A Travellerspoint blog

Germany

Day 15

Driving from Lengdorf, Austria to Stuttgart, Germany

sunny 26 °C

Last night we were watching Austrian TV. We were able to see the World Snooker Championship final few frames. The play was fantastic. Both Mark Williams and John Higgins are truly great snooker players and certainly either one could have been the champion. Mark Williams had two great frames in a row and won. We had been watching some of the play off games leading to this final night along our travels. Each place we stayed had different TV programs. It was good to get to see the final.

This morning was again bright and sunny but with the higher altitude, much cooler. We woke to a temperature in the range of 10 C (50 F)

We looked out the window this morning and noticed many of our neighbours.

The cows came out of the barn, I am sure they had just been milked. One cow took off and headed directly to the pasture while her friends stood around the door of the barn for a while.

Independent cow heading for the pasture

Independent cow heading for the pasture

Cows near the barn door

Cows near the barn door

The chickens were out in their chicken run and the bunnies were sunning in their hutch.

Chickens in their run

Chickens in their run

Bunnies in their hutch

Bunnies in their hutch

The farmer was getting his tractor out of the barn.

Farmer and his tractor

Farmer and his tractor

We enjoyed our breakfast and packed the car up. When Reta got into the car to drive, she noticed footprints on the windshield. We thought they were made by the barn cats but later decided that they might be raccoon prints. Any bets on what they are? The house behind the footprints was our lodging last night.

Footprints on the windshield, house in background

Footprints on the windshield, house in background



We also took a picture of our human neighbour's abode. This home looks very much like our vision of an Alpine styled home.

Alpine house

Alpine house

We drove through a beautiful alpine valley which was bordered by towering mountains on both sides. Reta was driving so no pictures. The speed limit was 80 kmh or 50 mph so we had time to relax and enjoy the drive.

We eventually reached a "motorway". This was another morning of driving through road reconstruction. The traffic moved slowly for cars but the semi-trailers were at a stand still quite a bit.

We crossed the border between Austria and Germany. We needed to drive through a check stop but they did not stop every vehicle so we got through quickly.

At noon we stopped at a rest stop and enjoyed our picnic lunch at a roadside table.

Picnic table

Picnic table

Art drove in the afternoon and again the motorways had a lot of road construction. Again, cars got through slowly but the semi-trailers were lined up at a stop for kilometres and kilometres. Must be very frustrating for those drivers.

Our hotel for the night is in a suburb of Stuttgart, Germany. The airport for Stuttgart is in this community. We are staying in a business hotel but there are enough facilities in our room for us to make our own supper/dinner.

This flowering tree is in the parking lot. We have no idea what kind of tree it is.

Flowering tree

Flowering tree

This evening is starting to cool off. The high today was 26 C (79 F).

Tomorrow we will be in France.

Posted by A-RPoulton 10:03 Archived in Germany Comments (1)

Day 7

A day in Leipzig

semi-overcast 19 °C

We got going this morning and walked to the tram stop just 1/2 block from our apartment.

The tram took us to the Hauptbahnhof (central train station) in the centre of Leipzig. When we got there we were able to get on a "Hop On/Hop Off" bus tour. This company offers a bus tour of the city and another of a nearby rural area.

We took the city tour first. The problem here is that unlike other "Hop On/Hop Off" buses we have been on, that offer audio translations of what commentary is given, this company only offers commentary in German. We were given an English copy of the details given during the commentary but not the friendly chatter and jokes that the German speakers got to enjoy. We missed out on a lot of the information given. We also had poor opportunities to take pictures of important sites.

When we finished the urban tour, we took the rural tour but no English booklet was offered to us so we just enjoyed the ride.

Our first photos are of a mural on the Marriott Hotel very close to the Hauptbahnhof. These pictures are very colourful. The artist is Michael Fischer. This mural is called Freihet or Freedom. The pictures are engaging but we are not sure why they are called Freedom.

IMG_5151.jpg Mural on side of Marriott Hotel
IMG_5152.jpg Close up of mural - very colourful

Our third photo is of the Memorial to the 1813 Battle of Leipzig which was part of the Battle of the Nations. The Battle of the Nations refers to Europe's resistance to the invasion by Napoleon and the French. Those of us who grew up in North America view this battle as France vs Britain but in fact, almost all European countries were involved in this ongoing battle. Almost 100,000 lives were lost in the Battle of Leipzig part of this resistance. This monument cost almost a million dollars and was completed in 1913 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of this battle.

This picture is not the best because the foreground of the monument is being refreshed and it is a construction site. Reta tried to catch the beauty of the monument and obscure the construction.

1813 Memorial - Battle of Leipzig

1813 Memorial - Battle of Leipzig

The next two photos are street scenes featuring an outdoor market.

Street scene

Street scene


Street sales

Street sales

Our last photo is just a small portion of the Hauptbahnhof which is one of the largest in Europe based on the square footage.

Leipzig Hauptbahnhof

Leipzig Hauptbahnhof

After we finished our bus tours we stopped at the grocery store in the Hauptbahnhof to pick up food for supper before we caught our tram back to our apartment.

