Archive for April, 2008

Laundry..mostly returned

Well, today I went and picked up my wash.  I got back almost everything.  2 lange Hosen fehlen.

What’s that mean you say…yeah, me to. Babel to the rescue! 2 long trousers are missing. I believe I was told to come back tomorrow to get them.  Most importantly..I have “whites” to wear.  So no commando for me! *whew*

Lost Castle..and the weekend.

Today I went looking for a lost castle, and, I didn’t find it. It’s supposedly only accessible by walking if you park in a spot. So I parked in the spot it said…and I walked around for about 3 hours. I never found no ruins. I found vineyards and a dog who growled at everything.

Pictures when I get around to it (aka tomorrow)

Then I went to a castle that I could find…and it was great! Guttenburg is recommended — they even made funny of the sole American in the audience. (That much I understood.)

Saturday I was in France and Baden Baden. Camera battery died for some reason, so..not that many pictures from Saturday…and I forgot how to get back to the car for a while Saturday – thankfully, the church is tall and I eventually meandered back.

I was going to go to Switzerland… but I think I’ll take a pass… it’s a long drive there, and I just don’t want to spend more then 1.5 hrs in a car one way.

Note…ordering a Quarter Pounder with cheese, medium fries and a coke could cause one or two people to burst into laughter as the poor girl behind the counter gets all deer in headlight’s on ya. Stick with Hamburger La Royal, Pommes unt Coke! (then gesture as to get a big coke…it works).

Laundry day

Today is Laundry Day…and it’s coming at a good time!

A co-worker searched and asked, and located one that’s very near work. (It’s in the “food” area from my maps.)  Another co-worker went with yesterday to translate and make sure it wasn’t just a dry cleaners. No one has found a self-service laundry….so…

This morning, I’ve packed up my whites, my darks, and my pants into separate bags.  I think it’s around 20kg’s of clothes to be washed.  I have no idea how much this will be…we’re going today after lunch to drop it all off.  Maybe I’ll get it back Monday… maybe not.  I only have 4 days of clean clothes left…this could get..smelly!

Speyer and Heidelberg

First up…the Technik Museum Speyer!


See, there it is. Speyer. 12 euros to get in. 2 euros for a worthless English guide book (It’s a copy of their website…).

Speyer has collection of old vehicles. Cars, trains, motorcycles, airplanes, and boats. I was interested in the U9 submarine, Antonv AN22, & Boeing 747. I hadn’t been in any. They also had a model train area. I put in the 1 euro and all the kids loved it! The parents looked at me as if I had betrayed them as I’d seen one take out his wallet and shrug… it was worth it!

So here they are: Me on the wing of a Boeing 747 [flickr]photo:2431091305[/flickr]

and me inside the U9 [flickr]photo:2431092015[/flickr].
Subs aren’t built for tall, or wide, people.

The Antonv is huge! I took this picture peeking out the top observation bubble [flickr]photo:2431907652[/flickr]

Here you can see the Antonv just before I enter a Russian helicopter [flickr]photo:2431091561[/flickr]

I was at the Speyer for a few hours, and got lunch. No english speakers for lunch! I asked if I could see the things under the covers…and the lady was showing lots of soup. But at first I think she thought I insulted her, which if I did, I don’t really know. She said Brat mit Pommes and I said Ja!


Can you believe they charge 0.30 Euros for a packet of Ketchup?! Me either, I got a couple anyway… The sausage was tastey, so was the Pepsi.

I found the pay station for parking before I left…as it was Frei when I got there. The other museum on the grounds wanted another entry fee…so I passed. All in all, I’d not recomend Speyer…there’s bigger and better musems. From Speyer I headed to Heidelberg Castle.

… of course, it took a while to figure out where the exit really was, I ended up finally parking and following someone else out after a few minutes. I really need some better German translation book…the one I have seems to be missing several key words.

Heidelberg Castel!

