GENERAL INFO (Jump to Diary)|
Germany is actually rightfully named Federal Republic of Germany, and it is made up by sixteen constituent states, covering an area of 357,021 square kilometres. It is a federal, parliamentary, representative democratic republic with 82 million inhabitants.
60% are Christians, 35% have no religion while Muslims makeup around 4% and the rest is miner groups of Jews, Buddhists and Hindi.
The currency is Euro, worth 7,46 Danish Krone. They have quite some of them as the GDP is around 3,5 trillion US$.
climate varieties from north to south and into the mountains, but it is
generally a temperate seasonal climate, making the summers the best
time to visit, unless you are a passionate skier.
I have seen quit some of Germany before, but
mainly the nurseries and botanical gardens. This time, I will pass bye some
of the other interesting sights, mainly in the north-eastern and
south-eastern regions. See the plan on the Map-Page.
5/5. After a month, I now return in the morning from Austria, and passes the border in the early morning. It is only marked with a simple road sign, but the area is fantastic. I stop right away at an almost dry river, and do a bit of walking in the area. Then I head straight for the Schloss Linderhof. Build in around 1870, but as a Gothic palace. It is rather small, but extremely extravaganced.
I am lucky an English tour starts in ten minutes - except everyone seem to be on it, including 30 Americans and 15 Indians. As it is a small house, and everyone have to be in the same room at the same time, I nag a bit, and are offered to join two Germans on the next tour in ten minutes. That works for me, and I even understand everything the guide tells.
Inside the little building, everything is with just one more detail, all covered in gold leafs. The Bavarian king was a big fan of Louis 14. and called him self the Moon King. It is a bit like Lois 14. meet the Vatican! But I'm not aloud to make any photos - which is hard. Even harder to hide in a group of three!
Back in the park, I see the huge fountain, higher than
the house! Here are several satellite buildings; The Mamurian Kiosk, the
Hundegrotte (with a tree and an indoor waterfall), a minute church and the
The place area is getting crowded, and I head on towards my next sight. The road once again leads through the lowlands of Tyrol and the Alps, and here are so many motives. The endless grass fields are covered in dandelions, the barren peaks almost clear, the huts build in timber and surrounded by flowering apple trees, while the sun is shining.
of the way is on the scenic route; Deutscher Alpenstrasse, and it is
great. I pass the little town of Ettaller, which have a huge dome and
building. If I got the time, I have to find out what that is about.
I find the Partnachklamm trail, but at least the first part just reminds me of a Danish forest. The Zugspitze is covered in clouds, and I just head on. A lot of Alpish countryside, and then I reach Mittenwald. It is called a village, but it is rather big, containing of mainly old and decorated houses. Either painted on the plaster walls or carved in wooden facades.
I do several tours around, and try to see it all. Their Maypoles are blue- and white striped around here, and they reach the sky! The church is beautiful, and what I haven't seen before; The seats have names. And not two signs are alike. When I feel I have seen it all, I head on towards Oberammergau. Again, it is through the most lovely landscape.
I pass Ettaller again, and do a bit of walking around. I fail to find the propose of the large building, but on the internet, I learn it is a Klosterbrauerei. Well, I don't like beer anyway. The rest of the little town is not that interesting, and I head on.
Oberammergau is another rather large villages with decorated houses and a lot of restaurants. They are specialists in wooden carvings, and here are everything from altarpieces to minuet animal figures. All with a perfect finish and detailed.
I have to visit several of the shops, and by accidence, I also enters one selling balls for Christmas trees and alike. But the carvings are extremely well done, and considering how much time that each piece must take, rather cheap. Either it are old farts, having nothing better to do, or made in China or a clever machine.
The sun vanish, and I head on towards the north. At
five, I start looking for a camp site, and I find a cheap one. Well,
then you have to pay for showers and internet....
6/5. I do not have that much to see today, but I have an appointment in a nursery tomorrow nearby, so I just take it slow. Well, I tried, but I'm not good at that. I start driving up to Andechs, which according to my notes should be great Alps. But north??
