A Travellerspoint blog

The hot and the cold of Doha

sunny 43 °C

After my arrival in the evening in Doha I had two full days to explore. I went down to Level 3 for breakfast as it was included in my package and I was starving. What a sumptuous spread! There was everything available to cater to all nationalities. I started with an apricot juice and some fresh fruit and made up chia. I loved the tinned lychees but there was many fresh fruits and sliced melons too. I then sampled the hot breakfast bar with chefs standing behind the counter prepping omelets. They had platter of beans, homous and middle eastern food, also sliced deli meats and cheeses.. I don't eat any of that. There was a huge round display table with many breads, rolls and large platters of pastries and goodies. I asked about gluten free and they had small rolls wrapped in cellophane. I cut one open and put it in the toaster. There was about six large pots of different jams, honey and spreads so I chose a blueberry jam. That should keep me going the rest of the day! The place was so busy with large family groups wasting so much food that kids didn't finish, which I judged rather disgustingly. I saw one kids plate with 6 sausages sitting on it and they had obviously finished eating with piles of food left on their table. I didn't take any photos in the breakfast room as it was so crowded. I had read that posting photos of locals on social media is frowned upon and can get you into trouble. Also any untoward behaviour such as swearing or giving someone the rude finger can land you in jail so didn't want my trip ruined any more than it had been. I took a hot chocolate in a takeaway cup up to the pool deck on level 7 to relax by the pool for a couple of hours. oh my so hot..it was like a furnace...I just couldn't stay out there. 43 degrees today and every day over summer sometimes hotter. I retreated back to my room where the air con had been so cool last night I had to crank it up to 24 to warm the room up. I hate aircon it makes me too cold and it's not natural breathing in that recycled air. I don't have air con at home I don't need it.

After a shower in my massive bathroom I dressed correctly for the day with covered shoulders..a Tshirt with elbow sleeves and a thin cotton shawl and my euro trash cool cotton trousers and sandals that were still hurting my feet from climbing the mountain in Kassel to see Hercules. Then some internet time and another cuppa. Come on Kathleen you can't sit here all day. Must get out and see something. By late afternoon I ventured off to have an outing to the Museum of Islamic Art.
Down in the vast marble lobby I asked the concierge to order me a taxi. I sat on a plush seat feeling oh so rich waiting for my car to arrive. He must have called a private car as it cost me a 50 of their money and on the way back that night it only cost 13. So get an ordinary cab if you go there! It was a lovely car with air con and plush leather seats and he drove me up the grand cobblestone driveway of the museum. I felt like a princess despite my shabby 8 euro pants and Tshirt with a hole in it. Lol...can't see it with shawl over it.
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The museum/ gallery was fabulous. It is very new and a clever design with different rooms that flow from one subject to another and also teaches you a little about the Islamic faith as you go. One gallery had a big collection of the Qu'ran books of various sizes, some huge tomes with superb gold calligraphy. One item was a talisman of a tunic made of paper with all the chapters written in the most minute hand written ink. There was a space in the centre where you cut out to put your head into. This was one of the most amazing things I saw there.To consider it was so very old and for paper to survive out there in the desert in a mud brick temple somewhere is astonishing. There was also a display of historic temples with photographs and small models made of mud from around the country. This museum had items from all over the Islamic world not just their country. There was displays of the old world and the teaching cities where scholars would go to learn the holy word and to become spiritual leaders and teachers. They don't have priests or pastors as such like many religions. Upstairs the rooms had much more collectables and antiques from all Islamic lands. I wished my Aunty Rosey was with me as Syria and the nearby countries are her favourite. Pic of the blue tiles for you..400 years old from Syria. In the armoury room was crowded with young Indian men on holidays taking pictures of their mates in front of the antique guns. I gave them a few photography lessons and we exchanged cameras for photos. All the time walking around here I was freezing with the aircon keeping us all frozen. I finished looking at every single item I'm sure as it was nearing sunset and museum closed at 6 or 7pm. I saw some doors leading out to a terrace. The architect did a good job of placing this here to one side looking over the sea and the sunset towards the new town and skyscrapers. It was very windy and hot but it was good to warm up. Everyone was outside taking holiday snaps. I took lots of photos of the sunset and water as I left. This is the time of day when everyone comes outside to shop or go for dinner. Many were taking rides on the traditional wooden boats, and touts were inviting me aboard..no thanks, got to find some dinner. My mega breakfast had long worn off and I had run out of water. I walked about 1km along the foreshore then crossed the main highway towards the historic souk. But I could find not food in there, just lots of spices, sweet treats and piles of cooking gear. Out the back there were small hotels and restaurants and crowds of people. It was still hot and I couldn't be bothered explaining my food needs to anyone so got a taxi back to the hotel. Back into the cool. I went to one of the hotel cafes and the chef came out to chat to me. I have some GF pasta , oh I would love some. She made me some mushrooms and broccoli in a creamy sauce. I ordered a huge mug of fresh squeezed veg juice with beetroot and ginger and other yummy things..I was so thirsty.
I had a great day out in Doha town.
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Posted by serendipitous 07:08 Archived in Qatar Tagged qatar souk doha Comments (0)