Wait..that’s not a castle… that just marks where I’m parked…4 stories down, on a huge pedestrian walk way that was miles long. I had to have a reference photo in case I got lost. I drove around for probably 45 minutes before I found parking.

The Castle I’m going to: [flickr]2431095451[/flickr]
It’s a long long walk up to the castle from where I was… I was obvisouly dased in this photo as I had another mile go go straight up. I’m not kidding, it’s up hill, it’s steap. Hnt: When you come to the sign for the Gardens or the Castle…skip the gardens…it’ll quadrupple your walk to the castle.
Here’s the view from one of the resting points up to the castle: [flickr]photo:2431093179[/flickr]
Proof that I made it, and paid my entry fee: [flickr]photo:2431093589[/flickr]
In the courtyard area [flickr]photo:2431093725[/flickr]
I paid 4 Euros for an English Tour, and it was very wrothwile.
I’m in the tour waiting room area…it has stuff to read in English! [flickr]photo:2431094313[/flickr] and things to look at and touch. (*I didn’t touch anything)
You cannot just wander about in the castle. The castle has some issues…it was destroyed, rebuilt, destroyed, rebuilt, burnt, being rebuilt…
On the tour, you visit the library [flickr]photo:2431910580[/flickr]
Notice the lack of walls and ceiling. As I said, its seen rough times.

In one of the halls outside the main rooms [flickr]photo:2431910836[/flickr]

This is an image of the gun powder tower [flickr]photo:2431095177[/flickr]
..the fire mixed pourly with the gun powder causing a devastating remodel moving half the tower…

From the Royal Gardens, over looking the town and Rhein below the castle grounds


If you’ll notice the church steeples to the left…and on upper left corner…I was parked about a mile further up from that. (just short of that second bridge in the distance)

The “Royal Gardens” don’t have much garden. It’s more like grassy area with trees. I think in the future they should build up the gardens again and put whats in the mock ups into the garden. It would be nice, otherwise..the gardens offer a great view of the valley below.

That’s it for Heidelberg and my sunday! It was a great day, nice and warm.

I headed back to my hotel as it was getting late. Heidelberg isn’t that far away…but my car got to 103mpg finally. I think I’ll limit myself to 85mph…anything over that really doesn’t feel safe in my car.

Happy Birthday…to ME!

On this day, in the year of our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Seventy-One…I graced this earth with my presence.

What do I want?

You…leave a comment.  That’s it.

For myself… I think I’ll work late and do a network upgrade, hurray!  Hey…is that a present for me, or the employer?!  dags!

Dinner in Ettlingen

I didn’t feel like walking all over Waldbronn tonight.  Also, apparently on Wednesday…the hotel resturaunt is closed.  I’m glad I arrived on a Thursady.  I would have been lost…

Ok, so Ettlingen…Ettlingen hasn’t been so good to me!  Here’s the site of my worst fall…[flickr]photo:2437200434[/flickr]

I had dinner at the place that was closed last time – Restaurant Portabello, and joked when I walked in if they were open.  They laughed, so they got the joke…I think.  I had a Salmon and Noodle in creamy tomao sauce. And a beer..because beer is 3 euros, a cola is 3.2 euros.  Tastey, yet again.

Then I just meandered about.  I remembered the Museum!  While it’s not open at night, the gates weren’t shut…

Why, what a lovely building!  I believe it was once a minor/small castle type building…


What’s this?  The facade looks a bit interesting..


HEY! Someone just PAINTED the thing! It’s totally flat.  It’s a good paint job..but..uh…I wonder why..


That’s really it… I figure out the parking system.  From 07:00 to 19:00 it’s 2 hours of parking, and that’s why I have this wheel in my car…set the time, toss it on the dash – don’t cheat – and be back.  See, it’s all explained in clear German:


At least it was Frei…and free!


I notice when I write a post “in advance” on note pad…it looks goofy compared to if I use the built in text editor for the blog. (ie: tomorrows post is already written, just need to publish it)

or am I the only one who notices such differences?

