Germany
Karlsplatz

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35 travelers at this place

  • Day45

    Day 45 - Guten Tag Deutschland!

    September 17, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Inevitably I woke shortly after 3.00am & never got back to sleep again. Perfect preparation for a long day of driving!

    We had breakfast at 8.30pm, loaded up the car only to discover a tyre inflation system error warning light & a service warning light illuminated on the dashboard. We had messed about with it the previous evening & seemed to have buggered it up. Perfect news for a long day of driving!

    We popped into the a local Spar shop for some final provisions, sweets & drinks. After, with a little bit of trepidation, we headed to the Slovenia border crossing armed with a detailed travel itinerary of exactly where we had been in the last 6 weeks.

    It was 10.00am exactly as we approached the vehicle free border & as Jackie wound down the window & raised our passports, the guard who was having a fag, just waved us through. Great, I was glad I had spent time preparing our travel itinerary! Still I’m sure it will be useful at the other border crossings.

    The SatNav was set for Lake Bled without tolls & it took us back up to Koper, then north east on the A1. The A1 is a well maintained dual carriageway & the main road through Slovenia. We followed it to the outskirts of the capital city of Ljubljana, then picked up the A2, another dual carriageway north. Slovenia is a relatively poor country & they are definitely missing a trick by not charging a toll, because this is the main land route for Germans seeking sun in Croatia & Greece.

    118 miles later & around midday we arrived in Bled with it’s fabulous lake in the Julian Alps. There were car parks signposted, but I skirted the lake seeking a spot we could stop at for free. I did, illegally on the junction of a private road. We both got out to admire the lake from the waters edge.

    Lake Bled is very picturesque, surrounded by mountains & forests. The lake is 6,960ft long, 4,530ft wide & has a maximum depth of 97ft. Bled Island sits in the middle of the lake & has several buildings including the pilgrimage church dedicated to the Assumption of Mary. Above the lake sits the impressive Bled Castle on the north shore.

    After taking sufficient photos & disabling the warning light on our dashboard, we set the SatNav for München (Munich), Germany again avoiding all tolls. It was to be a further 250 mile journey arriving about 5 & a half hours later.

    We circuited the lake once more, then instead of rejoining the A2, we followed the 452 & 201 around the northern edge of Triglav National Park. The border crossing into Austria was at the remote Wurzenpass.

    We were the only vehicle at the crossing & we showed the guard our passports & stressed we were transiting straight through to Germany. The guard asked us where we had been & we told him Croatia, to which he asked us to wait & he ran into his office. Seconds later he returned with a Self Declaration sheet of paper in which I had to write my name, sign and date it. He didn’t look at our passports to check the details or write down our vehicles index, but instead sent us on our way saying we weren’t allowed to stop in Austria. That was easy.

    We then climbed up an extremely steep road over Wurzenpass & scarily back down the other side. Our route took us towards Villach, then along Route 100, which followed the Drau river & sat in the shadow of the raised A10 toll road. Our route took us through numerous pretty Austrian villages & then Route 99, up & down near deserted skiing resorts.

    It was a very enjoyable drive until around 4.30pm, we arrived in Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart. The traffic was horrendous & we spent over an hour in a constant traffic jam. It prompted Jackie to ask the question “Would the toll road have avoided this traffic?” She then looked it up & the toll road was about 20 miles shorter & at least 3 hours quicker, BUT that’s not the point of a road trip!

    Eventually we made it out of Salzburg & reached the border crossing into Germany. The guard waved us on without even seeing our passports. WoW. We then hurtled along the toll free Autobahn 8 for 90 miles to Munich. Despite doing 80mph, a procession of BMWs, Audi’s & Mercedes sped past us as if we were hardly moving.

    It was gone 7.00pm, when we arrived in Munich, parked our car in a designated underground car park & walked to our hotel, H+ Hotel München. The receptionist was extremely helpful & provided us with a map for all the things we needed to see & a recommendation for dinner. Our hotel room is bijou, but very comfortable & functional. A good example of German efficiency.

    We dumped our bags & crossed the road to Schiller Braeu, a Bavarian bar & restaurant. We walked in & a very officious serving wench (Helga) shouted at us to put on our masks. The whole restaurant looked around at us. Good start!

    We had a couple of large home brewed lagers. Jackie had the most expensive thing on the menu again, Bavarian roast beef smothered in onions & roast potatoes. I had roast pork and crackling in a dark beer sauce, 2 types of dumplings & coleslaw. It was much needed superb hearty fare.

    After a short stroll around our salubrious surroundings, we called it a night.

    Song of the Day : Border Song by Elton John.

