Sep 25, 2010

An European Journey - 3 (July 13)

A long break after the last journey notes, not sure why the break.. Coming back to completing my tour, looks like I almost got lost in Holland and never made it to Germany.. Anyways, back to the road..

Left Holland in the morning, heading off to the land of Hitler and the Frauleins. Images of Nazi armies walking across fields, with raised arms conjured up my mind, as we headed to Germany. The Germany of power, the Germany of precision, detail, the Barons and the Baronesses, the Frauleins, Count Dracula, Charlie Chaplin.. the list is endless...

Entered in through Dusseldorf, where our first stop was the Koln Cathedral. Koln or Cologne as we pronounce it in English. The first sight of the Cathedral and the response was.. Good God.. That is blacker than a Coal Pit... Amazingly sooted with pollution, the Cathedral was cleaned out a few years ago due to an anniversary, however it was covered in black soot within 2 years. Simply unbeleivable, how far we have gone in our quest for advancement. Germany was brilliant technologically, however for the amount that we all lose in our quest for advancement, are these monumnetal losses worth it?

The Cathedral was beautiful, as all Cathderals are, maintained very well over the decades, some over the centuries. The beauty is of course always on the inside, and I have always wondered, how did the people in those days manage. These cost money to do it, and with more money today, how come we can't build such monuments again..

Visit over, a few touristic snaps done, proceded for lunch, which was truly wonderful.. After about 4 days, a restaurant where the food quality was excellent and ofcourse we enjoyed every bit of it, and of course with a few Biers, as the Germans would say. Lunch over, Beer in tummy, the next visit was a tour of the Rhine River, which is one of the largest in the world. Some of these rivers are truly to be seen to realize the magnitude of their greatness.

A boat ride for the next two hours may seem boring.. But it turned out to be just what I wanted.. A ride on an open boat. .Sitting up on the deck, and watching the scenic views on the River.. Great history, how this was used during the war, and the importance of the 3R's to Germany.. Rail / Road / River. Covered with various forts on both sides, it is also a medium of transport for local people who would hop on from one place to another to get across..

A wonderful scenic ride over, we moved on to visit the town of Heidelberg. Not a great technological city, it is more renowed for the Heidelberg Man, the oldest evidence of Human life in Europe and also for it's castles, universities and its importance to German history of the past. A short stop there, we spent our night at Heppelheim, an even smaller town, before heading out into Austria. The hotel was nice, clean and sparse.. Of course, it was hot, and surprisingly coming from Dubai, for some reason should have made it cooler, but we could not.. Wonder of wonders.. Four days into Europe and we were like them..

All said and done, a wonderful trip, of course, in one day, you cannot cover a lot, it is limited to a few places, and those we enjoyed. A thought does go again.. Rich cultures, rich heritages, huge contributions to present day future.. And the only link to the past is what we decide to maintain of it..

Onwards to Austria...

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