section of road every tree was behind a crash barrier!……







    With all the rain we have had this looked like a river overflowing into a field nearby……



    As we then went through this next section of road we thought that someone had been over to one of the Thatched House Villages in the UK and decided to do the same thing over here!......







    The Fire Station!……



    This pilot just made it into the right place for a refill!......







    A ‘Lift Bridge’ with a very large lifting mechanism……



    Looked a bit as though someone was exhibiting items that could be made in stainless steel!……



    As we get to Habinsel Camping in Peenemunde, which is just a large field with Electric Hook Up Points in wooden boxes screwed to tree stumps, and the facilities are about 200 yards away!......





    Time for some lunch and then we will head over to the ‘Doodle Bug’ Museum or as it is called over here the Historical Technical Museum for a look around…..

    More of that later cos I ain’t started work on the upload yet!…….

  8. #78
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    Overland to Scandinavia and more!
    Spring 2017


    Peeneműnde and the Historical Technical Museum

    The large building just off to the left in the first picture is the Peenemunde Power Station which this ‘Museum’ seems to revolve around as there is very little information about the ‘V1’ Rocket that was used to destroy parts of the UK and even less about its successor the ‘V2’……



    As we start to make our way from the ‘campsite’ which looks like a derelict field that has had a few mains distribution places fitted to tree trunks, while the ‘facilities’ are around 300 yards away, we spot this seriously rusting hulk of a USSR Rocket Launching Submarine……



    While on our side of the harbour is this Ex German Navy ship, that looks like it has torpedo launch tubes fitted in the stern wall!……
    I did wonder if it went any faster when someone fired one down the tube, or it ‘listed’ over?......





    But as it is now a Museum then we might never find out!......



    Bit further around the little harbour and we see these 4 Inshore Patrol Boats which are falling apart and have had a significant number of items removed from them……



    As we look across the water we can see the campsite on the other side……



    As we then get to the entrance to the Historical Technical Museum we enter via this room with small ‘windows’ with no glass in them but they all have metal plates attached to levers that can firmly close the plates over the square holes in the walls……



    This is what they looked like from the outside……



    While this is what the room is called and it’s description, while I think it was also used to watch the ‘Test Firing’s’ of the various rockets……



    While this was the rear entrance that we came out of after buying our Visitor Tickets……



    We then get to see the plan of what you can walk around on get up close to!
    Visits to other parts of the site are not allowed due to the possibility of unexploded items still being there, however you can pay (I think the tour was €25!) and be accompanied by a guide to one of the Test Firing Sites......



    So our first stop was the only example on the site of the ‘V1’ (Doodle Bug) Rocket that was tested here and then launched from various sites against cities in Europe……









    While just behind the ‘V1’ was a replica of the ‘V2’……









    Next up was the Peenemunde Railway, while the exhibit had a Pantograph, yet pictures we saw taken of the facility did not show any overhead electric train power lines or trains with Pantographs fitted!......





    We then moved onto the fuel supply system for the Power Station!……



    The ‘angled’ section going into the Power Station was a continuous conveyor belt that fed the coal from the Crane into large hoppers inside the building which was then fed to the ovens to create the steam for the turbines……





    Next stop was inside the Power Station itself……





    The ‘shiny’ metalwork is the frame of a lift that will take you to the viewing platform on top of the roof but you have to pay for an additional ticket (€6/Person) to get there!……





    One of the Steam Turbines with its outer case removed……



    While this is a picture of the case it was in…..



    With a blow up of the detail about the Turbine……



    Then we get to where you could see the coal burning through the small windows in the boiler section……



    With one of the control rooms alongside……



    With a broken clock and two pressure gauges, one of which I guess got ‘stuck’!......



