The Cold War focused my generation on Germany, and I feel as if I’ve been learning about the Germans for 50 years. I went to Germany for the first time in the late 1960s, and during the next two decades I lived and worked there six or seven years in all. Now I travel back each fall to work on my German and absorb more about these people, who long have been at the center of Europe and European history.

This blog displays photo impressions of those trips and of a few trips to neighboring countries. In lieu of crediting Wikipedia in many captions, please let me just state that when needed, much of the detail in the captions comes from that great online encyclopedia. Another indispensable source has been the short online “histories” provided by the tourist office in some cities.

Up to 2018, the photos were taken with a palm-sized point-and-shoot camera. In 2018 and 2019 (Berlin and Hamburg), I wanted to see whether photos from a mobile phone could advance a narrative as effectively as photos from a conventional camera. You be the judge. After that, driven by a desire to escape the limits of a phone’s wide-angle lenses, small sensor, etc., I took photos with a Nikon DSLR.

The photos come with captions and very little other narrative. Each post tries to give you a feel for what it’s like to be there, often with details that only someone who actually strolled around there could provide. But the point is entertainment. Any lessons you find here are a tribute to your own good sense.

Clint Swift

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