TRIP REPORT - GERMANY-------------------for the gallery click here

Another long weekend offered us 4 days of exploration time. We decided to check out our new home country. After all, we know embarrassingly little about Germany!

We started by heading out west towards Ulm. Our first stop was more of a practical nature since we had to pick up our roofrack which Sven had dropped off a week earlier for sandblasting and basic treatment. A nice fellow from a German offroad forum had offered his services at cost. From there we detoured to Ulm, which sports not only a beautiful historic centre and many new architectural jewels, but also the world's highest church steeple (161.53 metres, 530 feet) at its minster (pic 01). We climbed all 768 steps to the top to enjoy the breathtaking view (you'd be out of breath after such a climb as well!).

Then we journeyed north through lovely countryside with fresh, green meadows covering rolling hills, until we reached Heidelberg. Heidelberg's old town is long and narrow and is dominated by the ruins of the Heidelberg Castle (pic 02). The many beautiful plazas were teaming with visitors while a wedding procession passed us in a horse-drawn carriage.

Continuing north, we stopped for a stroll through lovely Rotenburg/Fulda. We rather liked the small town with its many frame houses, some of them leaning at peculiar angles (pic 03), but had a strange encounter with a local man who caught us taking a picture from a bridge: "I take it you are not from here? When you have finished taking your pictures, make sure to leave right away. This place is the region's biggest .....whateveryouwannacallit!" Then he walked off, clearly very upset. :-)

Finally we reached our nothernmost point for this trip: Göttingen, a lovely university town very busy on this Saturday afternoon. Here, too, several weddings were going on. As we started heading back south, we followed a minor country road through some lovely forests and countryside until eventually coming to Weimar, a really old town even for German standards: The oldest record of the city dates from the year 899. Weimar is one of the great cultural sites in Europe; it was called home by such luminaries as Goethe and Schiller, Liszt and Bach. The tombs of Goethe and Schiller can be visited in the city. It is also where the Bauhaus movement was started, and several modern architectural jewels stand testimony to its artistic aspirations (pic 04)

Our last stop was Regensburg, which seemed to have more churches and squares than houses. This was the first town in our tour that sported different architecture, and having seen many frame houses during the last few days, we quite welcomed the change (pic 05). It was very hot and everyone was on the streets, trying to stay cool with iced coffee and icecream.

By the time we rolled back into Munich, we had covered a little over 1,000 kms (620 miles), walked through six towns, cruised through hundreds of kilometers of countryside, consumed dozens of cappuccinos, icecream, and local specialties, and taken a myriad of pictures of lovely houses and squares.


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for more pics click here