    Bonus Songs : Bled by Every Mothers Nightmare.

    Autobahn by Kraftwerk.

    Madame Helga by The Stereophonics.
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  • Day11

    Mastering the Zipfelbob

    September 14, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    The pictures say it all - Ian attempts to bobsled down the run. He does very well remaining upright, and incident free for the run. He reported back that he took on quite a bit of snow! Down his shirt front, and in his shoes, we weren’t properly dressed for this activity, but there were people in sandals and skirts giving it a go.Read more

  • Day11

    High on a hill........

    September 14, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Today we are spending the day with family. My father’s side of the family still live in Germany, and today Anke was our guide along with her daughter Anna. Last year we caught up with Anke’s parents in Hamburg (her father is my dad’s cousin), and her brother Folke and his family but, as Anke lives in the south of Germany, we didn’t get the chance to meet up with her.

    Anke and Anna picked us up from our apartment this morning, and we headed southeast to Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain. We drove through several lovely Bavarian villages on our way to Zugspitze. We have been very fortunate with the weather again, as today was sunny and warm, although we knew it would be chillier up on the summit.

    We arrived and parked, and made our way up the mountain in a huge cable car or gondola 🚠. The trip was very quick and smooth. At the top of the mountain we were standing at 2,962 metres above sea level. The facilities are very good, and you have a range of viewing platforms to look at the amazing 400 plus mountain peaks in four countries - Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.

    After checking out the views from all aspects of the viewing platforms - part of which meant we crossed over into Austria - we stopped for lunch at Panorama 2962, where the views were spectacular - possibly the best we will ever have at a restaurant. We had some traditional German fare for lunch, which was delicious and Ian tried a local limited release wheat beer that he thoroughly enjoyed.

    Following lunch, we caught another cable car to Gletscher - down the other side of the mountain. Here we found a small church, more restaurants, more stunning views and a toboggan run. This particular toboggan is called a zipfelbob, and was designed by a Bavarian. Anke, Anna and Ian had a couple of turns. I decided not to as I didn’t want to chance reinjuring myself.

    It was great to spend the day with Anke and Anna we had so much fun up on the mountain, and it was a spectacular place to visit.
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  • Day10

    Neuschwanstein Castle

    September 13, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    We met up with our tour group at the main train station, a brief walk of about 5 minutes from our apartment. We set off about 9.45am on a coach for the 2 hour drive southwest of Munich into the heart of Bavaria, the land of the happy cows - reputedly the happiest in the world. The Bavarians celebrate their cows at a festival, which happens to be tomorrow. The villages have a parade with some of their cows, and the children make flower garlands for them. No doubt they also drink a lot of beer.

    We also learnt about the tradition and history behind the maypole. Each town has a maypole, and each year a new one is built and painted (white and blue). It also depicts pictures (the tradition began at a time when many people could not read) of all the services available in the town, e.g. butcher, blacksmith, tailor etc. The maypole is prepared in April from a newly cut down tree, and erected in the centre of town on 1 May to celebrate the end of winter and the approaching summer and harvests. There is also a rivalry between villages, where they try and steal each others maypoles, and so it is a carefully kept secret as to where the pole is hidden. If a pole of a rival village is stolen, then the village must provide food and drink to those that stole it, and those that stole it must return it and help the villagers erect it. These Bavarians are a crazy lot. In these villages all houses must be built in the same style, no exceptions.

    Neuschwanstein Castle is very close to the Austrian border, and situated in the lovely town of Hohenschwangau, perched high up on a crag surrounded by gorges. The castle looks quite magical, and it inspired Walt Disney when he designed both the castle in Snow White, as well as the logo for Disney. We were lucky to have a beautiful day - clear blue sky and sunshine, which really added to the castle’s charm. On arrival, we were split into groups, and we were lucky enough to be allocated unto Sarah’s group. We first went off to grab lunch, which we ate on the forefront of lake Alpsee. After lunch, we walked around the area a bit before heading up to the castle.

    Ludwig ll had spent much time in the area as a child and teenager, as his father had built a castle (Schloss Hohenschwangau) in the town as a summer home for the family). Ludwig and his younger brother Otto spent most summers in this area, and his mother loved tracking through the surrounding alps, not a common practice for a queen in the 1800,s.

    Ludwig II was known as the fairytale king, the Swan King and the mad king, but he was loved by his subjects. He ascended to the throne at the ripe old age of 18, after his father died of Cholera. Ludwig had not been close to his father, and so had no real idea of what it meant to be King. His idea of a King was based on how they had ruled in Medieval times, which did not work well in the 1860’s as he was a constitutional monarch who had to answer to the parliament, and did not have absolute power.

