/ Europe2017

Germany - it'll be nice when it's finished.

Freundenstadt (is it just me or does the urge to burst into Beethoven's ninth just happen every time you hear the name?) is a typical German town. That is to say, several of its main roads are being dug up. We're not taking the UK pothole fixes, or the gas board's odd metre or two of lifted tarmac here, we're talking of hundreds of metres of main road entirely closed off in both directions whilst excavations that would make Howard Carter envious are being carried out. 

Earlier in the week it was impossible to wander amongst the shops in Freiburg because the main shopping road was being dug up and pedestrians were confined to a single pavement before being allowed to cross 100 metres or more ahead. Well the exact same thing is happening in Freudenstadt (...Tochter aus Elysium...), only worse, as well as a main street the entire road from the station is a hole so large one wonders whether it is planned as a water reservoir for the town and neighbouring villages.

But, gentle reader, I hear you muttering "Freudenstadt ('nicht diese Töne') - I thought you were in Alpirsbach?". Ah, but we caught the train. It's almost exactly 40 minutes to the Alpirsbach train station from the campsite. I know this because I allowed 45 minutes but normal procrastination turned that into 40 and we arrived at the station with just 3 minutes to spare. The train was fairly full too, which surprised me for as mid-morning local service. Wonder how many people were, like us, taking advantage of the free travel Guest Ticket? Arriving in Freudenstadt ("Seid umschlungen Millionen!) there were a couple of connecting trains ready and waiting to leave. The idea of a joined-together transport system is quite novel to us Brits.

It was another 40 minutes walk, uphill from Freudenstadt ("Freude trinken alle Wesen...") station into the main town square (the largest market square in Germany) not helped by the combination of two major construction projects.

One of the curiosities of the town's square is the city Protestant church. Being built on the corner of the square it is L-shaped and has two aisles are right angles with the alter in the centre. Most unusual. A nice 11th century font 

And it was reassuring that even angels play the ukulele

Now I like churches that don't have large florescent displays insisting that you make a donation (or even worse, charging for entry). I always give more at those churches that have a little, unassuming offatory box tucked away in a side wall somewhere. Here even more so. It had a small stall offering books, postcards etc with an honesty box. Amongst the items was a CD of the church's bells and organ, reduced to the bargain price of €2. To help clear the last copy of their shelf I took it, paid and then added to the the offatory box to make it a more even-handed transaction.

The Market Square is appropriately huge and has the usual mix of women's clothes shops, more women's clothes shoes, shoe shops with the occasional bakers and tourist shop thrown in (By comparison Freiburg had shoe shops, even more shoe shops and then shops selling shoes as well). Also some nice fountains that I really should have photographed and a brew-pub.

Did someone say "brew-pub"? Had to be done and their seasonal Herbstfest beer was very interesting. An unusual 'bright' taste, not bitter, certainly not pils and not really a bock either. 

Not wanting to risk falling down Germany's equivalent of the Grand Canyon we decide to forgo a walk back to the station, and catch the bus back instead. Again, a mid-afternoon and a fairly full bus. This idea of a decent public transport system obviously works. 

We even manage to get off at the right stop for the campsite (believe me, a lot harder than it sounds) and in bright sunshine spend the rest of the afternoon chilling. I even got to finish my weaving