Thursday, July 31, 2014

Writing From Wittenburg

Yestrday, we left Berlin in the morning, stopping at Potsdam  to tour  the palace  of  a German duke. He opened his home to be used  for the 1945 Potsdam Conference where Truman, Stalin and Churchill met to determine the way Germany would  be split up after their defeat.  Each leader had his own office in this huge and beautiful home; then they met together in a conference room along with aides, interpreters and secretaries who recorded this historic gathering.

Next  stop was a lovely restaurant with a lakside view. Once again, the food was excellent from the soup  to  the dessert. We arrived at our river ship, the Allegro, about  4 p.m.  The entire crew lined the gangplank to welome us.  After settling into our room and unpacking, we gathered in  the  lounge for the captain's welcome drink and talk, followed by an elegant dinner of many courses, all delicious.    

Today, our morning was spent at a park in Worlitzer where we had a gondola ride on an idyllic lake on a sunny, pleasantly cool day. I haven't felt such pure peace in a long time. The scenery on both sides of the small  lake appeared to be as if in a painting because it was so perfect. We walked through more of the park and went inside an old church that seemed plain and simple compared to many of the European churches.

After lunch on the ship, we  had  leisure time in Wittenburg.  One of the highlights of this trip  is  coming to this town where  Martin Luther's nailing of the 95 Theses set the stage for the Reformation period. What a disappointment it was to find the church closed for renovations. The 500th anniversary of Luther's protest happens in only 3 years. We were told that all hotels are already sold out.

Tomorrow, we will have a guided tour of Luther's house and more of the town. Since we are  Lutherans,  we're especially looking forward to this part of our trip. We have spent more time in Wittenburg than originally planned because the river has been low and one other town had  to be scratched. The ship (and they do call this 90 passenger vehicle a ship, not a boat) will sail  at 4:15 a.m. Saturday.          

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