Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Exploring Jena

Because we have no money, we haven't really gone anywhere. At the beginning of the summer we had big plans to visit Prague, Vienna, Switzerland, London, as well as a bunch of German places: Munich, Berlin, Neuschwanstein Castle, and Oberammergau. (Of course if we had lots of money I really want to go to Rome and Istanbul, but I kind of always knew we would get those in on this trip.)

But, since we're poor, we've been seeing a lot of Jena and tagging along with members of the ward to other cities whenever we can. A couple of weeks ago we visited the Freiberg Germany Temple, which was the first temple behind the Iron Curtain. We found mostly American temple workers there but the services were in German - so we had to wear headphones (that used an infrared receiver that you could wear under your clothes! I admit, I was distracted by this...). The temple is very small - smaller even than the "small temples" the church has been building the last 15 years or so.

Freiberg Germany LDS Temple

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lobdeburg Castle

Here are a bunch of pictures from my latest adventures in Germany.

Since we're so poor and work all day we really don't have the ability to travel outside of our town (at least for now). So lately we've been exploring the sights around Jena. Luckily, as is the case with pretty much everywhere outside of the USA, there's all kinds of history right here in our valley.

For instance, here are a few facts about this small city that you probably have never heard of. Jena has Luther's original tombstone and the world's first planetarium. It was a frequent stomping ground for Geothe and Napoleon marched through. Coolest of all: the Carl Zeiss company was founded here.

There's also a medieval town center and castles or towers on almost every hill surrounding the city.

The closest old-stone-thing to our house is the Friedensberg WWI memorial. We found it quite by accident - we wandered up the hill and I saw a tiny trail going into a clump of trees at the top. I jokingly said, "I wonder if there's a castle in there?" So we went in (with Jenna gagging and screaming because plants were brushing against her legs and there might be bugs). We found a huge round stone wall! Circling round we found the entrance and it turned out to be a WWI memorial by the name of Friedensberg.

The gate to Friedensberg memorial