Sunday, December 24, 2006

Hannover to Wurzburg via Kassel

(brief refresher: I took off with my friend Kevin to Sweden and Germany to pick-up and drive my new car (Saab 9-3 convertible) not just because it was likely to be (and was) a good time, but also because it's an amazing deal - the best way to get the car you want, pay an aggressive price, AND get a free* trip from Saab for good measure. You can find out more about this program here.)

Sunday was a high mileage day (230, per Gooogle), which wasn't so bad, as most everything in Germany is closed on Sunday.

One highly enjoyable exception was the Christmas Market in Kassel. Like all of the other Christmas Markets (and we hit a bunch: Luebeck, Hamburg, Kassel, Wurzburg, Rothenburg, Nuremberg, and Ansbach), the Kassel market was a mix of craft & Christmas vendors surrounded by food and drink vendors.

At this point, I was bratwurst fatigued, but got to sample kartoffelpuffer - a delicious fried potato pancake accompanied with applesauce.

Kev and I split the driving, with each of us keeping an average speed on the autobahn near 100mph.

We settled in Wurzburg, and arrived early enough to take in the last of their Christmas Market for the day. Young and old were out late Sunday night staying warm with copius amounts of gluhwein (and when in Rome....)

Wurzburg itself was a pleasant surprise - a scenic site on the Main river valley, with a castle and abundant wineries on the valley walls. Wurzburg also had a very neat walkable city center, and a few interesting stops, such as the Residenz of the Prince Bishop of Wurzburg.

What had attracted us to Wurzburg was the location - within striking distance of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Nuremburg, and Frankfurt - but there were enough things to see and do to keep us busy.

Wurzburg is technically in northern Bavaria, but the locals consider their land to be Franconia and most definitely NOT Bavaria. Funny thing then, that the poster I saw most frequently was a celebration of Wurzburg's 200 year anniversary of joining Bavaria. When I first saw these posters, I thought they were patriotic, but after learning about Franconia, they were more like propaganda.

As you'll see in subsequent posts, Franconia, Germany is a way better place to visit than Franconia, Virginia (USA.)

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With my new friends on the Great Wall of China

With my new friends on the Great Wall of China
Click to go to my online photography

World sun clock

Uncommon Man's Creed

"I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon -- if I can. I seek opportunity -- not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I wish to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole, I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence, nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master, nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud, and unafraid, to think and act for myself, to enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, "this I have done." All this is what it means to be an American." -- Anonymous