Saturday, October 09

Well, it's the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend and we're missing all the Canadian stuff - picturing the lake outside Nels and Marilyn's cottage, with all the brilliant colours, and seeing everyone around the dinner table. But, on the other hand, we woke up in Bamberg! We could hear church bells from every direction as we had breakfast and set out to walk around the town.
First we visited the famous Bamberg Cathedral with the four spires, but we were not able to go very far into the church as a service was underway. We stood quietly and listened for a few minutes and we could see that it is huge and relatively unadorned. The music was lovely and the priest had a nice voice.
From there we walked down to the river and over it to the Saturday morning market - colourful and busy.
Then we stopped at another church, St. Stephan's, which was virtually empty. A lovely peaceful place, with lavish decorations (likely baroque, but I didn't really study them enough to know).
When we left Bamberg, we programmed Helen to take us to Dachau because we wanted to visit the concentration camp memorial. We tried to program the camp as our destination, but failed. So we pointed her to the town centre, expecting to see signs when close. But no, we got no hint! After driving up and down narrow, cobbled streets for a while, we decided we had to give up. Larry said, "maybe we'll run across it on the way out of town". And guess what? He spotted a sign .pointing the way! We'd seen signs reading "KZ" (plus a bunch of German) several times, but he spotted one with English underneath.
Anyway we got there and spent a couple of sad hours understanding what went on there 70 or so years ago. Although it was not an extermination camp, it was still a terrible place where thousands of people suffered and died and we were told that the camp was a model for the many camps where millions were killed.
Leaving Dachau, we tried to program the address of our hotel. The GPS (Helen) didn't recognize the address as given us on our voucher. Apparently there's no such town as "Munich Airport" which was give. So Larry tried "Airport Hotel" in the vicinity of Munich and got one - not ours. Decided to go to it and work from there. It was in a town called Donstadt, quite a distance from the airport. Riding around we saw nothing! Near giving up, Larry programmed "Marriott", "near here" and it turn out to be just around the next corner! So calling these airport hotels is at the very least an exaggeration! [Larry became a hero for the second time today]
Anyway, it's comfortable and has a nice bar and good food, so we're happy to relax here this evening and it'll be an easy 20 minute hop to the airport in the morning.
Today must have been something special, because we saw many, many trailers and RVs on the road, as well as a fair being set up in Bamberg Square. The stores in Dachau were all closed too.
Once again today I was impressed with the richness of the farmland we passed. It was rolling countryside and each town seemed to occupy the highest hill in the area.
We encountered one traffic tie-up because of an accident, but otherwise it was pretty smooth.
[Larry: At this stage I must comment on autobahn driving in Germany. Around Munich the first day it was pretty congested so pretty normal for a QEW fan. But out in the countryside the speed limits disappear; right there are non. Riding in the centre lane the survival speed is around 135-140km/hr. Regularly at 140 in the centre lane several cars (we called them Zoomers) would shoot past with their wind moving our car enough to notice - I give them at least 40-50 over the 140 we do. When you pass someone in the left of 3 you had better keep your eyes on the rear-view mirror as a small speck of a car the will be on your back bumper in seconds! Needless to say that accident we encounter was in the left lane with 3 or 4 cars mashed together. I can guess what happened. But the really scarry thing is that after a week you get used to it. I'm going to have to revise my driving back in Ontario.
Bill Shaw is always amazed by the plethora of expressways in USA. He should see it here! They cross Germany like normal highways in Ontario.]

Photos. Click to enlarge. Select upleft Slideshow for full size show.

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