*) Lieutenant Schmidt, actually Lieutenant Commander Pyotr Schmidt,

commanded Russian Imperial Navy Destroyer 253 in 1905 and participated

in the failed revolution of that year. His parents were of German descent.

His mother was of noble birth; her maiden name was von Wagner.

The von Wagners continue to be listed in the register of German titled nobility.

Paul in front of St. Peter and Paul Island. The tallest church pictured in the background

holds the remains of the Russian Czars, to include all the members of the last Imperial family, who, by Holy Decree, have all been declared Saints of the Russian Orthodox Church.

In our humble opinion, rightly so.

Heide in our tour bus, here photographed in front of one of St. Petersburg's Harbor Administration offices. As so many official edifices in Czar Peter's city, so, this one, has an Imperial past. There is hardly anything here that has not been initiated either by Czar Peter the Great or

Czarina Catherine the Great.

There was no doubt in anybody's mind that the Russian Maritime Authorities treated

the German ship, even under the flag of the Bahamas, with the greatest of accommodation, respect and good will. All of "Amadea's" passengers were granted quick, unimpeded and exceedingly helpful access to the city. The name identification, Lieutenant Schmidt*), of the swimming disembarkation terminal that was installed between our vessel's port side and one of the main avenues of St. Petersburg, offers unquestionable proof of the statements made above. This was definitely an occasion where the Russian Federation showed itself from its most unbureaucratic side.

"Amadea's" starboard side shows equally attractive excursion prospects.

The above pictured retired U.S. Coast Guard Commodore seems ready to disembark,

reconnoitering everything that seems worthwhile exploring.

Heide enjoys being in St. Petersburg again. And so is the man, who took this picture.

We were last in this grandly historic and highly cultured metropolis, founded by Peter The Great,

nine years ago. My, my, how time flies.

By the way, the spiritual edifice in the background is St. Isaac's Cathedral.

Obviously, we have arrived at the central jewel of the necklace called the Baltic shoreline.

MS "Amadea" cautiously navigates her way through St. Petersburg's inner harbor.

Amazing, already at eleven o'clock the next day, we arrived in St. Petersburg, The Russian Federation. 

We were particularly enchanted by a classical flute concert performed by exceedingly well behaved and cultured young Estonian musicians. We were deeply impressed indeed.

The palace of the Barons Saue, just 30 minutes away from Tallinn.

It was our privilege having been accorded an internal tour of this noble residence,

while enjoying a refreshing glass of champagne.

The in the last decade resurrected/refurbished market place is frequented by many people,

but by only a few motor vehicles. Very traditional.

Tallinn's skyline reveals that we will visit the shores of a religious and churchgoing nation.

Heide enjoys our arrival in Tallinn, looking forward already to our visit of Estonia's rural countryside and the remnants that are left of Estonia's landed Aristocracy.

Early the next afternoon, we arrived in Tallinn, Estonia.

Concluding our historically and emotionally laden visit to Klaipeda (Memel), Lithuania,

we were entertained by a local folkloric music group, who, among other melodies, also stirred our hearts with a musical rendition of "Aennchen von Tharau." This heartwarming song brought many of our "Amadea" group to tears, while nearly all of the visitors from Germany were singing or humming along the sweetly haunting lyrics/melody of this soul awakening event. This was another occasion that manifested to us all: Nearly 700 years of German influence in this region was definitely not forgotten, living, just below the surface, everywhere we went in the Memel of yesteryear.

The statue of "Aennchen von Tharau," in front of the municipal theater of Klaipeda.

The oval plaque below "Aennchen" is dedicated to the German poet and author Simon Dach, who has immortalized the sweet, beautiful but most of all loyal girl.

It is only right and proper that Heide was photographed in front of "Aennchen."

Our relatives, friends and acquaintances will require no reason as to why this is.

