Tag Archives: malsch

Friday 14th August 2020 – THAT WAS A …

… nice break on my journey today.

My route brought me through the city of Luxembourg so I telephoned my friend Malou. We met in the city centre and went for a drink and a chat for an hour or two. It’s a long time since we’ve seen each other so it was good to meet up and have a chat for a while.

And I do have to say that I needed a break because it had been a long, hard day. It all went wrong before I went to bed because having had a little doze during the afternoon, I wasn’t tired at all and it was almost 02:00 before I went to bed.

Nevertheless I staggered out of bed as the alarms went off, tired as I might have been, and did some of the outstanding paperwork.

There was something on the dictaphone too. For some unknown reason we had been discussing tanks during the night. We were in a big one, the idea being to spray several other tanks with machine gun fire to find out how flammable they were and to see what the chances were of setting other tanks ablaze with just simply machine gun fire reaching vital parts or breaking fuel lines kind of thing

Breakfast was interesting because the landlady insisted on talking to me. We had a delightful conversation in a mixture of German and English that went on for almost an hour.

hotel kraichgauidylle 69254 malsch germany eric hallThinking on, I’m not too sure if I’ve mentioned my hotel.

It’s the hotel Kraichgauidylle in Malsch, the correct Malsch of course, and is one of these typical Germanic small village hotels that you encounter all over Central Europe. Somewhat tired, dingy and dark as if it was a throwback to the 1930s but while the price wasn’t a 1930s price, it was pretty good value for the money that I paid.

In fact, being on the Budget Economy plan that I am, the proof of the issue is “whether I would stay here again at the same price” and that emits a rather positive response.

The only issue was the lack of on-site parking. But arriving late and leaving early meant that I could use the parking space of the bank across the road without any problems.

On the road, the lack of sleep caught up with me before I’d gone too far and I ended up asleep in a car park for a couple of hours. It’s a long time that I’ve done that, isn’t it? Just like old times in Canada.

The bridge that I was intending to take across the Rhine was closed and I was obliged to take a detour to another bridge.

castle frankenstein  eric hallFrom there, through yet more roadworks and traffic jams, especially in the town of Kaiserlautern, I pushed on into the Eifel Mountains past the Castle Frankenstein.

One of those places where you have to stop and take a photo, even if you do have to drive around for ages and perform several U-turns in order to find a place to park where there’s a good vies

It’s not unfortunately the castle of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – that’s out near Darmstadt – but its etymology is the same, to wit, the stone (building) of the Franks, the tribe that occupied western Germany and eastern France in the early Middle Ages

The existence of this particular castle is first recorded in 1146 and is believed to date from some 50 years earlier according to some contemporary reports. Its purpose was to guard the road between Speyer, Dürkheim and Worms, presumably for the security of pilgrims and religious officials, and was owned by Limburg Abbey.

Severely damaged during the various wars of the 15th and 16th Century, it was finished off during the German Peasants War, a revolt that led Martin Luther to state that the peasants “… must be sliced, choked, stabbed, secretly and publicly, by those who can, like one must kill a rabid dog.”.

By 1560 it was reported as being destroyed.

concorde Flugausstellung Peter Junior Hermeskeil Habersberg germany eric hallContinuing onwards deep into the mountains, I came across an air museum with 20 or so aeroplanes on display outside, somewhere near the towns of Hermeskeil and Habersberg.

What actually caught my eye was the Concorde here so I had to do a U-turn and go back for another look. However I didn’t stop for more than a second or two because right at that moment we were having a torrential downpour outside – something akin to what we had on the previous day and I wasn’t getting out of Caliburn in that. A quick photo would have to do.

But it’s another one of these places to which I’ll have to return, even if the Concorde here is only a replica, as I was to find out later. Never mind 20 or so areoplanes, there are in fact well over 100 and not only that, there’s a railway museum nearby with a shed full of steam locomotives.

view river saar valley germany eric hallThe weather started to brighten up very slowly as I pressed on further into the mountains. And as I crested a rise at the back of the town of Vierherrenborn, I stopped in my tracks to admire the beautiful view.

Where I actually am is at the top of a range of hills that form the eastern shore of the Saar River, one of the tributaries of the Moselle which it joins a few miles further north near Trier.

