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    • Day281

      Day 282: South to Dessau

      November 23, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

      Off we went from Quedlinburg, only a single night stay which has been quite unusual for us on this trip! Filled up beforehand on a hotel breakfast of course, before walking the 10 minutes back to the train station. 90 minute train to Magdeburg where we had 30 minutes to grab some lunch and change trains to another 90 minute train to Dessau.

      Here we weren't actually staying in town, but in an old tollhouse right on the river, about 5km north of the town. It was pretty rural, though the train station was about 10 minutes walk away across a highway bridge. Very surprised to learn that pets cost an extra 8 euros per night, as that wasn't mentioned at all on the listing! And that the "included breakfast" was only included if you paid 11 euros per person per night! Complete rip-off, and we weren't very impressed.

      Our room was OK, it's in a large farmhouse building but we're on the upstairs level, essentially in the attic. We have a lot of floor space in the room, but most of it isn't that usable since it's underneath a sloping ceiling. You have to stoop quite a bit in places, and it's very easy to hit your head. Not super impressed again! Decided that we'd head into Dessau proper and have a look around, even though we'll be going through there quite a bit over the next few days.

      First stop was the large gardens area just near the station, which is a fairly unimportant part of a larger World Heritage site, the larger more important part of which is elsewhere. But it was again decent weather, so we had a wander around the gardens in the fading light. As it got dark we walked into the main part of Dessau where the Christmas market was kicking off. First night of the season! We had a look around and ate a few things - sausages, waffles, chocolates. A few interesting looking things to buy, but obviously we resisted!

      It's funny, they're such a romantic idea, the Christmas markets in the snow with cute candies on sale, delicious German food and of course steaming hot mulled wine, but when we visited a few years ago we found them quite underwhelming. They're nice, but after a couple they're basically all the same. Oh well, the first one for the season is good! Had a cup of gluhwein of course and filled up on various treats before catching the train back home. The walk across the highway bridge was a bit hairy since it was completely dark, and there were no lights on the bridge!
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      Trish Forrester

      When you first mentioned staying in a Tollhouse, I thought 'how romantic!' but as you continued that romantic notion dissipated pretty quickly!

      Trish Forrester

      He looks quite happy to be in it!

      Trish Forrester

      I share his dislike...

    • Day19


      July 19, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      Wir haben wirklich einen sehr schönen Platz in Kühnau, am See gefunden. Es war nachts sehr ruhig und wir haben endlich wieder einmal richtig gut geschlafen. Das köstliche Frühstück beim Tresen ist bereits bereitgestellt und der Tag kann also getrost beginnen.
      Wir radeln mit vollen Akkus durch uralte Auen nach Dessau. Auch diese Stadt scheint wie ausgestorben. Auch wenn die Ferien hier diese Woche angefangen haben, sei dies nicht üblich. Wir fahren an die Meisterhäuser heran, kubistische Wohneinheiten, welche bereits 1926 gebaut wurden - sie sehen top modern aus, wenn man bedenkt, dass sie vor fast hundert Jahren gebaut (und restauriert) wurden.
      Dann zum Bauhaus, ebenfalls 1926 mit Stahl und viel Glas gebaut. Wir führen unsere Reise fort und genehmigen uns nebst einem Cappuccino-Eiskaffe etwas leckeres in einem Restaurant an der Elbe. Zurück auf dem Platz setzen wir uns gemütlich in den Schatten.
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    • Day283

      Day 284: Bauhaus

      November 25, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 2 °C

      Incessant rain had drummed on the roof all night, and when we woke up this morning not much had changed. It was raining - a lot. Though we'd expected it, so had planned for today to be a mostly-inside day, rather than going to a parkland or something! Got dressed and headed out around 9am, straight back into Dessau as usual.

      Here we headed to what was the second home of the Bauhaus School, a design and art college that had a tremendous impact on almost every field of modern art. Although founded in Weimar, it was based here for about 5 years before moving to Berlin in 1931, where it disbanded two years later (the Nazis considered it "un-German" and a hotbed of Communist liberalism).

      The two main buildings of the college are still standing and that's where we headed first. Although it's still mostly used as a technical school, large parts of the building are a museum. Unfortunately we couldn't take Schnitzel inside as expected, so we did rock-paper-scissors for who'd go in first and who'd stay in the cafe with Schnitzel first. I lost.

      So Shandos headed off into the museum, while I settled into the cafe with a cappuccino and a blueberry muffin. 90 minutes later she returned, and we traded places. I really enjoyed it, because even though in places there's not much to see, everything feels very familiar - from the layouts, the stairwells, even little touches like the light fixtures and the doorhandles which were designed by Bauhaus students. All very modernist, with straight lines, 90 degree curves, interesting uses of colour and materials.

      The philosophy is quite interesting as well - that function should dictate form, but that functional items should also have beauty. It also blends together ideas of craftsmanship and artisan items with new techniques of mass production - all very interesting. I particularly enjoyed some of the displays about course curricula, since they were so obviously foundational and done from first principles. I mean, rather than studying "painting", you spend a couple of years studying art history, colour theory, anatomy, materials science and so on.

      Eventually I finished up, and since we'd already spent 3 hours combined in the cafe we figured another hour wouldn't hurt, so we grabbed some lunch too. And hey, it was still raining outside.

      Last thing we wanted to see here were the Master's Houses, a series of modernist houses about 500m away from the main school building, which were designed by the first architecture students at Bauhaus. Despite the names, the Masters of the school only lived here for a couple of years before the school moved off to Berlin. I filmed a bit more, but we haven't quite finished the video as there are more buildings to see in Weimar, where we'll be in a couple of days.

      So we walked back to the station in the rain, caught the train back north to our little town, walked across the highway bridge and arrived home. Absolutely nobody around - it's quite spooky to be in a 15 room hotel with no other occupants! And as far as I can tell, the workers all go home at night too so there's just nobody else around at all.

      Though we did manage to find the proprietor who we'd spoken to on Airbnb. We told him that since it didn't say we had to pay extra for the dog, we weren't going to, and that he needed to update his listings to mention the extra charges. He wasn't that happy, since apparently we were already getting a huge discount, and that on Airbnb he can't write "pets allowed but cost extra" and a few other crap excuses. In the end we got our way which was nice!
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    • Day2

      Dessau: Bauhaus und Döner

      May 10, 2021 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

      Citywalk durch Dessau. Der erste Labcache hatte natürlich das Bauhaus und die Meisterhäuser als Thema. Das Bauhaus und die Meisterhäuser wurden 1925-1926 nach Plänen des Architekten Walter Gropius errichtet. Es gilt als „Ikone der Moderne“ und ist eine UNESCO-Welterbestätte. Die Meisterhäuser wurden im Auftrag der Stadt Dessau errichtet und dienten den Meistern des Bauhauses als Unterkunft. Zwischendurch gab es für mich einen Döner auf die Hand gegen den kleinen Hunger 😂
      Weiter ging es dann durch den Dessauer Georgengarten, im Volksmund kurz Georgium genannt. Er ist Teil des Gartenreichs Dessau-Wörlitz und UNESCO-Welterbe.
      26.400 Schitte für heute, das reicht dann auch.
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