Somewhat removed from our regular reporting routine, we return, one more time, to Klaipeda and

the saga and story dedicated to Aennchen von Tharau, for us the most memorable impression we have taken away from Klaipeda/Memel. 


For us, the older generation, two haunting melodies have survived in our hearts and souls going all the way back to the days prior, during and past World War II.

The first of these is the song about "Lilli Marlene," who stands under a dimly lighted street lantern near the entrance gate of a military compound, passionately kissing her soldier, who fully realizes that this might be the last time in his life, where he may enjoy his girl's tender charm and comforting warmth. 

The second song "Aennchen von Tharau," (English: "Annie of Tharaw"),

tells about a mature, long-enduring love that grows deeper and stronger from day to day, a love a man is willing to forfeit his life, possession and gold for. His dedication and devotion know no limits, from which he derives the strength to overcome any obstacle, any suffering and the ravaging effects of war, eventually allowing him to return home and to embrace forever his Annie. For her, he will forfeit heaven and fight hell.      

The accompanying music to "Aennchen von Tharau" is melodically slow and sweet, emotionally capturing the listener to stay with the lyrics and the melody stanza after stanza.

There are 20 (plus) kilometers of pristine, sandy beaches in the sea resort of Palanga.

Next to locals, these beaches are also favored by Russian and German tourists on a frequent basis.   

Paul in front of Count Tyszkiewicz's Palace in Palanga.

Today, this beautiful edifice is the home of an amber museum.

After having pleasure-walked through Count Tyszkiewicz's gardens and woods, we arrived at a replica of the Lourdes (France) grotto, where the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, had visited St. Bernadette.

This meant very much to us, since we, too, are ardent admirers of St. Bernadette, whose village we have  frequently visited. 

Klaipeda is ornamented by many Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) buildings.

Kindly notice the recently swept streets and sparkling clean windows.

The modern, dynamic Klaipeda, driving very hard to catch up to the requirements of the

European Union.

Vintage, clean and nice; that, too, is Klaipeda (Memel) to this very day.


No doubt at all, Klaipeda and Lithuania were dealt a harsh hand by the swords and daggers of an unsympathetic military, geopolitical history.

Still, the fact remains that from 1254 to 1919, German influence in this region was paramount,

and this evidence remains visible throughout Klaipeda to this very day.

Those of us with deeper historical insight and classical emotional understanding, cannot and will not

forget the immortal words of Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben, who presented to the world in 1841

the German National Anthem, among others, the following words:

"Von der Maas bis an die Memel

Von der Etsch bis an den Belt ..."

"From the Maas to the Memel

From the Etsch to the Belt ...,"

describing the geographic extent of what once was an enlightened, technologically progressive and culturally sophisticated German Empire.

(Memel prior to the turn of the 20th century.)

To individuals, people like us, who are able to conjure in their minds pictures of past history,

Klaipeda, of course, makes us immediately think of Memel, the most eastern town in the former Kingdom of Prussia and the German Empire.

The next morning after our departure from Gdansk, Poland,

we arrived in Klaipeda/Lithuania.

Mysteriously enough, the above Gdansk Hanseatically recreated Cog, the very same vessel featured above, came out to greet us while we remained on board.

Could it possibly be that the aging timbers of this ship sensed our real reason for not having disembarked?

True enough, our justification for not having gone from board were indeed for emotional, psychological considerations:

We just did not wish to confront and deal again with the sadness and downright unhappiness that our esteemed ancestors had to endure, when their noble land holdings, precious buildings and other unimaginably valuable treasures were swallowed up by two world wars and the out of that resulting gross and brutal injustices to millions of innocent, intelligent, talented and hardworking people.    

During our 2008 visit to the Gdansk shipping docks, we enjoyed viewing the stern side of this tourist "Pirate" ship, offering harbor tours to adventure-bound visitors.

Completely cased in rose-colored Italian marble, our Ducal Residence during better days prior to the end of World War I in 1918.

