Saturday, April 29, 2017

Genglish as she is writ

Both of us are amused and at times irritated by the German use of the English language, especially when English is dropped into German sentences. Why for example should the Germans use "Story" instead of "Geschichte" which means the same thing, I shall never know.  When we visit our local shopping centre/mall we look at the the English terms in the shop windows and giggle. (I know we should get a life,  but…) This has been going on for years, but we came across a new term today in the window of a shoe and handbag shop: "College lookbook". What does it mean? *

*It turns out that "lookbook" is term from the world of fashion and means a catalogue with photographs. It is new to us both.

Then our local brewery is offering courses in home beer brewing. According to the German description the course offers breakfast to start, snacks during the day, instruction, six beer samples and you can take your volume of fermenting beer home with you. In addition there is a "Handout". I thought it was a goody bag similat to the kind of thing one gets as an attendee at the Oscar ceremony, but no, according to the my wife this is a term used at teachers' conferences to describe printed literature that is handed out.

Friday, April 28, 2017

E-Bike and Bicycle Hire in Wertheim, Germany

Wertheim lies on three major German cycle routes: River Main, River Tauber and the Romantic Road, and the extensive Spessart Forest lies to the north. It is no surprise to find that two organisations in the town offer bicycles to hire.

Tourismus Wertheim GmbH
Gerbergasse 16, 97877 Wertheim
T: +49 (0) 93509,, eMail:
Opening times April to October:
Mo - Fr: 9:00 - 18:00, Sa: 10:00 -16:00, Sun: 13:00 - 16:00
The tourist information office offers e-bikes from Falter (Range 60km) and from Staiger Range 120km) to hire. Both companies build good quality bicycles. You should remember though that the range is shortened when one uses more power assistance to climb hills. The river routes are relatively flat so one can reach the maximum range, before one needs to pedal without assistance. The good news is that there are now a number of free charging stations in the hillier Spessart Forest: at the moment there only appears to be a Facebook page:, but a website is in preparation:
The Falter e-bikes cost:
Half Day: 10€
First Day: 18€
After 3 days: 17€ per day
After a week 15€ per day

The Staiger e-bikes cost:
Half Day: 14€
First Day: 23€
After 3 days: 20€ per day
After a week 17€ per day

Zweirad-Fachgeschäft Baumann
Neben-Neugasse 3-5
97877 Wertheim
Tel: 09342/1214

Opening times:
Mo - Fr: 9.00 - 12.00 and 14.00 - 18.00
Sa: 9.00 - 13.00 
At present we have no information about bikes, prices, etc.

Although this would be a good place to hire a bike to ride the Romantic Road, remember that you will need to return the bike to Wertheim at the end of the holiday. One possibility would be to take the Romantic Road Coach (bus) from Füssen to Wertheim Village, but this would mean stopping another night in Wertheim at the end of the holiday. If you decide to do this then take a side trip by bus or train to visit Würzburg which should not be missed.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Hotel accommodation in Buhl-Lorraine near the Rhine Marne Canal

A hotel recommendation, if you are cycling along the Rhine Marne Canal between Nancy and Strasbourg, which is in itself much to be recommended. It is now part of the Pan-Europe Cycle Route Paris - Prague. Much of the canal towpath is now a cyclepath:

The former Cactus Hotel on a small industrial estate in Buhl-Lorraine which is near to the Rhine Marne Canal is now an Ibis Budget hotel. It has a bike garage which is available as long as you arrive early enough before the reception closes, otherwise there is an adequate fence to lock bikes to. The rooms are more than adequate if a bit on the tight side. You can book it via the Internet which saves fighting with the joys of the French language. There is a decent restaurant nearby called Le Cabane de Marie, just by the roundabout on the D45 road where you turn off left for the hotel, coming from the canal. As far as I remember the restaurant is closed on Mondays.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Knooppunt Navigation Nodes in Sauerland and Siegerland-Wittgenstein

Yet another tourist authority in Germany has set up a knooppunt sytem whereby cyclists cycle to and from numbered nodes rather than following lines of signposts across the country. South Westphalia has taken this courageous step. This is the area east of Dortmund stretching south. There is a downloadable app available for Android and iOS. More information can be found on, in German.

We have just been to the National German Cycling Conference in Mannheim and I chatted to executives from the Sauerland Tourist Authority. I asked how well the system has been received. It would appear that the Germans arrive and think what does this bring me? After one or two visits they are very enthusiastic about the system. The other main group of cyclists in the Sauerland are the Dutch. They come from the Netherlands and understand immediately how the system works. It is what they have at home. They too are very pleased.

Friday, April 07, 2017

You can now book long-distance trains in Germany six months ahead.

Deutsche Bahn (German Rail) has doubled the period you can book tickets in advance from three to six months. Bike spaces are always booked up at weekends in summer and without a bike reservation your bike cannot travel. You are then offered the slower option of taking a series of local and regional trains which do not demand reservations. Of course, if the bike compartment on the local train is full when the train comes into the station then you will have to wait an hour for the next train. Better try and book early.

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