Baltic Cruise — Stockholm Arrival


Stockholm, Sweden

Vision of the Seas continued on into the Baltic after our two-day visit to St. Petersburg. We would make stops in Helsinki, Finland and Klaipeda, Lithuania, both subjects of upcoming articles, and Stockholm, capital of Sweden, which we’ll view this week.

Stockholm, Sweden

The weather was less than optimal when we first stepped off the ship, as you can see by the gray overcast in some of these photographs:

Stockholm, Sweden

But, fortunately, the sun started peeking through later in the afternoon:

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm is home to almost a million people. Throw in the surrounding urban areas and you’ll up that to around 1.6 million.

Stockholm, Sweden

Nevertheless, Stockholm doesn’t feel that large, as it retains a lot of Old World charm in its streets:

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm also presents to the photographer hints of its import nautical past, such as this three-masted rigging in the foreground of the Skeppsholmen Church (built 1823-1849):

Stockholm, Sweden

Here is another view of Skeppsholmen:

Stockholm, Sweden

Leaving you until Wednesday, here are some photos of statuary found in and around Stockholm:

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Photography, R. Doug Wicker, travel, vacation

D-Day — Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial


All this week I’ll be rerunning my six-part series on the D-Day Invasion of Normandy, France. Next week I’ll return you to our Baltic trip and beyond. In the meantime, in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Operation Neptune (the Normandy landings) and Operation Overlord (the Battle of Normandy) in the event we now collectively refer to as D-Day:

Map of the D-Day Normandy Invasion

The map depicted above overlooks Omaha Beach. Behind that map lies the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial

This military cemetery is a territorial concession granted by France to the United States, so this ground is fully administered and maintained by the U.S. government.

Some of the 1,557 names of unrecovered or missing U.S. servicemen from D-Day

There are 9,387 graves here, of which 307 contain the remains of unknown persons. All but one of those interred lost their lives during WWII. The exception is a grave from a lone casualty from WWI. Quentin Roosevelt, who was reinterred next to his brother Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial

The memorial and reflection pond face east toward the closest point of the United States, between Lubec and Eastport in Maine.

The Memorial faces east toward the U.S.

Leave a comment

Filed under Photography, R. Doug Wicker, travel

D-Day — Remembering John Steele, 82nd Airborne


All this week I’ll be rerunning my six-part series on the D-Day Invasion of Normandy, France. Next week I’ll return you to our Baltic trip and beyond. In the meantime, in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Operation Neptune (the Normandy landings) and Operation Overlord (the Battle of Normandy) in the event we now collectively refer to as D-Day:

Paratroopers in Stained Glass

Paratroopers in Stained Glass

In keeping with Monday’s Memorial Day post and Wednesday’s commemoration of D-Day, I dedicate today’s post to the memory of John Steele, Sainte-Mère-Église, and the church upon which Private Steele of the 82nd Airborne hung suspended for two hours before briefly being taken prisoner by the German Army, escaping, and later rejoining his brigade.

You will recall this famous incident from the movie The Longest Day, in which Private Steele was portrayed by Red Buttons.  That church remains to this day standing silent sentinel over the town square.  Hanging from a spire is a continuing memorial to Private Steels (see black-and-white photograph below) — a mannequin dressed in battle gear and uniform suspended by a parachute canopy and shroud lines.

John Steele — Still Hanging in Memorium

John Steele — Still Hanging in Memorium

Inside that church you will find some decidedly unusual stained glass windows.  Look at them carefully.  You’ll see reminders of that day in the form of airborne patches and armed troops gliding to earth beneath silk canopies.

Stained Tribute to the 82nd Airborne

Stained Tribute to the 82nd Airborne

Leave a comment

Filed under Photography, travel