Next trip - Maulbronn Monastery! Headed to the station aiming for the 10:10 to Stuttgart, only to find that it had been cancelled! Deutsche Bahn strikes again. I think I've mentioned before, but I've been fairly disappointed in them; the trains are way less punctual than you might expect, and there are lots of delays and cancellations. There's also stuff like splitting and combining trains which is often only vaguely communicated, though I guess if you speak German it's a lot easier.
Spoke to the help counter and they devised an alternate itinerary for us, but instead of a 45 minute, two-train journey, the alternative was now 2 hours and three trains. Bloody hell. Then of course, once we'd arrived at the original destination, it was another 15 minute bus (though we always would've had to do this). All of this meant that instead of nearly 3 hours at the monastery, we had about 90 minutes so it was going to be a rush.
Next issue was that photos and videos cost an extra euro which was fine, but when I checked that filming was OK, it was for private use only - no uploading! A bit of negotiation and a phone call to their marketing person later, we agreed it was OK to film provided I apply for a back-dated permit. It made me think back over other sites, and I guess there are definitely other places where I probably needed a permit but was unaware. Not much I can do now, but I'll be sure to start applying in future.
The monastery itself is quite interesting, it's largely Romanesque though has one of the earliest Gothic buildings in Germany as well. It's a fortified compound essentially, surrounded by walls and towers and with a large inner area of timber-framed buildings. Almost entirely authentic too which was nice! Very easy to walk around and imagine yourself being back in the middle ages, aside from the occasional car driving through. Also interesting how the town has gradually just merged with the monastery - the town hall and police station are now within the walls, as well as several shops, an apotheke and a couple of bierkellers.
Rushed around doing our filming, went inside the monastery buildings one-by-one, but managed to get everything done with a few minutes to spare. Hopefully the video turns out! Back to the bus stop where we got the bus back to the station, then two trains back to Heidelberg. No cancellations this time, and it was unsurprisingly much quicker and easier!
Nothing to report from a quiet evening at home - dinner was tortellini with mushroom sauce.Read more