Not quite half way home

39 °C

I was sad to be leaving Germany and know my trip is almost over. The train down to Frankfurt was easy. It was the first train I had taken on my trip without a reservation. in Europe your train trip is in two parts you buy a ticket but not necessarily a reservation..that is for the seat. At busy times you definitely need one, but at 12.30 I thought it would be OK and it was. There was plenty of room and found a good seat to myself. I got some food at the station to take to my hotel then went to the SBahn local train to the airport. Where the heck is Gateway Gardens where the airport hotels are and with no gardens just lots of construction work. It was a very difficult hike.. reviews said oh its a quick 5 minute walk...well the train goes to T1..not T2...so had to get the free shuttle bus...after trekking T1 to find it.. Then at T2 and a a few bum steers with directions as to how to walk to those hotels across the road I finally found my way down a ramp on footpath to roads below airport terminal.. all I could see was a big wall from inside. It was really warm and lugging my bag behind me was very difficult. The wheel won't roll any more and I was very puffed, coughing and almost crying I was so worn out. From the T1 station to my room must have taken me more than 1.5 hours. Crash on my bed I went..I just want a lie down. Then a drill going on the floor above me. Yep, I have had enough. I'm sort of glad I'm going home. The room was hot. But finally a hotel with air-conditioning loud.. l air con. As the planes are flying over you need to have windows locked so I assume that's why they have air con. Germans love fresh air and prefer an open window whatever the weather. I didn't sleep well and kept checking my phone every hour to see what time it was. Finally at 6.30 I got up..big day ahead.

I had a shower the night before and my clothes were ready to pop on. Quick breakfast of stale waffles and microwaved apple and the last of my Greek honey then I was off out the door. This part I paid 6 euro for the shuttle bus run by all the Gateways hotels. He was late then because of the huge crane and trucks parked out front he parked across the road at the holiday inn and waved us over. Then drove us to T1 and said now go get on the T2 bus the airport provides. Everyone was furious. What a rip-off. Would have been quicker to get a taxi. At check in after 8am the man said now your gate is a very long way so start now. My feet still sore from hiking up to Hercules in Kassel the other day, I said any chance I can get a ride on the cart? He booked it for me. Best thing I ever did. Lovely woman drove me and an old lady all the way, thru passport customs..she took our passports over and we stayed on the cart and went through a special entry..great...past the shops, the cafes, miles of hallways and departure gates...then in our own cart elevator...to another floor..then to security. She left the cart and came with us and made sure we were safe the whole way.. What great service. My back pack got held up..it needed a search..it's my herbal medicine..machine says stop..but man says OK.. then cart lady takes us down escalators to another set of gates and finally we reach ours with 20 mins to boarding. Check in 8am..boarding from 9..35...plane leaves 10.25. Where does the time go??
Flight to Doha was good..watched 3 movies..everyone else had a nap. Took ages to get out of airport..over 1.5 hours..incredible. whew the heat hit us as we climbed the steps on to tarmac to get bus to terminal.
The Discover Qatar info desk said hello Mrs Kathleen as I approached the desk .they knew who I was. Driver waiting to take me. Arriving in the evening was lovely. All the lights of the city in the distance were on and everything looked so pretty. The boats were out in the harbour on evening cruises.
And my room is pretty good too. I don't think I have ever stayed in such a posh hotel...at check-in he gave me my key card and wrote 18XX on it. I said what floor am I on..18th floor Ma'm. Oh my, how many floors are there. 44. 😳 The full length windows are so scary, I'm not usually afraid of heights but this is woah!..I have to keep the curtains closed..haha. I ate some crackers and a cup of chamomile and went to bed...ahh those poor people on the plane right now..they are all going on to Australia tonight. Suckers. Meanwhile I'm living like a princess in a Marriot tower. And I deserve it.

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Posted by serendipitous 18:54 Archived in Qatar Tagged qatar doha marriot Comments (0)

Kassel- land of fairytales

sunny 27 °C

Kassel is a modern small city with a long history. It was severely obliterated in world war two as there was many targets. Many factories were here such as locomotive, tanks and aircraft manufacturing. It was also a military headquarters and had important highway and rail links to other cities. Many were killed and the rest homeless. Not much was left after the war, the whole town had to be rebuilt which took many long years. there are a few old buildings here that were restored but most are new and made to look old. one place that was spared was the Wilhelmshohe Castle and the massive area of Berg Park Willhelmshohe on the now edge of town, but back then it would have been out in the country. I have seen on TV the very special cascade and trick fountains here and was excited to learn that it only operates for short period on a Sunday and Wednesday afternoon over the summer so thought it worth the trip. Sunday morning I packed a picnic lunch and water and headed off on two trams to get to the park. This is the largest Hillside park in Europe and as soon as you get off the tram you start going up and up and up. But first I went to visitor centre and bought a map and asked what times the water cascade will be on today. He looked at me as if I were going to bite him and then said sorry no water today due to the storm, well I was really disappointed. Well now that I'm here will go look at the Castle. Here it looks all very modern inside and has a collection of fine arts from the old masters...It was getting warm. Outside I went and found a spot under some huge oak trees for my lunch...I didn't think I would make it to where the water does cascade because it was just so far and so high but I did eventually hours later make it to the lower pool. I stood and watched everybody then walk up the steep steps to the Hercules Monument but I just couldn't go any further.. I was beat.

