Germany - France
June 2o24

 Blankenberg  - Einbeck  15 June 2024
115 km / 70 ml

When I looked out of the window this morning it was raining and blowing.  The forecast said it would  pass for 9 am, so I made plans accordingly, had breakfast and paced myself for a 9 am departure.  The forecast was pretty much right.  However, throughout the day the blustery wind was blowing, mostly to the side, but often enough in my face to make for a tiring ride.  That and the Harz mountains, some of which I seem to have gone through, at least up until lunchtime.  So, the morning was a slow business.  Blankenberg is evidently a holiday resort for the mountains and walkers and trekkers.  Very elegant in many ways, with large 19th century villas which double as guest houses.  In spite of the wind and the rain the earnest German walkers were out and about with their poles.  It looks like a serious, purposeful, business.

I’ve gone further west, and tonight am in Einbeck, a very pretty, German, medieval sort of place, with handsome wooden buildings, all carved and coloured.  There's a tradition of carving and painting above the front door the name of the guy hwo built it with formulaic thanks to God etc. Some date from the 1600s, and the building and the door carving is still there. I guess Einbeck escaped destruction in WW2.  Or they’ve done a very good job of reconstructing it.  What I have begun to notice today are the presence of the million Syrian / Arab / Other refugees  that Mutti Merkel took in some years ago.  Especially groups of Arab lads hanging about looking dodgy and surly.   I don’t get a sense that there is much interaction between them and the Germans. In fact, I sense the Germans look at them with some apprehension, even hostility, thinking “What did she do?”.  Those million and more will definitely change the face of Germany over the decades.  I think the Germans know that.  And don’t especially like it.

My little hotel is delightful, but when I got there this evening it was closed, a notice telling me that Saturday was Ruhetag.  Day off.  Whoever in hospitality closes their restaurant, bar and hotel front door on a Saturday ?  Nuts !  The notice gave a phone number to call, and a kind German called for me and told them I was there, and that I didn’t have the code which the notice said I should have in order to let myself in.  They didn’t send me any code.  So, after a while, the man came, and I was able to get in.  My room, lovely although it is, is on the third floor with very steep stairs.  The hotel is very nice, an old building but with modern facilities.  And, as with most German hotels, there are lots of notices telling me what I must do and, more importantly, what I must not do. What do you think I did.... ?!

I’ve had pasta for dinner a couple of nights this last week, a burger last night, so tonight I’ve gone for something a little more ethnic, a Thai restaurant almost opposite the hotel.  Pleasant enough.   I’ve been observing a table nearby where some large and lardy Germans have been at the trough, one guy in particular who cannot be more than early-30s, something like 25 stone, and by my reckoning has eaten at least three full courses, his own and anything else left over….(Sorry, I’ve had to delete the following rant about weight, health problems, and a myriad of other eccentric views that I hold….which circumnavigated around the themes of weight, laziness, universal credit, immigration, Michael Moseley,the NHS, the Jesuits, and Brexit.   Best that way ! ) 

Berlin-Lutherstadt  :   Lutherstadt - Bernberg. :   Bernberg - Blankenberg  :  Blankenberg - Einbeck  :  Einbeck - Kassel  : 

Kassel - Kirchheim  :  Kirchheim - Marburg  :  Kirchheim - Limberg/Diez  :  Limberg/Diez - Mainz  :  Mainz - Koblenz  :

Koblenz - Krov  :  Krov - Remich  :  Remich - Verdun  Verdun : Verdun - Reims  :  Reims - Amiens  :  Amiens - Arras

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