Marc's Public Blog - Trips to other locations


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This is a collection of my blog entries related to short or long trips I, or Jennifer and I went on.
I have some master pages for some specific locations/trips:

Paris over many years | Australia over many years | Canada over many years | Japan over multiple trips | Italy in 2011 | France in 2013 | Indonesia in 2013 | Japan in 2013 | Japan in 2014 | Taiwan in 2014 | Indonesia in 2014 | New Zealand in 2015 | Japan in 2015 | Costa Rica in 2015 | Singapore in 2016 | South Korea in 2016 | Japan in 2016 |

Table of Content for trips:

More pages: June 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 October 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 October 2012 September 2012 June 2012 April 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 June 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 May 2010 January 2010 September 2009 August 2009 June 2009 January 2009 December 2008 August 2008 February 2008 January 2008 October 2007 July 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 October 2006 August 2006 July 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 April 2005 December 2004 October 2004 July 2004 June 2004 January 2004 January 2003 January 2001 August 1997



2016/09/30 Germany Day 15: Rothenburg
π 2016-09-30 00:00 in Germany2016, Trips

This was probably our easiest days during our trip, Rothenburg is a small city, first sights opened at 09:00 and most everything closed at 17:00, so that made for a short easy day since we were already onsite and were sleeping there too that night. We had another good German breakfast, and I took the advise given to me :)



We started with climbing up the city building for a nice view of the city:










When then did a city walk:









that's interesting math
that's interesting math


walking the city walls
walking the city walls


I climbed a tree and got some apples for Jennifer :)
I climbed a tree and got some apples for Jennifer :)




one of the gates to the city
one of the gates to the city

if you missed curfew and were stuck outside, you had to bribe the gatekeeper to let you back in through this manhole
if you missed curfew and were stuck outside, you had to bribe the gatekeeper to let you back in through this manhole




The city had multiple museums, where we spent most of our time:






with random other displays
with random other displays



next museum was a medieval torture museum
next museum was a medieval torture museum




they also had an expo on witch hunting around the Martin Luther era
they also had an expo on witch hunting around the Martin Luther era

We also went to visit a few stores:




they even had a christmas store
they even had a christmas store


they sell those local dough deep fried with sugar on top, we passed :)
they sell those local dough deep fried with sugar on top, we passed :)





We finished the day with an early-ish dinner where we enjoyed flamenküche, an alsacian specialty

See more images for Germany Day 15: Rothenburg
2016/09/29 Germany Day 14: Dachau, Noerdlingen, Dinkelsbuhl, and Rothenburg
π 2016-09-29 00:00 in Germany2016, Trips

After not enough time in Munich, we had to head out for Dachau, Germany's oldest concentration camp. While it was never used for mass killings, thousands of people did die there due to deliberate bad treatment, and/or being literally worked to death. There was a gas chamber there, but it was mostly not used. Gassing was mostly done at Auschwitz in Poland.
The Dachau memorial had lots of rooms with static displays to read. I found the ones about medical and human endurance tests done against prisoners specifically interesting since I didn't know much about that side of what had happened:










reconstructed barracks were prisoners and detainees were piled up
reconstructed barracks were prisoners and detainees were piled up

there were many such barracks but they're not here anymore
there were many such barracks but they're not here anymore

cremation chamber
cremation chamber


gas chamber, never really used at mass scale there, but probably identical to the one(s) in Auschwitz
gas chamber, never really used at mass scale there, but probably identical to the one(s) in Auschwitz

walking through this room does not make you feel good obviously
walking through this room does not make you feel good obviously

After Dachau, our ulimate destination was Rothenburg, but we stopped by two recommended quaint towns on the way. We started with Nördlingen, a nice medieval town with fully intact town wall and entrance towers:












we then walked portion of the town wall
we then walked portion of the town wall



We then went to Dinkelsbühl:









