May 20, 2010 Thursday – Innsbruck/Gransee/Mesenberg
were going to get up early but had a little too much fun last night.
I have a ticket from the parking garage that the hotel is going to do something about.
I take some stuff to the car and leave
it in the garage.
It's a low cloud coverage day today.
Olga's moving a little slow and we don't get downstairs until 10:25.
The free breakfast we get with our room is over at 10:30.
They take it away just as Olga gets to
We check out and the lady gives me a second ticket for the auto parking fee machine.
It gives me a special rate for staying
at the hotel.
The bill winds up being 169€. 10€ of that is for parking.
We take the tickets to the garage and I put the first one in.
The meter shows I would have owed 12.40€.
I put in the second ticket and it pays the 12.40€
Great deal, I saved 2.40€ and didn't even get my free breakfast.
Off we go with pretty good directions from the Google map printout.
I didn't have a printer but the hotel let me email the map to them and they printed it out for me.
We're going to Meseberger Dorfstraße, Gransee, Deutschland
We head down to Munich, where we were going to stop for a while.
But it was too late and we had a long way to go to Berlin.
800 kilometers, 480 miles.
It's supposed to take about 7 hours 40 minutes, but it's mostly Autobahn.
We were trying to make an evening barbecue north of Berlin.
So we stay on the autobahn and stop for lunch at a nice old city.
Which I can't remember the name of.
We walk around a little and no one seems to be home.
stop in at the Central for lunch.
The lady there spoke neither English, Ukrainian, or French.
I order two beers and guess at what might be good. I'm trying to get a dark beer, and a lager beer for Olga.
I get my dark beer and the lady had asked me something about wasser when I tried to get the lager and Olga wound up with a large glass of water.
She wasn't going for that, so we did finally get her a lager.
get lunch. I have some sausages and sauerkraut.
I'm not a fan of USA sauerkraut, but this German stuff is not bad.
Olga gets a Weiner Schnitzel and a big pile of fries and a lemon
It's especially essential for Weiner Schnitzel. (could be my first one Susan).
Just before we leave I go to the WC and they have an interesting device here.
I'm not exactly sure what it's for but
it looks a hockey goal and has a little ball hanging on a wire from
the top crossbar.
So I have a little fun scoring a goal and bouncing the ball around.
Men, and boys, are easily amused.
We get back on the Autobahn and head north.
After a while I stop to get fuel. This car uses diesel, which is good because it's the cheapest..
I fill it up and try to find an
attendant to figure out how to pay.
There's no credit card slot near the pumps..
So I find a guy and for some reason ask him, in French, if he speaks French.
He looks at me like I'm a dumb ass Frog, and says. “No, only German and English.”
I don't think the French and Germans like each other very much. Wonder why?
So I go pay and off we go. It's very
painful to buy gas here. It usually costs me about $65 to fill up and
I only have a 10 gallon tank which I don't let get too empty.
We've been driving almost exclusively through farmland and there's a lot of this stuff with the yellow flowers.
I think it's alfalfa, but don't really know.
It's driving Olga crazy, but every where we stop somewhere she forgets to ask.
Autobahn in Germany is interesting.
There is no upper speed limit here.
The speed signs posted everywhere are suggested speeds.
There's almost always three lanes.
The right lane is mostly reserved for
the trucks which have an 80kph (50mph) speed limit.
And they stick to it.
The middle lane is for trucks passing each other here and there, and for sane drivers like me that keep it about 140kph (85mph).
The left lane is for passing slow cars in the middle lane and for the whack-o's that go really fast.
Here's a video of me going around 85 getting passed on the left.
It's really a symphony out here. People
are very concious about staying to the right if they are going slow.
If you do need to use the left lane to pass, you better not stay
there very long to do it.
The guys driving over 200kph (120mph) don't like to slow down and they come up on you real fast.
It's pretty wild, but they make it work pretty good.
run into a traffic jam near Leipziig, and it delays us another half
There goes any hope of making the barbecue today.
Our directions are working good and we
get on smaller and smaller roads.
Then we get down to the tree lined two way roads.
Where the signs remind you it's a bad idea to run into their trees.
Here's a video of a classic old European movie driving down the tree lined roads.
can't quite figure out what happened here.
I've seen trees sort of like this in California where the wind coming off the Pacific makes them grow sideways.
This is pretty flat land, but this was the only section where they were like this.
get to Gransee and the directions go bad.
Europe is not so good with street signs.
And the directions call for a whole pile of turns one way and the other.
We get all twisted around and once again it's late, it's gotten dark, and nothing's open.
So we reverse our course and go back to Gransee, which is a fair sized little town.
I'm going to get the computer out and look at the directions that has maps with it.
The hotel in Innsbruck didn't print all the little maps, they just printed the big one.
I'm going to sit in the car and do it, but Olga talk me into going into the little town square because she thinks there's a table there.
I grudgingly oblige.
There's no table here. Unless I sit on the cobblestones and use the bench for a table.
I'm trying to find the map, she wanders around a little.
It's gotten dark and this is a farming area.
They probably do a lot of irrigation and water sits around not moving.
I know what happens in Wyoming from my farm days there.
And it happens here too.
I get attacked by swarms of mosquitos.
So, I hot tail it back to the car,
mumbling about why did I listen to her.
I get back to the car and decide to just call Jerrod. He's the groom to be. Maybe he'll come and find me and we can follow him to the hotel.
He gets me some easy to follow
If, I can find a direction sign to Starslund.
Well, it's a small town so I drive around the outside a little and find the direction sign.
follow the directions and there's only two turns and we get to the
It's next to the Schlosswirt.
That's a guest house out here in the boondocks that the current German Chancellor had built for notables like George Bush to use when they come to Berlin.
Europe kind to had to keep Bush a little hidden, and Germany did a great job.
we're here and we get checked in, and the restaurant is still open so
we get dinner before going to the room.
I'm having some cream of tomato soup, a bread basket, a nice garden salad, and a pork chop with a clump of herbed butter, some fried potatoes and a little sauerkraut from Olga's meal.
An excellent end to the day.
And did I mention that the beer in Germany is not bad.
This is a pretty new hotel, somewhere between 3-4 star, has a great staff, great chef, great grounds, great rooms,...
But for some inexplicable reason there is no internet service.