    Ludwig had several passions as a young man - music, painting, poetry, opera and architecture. He formed a close relationship with the German composer Richard Wagner, who was 30+ years older than Ludwig. His favourite opera was Lohengrin by Wagner. He saw it for the first time at the age of 15, and fell in love with the story of tragic love - Wagner’s operas appealed to the king’s fantasy-filled imagination.

    Wagner had a reputation as a political radical and philanderer who was constantly avoiding creditors. He and Ludwig became close, but Wagner’s perceived extravagant and scandalous behaviour in Munich was unsettling for the conservative government, and so he was forced to leave Germany. He settled in Switzerland and was supported by Ludwig from afar.

    Ludwig had homosexual tendencies but, as a devout Catholic, he denied his true feelings, although he did have a number of close friendships with men and he never married (he was engaged to his cousin Sophie but couldn’t go through with the marriage).

    Ludwig became a recluse, avoiding contact with people as much as possible. He was very sensitive and creative and really hated Munich, and so avoided going there at all costs.

    Ludwig built three fairytale castles and had plans for a further four. He had gone into debt personally to build these castles to the tune of 7 million dollars. In fact, he did not get the interior of Neuschwanstein completed - only 6 rooms are complete and we toured them today. They are over the top and ostentatious, and reflect Ludwig’s recession into a world of fantasy and isolation.

    Ludwig was declared mad by the parliament, placed under house arrest and was dead at 40. Mystery surrounds his death. He supposedly drowned in Lake Starnberg, along with the head psychologist who had been instrumental in declaring him mad without having ever examined him (it was all based on information provided by government officials). His death is still a mystery 150 years later. There are a multitude of theories about what happened, but most of them are just pure speculation.

    After touring the furnished rooms of the castle, we decided to walk up to Marienbrücke to get a different (most spectacular) view of the castle. After that, we decided on the recommendation of our guide Sarah to hike down through the Gorge to get back to the bus. This was fantastic, with great views of a waterfall and different aspects of the castle. This took us about 50 minutes, but was worth the effort.

    The other spectacular sight we witnessed today was people paragliding off the alpine mountain situated behind and way above the castle, the weather conditions were perfect.
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  • Day10

    Munich

    January 1, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 3 °C

    3 nights spent in Munich was a lovely ending to 2 years of living in the UK. We got to explore the parts of Munich that we didn’t have time when at Oktoberfest the year before. We let off firecrackers, ate bulk pretzels caught up with friends and drank beautiful German beer!Read more

  • Day28

    Munich

    May 29, 2018 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    We’ve had 3 days to explore Munich - beer and pretzels have featured heavily and we’ve had beautiful warm days of close to 30 degrees.

  • Day9

    London to Munich

    September 12, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

    We started our day very early and caught the first tube to Heathrow, Terminal 5 for our flight to Munich. Flight was on time and arrived a little early. We got through passport control quite quickly but then had to wait well over 30 minutes for our luggage - so much for German efficiency!

    We caught the train to the central station, which is only about a 5 minute walk from our apartment. It is a very multicultural area - a real melting pot. We grabbed some lunch, a donner kebab from a Turkish place and then found our apartment. I seem to have caught Ian’s cold, so feeling a bit crappy. After accessing our apartment we went and did a shop, we first went to Aldi but the smell on entering the store was disgusting- like meat that had gone off so we left and went to LIDL instead.

    We decided on cold meat and cheese for dinner which was a nice change after eating out so much in London, also good financially, as it is very expensive to eat out.
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  • Day14

    Goodbye Munich - Hello Brussels

    September 17, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Today was a transit, or largely lost day, travelling from Munich to Brussels. We have really enjoyed our time in Munich, especially catching up with family. Anke was so hospitable, and a great tour guide, and it was lovely to meet her kids Anna and Max. Hopefully we will keep in touch - Anke and I have said we will make a concerted effort!

    We packed and left our apartment about 10.30, and poor Ian had to carry the cases down 4 flights of stairs, as the elevator was still out of action. Thank goodness the elevator was working last week when we arrived. We made our way to the HBF (main station), purchased tickets to the airport, found the right platform and waited for our train. It takes about 30 minutes to get out to Munich airport on the train, and is an easy trip, as the German trains are well designed with plenty of room for suitcases and nice wide aisles to walk down.