Prince Michael and Prince Paul Gulgowski-Doliwa

grieving over the demise of the Gulgowski Ducal residence in Kielpin, Pomerania.

Heide and Paul together with relatives in front of the Gulgowski Dynasty estate church.

Heide photographed Paul and his relatives in front of the impressive Marienburg Castle Fortress, in Malbork, near Gdansk. 

A considerable number of Paul's ancestors had been stationed in this formidable edifice as Doliwa Knights in the service of the Teutonic Order.  

For some reason, we like the façades of Hanseatic and trade buildings in Gdansk best.

Especially, since we know that all of that was completely destroyed in World War II and painstakingly and lovingly entirely restored to its former glory during the decades following that ferocious war.   

This photograph has, of course, also a social component to it:

The beggar woman on the left has not made the adjustment to modern times,

while the young man on the right, operating his cellphone, is obviously on top of his world.   

Heide photographed Paul walking with his relatives in the center of Gdansk,

surveying the amber market in this picturesque and quaint part of town.

Modern half-timbered and older-style Gdansk harbor storage buildings.

Heide and Paul in front of the Gdansk Municipal Palace.

In September 2008, the Princes Gulgowski-Doliwa had the honor, privilege and pleasure to have visited the Pomerania and Gdansk area of Poland together with local relatives before, as the following photographs will demonstrate.

Heide photographed at the stern of our cruise liner.

the flotilla of red-colored tugboats indicates the business of Gdansk harbor.

Day and night, every day of the year, the Baltic is being navigated by Armadas of ships under all flags,

ranging from gigantic oil tankers, 4000-passenger-capacity cruise ships, big cargo ships down to

little "rust buckets" transporting scrap iron to China.  One doesn't even have to utilize binoculars

to admire the unending string of vessels on both sides of our own.


Before we knew it, a pilot came on board to guide the "Amadea" into the harbor of Gdansk, Poland. 

(Brunsbuettel locks)

On both of its ends, the canal is being serviced by two lock systems.

Looking at this inland waterway from west to east, 

the first of these systems is located at Brunsbuettel and

the second is situated at Kiel-Holtenau.

Finally, we and our ship were alone on the Baltic.

With less than 600 passengers on board, and the crew of 290 being busy elsewhere,

there were indeed times, when one could truly enjoy the upper deck in twosome solitude.  

(The helpful photographer not considered in this scenario.) 

After having flawlessly navigated the Brunsbuettel and Kiel-Holtenau lock systems (the latter is featured above), we eventually entered the Baltic Sea.

(Photographed from East to West, the Rendsburg Railroad Bridge over the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal).

We desire the historical record to show that the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal was initially envisioned by prominent shipping company President Hermann Dahlstroem and Prince Otto von Bismarck (1878).

Emperor Wilhelm I laid the canal's foundation stone in 1887 and his grandson, Emperor Wilhelm II, Christened this immensely valuable trans-peninsular waterway by bestowing upon it the name of his grandfather, Wilhelm I, hence, calling it the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal (1895).

Shifts of more than 8000 skilled workers from the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy worked constantly around the clock on this European marine engineering wonder of the 19th century. 


I, Paul, crossed this wonderful and beautiful manmade waterway during the early 1960ies several times, traveling from Flensburg via Rendsburg to Hamburg.

Consequently, it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, least myself, when I dreamed of the Rendsburg railroad bridge over the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal, while I was safely being ferried underneath of it during my sleep. 

(Kaiser-Wilhelm-(Nord-Ostsee) Kanal)

While we were still partying or already asleep, "Amadea" navigated the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal.

(Of course, we are aware of the fact that the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal, also once known as the Kiel Canal,

is currently known as the Nord-Ostsee-Kanal, as the result of the ever creeping adjustment to the lowest common denominator, which does not honor the visionaries and executors, nor cherishes great personal historical engineering achievements either. )


Our sentiments not withstanding, the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal enjoys the same historical engineering legacy as the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal.