We then finished our drive to Rothenburg, where we arrived in time to check in, despite google maps driving directions being all wrong for small towns with pedestrian streets again, have a quick dinner by the main plaza, and join the join watchman tour. That tour was a small night walk with an entertaining guide with stories about the town's history. Amongst other things, it was part of a 30 year war between catholics and protestants, or some other flavour of the same religion that's just different enough to justify killing hundreds of thousands of people over. Then, the town narrowly avoided being carpet bombed by the Americans as they were taking over Germany because someone in charge had pictures his mom brought back from a trip there, and knew it was a beautiful city (just like Kyoto was also spared because a general had his honeymoon there):





2016/09/28 Germany Day 13: Munich Museums, River Surfing, Hofbrauhaus Muenchen
π 2016-09-28 00:00 in Germany2016, Trips

Our day was mostly spent in museums, first the BMW Welt, Museum, and Factory Tour and then Munich's Deutsches Museum.
When we got kicked out of the Deutsches Museum, we drove to the Englischer Garden where we walked around for a bit after seeing locals surfing in a river with good flow and a natural wave:





After going around the park, we went to Hofbrauhaus Muenchen for beer and dinner:






2016/09/27 Germany Day 12: Downtown Munich, Museums, Oktoberfest
π 2016-09-27 00:00 in Germany2016, Trips

This was a very full day, there is a lot to see in Munich. We started by walking through downtown and seeing the monuments there.




We then went to the Residenz Museum, which is absolutely huge. However a huge thumbs down for Munich security measures and this museum that refused me entry with my fanny pack, the fanny pack where I put the things that are in my backpack that I already can't take in (a bit more understandable since it can damage walls and art).
I expressed my profound disatisfaction to the security lady about how pointless and stupid that rule was, while putting some of the fanny pack contents in my pockets in front of her to show how utterly useless it was outside of needlessly aggravating honest people. Usually Germans are better than this, but here they sunk lower than US TSA. I was not impressed.
Anyway, putting that aside, we got to enjoy the palace/museum, some 90 rooms or so:





















beautiful ceiling
beautiful ceiling






We then went to the new city hall (Neues Rathaus), a beautiful building with a clock show 3 times a day, so we went to see it:





We then climbed to its top tower for nice central city views:







Next, we went to see Peterskirche, a fantastic church:






exorcism
exorcism

Nearby was Viktualienmarkt, a nice market place with varied of fresh produce:





fraises des bois, yeah!
fraises des bois, yeah!



We then went back to see Asam's Church, a weird church used to demo all decors you can put in a church, but sadly it was half closed all day for no good reason. We only got to see it from the entrance behind a grill, what a shame...







Then, more walking, this time to Frauenkirche

nice outfits :)
nice outfits :)





And then we went to St Michael's Church with a detour via a made up Michael Jackson memorial on an unrelated statue:







Then, we walked more (lots of walking this day) towards the Documentation Museum which explains the rise of Nazis and what they've done. It was well done and quite complete. I knew most of it, having learned it in school in France, but Jennifer not as much, so she spent 2H longer than I did, and I used that time to go to other nearby museums:





I then went to the Glytothek for 30mn before it closed, they had a good collection of greek artifacts:










From there, I went to Alte Pinakothek for some nice paintings:





And because some museums were closing at 20:00 that day instead of the typical 17:00 or 18:00, I even had time to go to the Egyptian Museum which was quite good too, and Jennifer met me there when she was done at the documentation museum:







By 20:00 we left the museum as it was closing, and we took a cab to Oktoberfest. There again, they tried to stop me from getting in with my fanny pack, but by choosing another security gate and person, I was finally allowed in with it (the first ones didn't even care what was in it and were just being stupid about it). We checked out a few beer gardens and walked by amusement rides (a nice collection) for a bit over an hour before going back to our room for some rest after this very long day:






people chanting and dancing on chairs
people chanting and dancing on chairs

we had dinner there
we had dinner there









2016/09/26 Germany Day 11: Leaving Salzburg, Hallstatt-Eagle's Nest to Munich's Nymphenburg Palace
π 2016-09-26 00:00 in Germany2016, Trips

