Aug 22, 1961 - Europe 1961    No Comments

Munich to Baden-Baden

Harry and I breakfasted upstairs on the top floor of the hotel – it is a little horrifying to see how much damage still exists from the bombing. Again, as in Innsbruck, there are many new buildings around the station but here, there were still remaining many gutted buildings. From the guidebooks, we learned how many of the old buildings had been reconstructed & repaired. There is an enormous amount of building going on all over the city. It truly a shame we didn’t have more time here – it looks as if there would be much of interest.

Harry and I caught a trolley & went to the J. A. Henkels store to look at the knives – but it was a disappointment. It seems that, in this store anyway, they don’t have some of the things they export to the U.S. We ended up buying some kitchen knives and sewing scissors.

We met the Early’s at the hotel & drove across country on the Autobahn, the super-4-lan4 highway that Hitler had built. It was a relief to get on a good highway and we made very good time. From Munich to the west, there are few hills – we’d left the Alps behind – mostly rolling countryside with larger farms than in the South, bigger barns & more machinery. Even so, the women were in the fields, as in Austria & Switzerland, helping with the harvest (hay). It rained intermittently all day – it seems there are many showers in Germany maybe accounting for the lush fields of wheat, cabbages & in one or two places fields (or nurseries ) with gladiolas & other flowers.

We left the Autobahn temporarily at Uln and Jeannette and I visited the Munster Cathedral – it has the tallest spire in the world. Maybe because it is Protestant, or maybe because the organist was playing, it was the first time I’d visited a church in Europe that I had a feeling of reverence – there were only a few people in the sanctuary and all had a reverent attitude – instead of the noisy throngs in the other Cathedrals.

We had lunch at a nearby restaurant, the Golden Ox, then returned to the Autobahn. Arrived Baden-Baden about 4 o’clock. I had thought we’d be in the middle of the Black Forest but we’re not – we actually saw more forest yesterday from Neuschwanstein to Munich.

Our hotel, one of dozens in this resort town, is very nice & is well situated – away from the train station. There is a nice balcony outside our room but it seems to shower too much to use it.

Harry and I wanted to look at umbrellas so we took a long walk past the shops. When it began to rain, we bought one for each of us – everyone on the street here carries one – you just feel undressed without it!

After dinner, we went to the Casino & played Roulette for a couple of hours – it was interesting to watch & fun to play – we came out a little ahead. The casino is very plush – carpets, chandeliers, statuary,, silk wall covering, etc. Got home about midnight.

I seem to concentrate a lot on our hotel rooms but in each there seems to be a surprise. Here and in Munich, the top cover is not a sheet, not a blanket – but ??? {water stain makes this unreadable} – a sort of a feather comfort thing that is very warm but there is not alternative. Also in Baden-Baden, our bath was a “Thermal-Bad” – mineral water, as well as plain, piped to the tub as you could take the baths in your room. There was a thermometer provided for the bath water, the only trouble being that it registered Centigrade instead of Fahrenheit.

Before we leave the South of Germany, I musn’t forget to comment on the numbers of pinickers we’ve seen – in Austria, Switzerland, & Germany. All had equipment – folding tables, chairs, even lounge chairs, which they carried around in or on top to their cars. So that is one reason, I suppose, that everywhere we went {?} groups – even on the {?} mountain pass. They don’t have to stop at a roadside park as people do in the States, because they carry their own equipment.

Also – the baby carriages! From the time we got on the boat train at Cherbourg, all the way around Europe. I have been amazed at the vast quantities of baby carriages – in the fields, in the cities, in the villages, on the highways, inside of & on top of little cars, etc. It’s pretty obvious that families take their babies everywhere they go – we’ve seen babes in arms 0n many a sightseeing tour – and it’s obvious that we’ve been through sme very fertile – and Catholic – countries!

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