Germany October 2005
After a mid-October meeting in Bonn Bad Godesberg, I took a week for relaxing and walking in two beautiful areas, half in the Siebegebirge and half in the Rothaargebirge. These pages contain all the pictures I took inthat week, so there are quite a few near repetitions, but I think there are some good ones, too, especially of the autumn colours in the Rothaargebirge. One rainy day, I went into Køln to buy some music, and a couple of pictures of the city are here, too. The map shows my route. You can click on the word "Rothaargebirge" to see the pictures from there.
The Siebengebirge is a park containing, by convention, seven mountaines, of which the most visited is the Drachenfels, topped by a ruined castle. One can take a ferry across the Rhine to the town of Königsberg, from which one can walk up or take the cog railway. The higher hills are further back from the Rhine. I stayed in an isolated hotel on the far side of the Siebegebirge, and took a couple of very pelasant walks, up the Ölberg (the highest at 461m) and the Löwenberg (the second highest), which is topped by a substantial castle ruin. From there, especially from the Löwenberg, the Drachenfels is just a small obscuration of the Rhine, beyond which, one can see the Radar "golf ball" of FGAN inthe distance.
The region of the Rothaargebirge is also called the Wittgensteiner Schweiz. It is also a "Naturpark", and is about as far from an autobahn as one can get in former West Germany. It is very quiet, quite often so quiet that one cannot hear any sounds of civilization, something one very rarely experiences nowadays. At one place, I could hear the conversational tones of people chatting about 1 km away across a field. The autumn colours of the mixed forest were especially lovely. I stayed in a very pleasant hotel, Gasthof Erholung, situated by itself on a minor road about 5 km east of Bad Berleberg. It was the fourth time I stayed there, and the third time that I was the only overnight guest. On the other occasion, the place was full of Hungarian pipeline workers who were installing a huge gas pipeline from the Black Sea to Dortmund (or was it Rotterdam?). The pipe was so big one could stand upright in it, but now, the only way one can see its route is by noticing that the trees over it are much younger than their neighbours.
The last few pictures here are of the incredible bank towers of Frankfurt, including the European Central Bank.
All the pictures come in three sizes: thumbnails such as are on this page and the successive pages you see by clicking "Next", middle-sized ones you see by clicking on a thumnail or the associated text link, and full camera resolution ones (2048 x 1600 pixels) you get by clicking on the "Full sixe version" link above each mid-sized picture.
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