Below kindly behold an archived map of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanals geography, courtesy of Wikipedia. 

Figuratively speaking, while we were enjoying our high-quality Captain's Dinner, developing new acquaintanceships, delighting in one last turn around the upper deck and preparing for our first night at sea, our dear relatives, friends and neighbors may wish to study the above routing map for their information.

No time was being wasted on board of the "Amadea."

Hardly having recuperated from traveling to, boarding and exploring this exquisite ship,

it was already time to attend the Captain's Dinner, which we enjoyed immensely. 

Finally, our ship takes course north up the Elbe River.

For political, diplomatic, financial and/or other reasons, "Amadea"

travels under the flag of the Bahamas. 

The Princes Gulgowski-Doliwa while exploring the upper decks of "Amadea."

Obviously, we were excited and pleased with what we encountered.

A sparkling clean and exceedingly well-kept luxury vessel!

Hamburg Harborphotographed from the port-side bow of the "Amadea."

Still, prior to boarding, the ship's photographer took the above obligatory picture of us.

Right below the welcome note under the "Phoenix" logo, our esteemed friends and acquaintances may inform themselves about the vessel's statistical data. 

Princess Heide, impatient as she sometimes is, could hardly wait to be photographed

in front of the "Amadea," as this cruise ship was being prepared for her next voyage.

MS "Amadea," our floating palace away from home for the next 14 days.

Although, the Princes Gulgowski-Doliwa did travel extensively around the world, visiting together more than fifty (plus) nations, the following Baltic excursion exceeded them all in luxury and leisure.

As the above photograph clearly indicates, just because Hamburg embraces what is new, it also maintains a heart for what has brought the city glory and treasure in the past.

In the past, the Hotel Hafen Hamburg served as a hostel to sailors, who had just returned from the sea and were in the process of getting ready for their journeys inland to be with their loved ones.

On the other side of this coin, this respected Hanseatic abode also functioned as the staging place for sailors to go out on the oceans once again on another voyage.  


Looking out from our hotel window, we could observe the hustle and bustle of a most progressive maritime harbor town. ​

In the Hanseatic City of Hamburg,  we rested from our air travel, until we boarded 

the Motor Vessel (MS) "Amadea," in the luxuriously comfortable Hotel Hafen Hamburg,

which wholeheartedly welcomes all of its guests in the past splendor of a great seafaring tradition. 

​(Crew Flag of Hamburg)

Heide and Paul above the roof tops of

Budapest, Hungary.

At a formal dinner at the Officers' Mess of the Citadelle

in Quebec, Canada.

After Our Church Wedding in Delafield, Wisconsin, USA. 

Our Civil Wedding Ceremony in Ratingen, Germany.

Limited as they are, the four pictures above, in a small way, characterize our exciting, adventurous and happy times all over the globe together,

presenting some of the people we love, some of the events we cherish and showing places on

this earth that we admire and will continue to visit for as long as we shall live.


Next, we invite our special friends and acquaintances to join us on our 25th Wedding Anniversary Cruise, where we visited the jewels of the Baltic Sea.    

Beyond that, the Two Principal Purposes of this Webpage are:

To Commemorate Our 25th Wedding Anniversary and

To Document the Celebration of this Marital Milestone

with a Fantastic Baltic Cruise that We Shall not Forget

for the Rest of Our Lives.

Authored by the Princes Gulgowski-Doliwa, The Dukes of Schlesien-Glogau 

Via limousine, we traveled to Chicago O'Hare International Airport and from there with a renowned airline, over Munich to Hamburg, Germany.

6 July 1989 - 6 July 2014

DUCAL AND PRINCELY HOUSE GULGOWSKI-DOLIWA

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern countryside.

The building to the left in the photograph above used to be the summer residence of the

Mecklenburg Dukes.

Under the Communist regime, a second wing (building on the right) was added.