As I can't post any pictures at the moment Google Hercules Kassel and read all about it and see pictures.
Here is a link to video of the cascade...https://youtu.be/_VKUO7M4Iog

also on the way I walked over to the Lowenburg Castle which was actually a fake Castle built by the leader of this state as a spot to take his mistress.. it was all closed up. Overall it was disappointing that the water was not on today but it was nice to walk around the park. but there are many parks here in Castle and I think I probably could have chosen and easier one it was a perfect sunny day with beautiful blue sky just like a summer day should be the chemtrails planes must have had a day off because there was not one in the sky all day and the sky was free of fluffy cloud. I know why they turned the water off ..it's because the park and trails were littered with storm damage..leaves branches and sticks all over the paths. I was constantly stepping over them. The public follow the water as it cascades down and run as it takes 10mins to get to the next location. It really wasn't safe. Later near the Orangerie I saw a huge tree had come down and been split in two. They had cut away the branches over the path. Kassel must have been hit worst during the storm a few nights back to close the stations and cause much mess.

On Monday morning I could hardly walk. I wore my sandals and the strap had bruised my foot. Should have worn my walkers. It had turned cool and rained in the morning, so stayed in bed. By 2pm and starving, I walked up to the small shopping centre for food. No fridge in this room so it's difficult to keep food. On Tuesday I went for a long walk to find a big park near me but could only find locked sports grounds and a big stadium so gave up and went to town. Visited the Grimm Welt a museum about the authors Brothers Grimm who lived here for 30 years. They were inseperable and lived together all their lives even when one married. I was expecting an enchanting romantic scene but it was all too modern for me. I wanted pictures of Hansel and Gretal and the big bad wolf but got holograms and audios one interesting thing I learned is they started a dictionary of the German language. every word took much research of the history and pronunciation. It was their greatest work and took over 100 years to complete, with updates and others taking over after they were gone. I give the museum a 4/ 10. I enjoyed my stay here but probably would not have come if it were not a stopover for Frankfurt. There were constant ambulances on the main road at least every 30 minutes reminding me we are now suffering in a new war. Masses are dying and many still not awake to what is going on. There are still bombs in the sky here, there is still poison in the disguise of health and safety. After all these years we have learned nothing. The deaths are very bad now in UK and Europe.

  1. 8:32 and the truth will set you free..

Posted by serendipitous 06:47 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Last Week Plans

FRI 23/6 travel Sangerhausen to Kassel..stay 5 nights in Kassel. Cost me 440Euro..yikes!
Sightseeing, walks in parks, hikes to shopping centre for food, might go look at shops in city...more posts to come. Resting up..nothing on 66 channels of cable TV in English except BBC news..pass. watching old movies on YouTube on my tablet. Done lots of laundry of my coolest clothes for the Qatar heat.

WED 28/6 get two trams via city to a different railway station 8kms out of city to get train to Frankfurt. ICE trains..big intercity routes leave from Kassel -Willhelmshohe, not the small Hbf where bus dropped me on arriving. That will not be fun with my wheels bag.
Stay at FF airport hotel..must get a meal at FF station or somewhere. Can't check in until 3pm. My hotel is paid..managed to use my PayPal account..it does not need phone verification..you beauty! It's a few mins walk to terminal so will check out the walking route on an evening stroll.

THURS 29/6 flight to Doho, Qatar at 10.30 am..will have to be there at 7.30..maybe will check that as can do online check in, so up early..have some breakie packed and eat it in airport. Day flight great..watch movie marathon, haha.
Arrive 5.15pm..and have a driver with a sign to pick me up...you little ripper. Stay at Marriot...😘 I left my daughter 2,000 to organise a flight back and maybe a stopover..looks like she spent it all. Don't think I have ever stayed somewhere so luxe.

FRI 30/6 day by the pool I think because it's 39 plus there at the present time so won't be out doing much..God knows where or what I'm going to eat..must change some money at the airport. Marriott stopover N2.🏊‍♀️

SAT 1/7 my package deal allows me to stay in hotel all day until I leave for my night flight at 8.30pm...you little ripper! More time at pool..Might go out on a morning tour or do something active as I need to sleep all night on plane. 13 hour flight overnight. Transport booked to airport.

SUN 2/7 Happpy birthday Jo.💜 Arrive home 4pm and then more travel home to the country..

I'm already sad my trip will soon be over...I have been looking back over my photos and I have done so much.
Plenty more stories to write and some reviews so keep reading.
Thanks so much to my readers on the travellers point community, my friends and family and many others I don't even know. Blogging gives me something to do at night and keeps my mind creative and active. I love writing and photography so it's a fun thing to do. Also it is an ongoing record of where I went and all the amazing things I saw along the way.

