Germany
Free State of Bavaria

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  • Day20

    The Eagle's Nest

    June 23 in Germany

    As I emerged from the Munich S-Bahn at Marienplatz, I had a feeling of déjà vu. I remembered having been at this exact spot with Mum and Dad during our trip to Germany many, many years ago. We sat outside under an umbrella in the square opposite the famous glockenspiel Clock Tower enjoying a German beer. Mum was so taken with the fine lager glasses that she put two in her handbag and I believe still has them. Munich was busy with Friday night revellers, but I resisted, and had an early night at the comfortable Blauer Bock Hotel nearby.

    This morning I set out on a trip to visit the Eagle’s Nest - part of Hitler’s mountain retreat, the Berghof. After a pleasant train journey from Munich, I arrived at the charming town of Berchtesgaden. From there a bus took us to Obersalzberg location of the now demolished Berghof, which in the 1930s became, surprisingly, the 2nd seat of the Nazi government after Berlin. Then a further specially constructed bus to cope with the steep climb up the mountain to Kehlsteinhaus (The Eagle’s Nest), where, with its panoramic views, Hitler entertained special guests. It is virtually the only building not to have been bombed or demolished, and now serves as a restaurant / bar.

    To reach the summit you had to walk through a long tunnel constructed in 1938 and take a beautiful copper decorated lift to the top. What fabulous 360 degree views over the Bavarian Alps and Lake Konigsee. It is hard to imagine in this idyllic mountain setting that Hitler and his followers made world shattering decisions on war, persecution and genocide.

    I enjoyed bockwurst and potato salad and a cool, German lager in the main reception room, featuring a marble fireplace gifted by Mussolini, although it was a bit unsettling to see photographs of Nazi leaders and dignatories pictured in the same room. The excellent museum Dokumentation Obersalzberg provided a great insight into the Nazi takeover of this hitherto quiet mountain community.

    I did contemplate making the very short train journey over the border to Salzburg, Austria for some pink lemonade. Some light relief in The Sound of Music city would have been welcome. However I headed back to Munich for dinner and to get ready for the next part of my trip - the overnight sleeper train to Hamburg. Another very special day, sobering in part, but with breathtaking scenery.
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  • Day28

    Are we nearly there yet?!

    July 20 in Germany

    Good morning from just north of Nuremberg!

    It's been an absolute joy so far, everyone has managed to get a good 8-hour's sleep without too much fuss, the cooked breakfast on the coach was very welcome and the fresh pot of coffee has really helped get the morning off to a positive start...

    ...and then reality kicks in as the coach goes over a bump on the motorway which jolts you awake and you realise that it's only 03.45, and only 26 minutes has elapsed since the last time you managed to twist your body into a vaguely comfortable position in your coach seat (utilising skills that a GB Olympic gymnast would be proud of) and drift off to sleep, and you start the process all over again, hoping that sleep will stay with you for more than half an hour stints!

    We stopped for a late night "toilet & teeth" break in Belgium at around midnight. The coach drivers ambitiously anticipated a quick pit stop of around 15 minutes; however getting 119 students through a small service station toilet wasn't going to happen quickly (it took us an hour!), but did give us a chance to demonstrate how much the British love a good queue, I just felt sorry for the poor German lady who rounded the corner at 00.45 to find about 40 students waiting patiently for the toilet!!

    It's a bit quieter on the coach at the moment; Rick Astley mercifully seems to have disappeared from the airwaves and we are hoping for a breakfast stop soon. The next anticipated issues from the staff will be the depleted battery life on tablets/phones/iPads (how will we cope?!?!) and the constant worry looming over us that someone on the coach will suggest putting on their 'High School Musical' DVD collection...

    After that it will only be a few hundred miles more before we arrive in sunny Olomouc, easy!
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  • Day34

    Quiz Update from Mr K!

    July 26 in Germany

    As we make our way across Germany (and of the 17+ countries I've been to this is one of my favourites!) I should mention that I'm looking forward to seeing my cats (even if I'd also like a dog as well) and going away in the caravan to a campsite when I get home. 

    I think I may also need an Indian curry soon, as long as my size-11s don't wear out before reaching the restaurant, at least it wouldn't involve swimming more than 100m, although I'd run there if needed, even at my age having been born in the 70s!

    Also looking forward to a bacon & sausage sandwich over the summer, eaten using my right hand and with brown sauce, if there's too much sauce I'd need to use my knife and fork (but could leave the spoon), and I could wash it down with a nice cup of coffee. 

    The karaoke at the back has just broken into "Don't Stop Me Now" which is great, just wondering if they could add in a little 'vocalise' or the theme tune to the Onedin Line too maybe? If music was also their fave subject at school it shouldn't be too hard?!

    Must also get back on the golf course asap as I have withdrawal symptoms, I could catch up on the Radio 5 sports news whilst I'm at it, and following a round perhaps a G&T or a real ale, or mint choc chip ice cream?

