Eifel, Maulbronn, Bad Wimpfen, Mainz

More auto touring around Germany, it’s a real pleasure to drive around the country, gas prices notwithstanding. A few recent highlights:

Kloster Maulbronn- this place seems untouched by the war, given that Allied bombs hit pretty much every nearby city (Heidelberg, Stuttgart, Mannheim, Karlsruhe, to name a few). It’s also relatively untouristed, being well clear of the autobahn, and located in a very small town. This is a virtually intact medieval cloister of mixed Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles, and auxiliary buildings in that classic Fachwerk construction. 

Kloster Maulbronn

Kloster Maulbronn

Rapeseed field, bloomin'

Rapeseed field, bloomin'

Bad Wimpfen- a very cute hilltop town overlooking the Neckar River. The drive along the Neckar valley was much like the Rhine or Mosel, with plenty of old ruined castles on the cliffs, and heavy shipping traffic on the river. 

Bad Wimpfen

Bad Wimpfen

Mainz- I went there with the intention of visiting the cathedral, the Gutenberg Museum, and the Chagall windows. All three were closed, what luck. But the day was nice and warm, and I ended up strolling the citadel, and spent it on badly delayed trains.

Mainz skyline

Mainz skyline

Eifel- a bit long for a day tour, and coming from a volcanic part of the world, it was a bit disappointing. The landscape is a nice change from the gently rolling geography of much of Germany, though. But it’s on a small scale, although the cones and lakes are unmistakably volcanic in origin. I checked out the Maare near Daun, Germany, the magnificent Romanesque Maria Laach church near Koblenz, and then huffed it back to Frankfurt. Oh and yes, there is a ski piste as well.

Maria Laach, Klosterkirche

Maria Laach, Klosterkirche

Daun, Weinfelder Maar

Daun, Weinfelder Maar

This is small-town Germany, I can imagine being utterly bored growing up in a place like this. The lakes were pretty nifty, though, with two of them serving as swimming holes for locals, popular on a warm weekend like the past one. Maybe the American Midwest is similar, dead quiet on a Sunday in town, with the odd person walking the streets and all of the businesses shuttered. Not exactly a place where I want to live out my life.

I also took a walk to the top of the Eifel, the Hohe Acht tower (747 m), which was peaceful, except for the incessant hum of the Nuerburgring racetrack far below. There was an event during my brief sojourn, and the area had blossomed into an informal trailer park and campground. The area around it apparently is also used as an informal racetrack, I saw the result of a Ferrari that turbo-boosted it off the Hohe Acht road.

Endless green of the Eifel from hohe Acht

Endless green of the Eifel from hohe Acht

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