I promised Aunt Uschi we would be at their house by 9:00 for breakfast. I did wake up early and thought about moving around. It just took a few more minutes than I planned. I showered and dressed as I pushed Rich to the shower. Packing and picking up the room was easy.
I did manage to take my suitcase down the double circular staircase by myself. I was quite proud. It is a cool feature in Mark’s house, but I’m glad it’s not in my house. Thanks for letting us stay at your place and taking up your available space.
As we were getting packed, I knocked really hard on Mark’s door. Time to start his day also. Sleeping in wasn’t an option for his Mom today. We all had to show up for breakfast.
We packed the car and drove back to Aunt Uschi and Uncle Max’s house. Breakfast was well underway there. Uncle Max made extra coffee so he could share with Rich. I know Rich felt honored to share the Air Force coffee. It reminded him of the shop when he was stationed in Germany.
Mark arrived and we sat down to scrambled eggs with ham, onion, and green pepper. They were so delicious. Rich got his brotchen for the day with luncheon meat and cheese. Aunt Uschi makes her own jams and jellies. I just couldn’t resist haven one of everything.
Too soon, breakfast was over. We cleared the table and got everything into the kitchen. Hamlet and his buddy, Clover, were trying very hard to get some scraps from the table. We might not have left too much to share with them. Sorry there wasn’t much to steal today, Hamlet.
Mark was leaving work and we took pictures outside the front door. I got to have a picture with my Aunt Uschi, Uncle Max, and cousin, Mark. I know I’ll be looking at for days to come and remembering some great times even though the time was so short. Thanks for having us in our homes.
Rich and I took our leave. It took a few minutes to get the destination into the navi. Once we got the right street, the navi said and away you go. We waved very hard and turned the corner to head back to the autobahn.
Now the navi is a crazy machine. She talks to us in English, but has a very different accent. When we got to the autobahn, she tells us that we will be “on this road for a long time.” I find that a strange expression when you don’t want to say how long. We find that the navi doesn’t tell you anything over 10 Klicks.
We are cruising down the road when it tells us to exit the autobahn. We thought this was to avoid construction congestion. However, we need to move from set of roads to another to continue moving southwest. This route is through small villages and some very nice countryside.
I have to tell you that we went through the village of Frankstein. No monsters though. I wanted a picture of the village sign, but there was a really bad accident right there with tons of police cars and EMTs. No visual evidence to support the story that we went through the village. Again, no monsters were seen.
We cruised on. The speed limit goes up and down all over the place out in the country. I’m going 30 klicks and then 80 and then 100 and then down to 50 very quickly. I think it is to keep you on your toes and awake.
The navi takes us through a series of small towns and jumps from minor country roads to smaller highways. Finally we reach the next stretch of autobahn heading toward Augsburg. Then we get a low tire pressure warning. Darn! I was hoping we didn’t have a flat. The car felt fine, but we got off the autobahn and found a gas station.
I don’t know how you would find someone to do real work on the car. I can’t tell what a garage would look like. I see plenty of car dealers. Mark says that the Skoda is the lower end of the Volkswagen brand. I guess that would be my next place to try.
Rich goes in to try and communicate with the staff to find the air hose. He comes out and motions me over to the station. There is a can of compressed air that you use to fill the tires. We did find one of the tires a little low. We fill it up and head back out. Once on the road, Rich clears the warning and it stays off. That must have done the trick.
We are cruising along yet again. We are getting closer to Augsburg. The town name starts showing up more and more on signs. Then we hit a slow snag. The traffic is creeping along very slowly. When we get to the problem, we see a Porsche Boxster pointing in the wrong direction on the side of the road. It is burnt to a crisp. I think the pain might have been red, but I couldn’t be sure.
We are cruising along again. We are in Augsburg. The navi takes us off the autobahn and we start working our way into the old part of town. There is construction everywhere. It is difficult to turn where the navi wants to go. After several redirects, we make it down a very torn up street and turn into the alley where the hotel is located. The courtyard is tiny and full of cars.
We park and go in to register. The explanations are made about how to find our room and we get a key to the garage at the back of the hotel. Unfortunately, you have to drive a quart of a mile out of the way because of the construction. The lady gives directions and explains how to store our car.
Wait! Did she said to use the key to move the rack down and park on the top rack? Yep, those were the instructions. We get to the driveway and see a car parked in front of a door. Now how do we get in? Rich hits the button on the key chain he was given. A garage door on the side opens to show four sets of racked cars.
We decide on a spot and Rich inserts the key into the lock and begins to lower the first rack into the floor. It disappears and the top rack is ready to accept the car. It’s very tight and takes me several maneuvers to get the car backed up onto the rack. It is tight. And I didn’t smack the old Porsche sitting next to the spot I was using for the maneuvers.
