Results tagged “Castles” from Europe 2016

Sleep and breakfast, rinse and repeat.

After breakfast, around 9am, we headed out. We wandered down to the fortress, expecting to have to pay to go in and possibly you do to go in the buildings, but you can walk all around the grounds for free which was pretty cool. We wandered around for three quarters of an hour and there's some great views of the city.

Then we headed up to the Historical Museum, because our tickets for the viking ship museum covered it. Didn't really spend all that much time there.

Then back to the hotel to sort out our bags and get ourselves ready. We'd done 10000 steps before lunch time!

The hotel was in a super convenient location - right on top of the station. So getting to the trains was super easy. We went and got some tickets for the regular train, not the airport express, because it's like half the price to do it that way. The train got up to 200 km/h for most of the trip and took about the same amount of time as the airport express anyway. And it had free wifi :)

Got to the airport and checked in. Check in and bag drop was all electronic and super easy, didn't have to interact with any humans at all. Oslo airport is generally quite user friendly. There's plenty of shops in the terminal too to look at while waiting. I finished up yesterday's photo sorting then grabbed a slice of pizza for lunch. Then mum and I went through all of her photos that I'd scanned recently and labelled what we could.

Our plane was about half an hour late leaving, I forget the reason why.  Technical difficulties I think. Took off to the south and saw Oslo as we flew over it. Then over the Netherlands - pretty sure I saw Schipol and Rotterdam but really need to see the gps track to be sure. Rain as we arrived in Brussels.

Brussels airport is *not* very user friendly. We wanted to see about our flights tomorrow, but we first had to try and figure out which terminal it would likely go from. After wandering around trying to find anything useful, but failing, we thought we'd just go check in to the hotel and dump our bags then come back and try again. Even trying to get out of the airport to get to the hotel (which is conveniently just across the road from the terminal we came out of) was a drama. I couldn't even see emergency exit signs anywhere. We ended up asking someone how to get out of the damned terminal! Fail fail fail.

So checked into the hotel (it was about 19:40 by this point and we were tired and hungry). Had a look at the restaurant downstairs, but it looked expensive and uninspiring, so we went back to the airport. Because of the bombings a while back, security is pretty intense. There's no car pickups/dropoffs outside the terminal anymore - people have to use the parking garages for that. Not even any taxis.  They must go somewhere, but don't know where. So the road between the terminal and the hotel is pedestrian only, with a security tent setup for access to the terminal, and a *lot* of heavily armed soldiers and police. Apparently from tomorrow the split terminal checkins are merging back into the one. Or something. Also apparently only passengers are allowed into the terminals at the moment - no visitors or people saying goodbye. Not that they actually checked that when we went back in so whatevs.

Anyway, found something to eat (just some pasta), then back to the hotel.

Slept til about 5:50 this morning - a sleepin!

The breakfast buffet didn't have as much choice as other hotels so far, but was otherwise ok. They even had champagne, go figure, although I tried it and it wasn't very nice. The internet was a bit flakey too - complicated login process, and pretty slow. At least it was included!

Our first activity for the day was Wartburg Castle just outside Eisenach. We had a tour of the main castle building so got to see all the main rooms. Then it was through the museum part and finally the Lutherstube - where Luther spent ten weeks translating the New Testament into German (and defining the German language in the process). Pretty cool stuff.

Stopped at a resthaus for lunch (I just had some stuff leftover from breakfast).

Then onto Worms. We had a walking tour of a few of the sights, which included the Trinity Reformation Church, St Peter's cathedral, the Jewish cemetary, the location of the Diet of Worms, and the big Luther monument.

After the tour finished, we went back to the location of the Diet of Worms (the building was destroyed by the French years ago) and had a little service and sang A Mighty Fortress is Our God.

Then everyone took the coach to the hotel, but Mum and I went for a walk up to see the Nibelung tower over the bridge over the Rhine (didn't find any Rhinegold though).

Walked back to the hotel. The room here is huge. It has a whole entrance foyer thing going on.

Dinner was in the hotel - we had a dining room just for the group which was nice. But Germans just don't understand the concept of tap water. At least two places we've been refuse to even serve it. This hotel did - but only if you asked the right way - we didn't - so ended up with a 2.30 bottle of water. Pissed off about that. If I'm going to spend money on a drink, I'd rather beer or wine. Spending money on water offends me.

5:37 wakeup. Blerf.

At breakfast I stocked up on veggies to make up for yesterday's lack thereof.

After breakfast mum and I walked up to the university church to get some photos of it in the morning sun.

Our first stop for the day was Colditz Castle. We had a guided tour of the place so got to see things like the solitary confinement cell, the chapel, and the tunnel some French officers dug through solid rock.

Stopped for lunch at a roadside rest house.

After lunch continued on to Dresden. I was really really missing the sweetie at this point, on account of last being here with him on our honeymoon. We had a walking tour of the town with a local guide, and got to see a couple of things we didn't see last time (like inside the palace courtyard which is now a museum complex, and inside the Church of our Lady). But there was a heap of things we didn't get to see, like even a basic walkby of a lot of the buildings, and we didn't even get to go down to the river to have a look. It really highlighted the difference between doing things on a tour and doing things yourself. It made me wonder what else we've been missing out on by doing tours. In some ways I actually felt quite ripped off that we didn't get to see as much as we should. So that and missing the sweetie made me feel somewhat depressed.

Headed back to Leipzig, and were a bit late for a 6pm service at Thomaskirche. All in German of course, but the organ playing was nice.

Then on to dinner. We went to the Auerbachs Keller which was pretty cool. The food was pretty good. We had a small salad for entree, a very tasty chicken and mushroom dish with rosti, and ice cream and cherry sauce for dessert. The problem was it was all very slow, and by the time they brought out a birthday cake for two of the guys, we didn't leave the restaurant til after 9:30, getting back to the hotel at 10pm :(:(:( Far far far too late when I have so much to do in the evenings. In the end I just downloaded my photos and gps, but left the blogging til the morning.