THE HOLIDAYS AHEAD: Magic and Magical Christmas attractions… fairies, elves and a fabulous Christmas market. I witnessed these handcrafted treasures at a Bavarian Christmas market at Casablanca near Garmisch-Partenkirchen. I was also excited to learn what Bavaria is all about and where one of my amazing dreams of a day at Garmisch came true. I got to follow in the footsteps of the Knight Diaries who went to this quaint tourist village named for its famous cathedral.
BAGGAGE CHECK: There are a number of ways you can find a great deal on luggage. I purchased Bags Greetings Travel’s Celebrate With Us return luggage. The price I pay for their commemorative bags ($20 value) is incredible as they are stamped with all of your all of your savings! At the same time they are a terrific value as the envelopes are very small which would prevent them from being lost. My bag of goodies came in only one piece and they double as a passport key. A great idea for smaller international trips or as a keepsake!
TURNING TOWARDS BERLIN: The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin is the best place to witness Germany’s lost 30 year peace. The monument was built to symbolize division after the end of World War I. Today Germany is the world’s largest exporter of goods. Our guide, Stephanie, did a wonderful job of pointing out the history of the location and reminded us that world leaders including Trump and Putin had been locked in a negotiation or exchange between Bonn and Berlin prior to the war. In 1945 the Brandenburg Gate was taken over by the American army and became a fortified fort for the bunker style Potsdam Hotel near Berlin.
DESPAIR FOR SLAVES: Many of the young men who died in World War I are buried in the expansive streets in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Our tour guide also discussed the youth training for war that was implemented during the height of the WWII. We moved onto the part of the city not covered by the state museums as it was one of the favorite retreats for the Fascist Fuhrer.