    Part of the power distribution inside the station……



    While here is the main Control Room of the Power (Electricity) Distribution……



    At the rear of the control panels are the ‘3 Bars’ used to supply the distribution of the 3 Phase Electricity……



    While at the front are the ‘switches’ (Levers) used to switch on or off the electricity supply to various parts of the site as required……



    The we get up on the second floor of the power station which was filled with information about different places that were POW Camps…..



    However having noticed a large stone near the ‘V1’ Doodle Bug with Russian names carved into the stone, we found the rest of the story up here on the second floor, and here it is……











    Then in one of the side rooms we finally see some information about the Rockets and the ‘testing’ of them!......



    In the following picture, the Number 1 and Red Line is the area of the Power Station, Bunker and a couple of other buildings, while the Number 2 and Red Line is the ‘Test Stand’ that you may visit with a Guide! There are others identified as ‘circles’ but they are not accessible for safety reasons……



    This is a model of a ‘Test Stand’……



    While this is a plan and overhead picture of Test Stand VII……



    With a final plaque about the place……



    We both felt that this visit was disappointing as a lot of the information was only in German so if you could not understand it and a lot of people could not, then there was nothing you could do.

    It was also mentioned on an info ration board that after the Allies liberated the place, the scientists who worked there were offered short term contracts in other countries which kept being extended, while their atrocities against mankind during their time in Peenemunde were conveniently forgotten under a plan called ‘Paper Clip’…….

    Back on the road tomorrow to Brandenburg and der Havel which we have been to before, but I am sure there will be some things we have missed!......

  9. #79
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    Overland to Scandinavia and more!
    Spring 2017


    Peeneműnde to Brandenburg and der Havel

    As we left Peenemunde we got onto a good bit of road to find it had been reduced to 1 lane while the other side was 2 lanes. Then we found after a couple of miles a crew who were lifting the ‘Temporary Wall’ to make it 2 lanes again! How kind……



    WOW! Looks like the Storks have got their own bakery shop!……







    As the trip involved a lot of cross country roads, we ended up going through several town centres and the inevitable ‘road works’ as we entered this one!......







    OK. So when they clean the windows, does the window cleaner also get out his shears to trim back the greenery?……



    Old East German blocks of flats……









    New bridge being put in place while the road leading up to it and away had very tight bends each way, which seemed a bit strange when the new bridge was supposed to be to straighten the road out!……



    A little bit of Autobahn here, but it didn’t last for long……



    As we came off and onto the ‘country roads again……



    Just caught this bird of prey on top of the pole looking around to spot the next meal!......





    Then shortly after we reach the end of our run as we enter Brandenburg an der Havel and go through the town to the campsite……



    Time to get set up and into town for a decent Currywurst!......

  10. #80
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    Overland to Scandinavia and more!
    Spring 2017


    A day in Brandenburg and der Havel

    As we went into a café for some refreshment I found out that I had a ‘problem’ with my camera as I tried to initially take a picture of what looked like an antique telephone but in fact wasn’t!

    Having then performed a major re-set on the camera all the pictures that I took before this 1st one were no good, but I did not find out until I downloaded them from the CD Card!

    So all I have from around the town are these few:



    Then out pops the dial pad as you ‘crank’ the handle!……



    Steam powered sightseeing boats on the canal……



    On one of the bridges looking into part of the ‘Old Town’ as a Tram makes its way along the tramlines, while the pedestrian pavement was rather narrow in places as the Trams went past!......



    Then we get through the narrow bit into a wider part of the old town!......



    Coming into the town square we see a model of the town, but it was quite difficult to establish were we were as the model was quite grimy!......



    Interesting canal lock ‘gate’ as it was a bit like a guillotine, as the large square black piece in the middle of the picture was in fact a sheet of metal that was hoisted up when the lock section was level which then let the boats through, but it was also quite narrow…..





    New houses on what was waste ground close to the campsite……



    While on the opposite side of the road was this new Senior Citizens Residence, but they only did Tea and Coffee, there was NO Beer!......



    Back on the road tomorrow to the town of Lemgo and the campsite there!......

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