The landscape turn more and more flat, and start looking quite like Denmark. Well, here are a few more hills and patches of forest, and less birds of pray. And the farmers seems to prefer grass for grain. I only see a few loose cows on the fields, but to judge from the smell and the massive harvest of green grass, there are numerous cows hidden inside.
is a cloudy in the morning, but I stop at a meadow with Eriophorum
and orchids, to have a small stroll around. Here are a lot of familiar
plants, and hardly any unknown.
The road lead into some beech forests, and the sun start to join in. I pass a few small villages, formed around their church. Then I reach Andechs, which absolutely is NO Alp village. It is a monastery brewery; Andechs, from 1455. I don't recall planning to see any breweries, but here I am. I see the area, and peek into the church where a service is on - just because someone else does it.
Then I walk around in the area, but despite the brewery is that old, here are not really much to see. The brewery it self is a modern factory next to the old horse stables - which are closed. Then I drive the short distance to the village, but here are just as little to see.
Into the farmlands again, and they still look so much like Denmark. I reach Fishbach where it widens out, and look almost as a sea - or at least a fjord. Besides from the nursery, I only have one sight left in this part of Germany, and it is way down in the south - and should contain Alps!
I set the GPS for the scenic tour, which leads in a huge loop north around München. If it hasn't turned into such a great summer day, it would have been a dull tour. But in this great weather, I just enjoy the drive, although it look so much like Denmark - the more pretty parts that is.
I see the great arena from a distance: It look like
the Michelinman if he was a doughnut. I am sure München would offer some
interesting sights, but I'm just not up for a huge city.
The next 100 kilometres is through small forests and farmland, mainly with grass still. A few rape fields are flowering, while the corn is just started growing. Quite some fields are still barren, and I can't figure what they grow on them. Corn is the last to sprouts in Denmark. Green grass is harvested in big scale. It seems like they let it dry for a day or two, before they turn it into silage.
areas reminds me of Stevns in Denmark, others of Jutland. But surely way
more familiar than I would have expected it, this far south. Then the Alps are
glimpsed in the misty distance, and the resemblance disappears.
I reach Berchtesgaden, but the description I
read; "Drop dead gorgeous Alps" only apply, if you just arrival from
Denmark. I have seen way more magnificent Alps by now. I do the
street - which is pretty much everything, and start the tour back. Well, I
try to find a way deeper into the Alps, but end up in Austria!
supermarkets are closed on Sundays, and I'm out of
fresh salad. For a second time, I buy dinner, this time a real fabulous
vegetarian pizza at a Greek run place, near the campsite. Then
it is back to the riverside and process the few (hundreds of) pictures of
7/5. I have some time to spare in the morning, and catch-up on my office work, then find some highlights from the previous countries. Meanwhile, I try to freshen the car, but I'm afraid it still bare witness of me spending 20 hours in it, every day for a month.
It is a perfect summer day, starting with sun at the early crack. It would have been nice in some of the mountain countries! I head straight for Plapp, who sell cacti and caudiciforms. It is a hour through the flat agriculture landscape I drown yesterday afternoon, and it is still beautiful.
Herr and Frau Plapp are lovely people, and their
nursery is in a pristine state: Every plant look great, and here are no weed
at all. I see their plants, and the enormous garden work,
they are in the middle of. They
5800 square metres, and they are transforming it into a astonishing show garden.
I have found a VW garage, and I hope they can cure the "klonk" sound. Two other garages hadn't a clue, and I fear it is the gearbox. It is huge, and you can eat from the floor in the workshop. I'm offered cappuccinos or cold drinks every ten minutes.
The foreman take the car for a spin, and he guess on the gearbox, after he had on the lift, and tinkled with it. Then a mechanic do the same, and as far as I understand, he guess on the gearbox. Then a third do the same, while I'm seated in the comfortable lounge. The foreman joins me after ten minutes, and say: "We have fixed it, you can head on safely now".
I had expected a week in a tent and a bill over €3.000, and feel I must be dreaming. It turned out, it was two loose blots in the engine suspension. They tighten them, and won't charge me. I offer €40 for the coffee-box, and the foreman take €20.
Then I head back south a third time, course towards Austria. It still look like Denmark until the Alps and the border turns up.
This have been a short visit, and only to a tiny bit of Germany. I've been here three days, driven 788 kilometres, taken 610 photos and spend €142.