8 January 2006 - Berlin, Germany

Berlin Architecture
This building was just a few metres from our hotel. From the look of it I thought that it may have been some sort of shipping company (it looks like a boat)... until it actually dawned on me what CDU stood for. This building is the headquarters of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany...
<insert political opinion here>.

It is a wonderful looking building. I hope no-one was watching me taking photos!

 


9 January 2006 - Munich, Germany

Innside Premium Hotel
This boutique hotel was our base for our short return stay in Munich. The building has featured in numerous architecture publications throughout the world. We managed to book a room for a third of the normal rate on www.wotif.com

 


9 January 2006 - Munich, Germany

Self Portrait
Messing around in the bathroom.
We had planned to travel to Frankfurt a few days prior to our departure but there must have been something important going on this week in Frankfurt - there was very little accommodation available and what remained was grossly overpriced. Given that we were returning to Brisbane 24 hours before starting work we decided to head home a few days earlier than planned.

As the Australian Qantas office was closed at the time we rang Frankfurt airport the nice lady there changed our tickets for nothing - a useful trick to remember if you have a paper ticket and you need it changed! We were departing Frankfurt tomorrow night.

 


10 January 2006 - Munich, Germany

Deutches Museum
Our last morning in Munich was spent wandering around the Deutches Museum. There are some fabulous exhibits there, particularly the physics & aviation sections (some of my favourite topics). I also tried my hand at the Theremin, one of first electronic instruments, p
laying an abridged version of 'Mary Had A Little Lamb'... much to the disappointment of everyone nearby...

 


10 January 2006 - Munich, Germany

Otto Cycle
One of earliest examples of the four-stroke internal combustion engine developed by Nikolaus Otto in the late 19th Century. The invention of the engine has been attributed to Otto although there is some evidence that this was not the case. Karl Benz took this engine and used it to power a three wheeled carriage, and then a four wheeled 'car'. The rest is history.

 


10 January 2006 - Munich, Germany

Autobahn
On the road to Frankfurt. The roads in Germany are excellent, particularly the Autobahns.
The drivers seem to know how to drive properly as well. Unless cars are passing, they stay in the slower lanes, out of the way of faster cars - it is not unusual to be passed by cars travelling in excess of 220km/h.


Trucks very rarely leave the slow lane and do their best to stay out of the way of cars, and the cars respect their size. The roads are well signed and sensibly constructed with dynamic speed limits to control traffic flow. In the entire time we were driving around on the Autobahns we witnessed no tailgating, no road-rage, no dangerous driving and not one accident. When there are posted speed limits, people adhere to them but when there is none, they go for it and drive sensibly. When lanes merge, drivers actualy merge in turn - no cutting in - and they are good enough to do this at 120km/h without anyone needing to brake.

 


10 January 2006 - Frankfurt am Main, Germany

"Your Route Is Being Recalculated Due to Current Traffic Messages"
...said the navigation voice as we travelled around Frankfurt airport looking for a petrol station. We both forgot to refuel the car until we were at the airport so we dialled up the nearest petrol station and followed our navigator's direction.

After 30 minutes driving around in a maze of road works we eventually found what we were looking for. Fortunately the cars navigation system received traffic data (roadworks, traffic jams, etc) and factors this into the navigation route. Very useful indeed! We would have been completely lost without the navigation system.

We made it safely back to the airport with a full tank of diesel (€1.20 per litre - about AU$2.00) after dark with plenty of time to spare. This BMW diesel was fantastic - extremely frugal yet powerful. I want one!

 


10 January 2006 - Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Frankfurt Airport
In a few hours we'll be on our way to Australia. We had to wait about an hour before we could check in, but with Qantas Club membership we didn't have to queue at all - we just checked in with the business class passengers. We had a fantastic holiday and look forward to returning to Germany in the summer of 2007.

Stay tuned.