Munich – Day 1 of trip
Rainy day in Germany. managed to see a good bit of the city via my rented bike, in between intense rain storms.

Dachau and Freiburg – Day 2-3 of Trip

On Sunday I woke early, and hopped on the train into town, lockered my luggage, and headed out to Dachau. Wow. What a serious and heavy and interesting and overwhelming and incomprehensible place. No way to really understand the horrors that took place, and how people could do that to other people….

After Dachau, I boarded a train for Freiburg. 5 hrs later, I found my hotel, and went for a short walk. Day 3 of my trip was day 1 of the conference, and it went very well. Lot’s of great information, and several good contacts. Promising. After the conference I bought expensive but not fancy at all dinner (Europe=SPENDY) and walked around town until the rain started.

Freiburg bike ride – Day 4 of Trip

“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.”
— Ernest Hemingway

I was at the conference all day today, and felt like I was learning a lot, but the afternoons sessions didn’t seem that relevant for me, and my brain was starting to slip. I left around 3:30, and rented a bike. I rode through town, parked my bike at the base of a trail and did a steep 20 minute hike up hill to a big tower they built overlooking the town. A little hazy, but nice views. Back down the hill, and back on the bike. Through town again, with a stop at a bike store that specializes in tandems, then onto a bike path along a river. Rode for quite some time, along the river and through suburbs.

Stopped at a grocery for dinner, then more riding. Just really enjoyed being out there. There were lots of Germans out and about, seems like people here do lots of walking and riding. I like this town. Prefer it to Munich quite a bit, though it’s tough to put my finger on exactly why.

Back into town, and several laps of the car free downtown. Love it. A gelatto stop, and back to the hotel to do a little work, then bed.

Tomorrow, 7 am meeting, then conference for the morning, then heading 5 hrs north for a thurs meeting.

Germany – Day 5+6 – Last Germany photos

Yesterday (weds) was a long morning at the conference, followed by a long drive with Andy ( ceo of Romny Scientific) and his wife. We cruised north to Bonn, Germany. We stopped on the way in Heidelburg, to visit the famous castle there, and spent an hour or more poking around. Pretty cool. Finished the drive, checked in, and dinner before another late night in bed.

Thurs is was up early, good meeting. We were in the meeting for most of the morning, then went back to the city center. Walked around for 1/2 an hour, grabbed lunch, then headed 20 km north to Cologne. Gorgeous.

We went to the cathedral there. It’s a World Heritage site, and incredible. I’ve been to several of the other great cathedrals and churches (Westminster, Notre dame), and this one blows it out of the water. Simply impossible to understand the scale of this thing until you stand at the base. and the architecture is a fascinating lattice of towers, hollow airy towers, and huge arched roofs.

Simply stunning. We explored for quite some time, then it was back in the car. I rode with Andy and Jenny to Manheim, then caught a train to Stuttgart. In a few hours I’ll be on a plane to London…..

Location: Heidelburg and Bonn, Germany

England

I went to Germany for work, but arranged to fly back via England. Some of you may know that I was born in England, and both my biological parents are English, so I have extended family there. My mom’s mom is there (my only remaining biological grandparent) and she’s an amazing woman. Since I don’t get to see her often, I took the opportunity of the trip to go. After a hellish bus ride from London, I found myself in Kingsbridge, the small village near the south coast of england, where she lives. It’s a pretty little village, and we had a great time. We walked round a bit, went for coffee, enjoyed gluten free pastries and meals. A great time and I loved every minute and it was over far too soon. I was there for 2 partial days, and one full, then it was back to London where I spent a day with my old high school friend Kim Grey (nee Polly). Good times, but no photos. Back in the good old USA now, happy to see my cute wife again.

Location: Kingsbridge, England

Cell phone activated rental bikes.   Very cool idea.

Cell phone activated rental bikes. Very cool idea.

This is why being gluten free in Germany is hard.  Bavarians seem to love their breads, pastries, cakes and beer.

This is why being gluten free in Germany is hard. Bavarians seem to love their breads, pastries, cakes and beer.

After riding a bit, I parked the bike and hiked a hill to a tower that gives you a sweeping view of the area.

