Thursday, October 20, 2011

Home Again

Well back to real life. It was fun escaping for a while but home is where the heart is they say. Hopefully I will be off to the property this weekend. Although this blog is essentially about it I will post some pics from my trip.
It certainly opens your eyes when you travel to another country and experience the cost of living there. Overall, it reinforced my feeling that we are being cheated here by big business and governments.
Despite having many tunnels and road infrastructure I never saw a toll road in Berlin. Alcohol is ridiculously cheap because the only tax on it is vat. Food was cheap also. My jaw dropped the first time I paid at the checkout at the local supermarket, even with 19 percent vat compared to our 10 percent. I was looking constantly at comparisons in costs and if they weren't cheaper then they were at least equal in cost.
Being such a cold climate it goes without saying double glazing is essential. I was amazed to see aluminium double glazed windows for 69 euros available in several sizes for the same price. You still have to buy a steel frame which is secured into the frame or concrete but try and buy just a small aluminium window here for that price let alone double glazed. They are really nifty too in that when you turn the handle one way they swing and the other way they tilt. I could go on but too many words and no pictures can become dull.
 This was an old town called Marbach dating to the 1200's. Pictured is Dad, Wolfgang and Birgit
 I was bedazzled by the vivid colour of these potted flowers. And enjoyed the colour of many a windowbox.
 Another town in the South called Laufen.
 The arrival point in Berchtesgaden. Train and Bus depot on left and hotels, guesthouses on hill in background
 Looking from one side of roundabout in centre of Berchtesgaden. A view to behold.
 We went to Salzburg on the most glorious day weather wise. We regretted later not using that day to visit OberSalzburg.
 We were lucky in a way that we got there early because the cloud came rolling in soon and spoiled any chance of paroramic shots the day we visited OberSalzburg and the Adlers Nest.
 This was a a great get together in the Australian traditon. With Grilled chicken and sausages and plenty of Petra's perfect potato salad. This was a summer house which can be bought quite cheaply. It is not much more than a garden shed turned cottage but the gardens were beautiful and they are very affordable.
You will mostly find these community gardens along the rail lines.
 Celina with an Igel. Now that gets confusing when saying it in English. As it's obviously not a bird. I guess
you could say it is like our echidna except the hair is finer but spikey none the less. So no cuddling too close, which is a shame as they are so cute.
The Rhine is such a beautiful place. Three things I can say, lots of vineyards, castles and stone walling.
We did a 2 hour trip from St Goar to Bingen. There was a picture to be had where ever you looked.
This is Westerland in Sylt an island just below the Danish border. Very clean looking and it had it's own distinct style.
The North Sea wasn't very inviting and I was ropable about a charge to go on the beach so I just took a picture or two over the wall.
The last evening before we travelled home. It was a nice time.
My last supper. Beef Rolladen with red cabbage and herb potatoes. Yum.
The new Sony Centre in Potsdam Platz, Berlin. Many cafes and eateries at ground level and offices above.

Two views from the tv tower at Alexander Platz. Nice Restaurant there as well. The floor rotates and you get to take in 360 degree views over about half an hour while dining.
Time to leave. So sad.

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