I blog to you from Weimar, Germany where we are spending 5 days enjoying the history of this great town. I have caught a cold (sore throat, stuffy head) which I intended to avoid during this 3 month trip. But alas, we must soldier on, taking in the sites/sights. I will blog about Weimar in a day or two.
I really like WordPress for blogging, but I must say, their autocorrect feature continues to plague me. I proof read my blogs to correct blatant spelling errors and the like. When it comes time to post, or “publish” as the button reads, WordPress ‘saves’ and then publishes. When it saves, it corrects things. In my last blog on food, I noticed that Munich Sausages became Munch Sausages (white mild sausages that are quite tasty). Munch them I did, but the blog should have read “Munich”. So, I apologize to all of my readers who care about such things. I don’t intend for this to be a scholarly paper, so thank you for putting up with my colloquial writing style and grammatical errors.
I would like to mention a few observations in the blog today. These have to do with everyday eating and drinking and a few other non food related observations.
Roads: Tolls exist on the highways (at the exits) in France, Ireland and Italy. French tolls are about double the Italian tolls. (It cost about 100Euro to travel from Bordeaux to the Italian border, for example.) Austria specifies that you buy a sticker for the window for the period of travel. Our 3 day sticker was 8Euro80, a bargain compared to the other countries. This is all interesting in light of the fact that the taxes Europeans pay (including EU member Ireland) go into a European road fund which helps to maintain the roads. So, everyone is paying double duty. Germany has NO tolls, and no speed limit on the open sections of highway. Germans are contemplating a foreigner road toll for folks like us. By the way, stay to the right on the autobahns. 175 mph is not uncommon and you better stay out of the left lane. All Americans should drive on the German highways for one hour. If they did, they would never hang out in the left again.
Bread and pastry: In the US, pastries cost $3-4 a piece. In European countries, they are generally 1-2Euro. 2Euro50 for a fancy tart. Bread is 3Euro. If you buy Crumb Bros. type of bread in Logan, it is $5-6 a loaf.
Coffee: Fancy coffee drinks are $2.50-$4 in the US. 1-2Euro in Europe.
Wine: In the big cities of Europe, plan on $6-9 a glass, just like anywhere in the US. But everywhere else? 2-4Euro. Bottles of wine in Europe: 4-9Euro, for stuff that it normally $10-20 in the US.
Beer: A pint of beer in UK: 6-8 Pounds! In Europe? 2Euro.
So, coffee, beer, wine and bread, the staples of our diet(!), are reasonably priced in Europe but way overpriced in the US. Of course they make up for it in toll roads and gasoline prices. Gasoline is about 1Euro20 for diesel per liter (multiply by 4, roughly, to get the gallon equivalent). Our van gets about 40 miles to the gallon which is great.
Pet Peeve: In Germany, you can pee for free. In Venice, it costs 1 Euro. In most of Europe, it costs .20-.50 cents. This “pisses” me off! Peeing should be a basic human right. The US got rid of toll potties in the early 70’s (I remember it costing a dime). What happens here is folks pee anywhere they please. It’s really a drag.
A few last pics from Heidelberg area. We visited Ladenburg, just a few kilometers up the Neckar River from our little town. Super cute walled town right on the river. You jump on a “ferry” to get over there:
It can carry about 8 cars, as well as bikes and folks on foot.
The town is in the background. The Neckar is a major transport river in this part of Germany. The river is narrow, but the big boats come right through.
I visited a Waldorf (private) school in Edingen. They have traditional school music with an orchestra (a rarity in Europe since most children get their music lessons at separate conservatories). The school specializes in art, music and life skills. They have a complete farm including pigs and sheep. They shear the sheep and learn to spin and weave the wool into clothing. The “shop” classes are quite advanced as well.
Armin is pictured here. He teaches one group of students from grade 1-8 (He has the same students every year as they pass through each grade). Same teacher the whole time! They become family, needless to say. This is a feature of Waldorf schools; one teacher for the primary grades. His class size is 25, and there is a waiting list to get into the school. Cost is 200Euro per month.
Above: Armin’s intact classroom.
Off to wine taste today. Turns out, Thuringen region has Weingut and vineyards which specialize in……Riesling. Better go taste some, head cold and all. Tschuss!