Friday, 25 May 2018

Beer and Castles Route, 25 May

The Swan Whisperer went for rather a longer run than he meant this morning as he thought he was heading up the hill to the Plassenburg castle, but missed his path. Oh well, no harm done this time....

After breakfast we walked up to the museum. It was in fact three museums in one - a museum of brewing, one of baking and one of herbs and spices. The woman on the ticket desk said she wouldn't recommend we did all three in one morning, so we just bought tickets for the bakery and the herbs and spices one. The brewing museum was said to be as big as the other two put together, so I'm glad we didn't try to tackle it.

One of the disadvantages of being officially old is that you already know an awful lot of the stuff in museums, and there wasn't much about milling flour and baking bread that we hadn't already come across before. An interesting history's section, though, going from the Egyptians to the Romans, then to the middle ages and early modern period, with some interesting information on the legislation in the various city-states that comprised Germany until very recently.

Then on into the herb and spice museum which began with a trip along the Silk Road, bringing exotic spices to Europe, and where they went by sea (and the kinds of vessels their were transported in), and a but about the land route north of Venice. Then some descriptions of the various herbs and spices in everyday use and a history of their use in cookery and medicine. All very interesting, but I was tired. Our entry fee entitled us to some bread to eat on the spot and a sachet of herbs, rather nice. I believe if you'd been to the brewing museum you got a small glass of beer.

We walked back to the motor home and then on to a local bakery to see if they did the sausage in bread that this area is famous for, which they didn't and we felt bad for disturbing her lunch, but she told us where we could find them in the town, which we duly did and ate them (and very delicious they were, too). Then we bought a few bottles of the local brews, and it was time to say farewell to Kulmbach.

Our afternoon drive first went up to Weißenbrunn, where we saw a famous fountain,  the Jungfergettl Brunnen, which is a fertility figure with water pouring out of her boobs. Then to Kronach, where we caught a glimpse of the Festung Rosenberger, and so to Mitwitz, where we would have liked to have seen the Wasserschloss, but when we got to the car park an officious official told us we couldn't park there - although why not just for half an hour - and insisted we move on, despite our pretending not to understand.

Then we decided to leave the route for a détour to Coburg, where we saw the castle that Queen Victoria called her second home, and I think a glimpse of the one where Martin Luther translated the Bible into German. But again, parking was difficult, and I was incredulity thirsty, for some reason, so we drove on a little way to Neustadt bei Coburg, where there is a very nice aire, like the ones we have spent the past few nights at - free, but you pay for electricity and water if you want them.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Beer and Castles Route, 24 May

After breakfast, and after using the services, we drove a few kilometres up the B85 to Sulzbach-Rosenberg, where we had a very pleasant walk around Sulzbach (we didn't go into Rosenberg). While I was in the supermarket, the SW found a scenic route and a car park which he said might be nice to have lunch in. It was, but it was a long old drive to it and because I was hungry I felt a bit car sick. Oh well, lunch soon sorted that.

But it began to rain and there was a thunderstorm while we were having lunch. I fell asleep, but I gather the SW went for a short walk. We set sail for our aire for tonight, in Kulmbach, but added in a détour to see the Rathaus in Pegnitz (not very impressive) and the Opera house in Bayreuth. Which is large, which it had need to be, but in no way beautiful.  The SW said that if it hadn't been so wet he'd have parked up and we could have seen it close up but it was too wet to want to do that! I agreed!

Then because it was wet and rush hour and we didn't want to go on the motorway, the Sat-nav took us round the houses on minor roads, so we saw a succession of pretty villages, including Trebgast.

This seems a very nice aire. It's free, but suggests a voluntary donation of €3. Electricity is provided but seems quite expensive, so we've not taken it tonight. There are services, but we probably won't use them.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Beer and Castles Route, 23 May

Today was All about Amberg. As we don't have to do grandparent duty as soon as we get home, the Boys being in Scotland that week, we have postponed our return for two days, so have plenty of time to play with. So we had a fairly quiet morning, after the Swan Whisperer had been for his run, and then walked into town via the city walls. The SW had found a load of plaques that commemorate the history of the town placed to celebrate its 975th birthday in 2009, which he wished me to translate for him, which I did very badly but we got the gist of it. We then entered the inner city by the nearest available gate, and then walked round the pedestrian area until we got to the market square where we had lunch. Beer, of course, and the most enormous Currywurst you have ever seen!  We decided we didn't rate the local brew as much as Regen's,so haven't bought any.