While we did a good job with Salzburg the previous day, we didn't finish it all, so before heading out we went to Mirabell Palace and its nice gardens, and then the Historic Cemetery of St. Sebastian before we picked up all our stuff and drove out:






some of the Mozart family is burried there
some of the Mozart family is burried there


From there, we drove in the wrong direction (since we going to Munich ultimately) to see Hallstatt and Eagle's Nest, the mountain residence where Hitler used to live. This is because Rick Steve's recommended it highly like pretty much all jewish/holocaust related sites, but honestly this was not the best one, and by far. The actual house Hitler used to go to there is very hard to reach on top of a mountain you can only access with hourly-ish busses, and once you're there, it's a nice mountain, but the house has been replaced with a restaurant, and there is nothing historical to really see.
Back down, there is a documentation center that explains some history on Hitler, but nothing that was not in Munich or Daschau on our next stops, and the bunker/underground visit was closed for renovation, so there was ultimately no reason to spend the 5-6H this side trip cost us, and we should have spent the extra time in a Munich Museum instead:


after almost 1H to get to the almost top, there was a long line to get into an elevator in a tunnel. We should have hiked to the top instead
after almost 1H to get to the almost top, there was a long line to get into an elevator in a tunnel. We should have hiked to the top instead

time wasted...
time wasted...

peak of the mountain
peak of the mountain

at least we got a good view, usually it's supposed to be foggy/in the clouds
at least we got a good view, usually it's supposed to be foggy/in the clouds



documentation center
documentation center





Jennifer who didn't know much about this side of history, having gone through the US public system, took a fair amount of time to read all the boards, and eventually we did the longish drive to Munich and aimed directly for Nymphenburg Palace that's outside of town, and where we'd get just under to visit before they closed at 18:00.
The palace grounds were huge, Versailles like, and the palace and adjacent buildings with collections, were quite nice too:














we got lucky to see this owl trying to sleep
we got lucky to see this owl trying to sleep



And by then our day was almost over, but went to the Google building to go visit a coworker, and do a building tour


2016/09/25 Germany Day 10: Austria: Salzburg
π 2016-09-25 00:00 in Germany2016, Trips

After arriving in Salzburg the previous evening (another city that's a mess for cars, with one ways everywhere, and even pilons that come out of the ground and close roads unless you have a special code to enter), we got up the next morning and went to visit the old town. We started with Helbrunn Palace, a bit outside the city. It has an impressive garden with displays and trick fountains designed to get guests wet:



every seat got wet, except the archbishop :)
every seat got wet, except the archbishop :)



nice antlers that got everyone wet
nice antlers that got everyone wet


levitating a cone with a jet of water, not bad
levitating a cone with a jet of water, not bad

getting out without getting wet was hard
getting out without getting wet was hard

because you had jets directed at you
because you had jets directed at you

After the tour of the fountain gardens, we went to see the rest of the garden and palace:




little round hut from the sound of music
little round hut from the sound of music

Next we drove back to our parking lot 10mn from the hotel and walked to Mozart's residence:



From there, we crossed the bridge to old town, and apparently filling bridges with locks has also become "a thing", there:






We then ended up in the Salzburger Dom, adjacent to the beautiful Salzburg Cathedral, and the museum has an interesting part where it goes inside the cathedral on a catwalk and lets you view the cathedral from inside and from the top:








Next, we moved to the Salzburg Museum Neue Residenz which had various displays about the city, and other collections:









By then, it was already 16:45-ish, so we were starting to run against the clock. We went to Mozart's birthplace house (closing at 17:30), which had a small museum:



From there, we went to he Salzburg Cathedral, which was cathedral was both massive and beautiful, I'll start with some pictures from the Dom earlier, and then pictures from the floor:










Done with the cathedral, we headed towards Petersfriedhof complex before it closed at 18:00:






And we still had to hurry up to Fortress Hohensalzburg where we arrived just by 18:00 to have just 1H to tour it before it closed at 19:00. We had just enough time to take a few pictures, and join the guided tour A, and barely make it to the self guided tour B by 18:30. Pfew, that was close :) Good view from the city up there of course:








old city walls
old city walls


This day also happened to be the anniversary of someone who helped develop the salt industry that made Salzburg rich, so they had a big party in the old town with costumes, music, dancing, and octoberfest like beer gardens:






After the Castle visit, we went back down to partake into the festivities a bit, and try to find something that would pass as dinner without us having to waste 90mn or so in a slow restaurant, so that we could get back to our room a bit earlier, but as luck would have it, as we got home, they started fireworks, so we went back out just a bit to see them :)








See more images for Germany Day 10: Austria: Salzburg
2016/09/24 Germany Day 09: Austria: Ehrenberg Castle Ruins, Luge, Climbing to Zugspitze Peak
π 2016-09-24 00:00 in Germany2016, Trips

While this day wasn't as crazy, it was still a bit long, mostly due to the 3H drive to Salzburg at the end. We started by trying to go to a scenic flight from Hofen airport, but turns out the runway was being paved and there were no planes at all when we came. So, we scratched that plan and went directly to our next destination, Ehrenberg Castle Ensemble.

we had to buy a vignette to be able to drive in Austria
we had to buy a vignette to be able to drive in Austria

and saw gliders at the airport, but no planes, so moving on...
and saw gliders at the airport, but no planes, so moving on...

Ehrenberg Castle Ensemble is really a bunch of Castle ruins, but still worth seeing for historical value and views and the super long suspension bridge they have:



really super long...
really super long...


crossing the bridge takes you to fort claudia, or what's left of it
crossing the bridge takes you to fort claudia, or what's left of it


Back across, and wer'e at Burgruine Ehrenberg, and from there, a streinous 15mn hike up gets you to Festung Schlosskopf, which doesn't look like much either, but at least from there there is a great view:




a crane to put big rocks in place
a crane to put big rocks in place


view didn't suck
view didn't suck


After 2.5H there (counting all the hiking necessary), we went to Biberwier Lermoos for its famed luge course. Again, it was fun and challenging-ish, but really you can only go faster until you go so fast that you fall off the course and get seriously injured. I'm just not convinced... I got my times from 2:26 to 2:12 and then 2:02 on my last try. I'm sure I could have done sub 2:00 with one more time down, but again I can only see how this would have ended badly eventually :)



Jennifer just arrived
Jennifer just arrived

I didn't have my GoPro saldy, and filming this with one hand didn't seem safe, but he's a video from someone else. I was 6 seconds faster and got good air on the jump where they didn't :)

From there, we drove to nearby Tiroler Zugspitze to get a gondola to the top for great views:

damn, no new snow :)
damn, no new snow :)





how did that car get there?
how did that car get there?



Lots of people up there:





you can cross from Austria
you can cross from Austria

to Germany while being at the top
to Germany while being at the top

This was the real top, but required climbing with carabiners to be safe, which we didn't have. Going there was not the best idea ever, but by going slowly, and hanging on for dear life in case our feet slid, we made it ok:





took a while to get down too
took a while to get down too

I celebrated :)
I celebrated :)

From there, we then had a longish drive to Salzburg and get some sleep.

2016/09/23 Germany Day 08: Bavarian Castles: Hohenschwangau, Neuschwanstein, Linderhof
π 2016-09-23 00:00 in Germany2016, Trips

While we had to start early that day, we still got to enjoy a good breakfast at 07:00 sharp when it opened:



This day was pretty full due to how hard it is to get to Hohenschwangau & Neuschwanstein and how regulated it is. We had to get up around 06:30, be in the car by 07:40 and go pick up our reserved ticket by 08:00 when they opened, for our 09:15 tour (yes, they want you to be there an hour early, a huge waste of time). After the first castle, we had to again wait 45 for our next reserved tour at 11:15 because they refused to give us an earlier reservation if we did both castles back to back (in hindsight we should have made 2 reservations, one with each of our 2 names).
Then, to add to the annoyance, they disallowed pictures in both castles, and the 2nd one I really wasn't able to take pictures, despite looking at ways to do so, so I added a few stock photos I found on the internet. Now, both castles were very nice, especially Neuschwanstein. They were owned by the same family and Neuschwanstein was built to replace the old castle. Now, to be fair both castles were very impressive, and that's likely why they are so popular, but it took a lot of planning and dealing with BS to be able to see them. Jennifer really did a lot of work to line them up, and we had to hurry up and wait multiple times to deal with them.


i09*





After the first castle, we went to see the 2nd. That was a line for a bus for a ride up to a hike (45mn or so)


we first went to the bridge for a great view
we first went to the bridge for a great view

Neuschwanstein does indeed look good
Neuschwanstein does indeed look good




stock pictures from the internet
stock pictures from the internet






Once we were finally down with both castles, which again were very nice, but burned a lot of time, we went to TegelbergBahn, a small ski resort, to try luge for our first time. So luge is fun, but you only control your speed, no steering and no passing. Compared to luge in New Zealand where you're on a track and you can steer and pass around people (a lot more fun). So,if you haven't done the NZ luge, the German one is fun. If you have done the NZ one, the German/Austrian one is sub par :)




this one had a track that pulled you up
this one had a track that pulled you up

meuh!
meuh!

and then down
and then down

From there, we drove to Wieskirche Church, in the middle of nowehter, but because it has a weeping statue of Jesus in the past, and many pilgrims that went there, they built a super nice church to host the statue, and I do mean super nice:

doesn't look like much from the outside
doesn't look like much from the outside

but damn is it nice inside
but damn is it nice inside





There was a nice bridge on the way after that, where we stopped briefly for pictures, as well as a small store just on the other side:






And our next destination was Oberammergau, a small town known for the multitude of mural paintings on people's houses:





small church there too, also beautiful
small church there too, also beautiful




Next on the route was Linderhof Castle, the castle where the kind who built Neuschwanstein, lived while Neuschwanstein was being built, and as a single person castle, it's not bad at all :)












After the supposed no pictures guided castle tour, we went to see the rest of the castle grounds, which weren't crappy either:



the guy built his own grotto with water, boat, and mural...
the guy built his own grotto with water, boat, and mural...


he also built a turkish like building and room
he also built a turkish like building and room

very nice
very nice


And no, the day was not over yet, we still had time for Ettal Monastery, which thankfully closed later, and at the risk of repeating myself, was also super nice:






And then it was finally time to drive back, a 1H drive we did through the Austrian side for mountain and lake views:




Damn, this was a long day, but we sure saw a lot :)

2016/09/22 Germany Day 07: Staufen to Fuessen
π 2016-09-22 00:00 in Germany2016, Trips

After another nice German breakfast, we headed out for Staufen, a nice little town sadly 1h out of the way south, but worth the visit nonetheless:



I kept looking for ratatas in the rathaus we saw in multiple towns, but often didn't find any :105)
I kept looking for ratatas in the rathaus we saw in multiple towns, but often didn't find any :105)


we hit our first tasting room, Jennifer sure made good use of it and bought 6 bottles :)
we hit our first tasting room, Jennifer sure made good use of it and bought 6 bottles :)



After that, we had a long (4H) drive to Füssen in Bavaria, and we did out best to arrive by 15:00, so we had some time to visit the local museum (Museum der Stadt Füssen) and castle (Hohes Schloss Füssen) before they closed at 17:00. The only hitch was that the town was closed to car traffic during the day, and we were unable to access our hotel the way we arrived. I ended up wasting 20 precious minutes trying and failing to get to our destination and eventually driving around town in bad traffic to re-enter it from another direction.
At the museum, the castle, and the church we saw subsequently, we found out that Bavaria has incredible art on its walls, mostly in some of its churches. The best I've seen anywhere:










They had multiple musical instruments:




Bavaria is known for lions:




Next, we went to Hohes Schloss Füssen:





Good view from the castle:



We then went to see the not that special from the outside, church (Benediktinerkloster St. Mang), and it was beautiful inside. Turns out that was going to be a pattern for every nice church we got to see in Bavaria:









After the Church, we did the city walk before going for dinner:



oh yeah, we hit another 'minor' church on the way, again beautiful
oh yeah, we hit another 'minor' church on the way, again beautiful




2016/09/21 Germany Day 06: Black Forest, Freiburg
π 2016-09-21 00:00 in Germany2016, Trips

We left Baden Baden just after breakfast and went for to Vogtsbauernhof Black Forest Open Air Museum. It's a bit like the Folk Villages we've seen in Asia, although the houses were very different of course (and more comfortable):









wooden key, nice...
wooden key, nice...




Next, we drove to Furtwangen's German Clock Museum, which was absolutely awesome. It showed a history of clock and watches, and the history of Coo Coo clocks that were made in the region (some entirely out of wood, including wooden gears):




wooden clocks with wooden gears
wooden clocks with wooden gears






if you have a hard time waking up in the morning ;)
if you have a hard time waking up in the morning ;)

the unavoidable progression to quartz clocks
the unavoidable progression to quartz clocks








atomic clock
atomic clock

oh my, europe timezones used to be a mess...
oh my, europe timezones used to be a mess...

They even had automats and music playing devices that they demoed for us:

After this great museum, we drove to St Peter and went to visit the beautiful Benedictine Abbey there:







It was a short visit though, as we had to hurry to get to Freiburg to visit the cathedral and museum before they both closed at 17:00, and it was still a bit of a drive, which got compounded by the big mess that parking there was. Eventually we found a public parking lot, ditched the car there, and we started with Freiburger Munster Cathedral, which included a back section for 2 euros and for 2 extra euros, we could climb to the top tower:








long staircase to the top
long staircase to the top

bell tower
bell tower




great view from the top
great view from the top

Next, we went to Augustiner Museum, which housed a lot of pieces from Freiburger Munster Cathedral that were being damaged by weather:











who knew that it was Jesus who invented 'air quotes'?
who knew that it was Jesus who invented 'air quotes'?

awesome stairs in the sister museum
awesome stairs in the sister museum

After everything closed at 17:00, we went for a city walk:







lovely statue mooning people underneath :)
lovely statue mooning people underneath :)




And that was that for Freiburg, nice little mostly pedestrian and bike town.

2016/09/20 Germany Day 05: Trier to Baden-Baden
π 2016-09-20 00:00 in Germany2016, Trips

Before leaving Trier, we hit Bishop's Museum (Museum am Dom), a small museum with Church and Roman relics that was closed the previous day. They also had a section on Nero, the Roman emperor full of vices. Interesting displays:





Next, we did a longish drive to Baden-Baden, and because it's not a very car friendly city (virtually no parking), we had to park at the casino when we arrived. We arrived there too late to visit the Casino in the morning, and did not feel like dealing with their BS (clothing guidelines, renting a jacket, etc...) to go back later, even if it's supposed to be nice inside. The TI next door was quite nice though, old Roman decors. Of course, I should probably mention now that Baden Baden was an old Roman town too, and it was known for its Roman baths, which have been kept up to date and are still running today (we went that evening after dinner):




Next, we went to a Russian Orthodox Church, which wasn't big, or as nice as the one we had the chance to visit in Nice, France, but still worth a quick visit, especially for all the stuff written in Russian inside :)




what language is this? Arturo?
what language is this? Arturo?