The purpose of both of these edifices was to serve as an "economy" spa hotel.

We featured the picture above for the benefit of our dear readers, so they may have an appreciation of the fact that the Dukes of Mecklenburg were quite happy to spend their summer holidays in a more humble abode, when compared to the exquisite Heiligendamm facility shown above.    

Having arrived in Stockholm, Sweden, one is immediately impressed by the sanitary cleanliness of this 

multiple island-based metropolitan area. (The Royal Palace is distinctly visible behind the crown.)

For anyone, who has set foot into this country, three things will become immediately, abundantly clear:

Sweden is a constitutional monarchy, an ultra socialist economy with an extremely liberal mindset.

Hence, the folks around this islands city are very friendly and accommodating. 

Individually, nearly everyone of those 24,000 Rocky Islands is home to 

a paradise like the one pictured above.

Wisconsinites could be tempted to recognize in the above photograph a small part of the Bayfield area up north.

Departing the harbor of St. Petersburg, the busiest and most expansive harbor we could observe in our lifetime, we noticed this maritime facility also being capable of attending to specialized customers. 

Lithograph of the Imperial Dragoon Life Guard Regiment stationed at Peterhof in 1868.

Peterhof Chapel.

There is no doubt that Peter the Great and the Czars that followed him on the Throne knew how to worship in style and elegance.

More so, to them, holy edifices like the one photographed above, were deliberately created as replicas of what Monarchs all over Europe thought heaven would be like.


Nine years ago, we stayed in St. Petersburg for better than a week. Even then, we could not manage to behold all that was worthwhile seeing.

During our Baltic voyage, we merely had two days to cram everything into it that we possibly could.

Consequently, our St. Petersburg city tour was confined to only one morning. The early afternoon we were taken by hydro craft across the Bay of Finland to Peterhof Castle complex.

The remains of the last Russian Imperial Family are resting here in God's grace.

The inheritance we all were awarded by the infinite talents, skills and generosity by the Mecklenburg Dynasty is evidenced by the beautiful photographs featured below.

As avid historians, traveling through heavenly beautiful Mecklenburg-Vorpommern,

we just couldn't help ourselves but to think of the great achievements of the House of Mecklenburg in general and the House of Schwerin-Schwanenfeld in particular. 


Most prominent in our minds in that space of time ranked the Colonel officer featured above.

He belongs to the ancient nobility (Uradel) of the House of Schwerin, which had given its name to the capital city of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Colonel von Schwerin did belong to the closest circle of the Hitler resistance along with his personal friends Peter Count Yorck von Wartenburg and Fritz-Dietlof Count von der Schulenburg (Kreisau Circle).

Von Schwerin actively participated in the failed attempt on Hitler's life and the coup d'état

on 20 July 1944. On 21 August 1944, he was sentenced to death by the People's Court (Volksgerichtshof),

presided over by the infamous Roland Freisler.

He found a martyr's death on 8 September 1944 by hanging at Ploetzensee Prison, Berlin.

He rests in God's eternal peace at the Waldfriedhof Dahlem.

Colonel Ulrich Wilhelm Count Schwerin von Schwanenfeld,

Cadet-Line member of the Grand Ducal / Ducal House of Mecklenburg,

Knight of Justice, the Order of St. John,

Knight of the Order of the Iron Cross. 

While a Dutch flotilla is still coming in, ... 

Lucky for us, a Tall Ship regatta was being held in Warnemuende. This was a pleasure to behold.

It is probably proper and fitting that the Finnish nation continues to honor Alexander II of Russia in the manner it has chosen to do.

After all, this Czar allowed Finland the greatest imaginable autonomy as one of Russia's Grand Duchies,

to include its own currency and continued practice of Finnish historical traditions.  

Hostess in 18th-century period dress welcomes guests to the dining room.

On our return trip from Peterhof to MS "Amadea," the tour bus stopped at a wonderful and sophisticated, Greek-temple-like restaurant and café, pictured below.  

