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The Good, the Bad, and the So-So: England, Germany, Austria

The Good, the Bad, and the So-So: England, Germany, Austria

Sep 22nd, 2009, 05:35 PM
  #41  
yk
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Peg, I'm glad that the Caspar David Friedrich paintings lived up to your expectation. They are at the Alte Nationalgalerie, if the info in this thread is correct:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...h-question.cfm
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Sep 23rd, 2009, 07:55 AM
  #42  
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Irishface: Once I couldn't find reverse on a rental car. I had to stop and ask some city streetworkers where the darned thing was.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2009, 09:38 AM
  #43  
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The Schloss Lübbenau had the best breakfast spread I've ever seen...really fantastic! I even saw a bottle of champagne and some glasses on the table. I wanted to take a picture of the spread but couldn't quite bring myself to do it among all these prosperous upper-class-looking Europeans. I guess I didn't want to look like an American hick.

On to Quedlinburg, south of Magdeburg, another highlight of my trip. I stayed at the Romantik Hotel am Brühl, which was/is a great hotel. When I walked into my room, I couldn't believe that I was paying just slightly more than for that hovel in London--90 euros per night. It was a wonderful room, tastefully decorated and comfortable. The bathroom was very large and fitted out with a stool, towel warmer, grab bar in the tub and the like.

The first thing I did was to hunt out the church, St Wiperti, as I wanted to go to Sunday Mass. However, when I finally located it, I learned that on the morrow, the priest would be off on a Wahlfahrt (pilgrimage) to another church, and there would be no Mass. I figured if God wanted me to go to Mass, He'd have made sure the priest would be there the next day, so it was His fault that I would miss Mass. How's that for rationalization?

I found this out when I went down into the crypt, where a man, presumably the sacristan, was explaining the history of the church. The crypt was part of the original church, dating back 1000 and more years.

As Ingo said, the church is beautiful in an austere way, quite stunning. It's Romanesque and very long and narrow, painted white, the other color the brown of the wood in the pews and in the vaulted ceiling. On each side of the altar are stylized representations of the apostles.

The church had fallen into total disrepair until the fall of the East German government. There was a shocking display showing its appearance before it was rehabilitated--with funds from various agencies. This same type of disrepair and subsequent rehabilitation was evident throughout the town of Quedlinburg, though not to the extent in St. Wiperti. I alter saw an interesting display in the Fachwerk Museum, where a local photographer had documented the condition of various buildings before and after die Wende--the Change.

The town, a UNESCO World Heritage city, is like something you'd see in a Grimm's fairy tale book. It's just fabulous, filled with colorful Fachwerk buildings, twisting streets, a charming surprise around every corner. I wandered around aimlessly, taking it all in, until on one corner I heard a couple speaking English. I commented that I thought we were the only English speakers in town, and we chatted a bit. They were an older couple--though, come to think of it, they may have been younger than I am.

After a while I found the town's main square and found an outdoor table for a coffee. Who should wander in and join me but the delightful English couple--who were actually a South African woman and German-born English man. We spent a hour or two talking and laughing--lots of fun.

They went off to return to their hotel in Wernigerode, and I took a tour on the "Bimmelbahn," a bus tarted up to look like a train. The tour was terrific, taking us through streets we probably wouldn't have seen if we'd had to do it on our own. What a beautiful, beautiful place.

After the ride on the Bimmelbahn, I attempted to find my way back to the hotel. You notice that I say "attempted." I got considerable exercise that afternoon....
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Sep 23rd, 2009, 09:47 AM
  #44  
 
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We're off to Quedlinburg tomorrow. Hopefully, we will do a day trip to Wernigerode if we have the stamina. We're definitely feeling old on this trip. Me with my not quite yet healed surgically repaired knee and DH with a few migraines.

We're staying at the Quedlinburger Stadtschloss and hope it is as nice as it looks on the internet.
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Sep 23rd, 2009, 10:10 AM
  #45  
yk
 
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Peg, I need to take notes. All these smaller towns sound so wonderful!
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Sep 23rd, 2009, 10:11 AM
  #46  
 
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I can well imagine how beautiful the "Grimm's Fairy Tale" sights may have been. Then meeting an English speaking couple for a chit chat--laughing and talking is icing on the cake!!

Waiting for the next adventure.

Also please share, what kind of shopping did you do and what was the best dessert you ate in any of your beautiful destinations.
ileen is online now  
Sep 23rd, 2009, 01:02 PM
  #47  
 
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Love that word "bimmelbahn", such fun to say!
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Sep 23rd, 2009, 01:12 PM
  #48  
 
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Glad you enjoyed Quedlinburg as much as we did last year. What a place. Keep the report coming, please!
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Sep 23rd, 2009, 02:09 PM
  #49  
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bettyk: I definitely felt Time's Winged Chariot nipping at my heels this trip! I keep telling myself that it's because I need to lose weight, but even if/when I do that, I'll still be ooooooold!

It's made me realized that I need to have as much fun as possible as soon as possible.

Ileen: My sister always says that she was born without the shopping gene, and the same thing goes for me. The only thing I bought was books to read while I rested my feet.

As to desserts--ice cream dishes with sauces, various strudels, usually with whipped cream and/or ice cream. Nothing very creative, but good nonethe less.
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Sep 28th, 2009, 07:31 PM
  #50  
 
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Great report! My wife and I have not spent as much time as we should have in the former GDR. You are definitely spurring my interest. Thanks!
jgwagner4 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 04:00 AM
  #51  
 
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Pegontheroad:

Oh how I relate to your "I definitely felt Time's Winged Chariot nipping at my heels this trip" - what a delightful style of writing you have.

I was sorry to hear about the disappointing London hotel. Did you do all your booking ahead of time?

Thanks for sharing your travels.

Sandy
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Sep 29th, 2009, 02:38 PM
  #52  
 
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Peg, hope the foot is coming along. I was hoping that there was more to your travel tale!
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Sep 30th, 2009, 10:10 AM
  #53  
 
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Peg,

very interesting report. Quedlinburg and Wernigerode are two of my favourite towns in the Harz (Halberstadt e.g. is not, although it is famous for its Gothic cathedral and -treasure). The difference to the times before the wall came down is amazing. You cannot imagine how the houses looked like back then! Although there is still a lot of renovation work left to do it's like night and day.

Somewhat funny (right now, reading your report, certainly not when you experienced this ...) is that you got lost a couple of times. Wondering how this could happen?

Thanks for the report!

I.
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Oct 5th, 2009, 02:53 AM
  #54  
 
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PegOnTheRoad, my big sis, is the best travel partner you could ask for, ready to go and, best of all, ready to stop for a bite whenever you are! In the past, we visited France, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, and Germany together. I'm so grateful to her for introducing me to so much of the world, as she has always been the intrepid traveler, while I was late to the party. Missed this trip, but with all the getting lost, it might have been just as well!

Fun trip report, Peg!
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Oct 9th, 2009, 12:51 PM
  #55  
 
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Peg, did you get to Vienna?
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Oct 28th, 2009, 01:36 PM
  #56  
yk
 
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Here's the link to the second part of Peg's trip report:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-to-vienna.cfm
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Oct 28th, 2009, 02:02 PM
  #57  
 
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Thanks for the link, yk!

I'm just beginning to think about a trip to Vienna and look forward to Peg's account.
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