Posted by serendipitous 08:22 Archived in Germany Comments (1)

more fun and games on Deutsche Bahn

rain 18 °C

Now is it just me or does this happen all the time here? why all the trains that I choose to travel on get delayed for some reason? it was meant to be a quick two-hour journey which lasted me most of the day but it ended up an all day trip. From Sangerhausen I had to choose where to go to spend my last week. I'm flying out of Frankfurt and I didn't want to stay there because it's not so much of a nice city lots and on the travel Germany Facebook pages they say there's lots of spaced out druggies so I didn't want to stay there near or near the station. Frankfurt is a huge city and I just don't want to be in big cities any more this trip. I found a couple of nice spa towns such as Bad Homburg about an hour north of FF and Bad Weisenbach? or something else to the west but it was impossible to book hotels with my card situation. I just needed something easy. So when the DBahn office gave me printout of some choices for train routes to Frankfurt one route was via Kassel. This is a city but a small one which is halfway between Sangerhausen and Frankfurt... great that's where I'll go. it's only a two-hour train trip, spend some days there then go another two hours on train to Frankfurt .sorted, I had a plan. I tried a few hotel sites online and after hours of searching found a hotel that said pay when you get there, but still wanted card details. The hotel was out of the city a bit but near nice big parks and gardens and some shops down the road. My booking worked..pay on arrival. Success!

So on my last night in Sangerhausen there was a big storm. It was dark and cloudy the next morning. I just hope it holds off until I get to the station. At breakfast I had a chat to a group of 4 friends who had come to visit the roses. One of the men was happy to hear I was going to Kassel as it's his home town. Lots of parks and gardens there..you will like it. Whenever I tell people I'm from Australian there faces drop..they go oh wow! Anyone would think I have come from the other side of the Earth haha. So I bid my farewell to them and left to get my 9.53 train to Kassel. be there by lunch time. There was hardly anyone on the RE train..regional express by Abelio not deutsche bahn. As we left I could see Sangerhausen was a lot bigger than I thought with blocks of flats on the outskirts but still blending with the old..the strange pyramids you can see in photos are actually slag heaps from mining. The train went on through tiny villages and across farmlands rivers and lakes.. it was really lovely. The sky became darker and it started raining again more people were getting on as we stopped at different towns lots of cyclists with their mountain bikes and they were older people too wearing shorts and wet weather gear. what fun travelling along vllage to village on their bikes. with half an hour left to go on the journey I thought I'd better go to the toilet because I don't know how long it would take me to get to hotel on arrival and going to the toilet at stations is always tricky solo with your bags ..the toilets are usually down long flight of steps you have to pay to P and it's just all too difficult so that's my tip go for free on the train and watch where you put your feet. ok, back in my seat and a few minutes later we stopped at a town God knows where and a lot of the bikers got out and the train did not proceed...suddenly there was an announcement all in German every body sighed and started to pack up all their gear and get off...what wait.. what's going on? we're not there yet I don't understand I said out loud. Someone came to my rescue... there is problem with the train track we have to get out and take a bus to Kassel. Everybody departed the train. as this was going on I quickly opened my bag and got my coat out... so I followed everyone to the bus stops out front of the station. it was still raining lightly but fortunately the bus shelter had a covered roof. must have been about 50 people waiting then within a few minutes another train stopped. everybody got out came running across to the bus stop with us hey we were here first so we all waited at least half an hour it was dismal, cool and boy I'm so glad I went to the toilet when I did. In situations like this we need chocolate I said to my neighbours..the young German kids around me laughed we have chocolate! of course you do you have everything in your backpacks I said...one young girl pulled out a block of orange flavored milk chocolate and broke off and broke off a whole row for me..danke shon! this is wonderful I have no idea where I am but chocolate made it a whole lot better. Some girls got together to get a group taxi and asked me if I wanted to join them taxi I'm not paying for a taxi I paid for my ticket to the station..thankyou but no I'll wait for a bus. A short while after someone pulled a prank and said a train is leaving for kassel..half of us ran back inside..but it was a prank..the rest that stayed behind had been through this before. finally a bus came and a hundred people tried to squash on...they were literally squashed up against the door and I thought I'm not getting on there. I'll wait to the next one. After an hour I was fed up. I asked the young kids with the chocolate to mind my bag while I went into the office to ask she said there will be another bus for the rest of you..number 30 it will be here in 5 minutes. I ran back outside and announced to everybody waiting a bus is coming in five minutes and we all fitted on. Most of us got a seat. I hurried on and got a sideways seat where I could push my bag up against a barrier. Thank God I was sitting down now as I had been standing all that time at the bus stop. I know from when the train stopped it had about 15 minutes left of the journey to go said so on my ticket. I don't know where this bus was going but it went everywhere else up hill and dale, across a mountain through every Village from here to eternity and we were on the bus for one hour and 10 minutes good grief it was raining all the time and the driver was very heavy on the brakes which freaked me out a bit. I kept looking at my watch and had a loud woman standing near me with a quiet husband and a baby in a stroller. Every man and his dog was on there...yes true dogs allowed on bus and train here. Finally we got into Kassel hbf it was only a smallish station with a few shops. it was now about 2.30 or after. nothing here I can eat I went into the Burger King asked for gluten-free buns.. no... I don't care if they're not gluten free I'll just have some chips and I had a shake I needed some food as it was passed was way past I don't care time so sat there for a while eating my treat after that ordeal of a journey. Due to it being so late in the day and way past I dont care time, I took a taxi to my hotel ..was about 13 euro. went up to the door which was closed and said please check in at hotel next door...WHY IS EVERYTHING SO HARD!!! so I pulled broken wheel on bag down the street.. these two big hotels are now joined together by a corridor.. the poor sister one for budget solo travellers and the rich brother one for the likes of Andre Rieu and many other celebrities have their photos in the corridor. My WISE card wouldn't work checking in...getting so tired now.. fortunately I have my card from home and it worked. I had a room..a little home for 5 nights to take it easy before I go home.