Lichtenstein unt Mercedes

On Saturday…it wasn’t a nice sunny day.  I guess this whole April Showers brings May Flowers is strictly enforced in Germany.  It was damp, it was chilly…so I put on my shorts and grabbed my light jacket that isn’t waterproof. (I think it was waterproof back in 1997 when I bought it…)

Off to Lichtenstein!  Thankfully, I had remembered to bring the TomTom into the hotel and programmed the address from the laptop.

It’s important to know some things when you get there… [flickr]photo:2431080997[/flickr]
like, where’s the toliet! (Herren, I think, is Men’s room..unless I’ve forgotten already)

Here’s the path to the castle entrance: [flickr]photo:2431897026[/flickr]

The tour is only in Germany, not enough of us normal talkers about, but, they give you a handy card to tell you about each room: [flickr]photo:2431081515[/flickr] and you can read along and sort of ignore the German.  I am sure I missed little caveats — like the explanation of the toilet in the main dinning hall that’s just a hole in the floor where yo remove some boards.

The castle isn’t very large… 9.6 yards by about 30 yards.  We only went through 2 stories of the castle.  Big room at each end, and a smaller room in the middle.


The views, however, are amazing.  Good building location!  I had lunch outside the castle, and forgot to take a picture.  Fried sausage mit pommes.  No Ketchup, because I forgot to ask…but spicy brown mustard worked great!

[flickr]photo:2431900324[/flickr] [flickr]photo:2431083455[/flickr]

To see’ll have to click an image…we’re moving along to the Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart here! [flickr]photo:2431900902[/flickr] as I walk to the is still raining a bit.

The museum is in the photo above, you don’t get to go to the one with the cool hood emblem on it [flickr]photo:2431901144[/flickr].   So I paid my entrance fee, go the audio tour in English guide (they support every language I believe) and headed off.  You get to an elevator and are whisked to the top floor then you meander down through the years and the cars.  It’s interesting.  I took lots of car pictures, [flickr]photo:2431086007[/flickr] [flickr]photo:2431903776[/flickr].

To see more cars, click above and browse the flickr account.

After leaving Mercedes, I’d driven past a huge festival next to the river.  It wasn’t too long a walk, so I headed to that!  It was fun.  Lots of people, and the rain had mostly stopped by the time I was there.  It was packed.

If you haven’t been to Lakeside Amusement Park, get off you butt and go.  The place in Stuttgart has a newer version of the Chipmunk! [flickr]photo:2431905140[/flickr] I think it’s called Crazy Mouse here.  Same ride, just “updated”.  It was worth the 2 euros.

I also went on the giant ferris wheels! [flickr}photo:2431904782[/flickr] [flickr]photo:2431905324[/flickr]

I then just walked through and went on the roller coaster.  It was fun, and then I got a sausage sandwich for dinner.  I headed out of the park to my car and drove to the Shell to purchase  some unleaded.

I didn’t take a picture of it, but I should.. there’s lots of fuel options.  Diesel, Benohol {sp?}, Super, and something else, and Unleaded.  I got 44 Euros of Unleaded and headed back to the hotel for the night.

And that’s how Saturday was.  It started out cold a rainy…stayed rainy, but it warmed up and was nice by evening.

Tomorrow…I’ll do the Sunday entry for the museum in Speyer and the castle in Heidelberg.

Castles and Fairs!

This is more a teaser….

[flickr]photo:2431095451[/flickr] Heidelberg…

[flickr]photo:2431084575[/flickr] Lichtenstein…

[flickr]photo:2431906030[/flickr] View from the Ferris Wheel in Stuttgart…

Frei? important lesson to know in German..  Frei does not mean Free.  It means available.  As in, Parking Garage Open (Frei Park!)… it has open spots to park, drive in!

Don’t make the same mistakes I do… it’s not as much fun as it sounds.

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