Trip Start May 22, 2010
167Trip End Oct 31, 2010
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Margo had hoped to go to a market and then for a drive with us but her arm was still very bruised so she decided to have a day of rest, however, she gave us a good route to follow with a mixture of things to see.
We stared with a problem – the Tom Tom took us straight to a closed road
We went first to Frankenfurt, a smaller town to the north of Marburg. Our first purchase was a timer for parking. In Germany, if you have restricted time but no fee to pay you need to display a time. It is a clock dial that you display with your arrival time. Axel had explained it to us while we were in Berlin so we had a good idea of the system. By then it was 11am so we parked in a 1 hour zone and dialed up 11. It is a very simple but logical system.
We went around the cobbled part which is the main shopping part of the town. The buildings were almost all old with the usual variety of shops in them. There seem to be a lot of Chemist shops and also bakeries in all German towns. The German flag and football regalia was prominent and also a lot of shops were having sales. John even bought clothes!! There were a number of statues in the street.
We then drove to the Edersee, which Margo had described as an artificial lake. It is the centre of a big nature park and we stopped for a while by the lake. We saw sailboats, ducks, swans picnickers and hikers as well as a description of Nordic Hiking on a display with suggested paths to hike on.
We had seen wildflowers by the roadside before on the trip, but we found a great place to stop as we drove around the lake. There was even another woman there taking photos so we were not alone. The area had a lot of poppies as well as blue and white flowers.
The road ran beside a footpath which was right beside the lake for most of the way. The roads were unnecessarily curved in places, presumably to slow down drivers. We had just said it would be a good road for a motorbike when we went past a small group - and we saw many others during the drive. There were lots of empty car park areas so it is obviously a very popular spot in summer.
We stopped and walked over the dam at the site of the famous Dambusters raid (Barnes Wallis, Guy Gibson … etc etc). Margo had mentioned a buried village and it all clicked when we arrived in the area. There were lovely views of the lake from the dam. On the other side was a water park and museum. We were hungry and so stopped for a late lunch and to ask where the museum was. The owner of the café said it was a tourist trap and suggested we just look at his pictures, taken by the people of the village after the raid. He also translated the menu for us and we had a delicious meal
We drove past a solar farm and a solar powered streetlight. A large number of buildings have solar panels on the roof which sometimes looks odd when the building is historic.
We stopped next in another smaller place, Fritzler. This was a picture perfect town but clearly people lived and worked in the town and there were again 'proper shops' and not just tourist shops. The church was closed at this time but we did get a photo of the town hall which had 10 towers. The Opticians shop had all World Cup flags on display including NZ so John had to take a photo.
We then stopped in Homberg, .which not only has an historic centre, market square a town hall and a church it also has a castle. However, as there are over 300 castles in the province of Hesse, that is not unusual. The completeness of the town wall is though. We walked past statues of people on stilts, through a gate and into the centre. We had cold drinks in the market square which probably only had 30 other people in it. It had a number of things for children to play on and an interesting fountain which was like 2 horses drinking at a trough
The final place on our route was Amunaburg. Unfortunately either it is too small or we misspelt it but the Tom-Tom did not recognise it and we couldn’t find it. We saw it – a village on a volcanic outcrop, but could not find the way into it. We knew it was near another town so we wandered around there and finally decided to look for a cache instead. Unfortunately all we found was stinging nettle. Later we realised the turnoff was closer to Marburg than where we had looked.
Finally we reached home at about 8pm for a picnic style tea and a chat with Margo about NZ. We go to the Alsace tomorrow and she has suggested some places to stop at on the way so we hope for a 9am departure.