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Saturday, June 29, 2013

MAY 1

WEDNESDAY - Drive from Potsdam to Meissen to Eisenach, Germany

We wake to a very overcast sky, "boo" as today is a travel day and we begin to work our way to Frankfurt and home. We have a nice last breakfast at the hotel and say good-by to the family members that run this wonderful place.

As we leave Potsdam we do a quick driving tour of some more of the Old Historical Center checking out the Branderburger Tor, the Nauener Tor and the Hollandisches area.





We plan to send the night in Eisenach at Hotel auf der Wartburg part of the old Castle Wartburg. It is a four hour drive by the shortest way, but our plan is to see Meissen on the way. That adds about an hour to the trip. It is misty and cool this morning as we work our way out of Potsdam and on to the motorway. There is not too much traffic, but there is intermittent road work which slows things down. The countryside is rural and very German looking.


After a couple of hours we are nearing Meissen where we hope to get some lunch and see the old castle and the Cathedral. We can see the Cathedral on the hill for miles. As we cross the bridge into the town, we see that the older part is up on the hill just below the Cathedral and there is a newer section on the river. We hope to find a information center or a caf√© as we enter, but no such luck. In fact, the town looks shut down.

 


According to the GPS, the big "I" is up on the hill so we follow the map. As usual for the old European towns, the streets get progressively more narrow as we go up hill. We pass through one of the Old City gates and we have nothing more than a wide path. It is mostly one way now and still no "I". There are lots of people walking around and Dick can't make any head way. Somehow we manage to turn around and get back through another Old City gate. There is a sign to near by parking, but no way can Carolyn climb back up to the Cathedral so we drive on.




So much for seeing Meissen! This has happened a number of times in Germany and Italy in the past few years, unfortunately. We drive on through the countryside stopping outside of Meissen to get a nice picture of what we couldn't see. We are off the motorway right now and continue to drive through some cute German villages.


We stop in one to stretch our legs and look for some place to eat. There doesn't seem to be any cafes, but there is a pretty little village church and its WWI war memorial. After some help from a local we finally find the entrance to the motorway and then a service center for food, restrooms and gas.



All problems solved, we head on to Eisenach and our hotel for the night passing some ruins of castles on the hill tops. The hotel is on top of the mountain above the busy Victorian era resort town just below the Castle Wartburg, built in around 1100AD. The hotel its self is almost 200 years old and in a spectacular setting.


It was built as a resort and has been well restored, but there is no elevator and our room is on the forth floor! We get settled and then go to the castle for a very interesting tour.






It is getting toward dusk when we get back to the hotel so go straight to the bar and have a drink sitting in the nice lounge in front of the fire...it is cold out side! From there we move into the dinning room and have a nice view but costly marginally good dinner. Finally it is back up the stairs and to bed.




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