Results tagged “Stress” from Europe Honeymoon 2008

Had a very slow start today. Let Stu sleep in til about 8:30 heh :) Breakfast was one of the biggest so far. And lots of yummy bacon yayyy :) So we stocked up on breakfast so we could skip lunch.

So didn't get out the door til 11am. Whoops.

Crossing the Lech near Augsburg
Ha! We *did* go over this bridge earlier in the trip. Crossing the Lech
near Augsburg. 

Reichsstrasse, Donauwörth
Reichsstrasse, Donauwörth 

Schloss Harburg
Schloss Harburg

Our first stop was Nördlingen. We found a parking lot just outside the city wall with free parking (and unlimited cause it was Sunday) so stopped there and walked in through the gate. Where we found a staircase up to the city wall, which you can walk around!  Very cool. Walked along to the next tower and found a museum. In the tower. It was all in German, but Stu loved all the stuff on the Thirty Years War. So next we headed to the church right in the centre of town (the town is an almost perfect circle and only about a kilometre diameter).

Deininger Tor, Nördlingen
Deininger Tor, Nördlingen 

Stairway up to the wall
Stairway up to the wall 

Wall around Nördlingen
Wall around Nördlingen 

Löpsinger Tor from the wall
Löpsinger Tor from the wall 

30 years war battlefield in Löpsinger Tor
30 years war battlefield in Löpsinger Tor 

View towards Saint Georg's Church and the steeple Daniel from Löpsinger Tor
View towards Saint Georg's Church and the steeple "Daniel" from
Löpsinger Tor 

View back to Deininger Tor from Löpsinger Tor
View back to Deininger Tor from Löpsinger Tor 

Beautiful wood carvings in a store
Beautiful wood carvings in a store 

Saint Georg's Church in the centre of town
Saint Georg's Church in the centre of town 

Nördlingen Tanzhaus
Nördlingen Tanzhaus

Another church, another tower to climb :) (The tower is called "Daniel"). Stu didn't want to get all hot and sweaty, so I went up by myself. The view was fantastic, in fact the same view as filmed in the 70s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory heh :) Have to watch that when I get home too :) It was two euro for adults to go up, but you pay when you get to the top!  *and* there are toilets at the top of the tower!!  Weirdest thing ever :) (and there were free toilets *in* the city wall at various locations :) )

Bell in Daniel
Bell in Daniel 

Nördlingen from Daniel
Nördlingen from Daniel. That streetscape features in the movie
"Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" at the end of the movie
where they fly over a town 

Storks in their nest as seen from Daniel
Storks in their nest as seen from Daniel. See their webcam.

While up the tower I got a map of the town, so when I got back down we decided to follow the historic walking tour around. Saw tonnes of really cute old buildings. We really really liked Nördlingen (I think it might be pronounced Nerdlingen? :) ). It just had such a nice easy-going atmosphere. And it wasn't completely touristy. We loved it.

Saint Georg's Church and Daniel
Saint Georg's Church and "Daniel" 

Klösterle
Klösterle 

Stu on a bridge over the Eger stream
Stu on a bridge over the Eger stream 

Another view of the Eger stream
Another view of the Eger stream 

Crazy-crooked Gerberviertel
Crazy-crooked Gerberviertel 

Cute little car
Cute little car 

There were a few buildings that hadn't been maintained
There were a few buildings that hadn't been maintained. They had
no photographs signs on them heh. 

Reimlinger Tor
Reimlinger Tor

So our next stop was Dinkelsbühl (or as Stu dubbed it, Dingle-Dongleberg ;) ). We had more trouble finding parking here due to roadworks and road closures due to festivals etc. So that wasn't a great start. Ended up parking at the Krankenhaus (hospital - love that word heh). Walked into town via the lake outside which was very pretty, and then down into the main square of town. The buildings here have all been done up medieval-style and do look very cute, but this place was much much more touristy which came as a bit of a rude shock after the peacefulness of Nördlingen. We looked in the church and had an early dinner and then just left.

Dinkelsbühl
Dinkelsbühl 

Dr. Martin-Luther-Straße
Dr. Martin-Luther-Straße 

Saint George’s church
Saint George’s church

Interior of Saint George’s church
Interior of Saint George’s church 

Roof of Saint George’s church
Roof of Saint George’s church

Stu in Saint George’s church
Stu in Saint George’s church 

Beers in Dinkelsbühl
Beers in Dinkelsbühl 

Supposedly famous medieval building in Weinmarkt
Supposedly famous medieval building in Weinmarkt

We were going to go to Rothenburg but it was just getting too late, so just went straight to Heidelberg. Checked into our hotel, the went for a little walk around the old town, had some ice cream, and walked across the old bridge to the other side. As is tradition on this trip, stuff is covered in scaffolding. A third of the bridge and a quarter of the schloss :(:(  All a bit sad-making. Sat by the river for a while as it got darker before wandering back to the hotel.

Heidelberger Schloss from the old town square
Heidelberger Schloss from the old town square 

Heidelberger Schloss, Old Bridge and Neckar River
Heidelberger Schloss, Old Bridge and Neckar River 

Old Bridge over the Neckar River
Old Bridge over the Neckar River 

Church of the Holy Spirit and our hotel in front from the other side of the river
Church of the Holy Spirit and our hotel in front from the other side of the river

Ok this day surpassed the other worst day of the trip by lots.

Started off ok. Breakfast was pretty boring, but we were the only ones there and it was so peaceful in the woods setting. Really liked that hotel.

Morning was ok too, we headed out on a "scenic route" in the general direction of Baden-Baden.  Copilot at one point sent us up a dead end street in a little town called Calw that finished in a parking station :/ doh!  So we stopped for a coffee there and listened to a dude playing the recorder brilliantly. Stu and I wish we could play half as well as him. It made the whole town/square feel very medieval.

Calw
Arrival in Calw. The parking station was just around that dead end corner on the right 

Crazy-crooked medieval buildings in Calw
Crazy-crooked medieval buildings in Calw 

Looking down the Nagold River from the parking station
Looking down the Nagold River from the parking station 

Calw is epic cute, visiting here was probably the highlight of the day
Calw is epic cute, visiting here was probably the highlight of the day

So kept going to Baden-Baden. This is where things fell apart. Couldn't find parking again. Followed a sign to a parking station and ended up in a hospital!? Only after we were nearly back out on the street did we see the actual entrance hiding off to the side, but it was too late then. Went round and round and eventually found another parking station. So went for a little walk through the town. Had lunch at a rather expensive hotel cafe and ate far too much (even with one of the cheaper options on the menu :/ ). Then went up to the ruins of the roman baths. It was only 2.50 each to go in, but there were signs saying no photography, so thought screw that and didn't go in. Took a couple of pictures through the outside glass window.

Schloss Eberstein from Obertsrot
Schloss Eberstein from Obertsrot 

Stiftskirche, Baden Baden
Stiftskirche, Baden Baden 

Neues Schloß from Marktplatz
Neues Schloß from Marktplatz 

Part of the Roman bath ruins
Part of the Roman bath ruins

Next we went to the tourist "information" office. Information is there in quotes because there wasn't any. Information that is. We wanted some info on highlights of the Black Forest as we didn't have internet last night to any of that sort of thing. But they didn't have a single thing. About the Black Forest. That they're on the doorstep of. Bumheads.

Lame..
Lame..

So it was like 2pm by this time, far later than we'd planned to be there. And we didn't have a plan for the afternoon. Well we had a plan but didn't think it would work. So we got stressed out (or I did mainly) and ended up doing nothing. At all. Just drove down the boring autobahn in the direction of Freiberg. Stopped at a roadside hotel near the Europa Park. This at about 4pm. And we didn't leave. Stu ended up doing some planning for the rest of our trip, as I'd given up hope of doing any of the things I wanted to do. That mainly being seeing some of the alps. Not helped by a weather forecast that says rain and clouds for the next several days.  All a bit depressing.

Around eight we went out to find some dinner at the local Shell diner. There is a Maccas, a Burger King, a Pizza Hut and what obviously used to be a KFC at this rest stop. The hotel is more like one of the big chain motels you get in America (except about four times the price). And the hallways and rooms are decorated with pictures of American motel signs. It all made me rather "homesick" for the very easy American driving holidays. Maybe next time... 
 
Maccas from our roadhouse motel room
Maccas from our roadhouse motel room

Hrmm. Worst day so far methinks...

Started off ok. Had lots of yummy bacon for breakfast. Was a late start too because the weather didn't inspire us to get up. So didn't leave our hotel til about 11:15. Walked back to the hauptbahnhof and jumped on a train to Munich - didn't even worry about reserving this time either, and a good thing too, the train wasn't crowded at all.