Next, to satisfy the justified curiosity of all of our esteemed readers, we offer a few photographs of the interior of Peterhof. They are so gorgeous that any explanation would be superfluous.

Having walked at least 500 steps, we have only reached the middle of the steps leading to the upper gardens of Peterhof Castle. Still, even from here, the view is nothing but splendid.   

"Paulus Maximus" clandestinely perking up his head among the masses visiting the lower gardens of Peterhof, coming from the Golf of Finland.

The next day, around 12 o'clock, back in German waters again, we arrived at Rostock-Warnemuende harbor. 

Traveling through one of Germany's northern lands, with the expert guidance of a local tour guide, we would have been seriously disappointed, had we not encountered at least one windmill.

A much older vintage farming estate, obviously, continues to be profitable, doing just fine. 

This massive and impressive organ of St. Mary's was once played 

by that imminent American organist and classic music arranger, Miss Diane Bish :-),

​whose performance on this very organ was even broadcast by a prominent American television corporation.

The Stockholm waterfront.

It appears that there is a boat for every household with every budget.

In Stockholm alone, more than 100,000 pleasure crafts of all sizes are registered.

The people of Stockholm dread the arrival of winter, not because of the cold, the snow and

 the ice that this season brings, but because then they are unable to spend time on their floating homes. 

Folks are enjoying themselves around the Helsinki harbor and waterfront.

(The Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory, located in the center of the St. Petersburg Theater District)

When the senior members of the Princely-Ducal House Gulgowski-Doliwa

enjoyed their visit to St. Petersburg in 2005, they resolved to return and

so they did in 2014, as the photograph below will document.

Where ever we have traveled during our 25 (plus) years together,

Paul always enjoys walking the pedestrian zones of old cities, like here in Rostock.

If we did not say so before, this Hanseatic city most definitely deserves to be visited again.

Heide surely also put her stamp on this photograph, highlighting the seven-towered Gothic city hall of Rostock with its Baroque facade. 

... other and taller ships are already safely moored dockside.

Although, there weren't any wars that necessitated building or rebuilding from the scratch,

Stockholm, and surely many other Swedish cities, took steps forward in architecture and 

produced modern edifices like the one pictured above. 

The curtain lowers on a superb ballet troupe and a world-class Swan Lake performance.

Thanks to the Lord, we did not miss out on this wonderful ballet experience. 

Heide on her way to the conservatory foyer.

Considering the actual age of the above noble edifice, there is no doubt in this senior author's military mind that this structure once in the not too distant historical past must have served as the officers' mess of His Majesty's, the Czar's, Dragoon Life Guard Regiment, once commanded by Colonel Nikolai Gul'kovskii (the Russian spelling of our surname), prior to his advancement to General officer rank in the Imperial Russian Cavalry Corps. General Gul'kovskii had served under Czars Alexander II,

Alexander III and Saint Nicholas II. As a Staff Captain, he had distinguished himself in the Turkish-Russian War 1877-1878, from which he emerged as a national hero.    

From a rolling bus, we shot the picture above.

It depicts a thatched-roof house under construction.

And more so, it actively demonstrates that people desire to return to their traditional roots and don't mind showing it for the world to see.

By the way, the crossed Viking horses on both ends of the roof tell us the following:

If the horses are looking outward, no suitor needs to apply, since the eligible daughter(s) is (are) already spoken for or married, as the case may be.

If the horses are looking inward, eligible bachelors may "cautiously and courteously" apply within. :-) 

The storms that impacted upon Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, political and otherwise, were,

thanks to the Lord, only temporary visitors, who could not diminish this country's natural beauty and serenity.  

St. Mary's church in Rostock, constructed in the Brick Gothic style, was dedicated in the year 1265.

Next on our agenda was the Kingdom of Sweden.