Since we hadn't parked the car in a final location yet, we used the opportunity to drive to the Funikular that takes you to the summit of Merkur hill. The top had a decent view on the valley and Baden-Baden:







We then drove to the Lichtenthal Abei, but with its limited sporadic opening hours, we got to see nothing, that was a waste:


So we went to our B&B in Baden-Baden to drop off our car in their private garage, and walked around town towards the Lichtentaler alley:

although I had to stop at this bakery on the way :)
although I had to stop at this bakery on the way :)


sadly that church had just closed by the time we arrived there
sadly that church had just closed by the time we arrived there

Lichtentaler alley is more historical than a must do IMO, but eh, we did a good part of it
Lichtentaler alley is more historical than a must do IMO, but eh, we did a good part of it



the floral garden at the end of our walk, was nice though
the floral garden at the end of our walk, was nice though



We then walked back to town center, had a simple dinner in a cafe:


And then we walked to the Roman baths (Friedrichsbad), and did the full 2H+ 14 course roman bath experience, including a German guy who scrubs you hard with a brush and soap. For some reason, he spent much longer scrubbing naked Jennifer than naked me, I'm not sure why :)
You use the baths naked from start to end, and they are segregated, except for the last 2 big pools, 3 days a week, and mixed the rest of the week. We ended up going on a mixed day, which was fine with us:




the full course to follow
the full course to follow

2016/09/19 Germany Day 04: Trier and Nurburgring
π 2016-09-19 00:00 in Germany2016, Trips
After our first night in Trier, we went to see what we didn't have the time to see the previous day, but being sunday, most museums were closed (hence our rush to see them the previous day), and we were done by 15:00 or so. This gave us (well, really me) the opportunity to go to nearby Nurburgring and drive 6 laps there on the famed killer circuit (on a separate page), yeah! ;)

Anyway, this post is about Trier and what we had left go see while we were there. We started with Porta Nigra, so called because the stone turned black over time:





Nice view from the top:



We then walked around town to St. Peter's Cathedral after going through marketplatz. It was absolutely huge and pretty:


















Next, we went to Basilica/Imperial Throne Room, which is more historical, but not as impressive inside, outside of the sheer size:




From there, we went to Viehmarkt Baths Museum, vestiges of Roman Baths:





We then walked through downtown a bit again, and drove to the Roman Amphitheatre before heading off for Nurburgring:






2016/09/18 Germany Day 03: Mosel Valley: Burg Eltz, Cochem, Beilstein, Trier
π 2016-09-18 00:00 in Germany2016, Trips

We left not too late, and drove towards Burg Eltz, a very nice Castle from a rich family that was able to stay friends with everyone around and keep their castle :) The tour in English was quite good, but started at 10:00 instead of 09:30 like Jennifer thought, so we went to the treasury first. Also, it's actually a 15-20mn walk from the parking lot, in the middle of nowhere, and the shuttle only started running at 10:00, but luckily we found the shuttle going to work, and the guy nicely picked us up.



big family
big family










Next, we drove to Cochem, which we didn't really have time to visit, but stopping at the bridge to take pictures was good enough:




From there, we drove to Beilstein, where we stopped for a bit over an hour to visit castle ruins, a viewpoint, and walk through the small downtown:



stairs to the top of the tower
stairs to the top of the tower

The views were great:




Next we went to see the church and downtown:








We then had to leave by 13:30 for a longish drive to Trier where we had to hit some museums that would be closed the next day (Monday). Trier used to be a major Roman town, so there are several roman relics left (although Arles and Nimes have more left, even if they were more minor in the Roman empire): Jennifer got to practise on the autobahn:

170kph, not too bad for a beginner :)
170kph, not too bad for a beginner :)

LandesMuseum had most of the Roman finds
LandesMuseum had most of the Roman finds




that poor wild big found herself a companion of size :)
that poor wild big found herself a companion of size :)



the city in Roman times looked very nice
the city in Roman times looked very nice

They had a nice amphitheatre and a horse/chariot race track
They had a nice amphitheatre and a horse/chariot race track