Then it was time to visit the Air Museum, which was not, as you might suppose, about flying but about air itself. There were a lot of rather dull pictures and sculptures, and then some exhibits you could play with, like an air-controlled  pinball table and a flying carpet (they didn't let you sit in it though). It was all quite interesting, but only quite. 3 stars I think.

Then we headed back to the town square and ate ice cream, and then headed back to the motor home. Alas, my tummy has gone back on me a bit so I haven't wanted much  supper and have slept a lot of the afternoon and evening. The SW went to the supermarket but appears to have gone to Birmingham by way of Bethnal Green as he sends to have gone all round the houses. Not that it matters - he enjoyed the walk.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Beer and Castles Route, 22 May

Another lovely morning, so after a leisurely breakfast we headed firstly to the supermarket to stock up on eggs and fruit juice and so on . This took longer than it might have done as the supermarket was in a mall, and there might have been some window shopping....

However, once I had finished, we drove up to Weißenstein to look at the ruins of the castle there, and then back to buy some beer, which I had forgotten to do (the SW had to be dissuaded from buying an enormous crateful, as the idea is to taste the different beers in the towns we pass through). And then finally we set sail to Amberg, which is a lovely town and has services, which we were beginning to need rather badly. We arrived quite early and the SW went for a walk, and he has been trying to persuade me to do like wise ever since, but I am having a tired day and tomorrow is another one.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Beer and Castles Route, 21 May

This is still the Oberstdorf Plus tour , but I have renamed it to fit in with where we are on the holiday.

So we woke up in Passau this morning, and the Swan Whisperer went for a run even before he'd had his tea, which I thought unwise, but he said he'd had a lot of water. As today is a public holiday in Germany the shops are not open, but it does mean parking is free. So after breakfast we drove into the town and parked up under a bridge over the Danube, and then walked around the Old Town, looking into the Cathedral and then walking to where the Inn and the Iltz join  the Danube. And back along the bank of the Danube, which wasn't as nice as it might have been as it was wall-to-wall river cruisers tied up!

We then drove out of town and had lunch in a car park cum children's playground somewhere, and then drove on to this town of Regen. Some kind of festivity was obviously just finishing as we arrived, and the traffic out of town was horrendous! But the Sat-nav took us to our home for the night, which is in a pub car-park, which you can use if you eat in their restaurant. They even supply electricity for an extra €3.  The Swan Whisperer went for a walk and got soaked - the weather had been lovely all day and then suddenly it poured! And as soon as he got back to the van, the sun came out again!

The meal was delicious  and very good value for money, only Google Translate let me down by not knowing any of the words I didn't know! I ended up with pork slices and noodles, with salad, and the SW had venison goulash with a dumpling and salad. Then he had a plum strudel and I had ice cream.  There was a Bavarian band playing, rather too loudly for indoors, I thought, but enjoyable none the less.

And back to the motor home with another one next door whose dog whined very loudly the whole time they were at dinner, and they parked far too close to us. They have pulled all their curtains, even though it isn't even trying to be dark, and we think they are watching television. They might as well be at home!

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Oberstdorf Plus, 20 May

I have d'une nothing much today except sleep! I woke up at my usual time and got back into bed with a cup of tea only to awaken two hours later. Forced myself out of bed and into the shower, and we had poached eggs for breakfast. The next thing I knew, we were stopping for lunch in a place called Rosenheim, which seemed quite pretty and we found a car park that was free as it is Sunday.

After much we set off again, and I slept again until we arrived in Passau. It was a lovely afternoon and we sat in the sun for a bit, reading,and knitting - I knitted, anyway - and then the. SW went for a walk, and I got supper, and now I an ging to bed even though it is not yet 9 pm.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Oberstdorf Plus, 19 May

We were up early this morning to get everything ready to move the van. After nearly a week of static camping, this took a bit of doing - switching electricity to 12 volts, making sure everything was put away and all the windows and cupboards closed, etc. Somewhere in all this we had breakfast and I went to the supermarket, and then we used the services and finally done up to the Oybelehalle car park above the rink. This is free with the tourist card so we obtained our ticket and then the Swan Whisperer went back to the camp site to give them back and get his deposit back.

Then it was the final day of competition, including free dancing, artistic pairs and the elite skaters, including the incomparable Midori Itô and Gary Beacom.

And then a quick drink to toast a friend's birthday, and we were away. We are spending the night at a place called Marktoberdorf, about an hour's drive away, and the post-Oberstdorf exhaustion has hit. All I want to do is go to bed!  But it has been a lovely week, and wonderful to see old friends and make new ones.