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Saturday, 24 March 2012

Gambling and Education

Still walking through Europe - Germany mainly. Looking for pictures that show where I have trodden, I find that it's not natural to take photos looking down at your feet! Bad composition.

On a cool morning in late October, we were driven by bus from our overnight landing place at Gambsheim, through light fog and mist, to Baden Baden, famous casino and spa town. The grass was a little damp for walking and fortunately there were many paths.

Here in the Casino, I walked on the thick carpet, reflecting on the many the "rich and famous" who would have had lost money here. With no active patrons, it was a quiet experience of grace and opulence.

The streets of Baden Baden are also graceful, with many expensive shops. So presumably not everyone loses everything at the Casino!

Heidelberg, a City of Education

A much clearer morning the next day, saw us in Mannheim and travelling in yet another bus to Heidelberg, known for its university, the oldest in Germany (founded in 1386).

Heidelberg is situated on the beautiful River Neckar.

Heidelberg Castle towers above the town

We were fortunate in that we didn't need to walk all the way up to the castle, but there was plenty of walking around the castle area, rewarded by spectacular views.

We had a hearty lunch at the Hotel Ritter in the Old Town, which gave plenty of energy and time to to wander around the shops and stalls in the Market Place.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

A Taste of France

Still along the Rhine - well it's a long river, flowing from the Swiss Alps to the North Sea, for a distance of over 1,200 kms.

We woke up at our landing place in Kehl, Germany. A lovely sunny day, and in front of us was the Europa Bridge which links Germany and France at that place. Our tour bus crossed the bridge and took us into Strasbourg. From the drop-off point, we were walking in France.

            We crossed the beautiful little River Ill, then reached the busy Place de la Cathedrale in front of Strasbourg's Notre-Dame.

Many pedestrian walkways in Strasbourg

Busy Cathedral Square

Souvenir shops line the square facing the Cathedral

River Ill at Strasbourg

Thursday, 8 March 2012

A Walk in the Black Forest

And so along the Rhine (cruising, not walking - except for the long walk to and from my cabin), heading generally in a northerly direction. In this area, north of Basel, the river forms the border between Germany and France. We woke at our landing place in Breisach on the German side of the river. Time to put on the shoes for a 9 hour coach tour into the Black Forest area of Germany. The catchy tune of the Horst Jankowski hit of 1965 runs through my head!

The first stop of the day was at the Vogtsbauernhof Open Air Museum of country life in the Black Forest "in the days of yesteryear". An interesting walk through a display of  farm houses and other farm buildings from the area during the 16-18th centuries. Plenty of walking here.

 But before we started our walk, there was a most appropriate Black Forest Cake demonstration. Lovely and fresh for our morning coffee break!

This is the Vogtsbauernhof farm house of 1612 on its original site in the Gutach Valley.
The small building is the Gutach valley storehouse.

We were taken to lunch at Restaurant zur Lilie in Triberg. Those steps in front of the door were just a short introduction to the walk starting beside the building, to view Germany's highest waterfalls.

I walked up part of the way - enough to view the falls through the trees. An enjoyable way to walk off an excellent lunch.

Then there was the walk up the road back to where the coaches had to park. 

Path towards the Wasserfalle


Street in Triberg

Friday, 2 March 2012

Walking on through Europe


21-24 October 2011

I arrived in Zurich by plane, but almost the first steps away from my hotel brought me right beside the railway station - the platform almost merging with the roadway of Zollstrasse.

So I walked inside the busy Hauptbahnof precinct several times - an excellent place to pick up a quick snack or meal and a short-cut through to the main city area.

I took a cruise tour to Rapperswil at the far end of Lake Zurich, tested the beautifully laid out cobblestones there, then rested on the perfect afternoon 2 hour ferry trip back to Zurich.

It was a lovely sunny Saturday afternoon and it seemed that everyone was out enjoying the fresh air. I enjoyed the walk back along Limmatquai to the Hauptbahnof. There were many around carrying Turkish flags - guess there was a Soccer match, but I never found out the result.

On the Monday I was in the Marketplace at Basel, getting ready to board another ship. I think my preferred mode of travel is by boat or ship, where you can just sit, relax and watch the scenery glide by, as is the case with the current popularity of River Cruising.


A short gangway, but still quite steep!
For the rest of that cruise, I wondered how I made the mistake of booking a cabin as far from the public areas as possible - a very long walk every time for dinner, or when returning from a shore tour.

Sailing on the Rhine out of Basel.

The length of these river cruise ships is amazing! One of the few times that I went up on the top (sun) deck - no elevators like on large cruise ships! But worth it so see the start of the journey and the first  of the many bridges along the mighty Rhine River.