Friday, June 23, 2017


For reasons to convoluted to explain here, we had rather a long wait for our train north to Dusseldorf.  First time ever I remember buying first class tickets to anywhere. Felt very special. So, with time to spare, do a bit of train spotting, what?

There are so many different train types here in Germany.  IC, for intercity. A new design. This a double-decker.

The first class accommodation is in compartments, old style.

A local train type.

Yet another local type.  This one with one articulating bogies between connection carriages.

The goods trains had artic trucks trailers carried on specialised rolling stock.  How come BR doesn't have these?

Another local train type.

My own favourite, another double-decker.

And we did see a steam train under steam, similar to this one.  Darned camera was packed away, so missed opportunity to snap the one we saw.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Rhine Valley Revisit

A chance stop for a coffee and cake led to an unexpected delight.

The Lorelei Rock. Mr. Turner was here at this exact spot two hundred years ago, in August 1817.

Same, same.  This is narrowest part of the gorge. Must be nerve racking to negotiate in one of those huge liner barges.

Castles all along here, different sizes and designs. Defending who from what?  Stand on the hill above and take pot shots at the inhabitants, couldn't you?

Baden-Baden Rose Garden

Another stride through flora.  What a brilliant time to be visiting a rose garden.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Black Forrest

 Taking a hired car from Koblenz, we drove a little of the gorge to Boppard before turning west to find the motorway south to Baden-Baden and the Black Forest.

 And what a little beauty we were given.  Brand new Ford Fiesta  with all mode cons and Sat Nav as standard.  Powerful little motor too.  The motorway, A61, is just the same two lane highway I first drove thirty years ago, except this day it was stuffed with lorries.  Good job we opted to do the rest of the gorge on the return trip.

 We had one full day in the area.  First, a visit to Mummelsee for a walk in the woods.

 Taking in the view.

 before a second walk in the woods,

to look back from whence we had come.

T'was a very warm day.


From Gutersloh we again trained it, this time to Koblenz.  This is a very busy touristy town due to it's location at the confluence (a big word for me confluence) of the Moselle with the Rhine river. It is also at the northern end of the Rhine gorge, the drive down which was one of the reasons to be here.  

 Don't ask, I have no idea.

The Rhine. The Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.  According to Wiki, this hill has been a fortification for over three thousand years.

These cruise 'ship' are enormous.  This one had a putting green on the top deck.

There was one little cutie.

The meeting of the two rivers is marked by the Rhine's polluted water.  So many leisure and commercial boats ply up and down, no wonder there is what looks like a permanent oil slick on the water.  

Gutersloh Park

 For a cool day.

But not this day.

A reward for I don't know what.  Has to be admitted, I have put on weight after this trip.

Gutersloh Park

Here, we stumbled on a rather remarkable art exhibition. Paintings by very young artist from the town's art school and a Russian equivalent in Taganrog.

Anna Tarasowa, 9 years old, Taganrog

Darji Apelt, 9 years old, Gutersloh

Anna Tarasowa, 9 years old, Taganrog
Every painting was top of the class.  We did a number of circuits of the display and still found new treasures. 


 After the fair, we had a day to explore the town where we were staying, Gutersloh.  Only one slight hitch we had commuting between the two towns.  We boarded the right train to take us 'home' only to find it going in the wrong direction.  Another funny was the lady at the hotel reception spoke English with an almost perfect Lancashire accent.  It fact, I clocked it as the Bolton variety.  And would you Adam and Eve it, she was married to a Bolton lad.

The town's theatre.

1ZU12 Rheda-Wiedenbruck

Time to set up stall.

The water colour set.  Always aiming to improve our display, Gek prepared labels naming the artist, the paintings title and date painted.

Oil on canvas, left side.

Oil on canvas, right side.

Just before opening time.  The very nice lady on the right of the pic is from Holland. For some strange reason, over the two day event we never exchanged names.  Who needs a name anyway when you chat so easily?


Having trained it from  Dusseldorf airport, we had a days respite before the 1ZU12 miniature fair,

 giving us the opportunity to stride it through the park.

 Medieval water mill in the town's castle grounds.

As we were to see, this was a great time of year to be here with flowers, particularly roses, blooming all over the place.  And relatively free of tourists too.  We don't count as tourists as we were here on business.  Well, sort of business.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Prep for Germany.

The mock up of our display for the miniature fair.  Our table is only 150 cm x 80 cm.  An addition to this display are two rather sweet LED lights from IKEA.  How will Gek's work be received?

Gek has done a couple of paintings for the northern guys and gals.  Only a few more day wait to find out.