Sven and Andreas' vacations – Published for friends at Wordpress :)

Month: August, 2021

Day 14: Nürnberg – Karlsruhe

Early out today… breakfast at 0800 as our train left Nürnberg around 0930 for a tour through through Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg towards Karlsruhe.

After a very nice last ever breakfast in this MARITIM hotel, we joined Nürnberg Central station where our train was put in service today – perfectly on time. We had one of the new concept trains called INTERCITY 2. It is a double-decker train, approved up to 160 kmh (=100 mph) with five carriages only. The connection ran from Nürnberg via Crailsheim, Aalen, Stuttgart, Pforzheim to Karlsruhe on regional tracks that were planned and constructed as such in late 19th century or shortly thereafter. Only shortly, between Stuttgart and Vaihingen, we joined fast track infrastructure.

Unfortunately, we had some delay developping on our ride as the train conductor reported some problems with one of the IC2 carriages. That lead to a 40 minutes stop in Schorndorf. Luckily, Deutsche Bahn was able to fix it eventually and we were able to continue our ride without further issues.

After arriving at Karlsruhe Central Station, we took a taxi to our hotel KAISERHOF which is situated close to the core city center. We took some refreshments and went out for lunch right away – on a terrace in warm and sunny 29 degrees Centigrade. We continued our visit at the ‘Badisches Landesmuseum’ located in the castle of Karlsruhe. For four Euros entrance fee, we did not miss the opportunity to climb the staircase towards a gallery on top of the castle tower where we were able to take some nice panoramic pictures of the surroundings. In the background, we were able to see the hills of the Pfälzer Wald, Odenwald, Black Forest and Vosges – latter ones already in France – as Karlsruhe lies in the Rhine rift valley. Finally, we took a short stroll through the ‘Schlosspark’ before taking some rest in our hotel room.

To close the day, we went to a tapas bar close by – called BESITOS – where we had authentic Spanish food, wine and cocktails to celebrate the last evening abroad on this year’s trip.


Day 13: Münster – Nürnberg

The original plan was to go to Cologne and visit Little Bretzel – but as he was not present and the train connections were still somehow impaired after the flooding events in the weeks before, we decided upon a destination change. We found a good replacement in Nürnberg that we visited already last year. The train connection was realised from Münster via Hamm, followed by a direct ICE connection to Nürnberg, taking all over around 4h30 of planned travel time.

A little incident on the high speed track between Kassel and Würzburg – fault of a switch – caused some 30 minutes delay as we were hold back in the train station of Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe. Otherwise the train ride was again uneventful. For the third and last time during this INTERRAIL trip, we went on this particular high speed track with a velocity of 250 kmh (=155mph).

We took a room in hotel MARITIM, close to the train station which – as we learned – is going to shut down in mid August as the building was sold to another owner and the lease contract was discontinued. We particularly liked this hotel in Nürnberg – next time, we need to look for a different place.

After some short refreshments we took a walk through the city center in fantastic summer weather and visited the historical Handwerkerhof where we took lunch – Nürnberg sausages with a hump of dark franconian beer. We continues through the city and returned to Hauptbahnhof. After a short ride with S2 (three stops direction Southeast), we arrived at Dutzendteich, a Park-Stadium-Lake area where we wanted to visit a creepy historical site – the so called Zeppelinfeld. At this site, the Nazi party has constructed a large area for their ‘Reichsparteitag’ events. It is as big as twelve full sized football fields. Thinking about all of the cruelties these people have done between 1933 and 1945, we visited the site in silence, took some photos for documentation and returned to Nürnberg’s inner city.

We took another circle through the ‘Innenstadt’ of Nürnberg, this time on a path which we have taken yet before retiring at our hotel as it was already late.

Two train videos have been taken, one of an arriving ICE2 double traction service in Hamm, one of a passing S-Bahn in Nürnberg:

Day 12: Bremen – Münster

After a great breakfast and a short swim in the PARKHOTEL outdoor pool, we checked out and walked the short distance to the Central train station of Bremen.

Today’s direct connection by Intercity train brought us in a bit more than one hours traveltime to the city of Münster. We have chosen this place as we wanted to learn more about the ‘Westphalian Peace treaty’ from 1648 which ended the 30-years-war in Central Europe. We have learnt quite a lot about it via several documentaries in ARTE television, however, seeing the sites in person is always somehow more touching and lets visitors understand the issues, the history, the success and the loss of war and land much better.

