Day 16 & 17 Update

Day 16 started with the Technik Museum in Sincheim. Not knowing what I was in for, I had a minor blowout.

The first thing you see from the autobahn is the Concorde and Tupolev sitting on the roof, which you can climb aboard and inspect. Never thought that would happen. Amazing.

In two massive sheds, the place has 300 classic cars, 200 motorcycles, 40 racing cars (including the biggest display of F1 cars in Europe), 60 planes, 20 trains… A bit hard to list the the highlights, but the 6 wheel Tyrell, and a Ferrari F40 sitting next to a Lamborghini Countach would have to be up there. It’s no British Museum, but for a machine nut, it’s pretty special.

Drove through the Alsace wine region in France to get to Strasbourg for lunch. Checked out the cathedral, and had a walk around town- very nice. Everything has a lovely old feel about it, largely because it didn’t take much of a hit in the war.

Next stop was back over in Germany at the Black Forest. After possibly being lost, but taking a lovely detour through some amazing wine country, we arrived in Obertal. A massive storm a few years ago wiped out a lot of trees, but it’s still an incredible place (with great wine).

After a walk through the Black Forest on Day 17, which included a climb up a hunter’s lookout, we headed off to Heidelberg Castle. Another fantastic joint, with a very good audio guide.

Back to Frankfurt for a short kip, before heading off to a birthday party in Eltville, on the Rhine River. It was a bit of a summer festival, where all of the local wineries had stands, coupled with local food vans. €10 bottles of wine = winning.

This sort of thing would never happen in Australia, because-
A) it would end in an all-in brawl because Aussies can’t handle booze
B) the vendors would charge top-dollar.

Went to bed late. Was worth it.

Trip Day 16 Technik Museum Sinsheim

ConcordeMuseumMuseumMuseumFerrari F40Brutus
JaguarOff roadMuseumMuseumMuseumMuseum
IndycarMuseumTyrellF1Jordan F1Eddie Irvine
Mario AndrettiProst WilliamsSauber F1TupolevTupolevTupolev

Day 14 & 15 Update

Off to Hamburg on the very quick Inner City Express train, which takes about 4 hours. When you consider the price, time it takes, and the fact that it drops you right in the middle of town, it’s definitely better than flying.

Saying that, the 7:00am kickoff from Frankfurt wasn’t ideal.

Walked via the Chilehaus to the Maritime Museum. It was good, very well done, but it did drag on a bit. At 10 storeys high it was a bit of a hike, and there were an incredible number of model boats. The funny thing was that in the 10 levels of museum there was only one actual boat.

Across the road I stumbled across “Prototype”, which was an uber cool car museum. From the 40 odd vehicles on exhibit, the two that really get your attention are the first F1 cars for Schumacher (Jordan), and Vettel (Sauber). There was heaps of interesting memorabilia on display, trinkets, posters, photos etc. In the basement was an exhibition dedicated to Wolfgang Von Trips.

From there, we found an open top tour bus and did a lap of the city. The tour guide was incredibly funny. If you knew German. But it was still good. Toured past the harbour, downtown, lakes, university district, with a special feature on the red light district, which is apparently a big tourist drawcard.

Alighted from the converible bus when a rain shower came over, and walked through town to our hotel. Had dinner at a local burger chain (when in Hamburg…), where for €10 you get a massive feed. The upgrade from a glass of softdrink to a 500ml beer is 50c. Only seems fair.

With London lag dragging on, we woke up at 10am. Walked through town before getting slightly disorientated while shopping.

Had to walk back to the other side of town for a cruise around the harbour. Had an afternoon meal on a fireboat, before more shopping and the homebound train.

Trip Day 9 London

Harrods food hallMeteoriteGreenwichGreenwichGreenwichCaptain Cook
GreenwichGreenwichGreenwichGreenwichTower of LondonTower of London
Tower of LondonTower of LondonTower of LondonTower BridgeTower of LondonBank of England
British MuseumBritish MuseumBritish Museum

Trip Day 9 London, a set on Flickr.

Day 9 Update

Well then. Started the day with a 15 minute train ride to Greenwich. The fact
that it took 45 was mildly annoying. As was the weather, which for most of the
day consisted of precipitation. Anyhoo…

Walked up the hill at Greenwich to the Observatory, checked my watch and stood
in the east and west segments of the world.

Caught the very fast ferry into the Tower of London. I guess I probably should
have purchased a ticket online, because the outdoor queue (in the rain) was
shit. Plus people were buying tickets in the fashion Lenny purchased a pretzel
from the Pretzel Wagon (look it up).

Once inside, I headed over to the line up for the Crown Jewels. Despite the
fact that the queue outside the vault (in the rain) took an hour to clear, the
Jewels were rather brilliant and worth the effort. Had a wander around the rest
of the Tower, but by this stage my enthusiasm was fading fast (due to the
rain), so I couldn’t be bothered lining up for some of the other buildings,
which also featured long non-moving queues in the rain.

Because I am a fan of money, I hiked up to Bank of England and their museum.
Good show, but the most interesting thing was their reasoning of sticking with
paper notes, which essentially boiled down to “because we said so.” Another
annoying thing about English currency is that the notes are too big to fit in
my standard Australian wallet. At least they’ve gone metric…

Next stop was St Paul’s Cathedral. Having seen some fairly hefty churches on
the European continent, they’ve all got nothing on this place. Wowsers.

A quick tube ride later, and I was at the British Museum.

Now I’m a fan of visiting museums, and I’m a nerd for documentaries on the
teev. But this place has ruined all other museums for me forever.

100 out of 10. What a place! Where in an Australian museum there might be a tin
of baked beans from the 1960s, the British Museum has a rather hefty range of
Egyptian mummys. I cannot believe that some of things they have on show are the
genuine article… if you ignored the signs, you could seriously lay hands on
some of these treasures.

By the time I got to the upper levels of the Asian exhibits, my brain was
pretty spent. If you looked closely at everything, and read every description,
you could seriously be there for weeks.

Tubed it over to Harrods to check out the food and wine hall, which makes the
David Jones attempt in Melbourne look like a D grade kids team. Impressive.

Walked back to Piccadilly Circus, stumbled across a bookstore called
Waterstones, whose range made Autobooks (the leading London motoring bookshop)
look a bit average. Resisted the urge to put myself massively into debt, but if
I’m still cashed up on Monday, lookout!