246 kilometres long, it was a vital industrial route of Germany in the late 19th and early 20th Century when this region was one of Europe’s leading iron*producing areas, bringing raw materials in and taking the finished product out.

This was a region that was considered to be so vital to Germany’s industrial progress that for 15 years after World War I and 10 years after World War II it was adminsitered separately from Germany by various occupying powers.

radio mast near vierherrenborn germany eric hallBehind where I’m standing is what at first glance appeared to be similar to the Loran C masts of which we saw more than a few ON OUR TRAVELS AROUND NORTH-EAST CANADA.

However this one probably isn’t. It’s probably nothing more than an ordinary radio antenna – if “ordinary” can be used to describe an object quite like this one. I was rather hoping that it might have been the “Eifel Tower” – in actual fact the Sender Eifel – the tallest structure in the Rhineland-Palatinate at 302 metres, but that’s about 60 miles further north at Kirchweiler

So whatever it is, I shall have to continue to make enquiries

wind turbines saar valley germany eric hallThese objects are much easier to identify, because we have seen plenty of them on our travels around here and there.

Across the river over there – brcause the river is just down there in that velley in the middle distance – is one of the highest points in this particular region, a mere cockstride from the border with Luuxembourg, right in the path of the westerly winds.

Consequently it’s obviously going to be a prime candidate for a wind farm, and quite right too. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’m all in favour of windfarms, having lived for many years with three wind turbines.

river moselle rehlingen nittel germany eric hallTalking of westward, I’m going west, aren’t I? Continuing along the road towards the border with Luxembourg myself.

It’s a really beautiful drive through this part of the Eifel so I wasn’t in any great rush, but soon enough I arrived at the River Moselle, the “little Meuse”. To the left of this image is Luxembourg and to the right is Germany, for the river forms the boundary between the two.

The town down there is called Rehlingen, a town first recorded some time in the middle of the 12th Century but lost its autonomy in 1974 when its administration was absorbed into that of neighbouring Nittel.

wormeldange luxembourg eric hallOver there is the town of Wormeldange, in Luxembourg and it’sdown by there that we will be crossing over the river into Luxembourg by means of the bridge that links it with the German community of Wincheringen, where I am at this moment.

Lovers of wine would love to come to visit Wormeldange because it’s one of the more important centres of production of Reisling and there are 360 hectares of grapes to have a go at.

But not for me though. Apart from a beer, which was all that there was to drink when we were stranded in a snowdrift half way up a mountain while skiing in Romania one year, I haven’t drunk alcohol for 30 years or so. And in any case, I have an appointment to keep and can’t spare the time to stop.

Into Luxembourg City to find a parking space, and Strawberry Moose received a wave from a friendly pedestrian.

Having found a place to park, I met up with my friend Malou. We had studied together at University all those years ago and still keep in touch. We’ve met up a few times while I’ve been on my travels but not in Luxembourg since about 2001. We went off to have a coffee and a good chat.

Having spent a pleasant hour or so with Malou I headed out of the city northwards in the vague direction of the Belgian border.

hotel kinnen Route d'Echternach, 6550 Berdorf, Luxembourg eric hallDeep in the mountains of the northern part of the country in the town of Berdorf, I ended up at my hotel, the Hotel Kinnen, in keeping up my tradition of spending a night in every country that i’ve visited.

This hotel is another place that has seen much better days in the past when Berdorf was the place to be. And it still has quite a few signs of its former grandeur. In fact, for value for money, it’s one of the best places in which I’ve stayed in Western Europe for quite some considerable time.

Walking around the town later that night, I stumbled upon a pizza place and prevailed upon the chef to make me a special pizza seeing as I hadn’t had one for a few weeks. Now I need some more vegan cheese.

Tomorrow I’m heading to Germany and Belgium. Well on my way home now. Looking at my notes I can see that I’ve already been out for three weeks and it’ll be four weeks by the time that I return home. I wonder if I can remember where it is.

Thursday 13th August 2020 – WHAT A HORRIBLE …

… day it was today.

It all started off during the night, seeing as it was something of a turbulent sleep and so it’s hardly surprising that there were tons of stuff on the dictaphone.