    Have heard that Daniel Craig is going to do one more Bond film which is great, although hope he doesn't follow in another previous Bond's footsteps and start appearing in musicals as I don't see him as a lead in West Side Story, similarly don't see him as a Gryffindor in a Harry Potter movie either; maybe he could branch out into Sci-Fi and do either Star Wars or Star Trek, that would be brilliant!

    New Bake-Off should be on soon which will be great; think it has the potential to run for at least as long as I've been working for NMPAT, so 17-20 for sure. Noel Fielding does a pretty good job, although I'd say he's a league down from the "big guns" of comedy like Billy Connolly; I'm sure Chandler from Friends would have a witty one-liner to say about "big guns"...

    Hope I haven't said too much? 😂😂😂😂
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  • Day56

    Rothenberg

    August 1, 2017 in Germany

    We were heading to Nuremburg today but decided to visit Rothenburg ob der Tauber (on the Tauber River) on the way. Old Town Rothenberg is reputedly the best preserved walled city in Germany (14th Century). It is a very pretty town. We got great views of the town and the surrounding countryside by climbing the Town Hall tower - what's another 100 or so steps on this trip!! Amazing Christmas Shop here - huge - Rothenberg is also known for its Christmas Market. It was a good call to visit here.Read more

  • Day57

    Bamberg

    August 2, 2017 in Germany

    Bamberg is north of Nuremburg and well worth the visit. We walked around the Old Town Bamberg admiring its arched bridges, cathedral, muraled Town Hall (Altes Rathaus) and a very pretty fishing village - each house looked as if they were holding the next house up - they were so packed together!
    We drove up to Bamberg Castle - walked up to the top of yet another tower - totally worth it for the view. Time to move on to Regensberg.Read more

  • Day46

    Bamberg

    August 2, 2017 in Germany

    Drove north from Nuremberg to Bamberg. Up there with one of my favourite places we've visited, it's the oldest preserved medi-evil town in Europe. The river is very fast flowing with old houses along one bank where the fisherman lived. Of course there are also a couple of churches and a palace on the hill.Read more

  • Day56

    Nuremberg / Nürnberg

    August 1, 2017 in Germany

    We stayed outside the Old Town so with some instructions, a 15 minute walk and a 3-stop metro train ride, we arrived right in the centre of Lorenzerplatz in Old Town. I immediately felt dwarfed by the St Lorenz Church right above me as I entered the plaza, just one of the beautiful churches in Old Town. There is also the Frauenkirche (Our Lady's Church) built in the 14th Century. Lots to see here and despite it raining most of the night and no raincoats or umbrellas we managed to see most of it. Of course no visit is complete without the castle visit. Nuremberg Castle is a group of medieval fortified buildings on a sandstone ridge and is considered to be one of Europe's most formidable medieval fortifications.Read more

  • Day47

    Munich

    August 3, 2017 in Germany

    Overnight in Munich- walked down to the glockenspiel- unfortunately we weren't there in time to see it in action, then on to the Hofbräuhaus for a 'little' drink and some hearty German food! It's been a 'few' year since I experienced the Hofbräuhaus in my youth!

  • Day58

    Munich

    August 3, 2017 in Germany

    For Alan and Rozzie Munich was a re-visit after some 35 and 40 years respectively so for them it had changed dramatically. For me, it was all new! We walked the length of Old Town taking in the old and new buildings. Both Alan and Rozzie had a vivid memory of the famous Rathaus-Glockenspiel but a vague memory of where it was located. When we came to the Town Hall and saw it had a very impressive clock, it reminded them of the famous clock and seeking help learned that it indeed was the Glockenspiel. Their memory was of a much bigger Clock, nevertheless, I was impressed with it and the building. Dinner and a drink could be at no other place but The Hofbrau Haus. A great night and great way to leave Germany (back for a brief visit in mid-September).Read more

  • Day60

    Mittenwald Germany

    August 5, 2017 in Germany

    We returned to Germany a little sooner than we expected. Today's weather was rainy with more rain expected so we made the decision to go to Mittenwald, recommended for an authentic Bavarian town experience. It is about an hour's drive from Innsbruck. When we got there people wete arriving in droves and all heading in the same direction...so of course that is where we headed! It was another of those wow moments. We had entered a time warp and gone back a couple of centuries. Mittenwald was celebrating the 530th anniversary of the Bozner Market. History had come alive! Market stalls, wine taverns, craftsmen, jugglers, merchants, noblemen, theatre productions and musical performances and all the locals in the period clothing. They had assumed the roles they were playing not acting it out like a performance. It was fantastic.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Bavaria, Bayern, Free State of Bavaria, 바이에른 자유주, Bæjaraland, Baian, Baiarn, Baieri, Baijeri, Bajorország, Bavaari, Bavarija, Bavārija, Bavario, Bavarska, Bavera, Baviera, Bavière, Bavorsko, Bavyera, Bawaria, Bayän, Beiere, Beieren, Estáu Llibre de Baviera, Freistaat Bayern, Land Bayern, بایرن, بافاريا, בוואריה, Βαυαρία, Баварија, Бавария, Баварія, Баварска, Բավարիա, ბავარია, பவேரியா, バイエルン州, 巴伐利亚

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