Our train to Munich
Our train to Munich

So arrived in Munich. Stu wanted to get another memory stick for his camera, so we wandered into town to try and find somewhere to get it. That mission was quite successful, we found a Saturn store quite quickly. Then went to the cathedral to have a very quick look at it, then went back to the station to pick up our hire car. That all went ok, except we got an Opel instead of the Peugeot we reserved, and the thing is manual which adds another layer of pain to driving around here (it's bad enough to have to drive on the wrong side of the road and have the blinker lever on the wrong side).  And it's a horrible boxy thing, with blindspots everywhere :(

Justizpalast - Palace of Justice - courthouse
Justizpalast - Palace of Justice - courthouse 

Fountain in Karlsplatz
Fountain in Karlsplatz 

Karlstor
Karlstor 

Frauenkirche
Frauenkirche 

Fountain outside the Frauenkirche
Fountain outside the Frauenkirche

Interior of the Frauenkirche
Interior of the Frauenkirche 

Stained glass window
Stained glass window 

Organ in the Frauenkirche
Organ in the Frauenkirche 

Roof of the Frauenkirche
Roof of the Frauenkirche

Anyways, so having seen practically nothing in Munich, we decided to get out of town and head for Ulm, with the idea being to see some of the old town there and stay the night.

Well of course actually getting out of Munich was pretty traumatic, wasn't it? Urrggghhh. The autobahn trip wasn't as bad, but still required a lot of concentration, not helped by roadworks most of the way along :/

One of many roadworks sites on the autobahn
One of many roadworks sites on the autobahn 

Red bridge on the autobahn
Red bridge on the autobahn. I could have sworn we drove over
this again later in the trip but don't know how..


Then we got to Ulm. But we didn't have a place to stay organised in advance so it was a case of looking for hotels. Except we couldn't just pull over or stop anywhere cause we were on roads that didn't allow that. So we passed through the centre of town and were well out the other side before we had a chance to stop :( Got copliot to give us the nearest hotel, so got there ok, but it was booked out, but they did nicely call another one for us so went to that one. Fortunately being so far out of town, they actually had easy parking.

So by this time it was 7pm, but we needed to de-stress before going out again. So here it is, 9:15pm, and we're at a waschsalon doing our laundry, having gotten snacks at a local supermarket for dinner while we waited. Totally missed out on getting to see Ulm. We did glimpse the cathedral on the way through, and like most places we've seen in Germany and Austria it's surrounded by scaffolding :( It's getting a bit tiresome that :(

We're quite worried now about how stressful the next week is going to be. We'd book places in advance if we knew where we were going to be. But is going to be hard going into towns when we know stressful finding parking will be :(

*sigh*
Woke up pretty early again but took our time getting ready. Caught the tram in to Friedrichstrasse and wandered down it to Checkpoint Charlie.

We missed a tram so Stu could enjoy this coffee
We missed a tram so Stu could enjoy this coffee 

Trams only continued to run in East Berlin
Trams only continued to run in East Berlin 

East Berlin stop man
East Berlin stop man (recently (2010) I've seen two
people wearing t-shirts with these dudes on them! 

East Berlin go man
East Berlin go man 

Die Welt balloon
Die Welt balloon 

Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie

It was actually late morning by this stage and I was tired and grumpy from not getting enough to eat at breakfast, and then not able to find a simple hot dog there (they seem to be everywhere else except for when you really want one). Anyway so got something to eat but decided not to go into the museum as it was 12.50 euro each and Stu had been before. So just walked around the info boards they had all around the street. There were the usual barrage of souvenir vendors, and also a lot selling Russian memorabilia. Kept wanting to buy a Russian doll but they're probably made in China so not much point. Now if only I knew someone going to Russia to get me a real one.......

Wall of passports in the entrance of the museum
Wall of passports in the entrance of the museum 

Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie

Anyways. This Bosnian woman came around asking if anyone spoke English, but she turned out to be a beggar, so I gave her a couple of Euros (and Stu gave her some independently too). But get this. She asked *three frigging times* over the next half hour for money, and didn't comprehend "we gave you some earlier" and just kept following us asking and asking. Got incredibly pissed off at this, so when a different Bosnian woman come started begging I was all like "piss off" .. Not that I said that, and Stu even gave her some money. Sigh.

So that was all a bit stressful so we headed off towards the East Side Gallery, stopping first on the western side of the river and then walking across the Schlesisches Tor. Where we stopped again, this time at a cafe built on the old no-man's-land for some beer. Then walked up along the old wall.

The Spree River near Oberbaumbrücke
The Spree River near Oberbaumbrücke 

Oberbaumbrücke
Oberbaumbrücke 

Oberbaumbrücke
Oberbaumbrücke 

Spree River and Fernsehturm from Oberbaumbrücke
Spree River and Fernsehturm from Oberbaumbrücke 

Astride the Berlin Wall and beginning of East Side Gallery
Astride the Berlin Wall and beginning of East Side Gallery

Enjoying a beer in no-man's land
Enjoying a beer in no-man's land 

I love crack!  Part of the Berlin Wall
I love crack! Part of the Berlin Wall 

Famous graffitti on the East Side Gallery
Famous graffitti on the East Side Gallery 

No-man's land at the East Side Gallery
No-man's land at the East Side Gallery 

These dudes were in Wings of Desire
These dudes were in "Wings of Desire"

Hopped on a train to Alexanderplatz for our next tower mission - the Fernsehturm, or as Stu dubbed it, the Stalinist golf ball heh. Was a bit crowded, and the usual bunches of people completely oblivious to anyone but themselves, blocking signs I was trying to read etc. Bumheads. But hopefully got a lot of decent photos.

