Munich

On our way from Germany to Austria, we’ve made a few hours stop in Munich. It’s the capital city of the Bavaria region. The city has been grounded by the monks of the Benedictine order. Therefore the monk depicted on the city’s coat of arms. Black and gold are the colors of the Holy Roman Empire and also a symbol of the city since the time of Ludwig the Bavarian (i.e. damn long time ago).

After almost an hour of leaving the highway, we’ve managed to find a free parking spot near old town. What a bargain: only EUR 3.5 (i.e. USD $ 5) per hour! Fortunately, it’s only been few steps from the Viktuelen Markt (sort of Public Market), so we had a chance for a good lunch: kaiser-rolls with pickled Bismark herring and onions, Donner Kebab and Weissen Beer. Well, that’s not exactly a typical Bavarian meal, but I’m sure the local wheat beer counts triple at noon, so we should be OK.

While walking around the city we stumbled upon a film crew several times and I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up as background for some  German television hit series this season. Even though it’s much more probable that we’ll be “photoshop’ed out” before the production hits the screens.

Finally, we only have a few pictures this time. That’s because batteries in my camera hold charge for a very long time, but when they go bad, they really die unexpectedly…

After traveling around Europe for almost two weeks now, I have to admit that I’m sick and tired of old buildings, wonderful cities and everything being two or three times more expensive than in the US. I’m looking forward to the small towns and villages of Upper Austria, where I hope not everything got so commercialized as in the big cities we’ve visited so far.

Kaiserslautern

Kaiserslautern is an old town mid way between Mannheim and Saarbrücken, the capitol of the Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz) region. We’ve stopped here for lunch and a walk around the old town. Good thing we did as this was one off the very few sunny days in Germany.

Erfurt

Yesterday, we’ve left Bratków and half way through Germany visited Erfurt. It’s an old commercial town, where the influences of the by-gone era of real communism are still visible. A view from a medieval church tower gives a great impression. The old town and the cathedral on one side and large, ugly concrete block buildings on the other.

 

 

European Vacations Planning


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After a few days of partying, it’s time to start road trip planning. My Father offered us one of his vehicles, which means that we can do a small loop around Europe. We don’t want to spend on the road more than couple or three weeks, so the loop will be rather tight. Especially, as we plan to stick with our kids friendly driving habits. That means no longer then four or five hours of driving a day. In order to accomplish that task, we’ve decided to look at the map, see where do we have Friends or Family and plan around that locations. We will take some camping gear for those parts of the trip where there will be no friendly accommodation available.

Since large part of my Family is German, the route will be mostly around Germany, but also Austria and the Czech Republic. We will start by visiting my wife’s Family in Zgorzelec – that’s still in Poland, but it’s a German border town. From there we will go to the region of North Rhine-Westphalia, where lives a large part of my Family, but also number of old friends. We may need to overnight near Leipzig, as this leg of the trip will be significantly longer than the daily allowance set by the Captain. Then we will turn South and drive through Luxembourg to visit my Father’s sister in Saarland, near the French border. After few days of recovery, we will head towards Austria, where my Father’s brother lives in a picturesque little village. Again, due to the limitations set by the Captain, we may need to overnight at my wife’s friend house half way to Austria and then again somewhere in the Czech Republic (most probably around Brno) before arriving back at my Parents house.