However, before we got even close to that monarchy, our vessel had to navigate through

some of the 24,000 islands that protect Sweden against immediate or unimpeded access.

The areal photograph below, will give our distinguished readers just a glimpse of what we meant with our statement above.

Marshal Baron Mannerheim, a hero like extremely few others in this world's history.

He was a noble man of German and Swedish descent. 

However sad and regretful, the curtain also had to fall on our last in our lifetime visit to St. Petersburg.

If there is any man who knows how to personify noteworthy personal achievement,

then it is definitely the gentleman above ;-).

Village in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

The church steeple above, like so many others in MV, tells us, here resides a Protestant parish. 

There is no doubt in our minds, Stockholm and Sweden are worthy of more time.

As it was, our docking period in Stockholm harbor was limited from 0800 until 1700 hrs. 

And off we were to Aeroskobing, Denmark.

Heide in front of Drottningholm Palace, thirty minutes away from Stockholm.

This palace was built following French and Dutch designs. It dates back to 1662 and serves as Sweden's Royal Family's summer residence.

Nevertheless, this statement can easily be contested, since the Royal Family spent their time in Southern France, when we were visiting. 

As our vessel inched further and further into Helsinki harbor,

one can recognize the Helsinki Cathedral in the background.

Although Russian Orthodox in appearance, it is a church of worship belonging to the Protestant faith.

(The above three photographs were taken from  "Peterhof, The Great Palace,"

by Nina Vernova, Published: Peterhof Museum Complex, St. Petersburg, 2001)

Next on our agenda was the visitation of Mecklenburg (Vorpommern included in modern geopolitical thinking).

However, before we advance to this topic,

it is the heartfelt desire of the Princely/Ducal House Gulgowski-Doliwa to thank the House of Mecklenburg for having created a garden of God on their earthly domain. We shall definitely take the opportunity, whenever it presents itself again, to revisit this garden spot of Eden here on earth.

Therefore, it is no surprise that Mecklenburg-Vorpommern today is nearly as much visited as the former Kingdom of Bavaria, for which the Royal House of Wittelsbach deserves a great expression of appreciation still to this very day.  

St. Mary's stained glass windows are equally impressive.

​The police boat offers us all indications that something special is going on.

Our one and only, and therefore greatest, disappointment of our educational tour through Helsinki was

that no provisions had been made to stop at the monument dedicated to

Marshal Baron Carl Gustav Emil Mannerheim, later also President of Finland.

It was basically he, who brought Finland its national independence, having subdued in fierce fighting the Red Faction of Finland, who did seek union with the newly established Bolshevik Russian regime,

and who had prevailed against the gigantic Russian military juggernaut during World War II.   

Ceiling frescoes always open up the skies to a sensitive art lover.

Still, we use the last of our compliments in favor of the establishments above.

Once, it were farmhouses like the ones featured above, that manicured the German countryside

with dedication and commitment as one finds hardly anywhere else in the world.

Nevertheless, the truth also is, that farmhouses like these are a diminishing commodity.

The one on the right has at least partially been transformed into a country estate with riding stable.

However, we were especially impressed by the many well-maintained, nature-respecting

bicycle paths and pedestrian ways, that we saw taken advantage of on an extensive basis.  

(The Coat-of-Arms of the 

Grand Dukes and Dukes of

​Mecklenburg)

Heide, whose second middle name is Maria, fully deserved to be photographed here.

From our city bus tour, we observed many beautiful and outstanding buildings and sights, 

all worthwhile to photograph. Since time was limited, we did not disembark from our bus

too frequently. Consequently, we had to rely on "Mr. Wikipedia" to help us out with re-

capturing our main impressions to benefit this travelogue and our readers. 

The very next day, we arrived in Helsinki, Finland.

This city welcomed us with a ferries wheel and children's laughter. How nice!

May we recommend to our dear relatives, friends and special acquaintances to activate the following link on the Web to rejoice with us in listening to "Adoro."