Tram on main road out of the city..many parks nearby..shops up the main road..everything here I need. I walked up to the local Lidl ( Aldi competitor?) bought a few supplies and two two liter water bottles by this stage it was six o'clock it took the whole day to do a two-hour train trip and get to hotel incredible! I see many itinerary posts on Facebook saying two nights here three nights there.. they do not take into account situations like this when trains are stopped and there are delays. They have no idea of all the fun and games involved. The hotel room is very spacious and well much more posh than what I've been used to and I can use the rich folks entrance and nobody knows the difference. The train had to stop due to water over tracks and trees down after last nights storm..here in Kassel it was bad. Im OK..thanks for your messages. Will have a relaxing week. the end 🐵
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Posted by serendipitous 19:24 Archived in Germany Tagged travel train kassel Comments (1)

A MAMMOTH day in Sangerhausen

semi-overcast 30 °C

Every place I go to I always read some of the history of a place. All of Europe is old of course, but the state of Saxony- Anholt has a history that spans thousands of years. Bronze Age man lived here 4,500 years ago early and early monastic records show there was a town here in 700 or 800 AD. It appears that they burnt all the scrub and trees off the land to clear it for a settlement because sanguer means singeing or burning the land. most of the towns buildings are hundreds of years old some have been left to crumble while new ones are built to look like the old. there is nothing incongruous here like in modern cities.
After my big day at the Rose garden the day before, I took it easy in the next morning and did some laundry...leaving it to dry over the heater by the window where the sun was coming in..and by late morning finally went out for a wander. I had to buy my onging train tickets so headed off to the station first. I bought everything I needed for the rest of my trip..so thats all sorted. Then I saw a sign for the museum so thought I would take a look at the towns next attraction..actually there is only two..the roses and the little museum. Haha! When I told other travellers of my itinerary when they asked no one has heard of Sangerhausen, even the Germans. its only a litte town but famous for the roses. most rosarians make the pilgrimage to see the largest rosen garten in the world.

First of all there were many photos over the years about a mountain and some celebrations they hold their every year I don't know what all that was about because every word was in German but it seems to be a very big deal... then there was a room of natural history items some taxidermy animals most people don't like these but I find them interesting because I those animals I would never see and and they are different to Aussie animals. There was a big stuffed stork, a magnificent eagle, lots of little birds, owls a deer and some foxes. Also some beaut minerals and crystals found in the region...but the biggest find of all was by a local man named Mr Spengler who went digging one day in the early 1930s and found some very big bones. Some had been found in Germany before but this magnificent and archaeological important find ensured more digs around the district. The mammoth skeleton stayed and he lives here in the area where he fell between 500- 700,000 years ago. I was the only visitor in the museum and being in that room with him was kind of scary..he is huge. There are five other mammoths owned by German museums but I believe this to be the only one fully standing of the steppe mammoth...this one is a forebear of the woolly mammoth. There must be many more that are buried deep somewhere. There was some fabulous folk art and antiques and kitchenalia and many other goodies that museums have. On the walk down to town I past a sign pointing to Dr Spenglers haus so his belongings must be all kept safe and sound. The town must be so proud of him..photos of him in the museum to which they have given his name.

I walked up the cobbled streets and hit the shopping district.. I browsed some of the lovely shops here and once again it is another hot day..so glad I went to rose garden yesterday because it would be far too hot up there on the hill today. I bought a cheap Tshirt and some cooler trousers..as in cool to wear..definitely not cool.. very daggy actually. But that's the good thing about travelling.. wear anything, nobody knows you. The whole ensemble set me back 8€. Lol. This is the only thing I have bought for myself besides some charms for my travel bracelet. There is just no room in my bag for any goodies. I have even given away the coat I bought with Hayley as it's far too hot and takes up room. I left it in a bag beside a sleeping homeless man outside the Altona Station the other day ..hope he liked it. I told myself I will need something cool to wear for Doha. I was so hot today in my long travel pants I wore all over Greece but now it's heating up..I think it us going to rain you can feel it building in the air. I checked the doors of the big church in the square again but it's all locked up. I wandered around taking photos. I never got lost here..the big pink stone church is in the centre in the square and you can see the tower and hear the bells every 15 minutes including the church close to my bedroom! Those soundproof windows really work because I have to close it at night to get any sleep.