We then had just enough time to drop the car by the hotel and go see the city museum before it closed (also closed the next day). We then walked to the downtown plaza for dinner, before some well earned rest:

new layout of the city
new layout of the city




2016/09/17 Germany Day 02: More Rhine Valley
π 2016-09-17 00:00 in Germany2016, Trips
We started with a very hearty German breakfast at our B&B, yum:


nice view from our room
nice view from our room

We then went for a morning walk around Bacharach:






found this baby mouse on the path, I could have picked it up :)
found this baby mouse on the path, I could have picked it up :)





Next, we drove to Burg Rheinfels, old castle ruins interesting to visit still:





bring your flashlight for the inside tunnels
bring your flashlight for the inside tunnels


france owned that region for a while under napoléon
france owned that region for a while under napoléon

Nice views from the castle of course:



Next, we drove to Koblenz to see the German Corner (merging of two rivers):









From there, we crossed the Rhine and drove to Marksburg to go visit a very nice medieval castle:


while due to timing we only caught a tour in German, the tour guide was great nonetheless
while due to timing we only caught a tour in German, the tour guide was great nonetheless




damn, I'm hungry just tpying this now :)
damn, I'm hungry just tpying this now :)


the armours could weigh up to 50kg
the armours could weigh up to 50kg

good views, again
good views, again


We then made the fateful mistake of driving back down to Loreley, just across from St Goar, and instead of taking the car ferry right away, we drove up to a viewing point at Loreley:



hello Jeju Island, South Korea :)
hello Jeju Island, South Korea :)

This however cost us a lot, we were unable to drive back down to Loreley (cops blocked us as they had locked down the city due to fireworks), so we couldn't take the ferry across, and I had to drive a very round about way to Filsen nigher north. Filsen is not far, but the police forced us to go the long away around lots of mountain twisty roads. Good thing that I drive those things for breakfast, but even so, we had wasted over an entire hour going around to Filsen, getting the car ferry there, and driving back down to St Goar through the 61 highway because I wsa worried they'd close the river access road to St Goar too.

Eventually we made it in St Goar, parked a bit far away, walked back in beginning rain and only managed to score chinese food in a covered spot, waiting for the fireworks to start at 21:00. When they did, they were quite nice, despite the rain. They get started from a barge in the middle of the river, and then from the to pof 2 castles on each side (although those are a bit less impressive) with a big finale launched from the river again. It's hard to get a viewing spot where you can see all 3 locations, but 2 out of 3 was easy. However, it was very hard to get good fireworks pictures when it's raining on your camera though, so these are the next best few:







We then walked back to our car, and back to bed for some much needed sleep, jetlag and all...

See more images for Germany Day 02: More Rhine Valley
2016/09/16 Germany Day 01: Rhine Valley
π 2016-09-16 00:00 in Germany2016, Trips
Welcome to Frankfürt, please park your 747 all the way there, and dump your passengers on foot. We'll send you a bus because we feel generous today:


As soon as we landed in Frankfürt, we took our rental car (no, not the golden one), and started driving towards Schloss Burg Rheinstein,, our first castle of the day:


We went to see an old castle, the first one of many:




nice view from the top
nice view from the top


grapes everywhere
grapes everywhere




After a quick stop in Bacharach to pick up the room key in our Pension/B&B, and went to the neighbouring town of Oberwesel where we walked the city walls and saw its towers afer visiting its museum::w








after this city wall tower went unused, that church stole in and grafted itself onto it :)
after this city wall tower went unused, that church stole in and grafted itself onto it :)

some pepole live up there and use the draw bridge
some pepole live up there and use the draw bridge



nice paint job
nice paint job

We then went to Bacharach to park our car and catch a boat ride down the Rhine:




We then took the train back and had a quick walk around the city before getting dinner:






little castle like entrance for the train tunnel
little castle like entrance for the train tunnel





We got off the boat at St Goar, and then took the train back to Bacharach, and did a quick way through town to our restaurant and then back to our room:





See more images for Germany Day 01: Rhine Valley

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