The Anonymous Widower

An Unusual Sculpture Outside Osnabruck Station

It’s rather unusual, as they turn.

Perhaps I should have made a video.

June 15, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Osnabruck

I planned to stop the last night at the same hotel in Osnabruck, that I used on my Home Run From Stockholm, when Deutsche Bahn dumped me unceremoniously in the town. This time I had time for an explore.

It is not the most spectacular of towns, but it is conveniently placed if you’re travelling to Brussels or one of the ports for a journey to the UK. Although, after my visit to Cologne, I think I’ll use that city next time.

June 15, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

From Braunschweig To Osnabruck

This was a leg taken on the top deck of a double-deck Regional train going to a place called Rheine, that I’d never heard of.

These shorter legs on Regional trains can be interesting, as you really see the country well.

What surprised me was the generally simple stations. If there was a means of crossing the tracks, it was never a bridge.

Disabled activists would have had a field day.

What

June 15, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Braunschweig

Braunschweig is known to the British as Brunswick.

I passed through on a train on my Home Run from Gdansk and as it was a place I’d never heard of before that trip, when I planned this trip, I noticed that I could change trains at the city.

This Google Map shows the layout of the city.

Braunschweig

Braunschweig

It could be a sensible stop on a rail trip across Europe.

It was also a friendly stop, which started when the lady in the tram information kiosk, gave precise instructions on how to either walk or use a tram to the centre and then sold me a pair of tickets for the tram. The tram was not very new, but it was in good condition with very good information. Incidentally, the tram system has a unique metre gauge, which is being updated so that the tram routes can share with trains. Sounds like stealth train-trams to me!

As I had a good late lunch in the Cafe Alex, I’m glad I visited. It was only after I returned that I found that it was a brand controlled by Mitchells and Butlers. Some of their UK restaurants I’ve eaten in, don’t know their allergies as well as the Germans.

I must try out some of them again.

June 15, 2015 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Would I Go Back To Dresden, Chemnitz And Leipzig?

I enjoyed my two days spent exploring these three cities in the former East Germany. On a properly planned trip, there is a lot to see to satisfy any particular taste.

I would probably choose Dresden or Leipzig as a base, depending on which was the easiest for you to get to.

An interesting trip would be to perhaps fly to Prague and spend time there, before taking the train to Dresden up the Elbe. After Dresden you could go on to Berlin, from where you could fly home.

Typical journey times are as follows.

Prague to Dresden – 2 hr. 15 min.

Dresden to Chemnitz – 1 hr. 30 min.

Dresden to Leipzig – 1 hr. 30 min.

Dresden to Berlin – 2 hr.

The two shortest routes are double-deck regional trains, so you can relax upstairs and enjoy the countryside. Comfort on these double-deck trains is about the same on say any of the Class 379 trains or similar, that are fairly numerous in the UK. But the on-board train information is generally of a much lower quality than we would accept in the UK.

June 15, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Railway Station In A Tent

Leipzig Airport station is unusual.

But why shouldn’t a railway station have a tented roof, if it’s good enough for Lords and Goodwood  Racecourse?

June 15, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

From Leipzig To Braunschweig

This was the longest leg of my journey from Krakow.

Most of the journey was across the former East Germany, with the old border at Helmstedt, which is on the Magdeburg to Braunschweig Line.

Magdeburg and its Hauptbahnhof seem to be definitely worth a visit. Wikipedia says this about reconstruction of the station after 1945.

At the end of March 1946, the restoration of the electrification was completed on the rail networks in the Soviet occupation zone. The Soviet military authorities then demanded the removal of the overhead line equipment and the transfer of the electrical rolling stock as reparations to the Soviet Union, which was partly returned in the early 1950s in need of repair. The rail network was then electrified for the third time, and electric train operation resumed in 1956. Reconstructed of the main station started in 1946, but without the roof of the historical station was omitted.

In 1974 the Magdeburg S-Bahn was established. More extensive alterations were made in 1984. In 1992, platforms were altered to allow Intercity-Express operation. In 2003, the pedestrian tunnel was extended to connect the various platforms to an entrance on the western side of the station. The station is being modernised again between 2008 and 2015 at a cost of about €300 million.

What a way to manage a railway!

This Google Map shows Magdeburg and its location with respect to the railway and the River Elbe.

Magdeburg

Magdeburg

Magdeburg would be another place for a stopover. It’s probably a city on a par with somewhere like Stoke or Middlesbrough.

June 15, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Philistines Like Islamic State Are Nothing New

We are all worried about what Islamic State will do to important world heritage, as is reported on the BBC in this article about Palmyra.

In Leipzig I came across a modern church that was not to my liking with a model of an old Gothic church in front.

So I got thinking, that perhaps the church was something like a cathedral or important church that had been destroyed in the Second World War.

But it isn’t!

The model church is the Paulinerkirche and it stood on the site. Wikipedia sums up what happened to the church as follows.

The church survived the war practically unscathed but was dynamited in 1968 during the communist regime of East Germany. After the reunification of Germany, it was decided to build a new university church on the site in the shape of the former church. A new building, the Paulinum (formally: “Aula und Universitätskirche St. Pauli”, i.e. “Assembly Hall and University Church St. Paul”), was built on the site beginning in 2007.

Enough said!

 

June 15, 2015 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

The Nikolaikirche

The Nikolaikirche in Leipzig is introduced in Wikipedia like this.

The St. Nicholas Church (in German: Nikolaikirche) has long been one of the most famous in Leipzig, and rose to national fame in 1989 with the Monday Demonstrations when it became the centre of peaceful revolt against communist rule.

As I was close I had to visit.

It seemed shut, so unfortunately, I had to pass on a visit to such an iconic place in the fall of another evil dictatorship. In Peaceful Demonstrations in the church’s Wikipedia entry this is said.

Cabaret artist Bernd-Lutz Lange said about the events which started in the St. Nicholas Church:

There was no head of the revolution. The head was the Nikolaikirche and the body the centre of the city. There was only one leadership: Monday, 5 pm, St. Nicholas Church

But then my father always said that St. Paul’s stood defiantly against the Nazis in the Blitz.

 

June 15, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Leipzig

I didn’t know what to expect in Leipzig and I was pleasantly surprised.

It was another city, where you could find a city centre close to the excellent rail station. I wasn’t specifically looking for a hotel, but I saw several that looked to be a sensible place to spend the night. Although, I’ve just looked for next Friday and everything affordable seems to be sold out.

June 15, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment