Thursday 12th September
We arrived at Ettlingen yesterday, a town we have already been to before. Two reasons why we are here, it’s on the way to where we are going, and it’s got the nearest thing to Wetherspoons we’ve found in Europe so far.
Space for 8 motorhomes, a service point with water, electricity and elsan point and more than enough room for late arrivals.
Even though we got up very late it still wasn’t quiet beer o’clock so since we’ve already been around this town why not jump on a tram and zoom into Karlsruhe, the main administrative centre for the area. It’s always a bit confusing trying to navigate different navigation systems but we worked out where the tram goes to and which we need to get back.Where to buy the tickets though? I spot a ticket machine onboard so quick jump on board and we’re ready to buy a ticket. Press the screen, nothing. Put in credit card, nothing. Try coins, nothing. I sat down with coins and card in hand in case the ticket collector climbed on board. I wasn’t the only person who couldn’t get the machine to work and we got to our destination without paying a pfennig (as we used to say).
Karlsruhe is a strange place. Wide open streets, fountains and planting everywhere but no people, no traffic, no rubbish and huge buildings.
No idea, no signs and not marked on Google maps.
Opposite is the town hall
It’s midday, we’re in a large city and the weather is fantastic, where are they all?
This is Schloss Karlsruhe, built in 1715 as a summer residence for Carl Wilhelm of Baden. For 200 years it remained as the seat of government for the Princes and Grand Dukes of Baden. The Palace sits at the centre of a hub of 32 avenues radiating outwards giving Karlsruhe it’s distinctive layout.
Since 1921 it has been the home of the Baden State Museum. In 1944 it was mostly destroyed by Allied incendiary bombs and when it was rebuilt only the outside was restored. The internal floorpan was designed to house a modern museum. Unfortunately, beer o’clock was fast approaching and we had other committments.
Beer of the day, Rottbier and Sommerbier brewed on the premises.
And washed down by a plate of pigs knuckles with dumplings and beer gravy. I don’t like bones, I could even go as far as saying I hate bones but these were easy, the meat just fell off the bones and I finished the lot – not the dumpling as well, couldn’t manage all of it.
We sat out in the beer garden, the weather has been so good to us over the last week.
More huge buildings, more lack of people.
Time to go home and we got to the right tram stop and caught the right tram. Unfortunately this one had a ticket machine that was working. No matter what I did, and using my vast wealth of German to translate, there was no way that I could only buy a single ticket. In the end I had to admit defeat and buy two return tickets at €2.60 each instead of a single for €2.10
Back in Etlingen, which is far smaller than Karlsruhe was, this church with a mystery phone box (with working phone!!) and lots of people and traffic. And then we accidentally on purpose found…
Another brewery house, would be a shame to walk past it. Inside the copper kettles where the beer is made.
Nicely laid out seating with a veranda and large outdoor beer garden. Lucy is sat just under the tree.
More beer of the day, this time Rottbier and Pils.
The Pils was lovely but my eyesight started going a bit blurry…
And then got worse.
Until my beer just disappeared.
Heres our tram making a loop back to return to Karlsruhe. We can see the tram station from the aire.