Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Munich July 3rd 2019

Tuesday 2nd July Today I did a day trip to Nuremberg to visit the German Railway Museum. It was a two hour trip on the Regional train. I could have taken the ICE train which takes half the time, but it was three times the price! The museum was quite interesting, particularly the section concerning the 1920s and 1930s, probably the golden age of German railways, when they were at the cutting edge of railway technology, and led the world with streamlined and high speed trains, such as the Flying Hamburger and the Noble Stag locomotive (I have models of both these). Of course the system was largely destroyed thanks to the Nazis starting WWII. The Allied bombing, plus the Nazis' crazed destruction of infrastructure as they lost the war, saw to that. Then the division ... read more
Noble Stag Locomotive
Monopteros in the Englischen Garten
Surfers in the Englischen Garten

Europe » Germany » Bavaria July 1st 2019

This blog entry could really have been three separate entries, one for each day of the Alpine Road trip, but I didn't have time to do the blog each day. Now I am in Munich winding down, so have time to put it all in this mega-entry. Hope you have time to enjoy all the pictures (there's two pages – don't miss the second page) and don't forget to watch the panoramas change at the top of the page. Saturday 29th June I slept quite well, with the sound of the rushing water in the valley outside being a soothing sound. At breakfast this morning they had some GF bread for me, and it was really like normal bread, and delicious. Then I headed down the road to Berchtesgaden. There was a stream of classic cars ... read more
Castle Neuschwanstein
Zugspitze Summit
Bavarian House in Reit Im Winkl

Europe » Germany » Bavaria June 28th 2019

Wednesday 26th June The rail connections to get from Mulhouse in France to Lindau in Germany can be rather complicated, and can involve numerous changes. I opted for the least changes, which meant a TGV to Zurich, then a EuroCity train from there to Lindau. So it was four countries for the day, being France, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. The three latter countries all have part of Lake Constance. It was a hot day, and the air conditioning on the trains struggled, especially the second train, which was crowded and hot. It was a locomotive-hauled train, a rare beast in Australia but still very common in Europe. It stopped at the Swiss-Austrian border to change from a Swiss locomotive and crew to a German locomotive and crew. I had an hour and a half stopover in ... read more
Lindau Harbour
Harbour Entrance after dusk
Continuous – Lake & Sky

Europe » France » Alsace » Mulhouse June 25th 2019

Tuesday 25th June Well summer has definitely arrived. It started on Saturday, and as soon as the seasons clicked over, the heat came on. Yesterday was 35 degrees here, today 36, tomorrow 37. I am heading to Lindau on Lake Constanz in Germany tomorrow, via Zurich, but the forecast is only a little cooler. The heat is forecast to continue until the beginning of next week. At least this hotel has air conditioning, though it was faulty for the first two nights here and sat on 26.5 degrees all the time. They must have finally fixed it today. No more air conditioned hotels from here on. At least when I'm up in the mountains on the weekend it should cool off at night. Mulhouse is a fair-sized city of about 100,000 or so, and features several ... read more
Electropolis– Collection of Appliances
Mulhouse – Former Hôtel de Ville, built 1552
Cité du Train

Europe » Germany » Baden-Württemberg June 24th 2019

Monday 24th June Today I did a train trip across the Rhine into Germany and through the Black Forest. The train across the border from Mulhouse to Mullheim was French, needing a French ticket which I could not buy online as it is international. Then I used a one-day rail pass in Germany which I did buy online. The journey was a loop – from Mullheim across to Titisee, then a bus to Donaueshingen, onto the Black Forest line train to Offenburg, with a stop at Triberg to see the waterfall, then south back to Mullheim and back across to France. In all, seven trains and two buses on the day. The train across the border was just a single diesel railcar, connecting with the German train which I took up to Freiburg. Here I had ... read more
Herz Jesu Kirche, Freiburg
Schloss Donaueschingen
Triberg Waterfall