After having said a fond good-bye to MS "Amadea,"

while listening for the last time, at least for the near future, to the ship's farewell song "Adoro," 

we "hijacked" a taxi, under the protest of some disgruntled fellow passengers ;-), back to our comfortable Hotel Hafen Hamburg.

A less ambitious view of Hamburg.

If you follow the bridge pillar up the picture, in close proximity to the docked submarine,  

you observe the "Hamburger Michel," a church of particular sentimental value and appreciation

to sailors.

​The Hanseatic building style has gratefully been employed in restructuring the old and familiar market place. 

The Rostock Astronomical Clock in St. Mary's was built in 1472 and deserves undiminished admiration and attention.

Sweden presents itself as and really is a happy Kingdom.​

Despite the fact that Sweden's winters are long and harsh, it seems its motor vehicles are able to 

withstand this rigor and don't look much worse for the wear. Cuba not withstanding, 

one can observe many vintage cars from manufacturers of many nations.

Obviously, the Swedes are people who take care of their things with pride. 

The Rocky Islands of Sweden (Die Schaeren) en mass.

However enlightening, exciting and educational our journey via the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal presented itself, half of it and most of the northern Elbe River, we spent asleep. 

Eventually, we arrived at our point of embarkation, the great and Hanseatic city of Hamburg. 

Many streets leading to many eye-teasing locations look like the one above.

This road leads to Bad Doberan.

However, our field trip to Rostock and the beautiful resort-like Mecklenburg countryside

must be considered a most special treat. 

Still, a host of smaller vessels also had their fun.

A typical inner city view.

It reveals that Sweden has not been involved in any wars whatsoever since Napoleonic times.

This makes abundantly clear, as to why there are no traces of any bombardments, either by 

artillery or air crafts. For a Central European person, a marvelous thing to behold.

Although, we reported about the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal extensively and passionately before,

let the photograph above signal the beginning of the end of our way to Hamburg.

The next photographs document the idyllic conditions left and right of the canal nearly

entirely along its route.

MS "Amadea" did not enter the harbor of Aeroskobing, the Kingdom of Denmark.

Instead, our ship's life boats skippered interested passengers to the island.

This was a wonderful training opportunity for the coxswains of "Amadea;"

however, this would have been a little too risky an adventure for people who walk with canes.

Hence, we opted to stay on board and looked at Aeroskobing through our binoculars.

What we saw approximates the photograph above, which we took the liberty to borrow from Wikipedia. Eventually, this adventure travel was cancelled, because the weather had just become too inclement to guarantee passengers' safety.  

Still, we can legally say that we had visited Denmark :-).

To top off our St. Petersburg experience, difficult as this is to imagine,

we attended the Rimsky-Korsakov State Ballet and State Conservatory performance of

"Swan Lake."

http://www.phoenixreisen.tv/ama.asp?k=6

From ship board, we waved good-bye to Rostock and Warnemuende.

Quite soon now, we would transverse the Kaiser-Wilhelm- (Nord-Ostsee) Kanal again.

And, how could it be any different, as literary people, we just had to photograph this quaint

municipal library.

We saw also many attractive homes of newer vintage, but not less expensive. 

On both sides of the canal, one observes hundreds of such iconic family homes and farming estates.

The exclusive spa hotel in Heiligendamm.

The very last jewel of our 25th Wedding Anniversary Cruise and visit to Germany was

meeting with our very dear and long-cherished friends from Northern Germany,

Petra and Harald,

who had come all the way from Bremen to invite us to a special anniversary dinner in

the rival city of Bremen, which is Hamburg.

As they say, Bremen has a harbor, Hamburg is a harbor.

(Both Hanseatic cities can take the best out of this comparison.)   

Schwerin Castle.

It was the home of the Grand Dukes and Dukes of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and

is situated on an island in Schwerin Lake and was built from 1845-1857

in the Neo-Renaissance style.