We discovered on our arrival yesterday that this apartment has a washer/dryer. We got busy and loaded in a load of laundry. It takes an hour and a half to wash that load of laundry and two and 1/2 hours to dry that load. We did three loads and the last one is just finished now. You have no choice about drying cycles so the first load came out a bit damp but the last two came out cooked. Luckily there is an iron and ironing board so the skirts and pants that came out looking like they had been tied in knots can be salvaged.

If you have a washer and dryer at home that produces fresh and tidy clothing, be thankful.

So, I leave you now to look after that matter.

Tomorrow we will journey to Prague.

Posted by A-RPoulton 11:07 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Day 6

Wetzlar to Leipzig

sunny 23 °C

We had a very restful night in our private suite in a family home in Wetzlar. We were staying in a smaller community in a very quiet neighbourhood and sleep came quickly and lasted much longer than usual. We woke up refreshed and ready for another day.

Our travels today took us through some rolling hills, forests and over rivers. We have been surprised as we traveled along to see how much further ahead of Saskatchewan, where the snow only disappeared in the last two weeks, these fields of yellow flowers are. We know that this is a field of either mustard or canola, would our farmer family let us know what this is? We know that our local farmers have not even had the chance to seed their fields, let alone have them at this stage.

Yellow flowers in fields - mustard or canola?

Yellow flowers in fields - mustard or canola?

We stopped for gas about 11 AM and found that we are paying 1.52 euros per litre ($2.36 Canadian per litre) which resulted in a 53.00 euro fill ($82.44 Canadian). This is still a heart-stopping amount but better than it was.

We stopped for lunch at a lovely sunny place. The temperature was 22 C (72 F). We are delighted, summer at last.

We reached our accommodations in Leipzig. We found lilacs in bloom at the apartment building across the street.

IMG_5148.jpg

This is our apartment building. We have a one bedroom apartment on the 1st floor by European calculations but 2nd floor by North American standards. We were able to find parking in front of the building so we did not have to carry our luggage, laundry, and groceries too far. Of course, there is no elevator, so we had to carry this stuff up three flights of stairs. We think we got off lucky.

If you travel with a guided group, all of these problems are looked after for you. We are independent travelers so it is all up to us to deal with such matters.

Our apartment is really quite lovely and once we got our stuff up here, we are happy. We even have 2 tv channels that are English and both are news channels so we know some of what is going on in North America and Europe. Any name for the new prince?? Still have not heard.

Our apartment is on the right side of the building

Our apartment is on the right side of the building

We are very happy with our little Citroen. We took this picture today because it looks grey/silver in shadows, white in bright sunlight and today in the sunlight and shade, grey with a white top. It is all very strange.

Citroen in sun and shade

Citroen in sun and shade

We made supper/dinner with the groceries we bought yesterday. We brought along a hot-cold bag and a small fold-up cooler so we can transport food safely. Yesterday, we bought frozen chicken schnitzel, salad, spargel (white asparagus) and erdbeeren (fresh spring strawberries). We had a great supper/dinner.

Our last picture of the day is a leftover from Brussels. I forgot I had taken this picture when I did last night's blog. This is a bridge over a tunnel entrance in Brussels. I just enjoyed the gracefulness of it. I can not find a name on the internet - so it is just a pretty picture.

leftover from Brussels - lovely entrance to tunnel

leftover from Brussels - lovely entrance to tunnel

Tomorrow we will explore Leipzig.

Posted by A-RPoulton 10:44 Archived in Germany Comments (1)

Day 5

Brussels to Wetzlar

semi-overcast 17 °C

Today we traveled in three countries.

We started the day by driving downtown or to the old town of Brussels (Bruxelles in French). The crowds were light and we were able to drive to see some sights. Reta joined the mob at the Mannekin Pis (Pissing Boy - pardon the language) to take photos. That young lad has been standing there doing that since 1618 or 1619, looking very proud of himself - can you imagine?

Crowd admiring Manneken Pis

Crowd admiring Manneken Pis

Doesn't he look proud of himself

Doesn't he look proud of himself

We then drove to the country of Luxembourg and then on to Luxembourg City. We attempted to drive into the city to see the older parts of the city but even though it was Saturday, a lot of other people were attempting the same thing. There were no opportunities for photos. We did drive by an outside market where we observed flowers and fruit and vegetables for sale.

We noticed at the first gas station we drove past in Luxembourg, that there were line-ups at the pumps. We had just purchased gas a few miles away in Belgium for 1.69 euros per litre (about $80.00 Canadian per tank) but in Luxembourg the price was (1.22 euros per litre). We were in need of gas when we got ours and likely would not have been able to get to that Luxembourg station even on fumes, but we would have had a major savings.

We are surprised at what a fuel gobbler our little Citroen is because it only goes 500 kilometres between fill-ups. Art says that maybe because the car is just getting broken in. Let's hope that is the case.

We drove past Koblenz, Germany where we had begun our Rhine River cruise on our last visit.

Our day ended in Wetzlar, Germany, a smaller city, population just over 52,000. We have a lovely suite in a private home. After we arrived and got settled in we walked over to the local grocery store and got provisions for dinner/supper tonight and for tomorrow as stores are closed on Sunday in Germany (we learned that the hard way during our 2016 visit).

Tomorrow we drive to Leipzig, Germany.

Posted by A-RPoulton 11:43 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

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