Mitte from the Fernsehturm
Mitte from the Fernsehturm 

Oberbaumbrücke and the Spree from the Fernsehturm
Oberbaumbrücke and the Spree from the Fernsehturm 

Berlin Rathaus
Berlin Rathaus

After coming down we wandered down towards the river taking lots of photos as we went. Ended up near the Brandenburg Gate, where we jumped on a train, the changed to a tram to take us back to our neighborhood. We tried on the vegetarian restaurants - der Imbiss - whose logo was an upside-down maccas logo heh. And the staff were from Melbourne, Scotland and the USA!  Food was quite good there too.

Fernsehturm
Fernsehturm 

Fernsehturm
Fernsehturm 

Rathaus
Rathaus 

Neptune Fountain outside the Rathaus
Neptune Fountain outside the Rathaus 

Berliner Dom (we should have gone in here!)
Berliner Dom (we should have gone in here!) 

Lustgarten - very pretty spot
Lustgarten - very pretty spot 

Schlossbrücke
Schlossbrücke 

St. Hedwig's Cathedral
St. Hedwig's Cathedral (with a canvas picture covering the ever-present scaffolding) 

University Library
University Library. We found this by accident by drifting through an
archway at random


Unter den Linden station sign
Unter den Linden station sign 

Der Imbiss
Der Imbiss

Went shopping on the way home. The supermarket had 500mL Bitburger beers for 75c each!!  I wanted to buy more than the two we did heh :)

Sleepie!!
Again woke up early but got back to sleep, having a luxurious sleep in until 7:20 :)

After breakfast I figured I had half an hour to get to the cathedral to finish taking photos, so did that while Stu finished breakfast. Also checked at the electronics store but it didn't open until 10am :(

Interior of Cologne Cathedral
Interior of Cologne Cathedral, looking back towards the main entrance 

Another look at the crazy pixel stained-glass window
Another look at the crazy pixel stained-glass window 

The main aisle of the cathedral - completely deserted!  I was amazed..
The main aisle of the cathedral - completely deserted! I was amazed.. 

Pews lined up
Pews lined up 

This is how they keep the pigeon poop off the statues..
This is how they keep the pigeon poop off the statues..

Anyways, we packed up our stuff and headed to the train station (this time making our reservation the day before!). Yet again we were facing backwards - doh! Took an ICE train with no changing so the whole trip from Cologne to Berlin took 4.5 hours. Puttering along at 250 km/h in places. Was completely stunned at how *lush* the countryside looks. You kinda forget that Australia is not the norm when it comes to rainfall! Of course that means that it must rain. A lot. (Trivia: the producers of The Sound of Music had this problem when shooting the movie, where it rained two days out of three.. Hrmmm)

Our ICE train to Berlin
Our ICE train to Berlin 

Leaving Cologne
Leaving Cologne 

Leaving Cologne
Leaving Cologne 

Wind turbines
Wind turbines. These things are everywhere in Germany. I wish Australia
would follow suit 

The train got up to 250 km/h
The train got up to 250 km/h

Anyway, things were going ok until just before we pulled into Berlin when I started freaking out about the place and it was all so big and didn't know what local train tickets we should buy and didn't know how the apartment would be and didn't know where anything was .. And it was all too much. :(

But. We did manage to find our way to the apartment (that Stu found on Craigslist) and even stood on the location of the Berlin Wall without realising it. It even has internet!

We went out for a walk to do some shopping but needed to find a geldautomat (ATM) first. Cologne had one on every other block (admittedly that was in the touristy areas). Not so here. Walked around for half an hour before we found one :( So did some shopping to get some breakfasts and tonight's dinner.

Spent quite a while tonight researching stuff to see. Stuff I shoulda done before we left but just didn't get around to :(

The apartment here is nice.  Light and airy. Decent sized living room, huge main bedroom, tiny second bedroom (setup with couches facing a blank wall), combined bathroom with washing machine.  The shower though is in the bath, but there is no curtain, so water just goes all over the bathroom when you have a shower.  Oops. 

Living room of the flat in Berlin
Living room of the flat in Berlin 

Kitchen in the flat in Berlin
Kitchen in the flat in Berlin. Stu liked the drying
rack/plate storage above the sink


Latest night (10:20) so far....