Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Finding a place to call home

After my overnight in Schwäbisch Hall, I headed for Heidelberg and the German Museum of Pharmacy. They did not allow photographs and the only definitive pieces I was interested in were three morters and three wooden drug jars. Considering wooden drug jars are extremely rare, this was worth the trip. It clarified a number of Medieval and Renaissance paintings and woodcuts of apothecaries. However, the rest of Heidelberg was overrun with tourists from all over Europe - from overly polite British folks to very demanding Germans from other parts of the country.

After that, I found the A1 Autobahn and headed north as fast as either the Renault or traffic would allow. My goal was to get to a point on the map somewhere near Köln but not too close to the city where prices would be high and the pace of life fast. I took a chance on a road side "Rasthof" which turned out to be a fairly American-style hotel. A bit more than I expected but it was definite shelter for the night. A bonus was that it has a local yellow pages with maps of the area and listings for (hurrah!) hotels. This areal shot of the town of Lennep caught my eye and it turned out that half of the hotels listed were in that town. Actually, the town is a suburb of a larger town called Remscheid, which mostly lays on the west side of the A1 while Lennep lies on the east side.

The next morning (a Sunday morning when *nothing* is open), I parked on the edge of town and walked around the old city. It´s very quaint and was utterly dead. I saw maybe a dozen people and that was only because I walked by the train station and near the newer part of town. The only accomodations I could find were hotels which tend to be a bit pricer than I really wanted, but the town was growing on me. When they started to open up, I picked the "König von Preußen" and it seemed like a good price. I was led up to an upper story room overlooking the market square. I unloaded the car and drove up to Münster where I hoped to find the Leper Museum (open only on Sunday from 3PM to 5PM).

Trying to find it turned out to be a bust and I spent most of my time there sitting in front of a beer cellar enjoying the really fine Fall weather and some equally fine beer. I´ll need to remember to write about the planned community I did find at Kinderhaus. It was so planned and nearly desserted on a Sunday that it felt creepy.

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