    Check-in only involved a bag drop off, which was quick and easy. The biggest issue for us at the moment is going through security - when we left London and went through the body scanner, we both had to be patted down in places a stranger shouldn’t be touching! Ian also copped a very thorough bag search. In Munich, I was fortunate to only get a very light “pat down”, however Ian once again was patted down to the third degree, and then he removed his shoes which then went back through the X-ray machine. He has decided he will remove his shoes from the start on our next Security check to see if it makes a difference.

    We wandered around Munich airport, had some lunch and then waited for our Lufthansa flight to Brussels. We boarded on time and left on schedule. It is only a short flight, equivalent to the Melbourne to Sydney flight, however we ended up getting in late, as when the plane was coming in to land the pilot suddenly aborted the landing and picked up speed, and had to circle around to come in to land. The pilot told us the reason for this was that during their first approach they were coming in too fast (according to Lufthansa standards)!

    Finally we landed, and then had to walk a long way to collect our bags, and exit. My cousin Brigitte was there to meet us, as she had kindly offered to pick us up and drive us into the city. What a disaster that turned out to be! What should have been a 30 to 45 minute drive took 150 minutes. Every which way we went there was gridlock. Brigitte’s navigation system kept recalculating and rerouting us, but to no avail. To make matters worse, there were drivers that were behaving badly, trying to cut in, driving up the street on the wrong side of the road and then trying to push back in, blocking intersections etc. Brigitte said it was the worst she has ever seen it, and that’s a big call for Brussels - it turned out that it was caused by a car catching on fire in the centre of the city.

    We finally made it to a parking complex about 300 metres from our Airbnb apartment, and made our way over cobblestones to the Galerie de la Reine. This is part of the Galeries Royals Saint- Hubert, which were designed and built by architect Jean-Pierre Cluysenaer between 1846 and 1847. The galleries consist of two major sections, each more than 100 metres in length. The main sections of the Gallerie Du Roi and Gallerie de la Reine (meaning King and Queen’s Gallery) are separated by a colonnade at the point where Rue des Bouchers crosses the Gallery complex. This bend was included to make the Galleries feel longer and break up the repetition of arches, pilasters and windows.

    We made our way to number 10, and was buzzed in by our host. Unfortunately, we had to climb up 3 floors to our apartment and, once again, Ian carried both our suitcases. After meeting Sarah, who gave us a quick tour of the apartment (which is huge), we headed out for dinner to a favourite Italian place just around the corner, as we were all starving and in need of a glass of red! Especially Ian.

    We had a lovely dinner at Sole D’italia in Rue des Bouchers, consisting of wood fired pizza with an Italian red, after which we walked Brigitte back to her car before heading to the apartment to settle in. In the evening the Gallerie is lit up, which looks lovely. It is open 24 hours a day, but is patrolled by security guards so is quite safe. The supermarket had closed and so we haven’t bought any supplies - we will go out for breakfast in the morning and then grab some supplies for the remainder of our stay here. I love looking out the windows of the apartment at the beautiful architecture of the gallerie and the view out of our loo window is amazing.
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  • Day123

    München

    October 1, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    4 Monate ist es her dass ich losgefahren bin. Heute besucht mich Kevin. Ich kann dieses Gefühl der Freude und Erfülltseins nicht beschreiben. Ich bin unheimlich stolz auf Ihn. Wir haben zwar nur 6 Stunden aber wir reden über alles und es ist einfach schön. Wir haben uns beide verändert. Er wirkt viel erwachsener und ich merke dass ich ruhiger bin, entspannter, gelöster, offener. So habe ich es mir immer gewünscht. Diese Reise tut uns beiden gut und zieht uns noch näher zusammen. Zusätzlich schreibe ich seit meinem Geburtstag sehr intensiv mit Yvonne was eine weitere interessante Gegebenheit ist. Wir kennen uns zwar schon seit ca 26 Jahren aber irgendwie ist das Schreiben neu. Ich werde sie besuchen fahren. Auf ein paar Tage mehr in Deutschland kommt es nun wirklich nicht an. Ich habe Zeit und begreife endlich welch Luxus das ist. Und ich fühle mich frei. Italien hat mir ganz viel gegeben. Knoten platzen lassen. Ich habe viele Erkenntnisse über mich gesammelt. 4 Monate können eine lange aber auch Kurze Zeit sein.Read more

  • Day2

    Kirchen und Shopping

    December 8, 2018 in Germany ⋅ 🌬 6 °C

    Die Kaufinger Straße entlang mischen wir Besichtigungen mit Shoppingstopps. Eine tolle Entdeckung machen wir beim Oberpollinger, der auf seiner Terrasse kleine Häuschen und einen Glühweinausschank aufgebaut hat. Leider ist es noch zu früh für einen Glühwein.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Karlsplatz, Stachus