There was some kind of big incident going on, a murder or something like that and everyone was having to be questioned. Castor and Pollux were there and it became a case about their grandparents. It was so that their grandparents whatever they must do they must not go on the next leg of this trip because the stress would do them a lot of harm. I had to remind people of what had been said about this and they had a look. Yes, they were going on the next leg of this trip. I was wondering how I could catch up with Castor and rekindle our friendship. So I really don’t know.

Later on there were half a dozen or so of us, one of whom was another girl whom I particularly fancied. She ended up playing golf with another guy, getting right down to the end. Totally ignoring me and the rest of our little group. You’ve no idea just how hard or difficult it was to be there last night watching her there with this other guy. I was really, really down on my luck as far as that was concerned. Whether or not she had any kind of feeling for him, all she was interested in was playing golf and they seemed to be really having a good time enjoying themselves. I awoke absolutely full of grief, would you believe and drenched in sweat. All kinds of emotions about this. It was really strange. I just felt so bitterly, bitterly disappointed.

Later yet we continued our tramp through this countryside towards the sea, a group of four or five of us. We met the girl again. She was being taught how to walk on high heels by a couple of people. She was totally ignoring us so we just carried on walking in this dry countryside towards the sea and we suddenly seemed to take a different way. Whoever was leading the party branched off down this dirt track instead of along the main road. It brought us out somewhere at a T junction. I asked “how long is it going to be before we get there” but no-one replied, basically as if no-one really knew but didn’t actually want to say so which was a bit strange seeing as we were being guided by some kind of fitbit or GPS or something like that.

There was much more to it than this but as you are probably eating your lunch or something like that, I’ll spare you the gory details. What was interesting was that a couple of times, after awakening, I went straight back into a nocturnal voyage exactly where I had left it. And that’s happening more and more frequently these days.

But at least it was a very welcome return for Castor who put in an appearance, although it wasn’t under any sort of circumstances that I would have welcomed.

The upshot of all of this was that I was awake long before the alarm went off and so I had plenty of time to catch up with some paperwork before Hans surfaced.

After a coffee, we went out to breakfast at the cafe across the road and then we went to REWE so that he could do his shopping. And I was impressed by the amount of vegan products – even vegan cheese – available in there now.

Having packed Caliburn I headed off into the sunset – definitely going west.

And all the way this afternoon we had one hiccup after another. Roadworks, diversions – you name it we had it.

road accident traffic lights schwieberdingerstrasse Enzweihingen germany eric hallThe road out of Stuttgart was gridlocked and it took hours to clear, only for us then to run into a serious accident in the Schwieberdingerstrasse Enzweihingen.

And I’ve really no idea what was going on here. We had a motorhome that had ground to a halt in the middle of the traffic lights and a lorry on the other side of the road parked blocking the traffic looking as if it’s had bits knocked off it.

There were crowds of peopel around watching the events and a couple of policemen taking details but no one, and I do mean no one at all, controlling the traffic and it was all total mayhem. We were sitting in this queue for ages trying to make some kind of headway.

road accident traffic lights schwieberdingerstrasse Enzweihingen germany eric hallAs we approached the junction, inching bit by bit over a period of about an hour we could see that there was another actor in our drama.

If you look closely to the right, you’ll see that there’s a car in the hedge too and it’s difficult to see how it’s come to be there in that position.

Eventually, after a great deal of trouble fighting our way through the chaos we managed to reach the open road. And if that wasn’t enough to be going on with, round by Donauworth the heavens opened and we had one of the most astonishing rainstorms that I have ever seen. The temperature plummeted by 13°C in a matter of a couple of minutes and the rain continued for a good few hours.

What made my bad day worse was that I didn’t realise that there are two towns with the same name in Germany and of course I had booked a hotel there. Consequently, when I arrived in the town after a drive off my route of 60 kms, I couldn’t find the hotel. As a result I had to drive 80kms in the other direction past where I started to find the correct Malsch.

By now it was 20:30 and there was no restaurant open anywhere (it was too late to start up the slow cooker) so that was that.

The hotel is a little dated but then again so is the price so I’m not complaining. I’m hoping to have a decent night’s sleep as I want to have a good day on the road tomorrow.