The Vietnamese takeaway was not interested in a gluten free chat or in serving me, so I walked out. It was now late afternoon, shops were closing and I was hungry..too hot to walk up to the supermarket as it's quite far. Back at home all I could find was a Madeleine cake and some cereal and a high protein milk drink..that's it for dinner. My room was so hot...I had to start packing and tidying so had the windows open to let in some breeze. About 10pm a big storm cracked over the roof tops with lightening and it poured. I want to remember standing at the windows watching the rain coming down and waving to the lady cross the back yard who came out on her balcony to rescue her washing. Two days out in the sunshine and now it rains..let's hope it's gone by the morning as I have a tricky walk lugging my broken wheeled bag up to the station. Sangerhausen was so much better than I thought it would be. I am over the intermittent blues like I knew I would be. It's the country, and the roses growing all over town set in this very ancient town.
The whole experience was mammoth. It was just, as the Euro teens say- "Perfect".

  • ***please note..ongoing problems uploading photos..dont know what is wrong..worked fine before..so wanted to show you the mammoth because if no pics it didnt happen right?..and he was awesome!

Posted by serendipitous 19:14 Archived in Germany Tagged museum mammoth roses sangerhausen spengler Comments (0)

Countryside and the Roses- my two loves

27 °C

It was always in my plan to visit Sangerhausen. I am a rose lover, grower and photographer..so here was a dream of mine to visit. I had booked from home months ago. The timing had to be perfect in order for the roses to be blooming I wanted to be here just before the big yearly Rose Festival I didn't want to be there with all the noise music and crowds so I thought the week leading up to the festival was perfect. Hamburg is way up in the north, so I knew I would be heading further south but little did I know my long train journey was headed straight to Berlin. oh gee, what a shame I sat in the train and completely missed it.. this was a huge train trip Hamburg all the way down to Munich via Berlin. I had to get off at a town called Halle, then change and wait for a regional train to Sangerhausen.. I left my hotel at Altona Hamburg at 10.15 and it took all day...by the time I found my hotel around 5pm there was no answer at the door so once again I was sitting on the doorstep..sigh..after about 15 minutes the owner opened the door to find me sitting there he said oh Frau M...kommen zie heir bitte and grabbed my bag a walked swiftly across a small square across the road to another building where he has more rooms and also the breakfast room..Up some tiny stairs where they're about six rooms and I'm in the little shoebox single one with a proper single bed I won't fall out of..some of them are so tiny like kids beds..
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I'm here for 3 nights and after the train journey and walking down these cobblestones in the sweet little town I have already cheered up. this tiny little hotel is typical of so many in country Germany with a little restaurant and a hidden beer garden. I chose it because it was the closest to the station and I'm glad I did because on the way the rubber came off one of the wheels on my case negotiating te cobblestones. no wonder most Europeans take backpacks... it's now impossible to pull along easily. I went out for an evening walk to find a supermarket or some food and a bottle of water.. there was hardly anybody about this place is so quiet and all the streets are cobblestones.. the buildings are hundreds of years old it's absolutely gorgeous and I wish I could stay a month here..pics from evening walk....

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The next day I was up early to go visit the famous Europa Rosarium. I was there for the rest of the day it was such a huge place..and has the most fabulous roses, many that I've never seen in my life..very historic and gallicas, albas and rugosa. and rows and rows of miniatures. They have an interesting way of growing some on big tall poles actually Sapling trees trunks they use for support..but these don't show the rose to their best advantage as they cannot grow wide only up. I finally found the tea roses and they were dismal..Australia the best place for the old teas...took many many photos and got sun burn on my arms as it was a very warm day. I came home so exhausted and fell asleep on my bed late afternoon. later I got up and had a meal at the little restaurant across the square where I had sat on the doorstep on arrival. I had a pork dish with mushrooms but I couldn't have the chips as not GF. Even though the place is in an 80s time warp, I was pleasantly surprised to see the menu had full allergy descriptions and some GF choices. I stayed at Hotel Beirbstuhl and I think you can work that name out..haha.

  • trouble uploading pics..check back later

Posted by serendipitous 19:13 Archived in Germany Comments (1)

A bit of Hamburg Sightseeing

sunny 28 °C

I never intended to stay in Hamburg but while I was resting here and getting over my cold I thought I'd better get out and see something of the place. it was the weekend so I grabbed a map downstairs and got a bus to the Kunsthalle, hamburg's fine art gallery. this place was huge It had many different rooms with 700 years of fabulous European art. the frames on some of these artworks are incredibly detailed and all painted in gold leaf just gorgeous.. downstairs in the basement was the modern art gallery what a load of rubbish cannot believe we call this crap art there is nothing creative or skilled in putting a chair in a box so I left.. it really is an insult to those masterpieces upstairs made by people who had real talent.
Photos of the long horned white cattle as I saw these out of the window on night train from Romania at 5am. they were glowing in the early morning light. the painting of the waterfall has the cattle in lower corner..can you see them?

