Mainberg Castle near Schweinfurt

Some of you might have heard that Germany has been hit by severe flooding in the past few days.

A week ago, we spent the weekend in my hometown area to attend a family reunion, and we were blessed with a day of blue skies and sunshine amid a long stretch of dark and gloomy days.

Here we came down Mainberger Straße on our way to attend our get-together in Hausen/Schonungen. The Main River, on the right hand side of the tracks, has not been affected by the constant rain falls yet. Most of the flooding is happening in the far western part of Germany.

Mainberger Straße Schweinfurt

A hotel, overlooking the Mainberg Castle, is in the works right now. The Martin Family purchased a former farming estate on ‘Grundstrasse’ in Mainberg, and the hotel with Café and ‘Weinstube’ is supposed to be up and running by the summer of 2022.

This is an article in German about the project: https://www.mainpost.de/regional/schweinfurt/mainberg-die-martins-und-ihr-hotel-projekt-art-10486991

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Restaurants in Germany

In general, restaurants which have added take-out and/or delivery to their services, have been able to hold on in this latest lock-down. Restaurants, pubs, etc. have been closed since mid-November 2020.

Government support for this industry in need is coming at a slow pace, I’ve heard.

One restaurant (which also is a guesthouse and brewery) in the small town of Breitengüßbach in Upper Franconia (north of Bamberg), has to close its doors. The remarkable thing though is that it has been in the same family for 380 years and will be missed by its town’s 4.600 residents.

The interior has already been auctioned off. As of October, the estate will be turned into a day care facility for senior citizens. The restaurant owner, Thomas Hümmer, said he will have to find himself a new job.

You can read more about this here in German: https://www.infranken.de/lk/bamberg/breitenguessbach-brauerei-gasthof-schliesst-nach-380-jahren-wegen-corona-art-5200765?fbclid=IwAR3bJg9AZ7nJI7gJrNrS7A5dDNXeB-kiTsIYp3LDjy9tykiBPdzyKmgeSes

COVID situation in Germany in April 2021

This is where I usually write about my travels. The last trip to take place was in February 2020, just before the first lockdown began in mid-March.

We have been in lockdown mode for quite some time. With 16 German states, and each carrying its own set of regulations, it gets rather confusing at times. You might have heard Germans can fly to the Spanish island of Mallorca, but can’t rent a vacation home on the German shore.

In Germany, we can’t travel yet, because hotels, B&Bs, and the likes are closed to the public. We can’t eat in restaurants yet, but we can get deliveries.

We can’t get vaccinated yet, because there isn’t enough vaccine to go around. Priority groups go first, and just this past weekend, my husband was able to register for his vaccination (now all teachers get their turn). Of course, this was only the registration. Who knows how long it will take to actually get notified for an appointment.

We have adjusted, of course. We have also discovered new likes, such as going on picnics. This is in regulation with the keep-distance rule, and we can be outdoors.

With more time on my hands, I printed out a slew of British Tea Time sandwich recipes. White wine, which I usually do not care for, does find its purpose at picnic time.

My idea of Outdoor Isolation works really well. It takes one minute on foot to get to the park. Passersby smiled, and a bit of wine made my own smile even bigger. I plan on having picnics from now on whenever I can.

Picnic Time and Outdoor Isolation in Germany

The Flying Train of Wuppertal, Germany

Yesterday, 2 March, the Suspension Train (a.k.a. the Flying Train) celebrated its 120-year anniversary.

These historical postcards are part of my personal collection.

This platform is in front of the Barmen Rathaus (city hall), with Barmen being one of Wuppertal’s 10 urban districts.

Barmen Wuppertal Schwebebahn

This one is postmarked 25 Feb 1903. The Schwebebahn had been running for two years by then.

Schwebebahn Wuppertal

The Flying Train on its route, Barmen- Rittershausen.

Flying Train Station

On its way to Ritterhausen, the Schwebebahn goes under the Neue Sonnborner Brücke (New Sonnborn Bridge)

Sonnborn Bridge and Flying Train

Youtuber Denis Shiryaev digitally reworked the black-and-white film from 1902, and added color. I especially like the sound effects, which really brings it to life.

Quiet Frankfurt Airport in Late February 2021

Yesterday, we dropped off our son at the Frankfurt Airport. It felt a bit strange not having been there in a while, when we used to be regulars there.

Our son, who had been working here remotely for close to three months, was heading back to London, where he works, and pays dearly for his room.

My last flight, before the pandemic, had been to Bari, Italy in November 2019, so it was a bit eerie to see the airport this quiet. The only sound came from this Turkish-sounding singing get-together inside the terminal. In normal times with so many passengers, this kind of gathering might not have taken place.

Most of the aisles, such as this one, were empty. Some shops were closed. Marco Polo’s store window carried a sign which said, “Never Closed”… The shop was closed though.

This usually bustling airport has been hit hard.

At the other end of our son’s flight was the opposite situation with Heathrow Airport’s immigration queue manned by only two people. More about that in my next post.

This is what BBC News Business titled it: Heathrow Airport seven-hour queues ‘inhumane’, say passengers.

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