After riding a bit, I parked the bike and hiked a hill to a tower that gives you a sweeping view of the area.

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That's my less than trusty steed out front.  Slipping gears, chain fell off 4-5 times.  But I still got around.

That’s my less than trusty steed out front. Slipping gears, chain fell off 4-5 times. But I still got around.

Dachau

Dachau

There is a lot of clear evidence of Green tech in Germany. Windmills and LOTS of solar.

There is a lot of clear evidence of Green tech in Germany. Windmills and LOTS of solar.

The town of Heidelberg.  My dad (Ron) and my Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Cathy lived here in 62-63, while my Grandpa was stationed in Germany.

The town of Heidelberg. My dad (Ron) and my Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Cathy lived here in 62-63, while my Grandpa was stationed in Germany.

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“Work brings freedom”  - Wow.

“Work brings freedom” – Wow.

The cathedral.  A little hazy

The cathedral. A little hazy

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After my hike, I rode up this valley, along the river.

After my hike, I rode up this valley, along the river.

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Classy street performers.

Classy street performers.

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Classy street music

Classy street music

Can you imagine?

Can you imagine?

A whole store for tandems.   Sweet!

A whole store for tandems. Sweet!

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No words.

No words.

It was hard walking out of this store without a few more tandems.  If they'd had a T-shirt, i would have bought one.

It was hard walking out of this store without a few more tandems. If they’d had a T-shirt, i would have bought one.

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Canal

Canal

A triple with joints to take it apart for travel.  Sweet, but 9,000 Euro.  Ouch.  ($12,740!!!!)

A triple with joints to take it apart for travel. Sweet, but 9,000 Euro. Ouch. ($12,740!!!!)

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Freiburg

Freiburg

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Munich is safe from giant man eating guinea pigs!

Munich is safe from giant man eating guinea pigs!

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The tower i'd hiked too earlier, from the bike route.

The tower i’d hiked too earlier, from the bike route.

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A motorcycle.  with a roof?

A motorcycle. with a roof?

Muenster in Bonn

Muenster in Bonn

Crowded shopping areas.

Crowded shopping areas.

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Dinner.  Gluten free in Bavaria is like being on Atkins.

Dinner. Gluten free in Bavaria is like being on Atkins.

The patron saints of Bonn were beheaded.  They honored them with these statues.  Don't you think they'd rather be remembered intact?

The patron saints of Bonn were beheaded. They honored them with these statues. Don’t you think they’d rather be remembered intact?

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My view from dinner.

My view from dinner.

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The entire downtown of Freiburg is a pedestrian zone.  Nice.

The entire downtown of Freiburg is a pedestrian zone. Nice.

My rental bike.   Germans know how to do the city bike right.  7 speed internal hub, chain guard, fenders, and lights.   Still reasonably light.

My rental bike. Germans know how to do the city bike right. 7 speed internal hub, chain guard, fenders, and lights. Still reasonably light.

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We need more really cool small cars in the US.

We need more really cool small cars in the US.

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Freiburg

Freiburg

Gelatto!

Gelatto!

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FINALLY found some Gluten free food.  It's been a challenge.  Twice today I was told “no” when presenting my gluten free food card.

FINALLY found some Gluten free food. It’s been a challenge. Twice today I was told “no” when presenting my gluten free food card.

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Do want.

Do want.

Dinner, yummy but 13 euro for this and a soda and one kebab?  WTH?

Dinner, yummy but 13 euro for this and a soda and one kebab? WTH?

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This is actually how I spent 1/2 my day in Munich.  Standing in a doorway, waiting on rain....

This is actually how I spent 1/2 my day in Munich. Standing in a doorway, waiting on rain….

more rain.  Lots and lots of rain.

more rain. Lots and lots of rain.

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Protests in support of the iranian protesters.   Sizable crowd.

Protests in support of the iranian protesters. Sizable crowd.

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looking up a huge tower.  amazing how much empty space there is.  More of a lattice than a building.

looking up a huge tower. amazing how much empty space there is. More of a lattice than a building.

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The tower we climbed.

The tower we climbed.

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Not my photo.  “borrowed” from the internet.  Showing heidelberg Castle.

Not my photo. “borrowed” from the internet. Showing heidelberg Castle.