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The next day I had to force myself out the door again. I washed my hair got dressed and put on some lippy on and out I go into the big world of tourism...I saw the bus 112 I got yesterday but in a different street..that was a mistake because it was going in the wrong direction someone who could speak English came to my rescue and told me so bus driver told me to get off and go across the other side of the road. everyone was pointing and saying go the other direction in German. lesson here is just walk farther passed Ikea to the bus stop you know...lol. The second driver wanted me to pay again but I showed him my ticket..wrong way I kept saying..finally he gave up and waved me on. I saw a park and looking at my map could see I could walk from here, so took sandals off to walk on grass for some grounding which my health needed...and headed down towards the wharf where I wanted to go. I was going to walk over to the Old Town- Aldstadt, but it was a bit too far...so just went down to the wharf to the Landings Brucke where boats are lined up for cruises along the River Elbe. I took a one hour trip €22 that took us around to the docks. The whole commentary was in German but I got the gist of it and could see what I needed to. Hamburg is one of Europe's biggest inland ports.. a lot of cargo comes in and out of here. It was quite interesting looking at all the cargo ships then I walked along the wharf for a while afterwards. Nearby I saw a train station and got a train back to altona in 4 stops. I went into the rewa supermarket where they have a big salad bar for it got an easy tea that was all I saw of Hamburg. There is quite a lot to see and do here..there is some good museums and churches of course but I was not up to all of that, and I just wasn't in the mood. The boat trip was nice. tomorrow it was a big travel day so I got some rest I enjoyed my stay here in my private room and could use the kitchen downstairs where I heated my waffles this blueberries for breakfast the ferries here of wonderful at the moment so fresh and delicious. I eat fruit every day of my trip.

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Posted by serendipitous 14:52 Archived in Germany Tagged harbour cruise hamburg Comments (1)

when gloom hits the solo traveller

sunny 28 °C

Hamburg was just a stepping zone for me to get across to Germany from Copenhagen but after being sick and that horrible long journey then no private oom for me, I sunk low in my mood.. as low as I had been the whole trip. The next day, I decided what I need was some rest above all else. They said they could give me a room but I had to check out and hang around in
the kitchen for hours till I could check in again at 3pm. Quite silly really. The whole day wasted. I had been awake most of the night coughing. At 2.30 I went to the desk...can I check in no Yes! I paid for three nights it was kind of expensive but I felt I just needed some good quiet space on my own. Too tired to go out, I did some planning for my travels around Germany I planned on doing at least a month going to all the small towns and the country and exploring most mainly the north as I've of being down south before.

I tried to book some things on my accommodations app but it seems I have been blocked I could see a copy of a note that queenB**** from London had written to them she had complained that I had caused damages in her property and was seeking reimbursement. Can you believe this woman,,still trying to scam me for money. I broke nothing of hers..I was hardly there..out all day. Without even asking me my side of the story they have blocked my account I can't book anything with them nor anybody else as my travel card and my regular credit card just will not work overseas without the code to my phone and of course I have no phone. I cleared all of my travel with my bank before leaving, but still they want some stupid code it's just so annoying and it's really getting me down. Every time I need to go on a train I have to go to the station to the DB ticket office to sort it out.

I'm literally stuck now and not able to book a solitary thing. I tried to survive travelling with disabilities and in chronic pain but getting sick on top of that with a cold just gets me down further. My energy was depleted. I really didn't know what I was going to do. It had all just got too hard. I wrote an email to my daughter I said I think it's about time you look for a ticket for me to come home I'm not coping well and I've just have no enthusiasm for going out or looking forward to where I'm traveling next if you're not having fun it's time to pull plug and call it quits. I feel like a failure because I planned to be away for three months and it's only been six weeks. Coming from Australia is so far and costs so much money I feel the need to get maximum value and see as much as I can. I guess I've done a lot in this time. I had left funds with her to do my return flight at some point and now I was half way through I thought she better look. By the next she had found a flight for me but not by Asia as I suggested there was one cheaper one with Qatar, via Doha, the way I had come over here and everything after that date was very expensive. She went to the travel agent to check it all out and prices were rising considerably it was if it was as if that cheaper plane seat was waiting for me. I was at such a low point I just wanted to be home to sit by my fire and crawl into my own bed. I know once I'm feeling better and in a different place I would probably pick up again my mood and wish I was staying longer but I really dont want to push myself.

I sent an email back and said to her to take the I'll take the flight. So now it's done...she's booked me a flight home via Doha with a two-night stopover at the Marriott such luxury! Qatar are having a big special stopover deal at present with good stop over prices bit of luxury and a rest on the way home would be good. So flying home is in 2 weeks time. I have something special planned to go and see which was always on my plan since home and I have already booked a hotel months ago so I will be going there and then need to fill in about a week somewhere with no way to know no ability to put tickets to book a hotel I'll work something out.