Europe » France » Alsace » Strasbourg June 23rd 2019

Saturday 22nd June The TGV was a direct service from Rennes to Strasbourg. It went via Paris, where it made two stops in the suburbs, and this was the slowest part of the trip. The train sat on 320 km/h for long periods on the run east from Paris. I arrived in Strasbourg at 7pm and checked in to the hotel which was close to the station. Then I headed out to find some dinner, crossing the river onto the Grand Île of Strasbourg, which is the old city. Google directed me to a completely gluten-free restaurant, which was a great find! I was able to have a more normal meal with confidence that it would be GF. I am a bit sick of galettes. I followed up with a piece of fabulous berry meringue pie ... read more
Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg
Strasbourg – Ill River & Reformed Church of Saint Paul
Evening in Strasbourg

Europe » France » Brittany » Guipry-Messac June 22nd 2019

Saturday 15th June Today was a scenery building day for another upcoming festival. About half a dozen or so helpers came and went throughout the day, and I lended a hand too. There was an artistic director present, who was the scenery designer, and told us all what to do. Sunday 16th June Today was a day trip to the house of the parents of my host, near Vannes on the south coast of Brittany. There were a number of her family members present for an excellent lunch. Several aunts spoke English quite well, and were keen to practice, so I had conversations in both French and English during the day. In the afternoon my host drove me down to Carnac to see the incredible alignments of megaliths. The lines run east-west and extend for over ... read more
Artist – Vannes
Vilaine Riverbank at Rennes
Evening at St Senoux

Europe » France » Brittany » Guipry-Messac June 15th 2019

Saturday 15th June My sixth week in Brittany was taken up with the road trip, so now we find ourselves at the end of the seventh week, with only one more week remaining before my placement as a language assistant ends, and I move on. Last weekend, straight after my road trip, here in Guipry-Messac was the Happy Days Festival (Les Jours Heureux), a 1950's rock'n'roll music festival. It was held over three days (Fri-Sun) and included many bands, food and bar stalls, merchandise stalls, classic car display, drag races (at nearby Lohéac raceway), and more. My host family was very involved with the event, being members of the organising committee too. We spent many hours there, setting up, manning the ticket booth, and also packing up and cleaning the venue afterwards. A number of consecutive ... read more
Cloisters of the Abbaye Saint-Sauveur de Redon
Les Mégalithes de Saint-Just
Stunning Buick Eight Coupe

Europe » France » Brittany » Guipry-Messac June 6th 2019

Thursday 6th June Today was the last day of my road trip, and I had to be at the station in Rennes by 1pm to return the rental car. According to my calculations, I had time to head down to Roche aux Fées, south-east of Rennes, along the way. My research had shown there was another megalith site along the way, Les Mégalithes de Lampouy, so I headed off to find them. Driving along minor roads through the beautiful farming countryside, I saw some signs for the Mémorial du 29 Mai 1943, which I soon spotted due to the American and French flags flying. I stopped to see what it was about, and it commemorates the loss of eleven members of a US Army Air Corps bomber crew, whose plane crashed into the adjoining field on ... read more
Mémorial du 29 Mai 1943
Menhir de la Pierre Longue
La Roche aux Fées

Europe » France » Brittany » Saint-Malo June 5th 2019

Wednesday 5th June After a good night's sleep, this morning I headed back up to the north coast to visit the Cap d'Erquy and the Cap Fréhel. This combination is listed as a Grand Site de France (as was Pointe du Raz, btw. Mont St Michel is World Heritage listed). Arriving at Cap d'Erquy, signs direct you to a car park, where I parked. It turns out that there is a closer car park 500 metres further on, then an even closer car park a further 500 metres past that. So, an extra 2 km walking there and back! The cape itself is quite spectacular, with a jagged coastline and rugged rock formations, with a nice beach a little further east around the point. The vegetation is low and hardy, and the walking track continues around ... read more
Cap d'Erquy
Fort La Latte
Saint Suliac – l'un des Plus Beaux Villages de France

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