Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day and a town called Titisee

Happy Father's Day to those that are!

Proliferation of roses on a balcony, note behind the slatted part of the window.
The slatted window sash is common in Europe, can be pulled down to darken the inside for sleeping or keep inside cool. Ours works with a remote control - cool! pun intended, or some have draw cords to operate them.

I had a hole in a favourite blouse so took it to the sewing shop we’ve used many times before. Left Bruce at the tram stop comfortably at a cafĂ©. We have had Turkish, Japanese, Chinese and Indian food in this neighbourhood at the City Theatre, all good. There is a passageway going from there to a shopping area. Walking through, past all the restaurants the smell was heavenly!

On the other side of the passageway is an Edeka (groceries), DM (drug markt, German spelling), Post office, we were sort of aware of but I explored this week further. 

To explain, here in Europe, actual drug stores where you pick up a prescription are called Apotheke’s. They carry over the counter drugs, Dr. Scholls and high end lotions, they are small but there are many around. The Apotheke staff are knowledgeable and most speak English. DM is the store for everything else, toothpaste, health food products, personal products like deodorants, cheaper lotions, baby products, makeup etc. Certainly it’s a different system than in Canada where you go to a big box store like London Drugs or Shopper’s and get everything, but works here. 

Trams in Freiburg cannot go into the City centre from now until mid-October. is a webcam set up on a building overlooking the street, we'll be able to watch progress from there. They are ripping up the rail lines, re-doing the sewers and the electrical. It’s a mess! But a completely organized one.  They have buses ringing the outer centre to get people from stops that they would normally go through the city.  Viewing it up close today, they have signs on the walls for where to find stores and tourist sites, maps and lots of information about the process. Well, from my point of view, it will just allow us to explore more of Freiburg and discover other neighbourhoods, turns out a good thing. Will spread business to the other areas as well, while the mid-downtown might suffer some. Perhaps not so much because the “high” street is all designer stores and Department stores and Freiburg isn’t that large a city, walkable from end to end.

We decided on a nice day to visit Titisee (no joking that’s it’s name). This is our third visit there, located in the Black Forest Mountains. 
Tour boat circles the lake, we've not taken it.
"Car" boats with steps up to a slide to plunge into the lake, looks like fun!

Beautiful train ride there through hills, original homes and barns with long sloping roofs due to heavy snow. Cooler there than in Freiburg so it’s a great place in the summer time, but chock o’ block with tourists. Many Orientals on tours, many bikers… Went into one store that advertised cuckoo clocks and I can’t remember last where I’ve seen more kitsch! Wow, quite ugly to my mind anyway and the town is full of stores like that.

A house sized cuckoo clock!
Cuckoo at the top, when the hour strikes the couple come out of their windows and rotate.
There is a touristy restaurant there that serves good trout so we went back for lunch. Saw them unloading the still live trout into barrels off a pick up, sorry veggie fans, but at least I know what I ate was fresh!

Wasn't quite quick enough to catch them in motion. The truck says Trout Breeding truck.
Or, perhaps they were re-stocking the stream, we didn’t see any trout in it. The restaurant overlooks the lake and the tourists wandering around, pleasant place to sit.

Colourful boats for rent.
Bruce took his wheels because it’s a bit of a walk from the train station into town. They were a bit of a problem really, missed one train because the staff didn’t have time to put down the ramp. Second train they did. Coming back they were already running late, only two minutes mind you, unusual for trains here, so the conductor, a large, strong woman lifted the wheels on board. Other times we’ve taken the Regional trains we remembered gently sloping ramps, sadly, not the case today. We are definitely going to have to figure out a way around this. Problem is all trains and ramps are different sizes, gaps to get on and off, some high, some low, wide and narrow. Bruce spent time in Sevilla designing a system for the trains there but it won’t work here in Germany. I think he needs caterpillar tracks like those on a tank! 

We were going to be headed into France to Kaysersberg this Sunday, about an hour from here by car. Our guide had other commitments that came up so we've postponed it for another time.

Cheers, Bx2 and Lexi Cat

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