After checking in our hotel KAISERHOF just opposite of the Central train station in Münster, we took a walk into the city center of Münster to see the ‘Friedenssaal’, the place in the old town hall where the peace treaty was actually signed 373 years ago. You can really feel the history made in this building – with all paintings of the participants distributed in the room – Swedish, Spanish, French, Dutch, Roman Empire, Venetian, Bohemian, Bavarian, Clerical representants from both sides, etc.

We continued in Münster’s Stadtmuseum to gather more information about this period of history – and to learn more about the city that was also part of the Hanse.

For dinner, we have been looking around as we did not want to reserve any special place. Eventually, we found a Peruvian restaurant called ‘La Costanera’, located beautifully in a little side path next to the river Aa. What we did not know – it was the National holiday of Peru and loads of Peruvians gathered there to have dinner, drinks and fun. We enjoyed a lot our Spanish speaking company and stayed until close to midnight before returning to our hotel by taxi.

Day 11: Having a Rest Day in Bremen

The spa facilities of PARK HOTEL in Bremen were open – a very nice surprise for us as many others of hotels in different federal countries of Germany had to be closed due to the Corona pandemic.

So we decided to take a rest day in the hotel spa. The SPA’RKS environment in our hotel was absolutely magnificent. It offered several fitness, training and sports rooms with machines and sport appliances as well as the Pool and Sauna area. The outdoor pool has been 20 meters long and contained different water massage applications that the users were able to activate themselves.

The best of all was the Sauna environment – typically for Germany to be used without any clothes on, only a large sauna towel is required (provided for free by the friendly hotel staff). It had two steam baths and two saunas. Additionally, we had quiet resting areas and feet baths available. Due to sanitary distancing rules, the jacuzzi and the snow chamber had to be closed unfortunately. You can imagine that we enjoyed it like little purring cats. As you can understand, we took no photos in this environment.

In the evening, we went out for a walk after reserving a table in a tapas bar in the Schnoor quarter of Bremen. The AIOLI restaurant offered a great selection of Spanish food and drinks that was very enjoyable and of good quality. The restaurant owner – from the Netherlands – was very kind and served us personally together with his international team. We enjoyed our stay very much and will certainly come back, a very nice place indeed.

On our walk back to the hotel, we decided to  follow the Weser river northbound and turn right after the train bridge into the direction of our hotel. We were passing some new office quarters and eventually the park north of the central train station.

What a nice Rest Day in Bremen – spontaneous decisions are simply great if they work out as such!

One video of a train passing the Weser bridge:

Day 10: Bamberg – Bremen

Waking up in Bamberg City Center was some sort of brutal this morning. Exactly at 07:02 in the morning, a City Cleaning troop started to service the flowers on the Regnitz bridge. Shouldn’t be a problem, I would like to say in general – if the guys would not have operated a petrol consuming water pump on their service vehicle, five meters away from our hotel room. From silence in dreams to a horrendous and unstandable noise in a second… and it ran the whole two hours just underneath the hotel windows. Just terrible organisation by the city authorities and not a very good advertisement of Bamberg that just welcomes back their tourists. Just an advice: Doing this job from 10 to 12 would have been advisable. You just don’t do it in the core city center at this time.

After a good breakfast, we took a walk through Bamberg’s old town. Church influence, Christianity and Catholicism is ever present in town – monuments, house decorations, fountains speak a lot about this in Northern Bavaria’s episcopal city. It definitely has its charme and due to minimal destruction in World War 2, the core inner city is well preserved, it is worthwhile taking pictures at every corner.

After checking out, we walked towards the Central train station to take our train to Bremen. Changing trains twice on such a trip with pretty tight change schedules is always a bit risky – but we made it eventually, even on time.

Our hotel in Bremen has been the PARKHOTEL, located in the city park, just North of the Central train station. As we planned to stay in Bremen for two nights, we booked a suite – and got a super marvellous room, the ‘Shanghai Suite’ in the main building.

We reserved a nice dinner table in the RATSKELLER of Bremen where we had – once again – a lovely table in a separee room that had still the old decor and intimate feeling of the Hanse days, a very lovely place.

After the dinner, we walked back to the hotel and finished the day in our suite – opening a bottle of wine on the balcony, enjoying the great time and ambiance that our room presented to us.

Two videos from the Regnitz bridge in Bamberg: