Skinflint Sunday: Germany.

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I think I’m getting better at selfies. This is me on the Rhine river cruise(let) we did today. I call it that because we were only on the boat for an hour or so. To be honest, that was just FINE with me. I think that if I went on one of those cruises where you’re on the boat for 2 weeks or so I’d be jumping the side and swimming for shore after a day or so. It was pretty, but dull. And hot.

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At last my hat got to come out of the suitcase. It’s been folded up, squashed, stuffed into corners and generally ignored. But now that summer has come to Europe I dragged it out. I still got  sunburned neck, but at least the rest of my head was safe.

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The top of the boat was in the blazing sun. I arrived just in time to snaffle the last bit of shade at the front of the boat. I was amazed at how many people settled in to spend their cruise on a white deck in the midday sun.

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Not everyone was happy about it, though. This teenage girl made her own shade.

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I won’t deny that there were some very pretty vistas, particularly with old castles.

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Look at the steepness of the hill this castle is perched on. You’d get very perky bum and leg muscles if you had to scramble up and down that hill every week to the village to do your shopping.

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This is a photo of a church built behind a pub. The only way into the church is to go through the pub. Sometimes the priest stands behind the bar and serves beers.

IMG_3298Here’s the back view as we went past it. You can see how close the two buildings are.

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Grapevines on the hills. Look at how steep the fields are.

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It’s so good to know that the world will clearly not be short of a bottle of wine or two.

Then we drove into Wiesbaden. This is the reason I’ve called this a ‘Skinflint Sunday’ post, even though by the time I post this it’ll be Monday.

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It was her idea. Meet Nicole. She’s been reading the blog since Evan18 was Evan10, so I guess that’s classed as a person with stick-to-it-iveness. She’s German and lives only a short drive from Wiesbaden, so we decided that she should come to dinner on my one night in Germany. How amazing that out of all the towns in Germany, my tour should be going to one so close!

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Not one to arrive for dinner empty handed, Nicole brought an Aldi bag (my favourite store) FULL of German bits and bobs to keep body and soul together while I’m here. There’s even some bath salts, because I’ll be sure to stay in a hotel with a great big bath and then I can indulge.

See the notebook? She made that cover herself.

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This one cracks me up. It’s a keyring for people who go camping. You never know when your camp food might be too bland and you’ll have an urgent need for curry powder, paprika, pepper or salt. Nicole said that these are quite common. I love how organised the Germans are. 🙂

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These were in a separate bag. I now have the beginnings of (maybe) a European quilt, to go with the Canterbury quilts I bought when I was with Deana. I also have buttons and cute sticky notes, along with stamps to use on the kids’ work. Teachers are only in the teaching game for the stationery, so I love them.

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After dinner we went for a walk around the town. I’m very unobservant, so even though we were near this fountain for quite a while, it wasn’t until Nicole casually mentioned that it was hot that I noticed that it had steam coming off it. OMG!!!! You can see it on the dark part of the fountain.

I know Gigi, our tour director, mentioned about the Romans coming here for the hot springs, but really. They’re boiling hot. You can barely touch it.

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The park also had a drinking fountain of the spring water so people can come and take a revivifying draught of the waters to cure whatever ails them.

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It was ….. delicious. Very salty. Mmmmmmmmm…. I felt better already. I don’t need any more of the water; it’d be greedy of me.

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As we were walking around the town she pointed these out to me. Stumbling Stones. I’ve never heard of these before. Basically, the artist who creates these puts them outside the last known addresses of people who were persecuted and were murdered/migrated or who committed suicide because of actions by the Nazis. Of course this mean Jews, but also gay people, Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Black people, anyone physically or mentally disabled… there’s a long list. It’s worth reading the link about it.

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Also as we walked and talked, we got onto the subject of war. I’ve just finished ‘A God In Ruins’ by Kate Atkinson, which is a brilliant read. It was a lot about the bombing raids that the RAF made over Germany in WWII, so it electrified me when Nicole casually waved an arm at a row of buildings and said something like,
Of course it’s easy to see where the bombs fell.”

I gazed at them, subconsciously expecting to see big dents or holes in them.

“What?”

“Look at how there’s an old building on the corner. That was one that made it through. Then there’s a gap with these two newer buildings. They were bombed out. See how they’ve been rebuilt in the space? Then there’s an old building again.”

To her it was obvious and barely needed explaining. To me it was radical stuff. To me if there’s a new building on a street it just meant that the original building had been bulldozed and rebuilt because it wasn’t fashionable enough for a new owner. Obvious once it’s pointed out…

See the different colours on the building above?

Here’s an example that I could fit into the one photo. See how the end of the building is newer than the rest of it? It was rebuilt after the war.

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We finished our walk outside this square. It looks lovely, doesn’t it?

Isn’t blogging amazing? Nicole and I would never have met otherwise. 🙂

 

 

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4 Responses to Skinflint Sunday: Germany.

  1. scottsabode says:

    Same thing with bomb damage in London. As for those cruises – Mark wants to do one for his 60th birthday. They do let you off the boat occasionally, you don’t have to stay on it for two weeks.

  2. Lucinda Sans says:

    When we’re older DH and I want to do a Rheine cruise. No schlapping of luggage.

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