For the rest of the day there was not much left of it but the priority was food. I knew I had to get out and find some. I took a short walk to the other side of the station where there is a street mall.. found a Mueller store like in Vienna..stocked up on lots of GF goodies..something to cheer me up. Probably part of the problem as I had hardly eaten anything in Denmark. I got take away at the Turkish restaurant opposite Altona Station and gave the cooks some instruction of " gluten frei" showing them my packaged goods.. they read the ingredients. ..and just as I left it started raining. The weather is matching my mood. I ran over to the supermarket in the rain for supplies some fruit etc and rain had stopped..got back to hotel and then the sky turned grey and a big thunder storm rolled in. How depressing. I could only eat half of my expensive Turkish dinner..ever since Greece I have often had this nauseating feeling and often when I eat then I can't eat much...maybe it's the tap water but buy bottled water for taking out in the day. I got into my pyjamas and got into bed.
Big decisions were made today. Only two weeks to go...Now I needed sleep.

  • * pics won't load..done something to the settings.

Posted by serendipitous 20:35 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

All I want is a room somewhere...

the reality of rail travel in Europe

Copenhagen was good it's a lovely city.. everyone is chilled relaxed and friendly it's easy to get around and not too big. A good destination for families. so I only got to see two days worth.. the third day I just couldn't get out of bed I was too sick I spent the night coughing keeping most of my room mate's awake. I needed chicken soup... it was very hard to find gluten-free food here. I survived on awful biscuits. As a result of eating the wrong food such as salad dressing my head was in skocking pain...I wished I was home in my own bed. I was really in a bad way.

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But the next day it was time to leave on my big on my train trip to to Northern Germany destination Hamburg a five hour train journey. off I went to the station at checkout time to wait for the 1pm train. It was only upon enquiries as to where there could be a waiting room that I discovered there was no one o'clock train today! Next one 3pm direct... the line was being worked on the man printed me out a whole list of detours I would have to take so off I went to find the train on his list to God knows where.
TRAIN 1. took about 2 hours to somewhere in Denmark..PA announcements.. turned out the train was going to be split in two so I had to get off at one station run way to the back cars with all my luggage and the conductor on the platform yelling at me to get back on the train it is so difficult to lift your bags up onto the steps into the train I really struggled. four young youths ran ahead of me to do the same..they jumped on the train right in front of me and of course as I was Invisible to them because I'm over 50 and they couldn't give a damn.
NEXT A BUS.. We all piled out at the God knows where station..half walked off in the wrong direction but my piece of paper said go get bus at front of station. Waiting about 15m..suddenly the other half of the passengers came running around from behind the side of the station to queue up with us. Someone obviously told them they were in the wrong place as they all came together in a hurry. there's no way we are all going fit on one bus I said to my neighbour.. there was a crowd of people at least 70 or so. finally a bus turned up a big double decker one and we all crammed on this journey took another couple of hours down the autobahn and just as we pulled into the station at the border town at fellenberg it started to rain. my coat of course was in my the side of my bag under the bus. you can tell the people who live here. they have a tiny little bag strapped on their back, comfy fast joggers..then they pull out their waterproof jacket throw it on and wait at the door of the bus to get out. our train was not due for an hour but they had checked their time tables there was one at 5.05 and they were determined to make it. So things were tense...it was now five pm... they bolted off the bus and ran into the station meanwhile the rest of us had to wait for our bags. I just waited on the bus because of the heavy rain but suddenly and incredibly it stopped. I jumped off the bus grab my bag and wheeled it as fast as I could up the steps and into the station. I ran along just chasing everybody else then they disappeared to the left and I turned the corner to see there was a big flight of steps way up. I'm not doing that. I went to the elevator just nearby..broken damnit..okay I am doing that up up all the steps they must have been about 20. These are the times you swear you will travel lighter next trip... the train is still here I yelled to the others still running behind me up the stairs. I think they held the train up because they knew we had been delayed long enough we all managed to get on and the train took off to Hamburg hbf which took another two hours at least.

Once arrived at Hbf it is a big station....from there I had to try to work out where on earth in this huge station were the ordinary metro trains passed all the development works and down an elevator I had found the S bahn to get to altona Station that took me at least another 40 minutes by the time I found it and got to my hotel... no surprise that my booking did not work the card will not work online and they had no booking for me... still feeling really crook really tired and miserable. I was about to cry the young woman was very helpful she said all our private rooms are booked I can offer you a dorm bed I said okay in a meek little voice. I will just sleep anywhere. I had left Copenhagen hotel at 11am and it was now maybe after 8pm. It had taken 9 hours with 2 trains and a bus for a regular direct journey of five hours. I had a bad night I was so tired but my coughing was so bad I had to leave the room and cough in the stairwell for about an hour after midnight.
A horrible day with a bad night to top it off.
This is what can happen on European trains..tracks close, problems and delays. Never get an ongoing connecting journey. Wait until tomorrow. I met a man who was going to Croatia that night..it must have been him that shot out the bus door first.

  • ***Few pics to come

Posted by serendipitous 18:23 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

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