Rich turns the key and the rack starts to go back up. Our rental is now on top and the lower rack locks into place. Pretty cool apparatus. Now eight cars can fit into the space of 4 slots.
We get our luggage up to our room. As we figured, there is no air conditioning. This is going to be common in Germany and Poland. The weather doesn’t look like it will cooperate for our trip at this point. Still hot and humid.
After resting and cooling down, it was time to try to find the Plarrerfest grounds. We were able to pinpoint the location and it looked walkable. With map in hand, we headed off down the alley to the road, to the way, to the main street and to the fest grounds.
Germany is very bicycle oriented. The roads and sidewalks are set up for bicycle traffic and there is lots of it. We discovered where to walk and where to stand at lights to stay out of the way. Other times, you just dodge as they fly by you.
At one corner, we caught sight of some people dressed in traditional German outfits. We were pretty sure they were on their way to the fest. We kept them in sight and finally saw the gates with large rides behind them. We made it.
We entered and walked around the grounds to scope out the rides, food, and activities. There were three large fest halls for eating and drinking traditional fare while listening to bands and talking to your friends. Rich was just going to have to talk to me.
We made our way around and Rich picked the tent he wanted first. The beer there was the Hasen Bier. That translates to Hare Beer. We entered and stopped someone to see where we could sit. The answer was anywhere. Most of the tables were empty, but had reserved signs on them.
We found some young kids and asked to share a corner of their table. There was an older man at a table by himself, but he was also very drunk. Rich was a little leery of sharing that table. The kids begrudgingly said yes.
The bar maid got our order for beer and came back with two large steins of the requested beers. I had asked for a Radler, which is a Shandy to us. Unfortunately, that’s not what I got. However, I was hot and thirsty. Anything tasted good.
We ordered pretzel to help with the beer consumption. I have to say that the pretzel we got at the Hoffman Estates Beer Garden was much better. We ate most it and rather quickly. It was good to get some food in us. We ordered henchmen (fest chicken) and schnitzel. The food tasted great. I felt like I had enough beer by the time I was halfway done. Rich volunteered to finish it to prevent obvious alcohol abuse.
We finished off our beers and headed back outside to wander the fest ground. We stopped at the bumper cars to watch the strategy of the Germans. Most of them just went round and round. Only a few guys were trying to bump into cars and push people around. You pretty much can ride around in the car as long as you keep feeding it tokens. We say a few takers who made three or four trips around the floor.
Rich got bumped by someone. His first reaction was someone trying to pickpocket him. Turned out to be a couple of teenagers within a larger group trying to fight. Let me back up there. It was one particular guy trying to pick a fight. It almost looked like a couple of gangs who bumped into each other. No shots were fired, but I wondered where security was during the whole thing.
We took another circuit of the grounds. On our first walk through the grounds, we saw the Bier Go Round. It was basically a round bar in the center with seating around it and little balconies on the outside. A few people were sitting or standing on it. On this pass, that thing was so full, it could hardly move. People were hanging off everywhere.
We saw a booth where they had an open pit fire. Then they clamped boards with fish attached and were cooking fish the old fashion way. Rich tried to talk to one of the guys, but they didn’t speak English. It was kind of cool to watch.
We got a bottle of water at one of the stands. After paying, we received a token. We had to ask what the token was for. When you return the used bottle to the station, you get a few cents back. It was one way to encourage to recycle and not to throw the bottle in the trash or on the ground. Pretty cool idea.
We circled the grounds and watched the people. Rich wanted to do one more beer from a specific bier stand. It was on the other side of the park, but near where I needed to return the water bottle. Rich went after his beer while I collected our deposit. It was interesting to note that all beers here come in real glasses. They say they don’t get too many broken and you do have to pay a deposit on the glass when you pay for your beer. You get the deposit back when you return the glass. I didn’t see any broken glass so the deposit idea must be working.
Time to walk back to the hotel. It was just starting to get dark. I was tired and felt the hike was going to ask a lot. We are on vacation and this must be done. We head out the gate and say good night to whoever is listening. We walk back toward the hotel, but decide on a different street than the first one we took. There was something strange and scary there. It bothered both of us.
We stuck to the main street and the one that Rich wanted to try looked like it had a lot of traffic so it should be safer. We walked up Grotten to Karlstrasse and then found Hohner Weg. This was the street that ran right by the Dom Cathedral. We knew where this was. However, on the way, Rich saw an Erdinger bar. I said no and he didn’t fight it. Erdinger is one of his favorite German beers.
We got back to the hotel and could easily see how to get around from there to some of the other sites for the next day.
At the hotel, it was still hot. After showers, it was a little cooler. I settled in to get caught up on my blogs for the last few days. However, my brain was not in a mood to cooperate. So I gave in and went to bed. There’s always tomorrow.