German Musings – More things I saw there and thought interesting

Take a look at these bikes. They are your basic rental bikes that exist both here and all over Europe. They were in western Germany and are quite standard and functional.

Nextbikes in Germany (Rheinland-Pfalz)

I rented these for several days and were quite basic and adequate. On the other hand, whilst in Bavaria I went for a shop-based rental and got something that though more advanced, did not really have as much comfort.

It was while I was outside the shop, that I noticed MANY second-hand bikes on sale; at surprisingly high prices in my opinion!

Prices from left to right €549, €449 and €239!

I can only put this down to the German mentality of not wasting perfectly good bikes and / or their emphasis on useable quality. All of these will easily stand the test of time, and no doubt can endure the rigours of city use.



The Week Ahead – More from Glasgow and the last from Bavarian trip, but what about Levi Strauss’s home!

Levi Strauss’s Home – Bavaria

The week is among us, and I’ll continue looking back at my trip to Germany and Bavaria specifically. As above, I did a cycle tour in northern Bavaria, Franconia, and lo and behold, came across the birthplace of Levi Strauss, in Buttenheim.

I didn’t know that not only was he born in Germany, but did not leave there until he was in his very late teens. The above photo is his house and is now a museum (though it was closed on the day we cycled there).

This was only part of our cycle tour, which we’ll be showing more from this week, in addition to commenting on our various COVID tests that we had to do (highly bureaucratic) and looking at more things in Glasgow and beyond.


The Week Ahead / Random Thought from Germany #3 – Cigarette Machines

As for this new week, I’ll continue to note some things in Deutschland and blog about my travels here – whether it is about the food, alcohol, vistas that I’ve encountered, or various smaller “Sehenswurdigkeiten” that I have noted down, such as:

Cigarette machines in the streets! I’ve noted or blogged about this in the past, but it simply strikes me as something that would never happen in the UK – though I could be wrong. And I am not talking about the old style machines, that at one time, were in most pubs / clubs – these are basically EVERYWHERE in German streets.

A typical German cigarette vending machine

What is interesting about these, is after a second more careful look, you can see that it is only possible to purchase these, via a credit or debit card (In the case of Germany, this could also include an “EC Card” – Another complete German oddity!).

I’ve been told that this is to stop the purchase of these buy children; no doubt a good thing.


Random Thought from Germany #2 – Blue Receipts at the Supermarket

Another thing that I’ve noticed here in Deutschland, is the number of till receipts I’ve so far received that happen to be blue?

Blue Receipt

It was only when writing this text, photographing my receipt and looking on the flipside, that I saw just what exactly this is about.

The flipside clearly states why this is so:

“Blue Voucher for a Greener Environment”

It’s just interesting if we will see this in Britain anytime soon.


Random Thought from Germany #1 – Incredibly cheap Alcohol!

I went into a LIDL whilst in Bavaria, naturally as they are both German and exceedingly good value. But the prices and variety of the “bevvy” was exceptional.

That’s right, £1.00 for a bottle of Merlot!

As you can see, a bottle of perfectly fine Merlot (Ed; In your opinion), will only set you back a quid! Extraordinary. Though this may have something to do with both the number of local wines produced in Germany as well as the tax structure in the UK and Glasgow.

What I also saw, and have seen before, were the different types of “whiskey” – Queen Margot? But now, this “formula” has been applied to gin and gin schnapps, that have a very similar look to other, more famous real gins.

But the last thing I saw, was the beer; with unbelievable prices.

Various beers and shandys (Radler)

Whether that be a very fine bottle of wheat beer, Patronus, to a nice can of Spaten (from Munich).


Week Ahead / Another day in Germany, we are in the Pfalz, Nussdorf – Wine, alcohol and grapes

The week ahead, will once again be filled with Germany, as I am at present in Bavaria, but first. . .

After Frankfurt from last week, I decided to go to one of the many different wine producing areas in Germany (they have a lot!) and arrived in the area referred to as Der Pfalz; which also happens to be the hottest area in Germany.

I was based for several days in a delightful village called Nussdorf (just north of Landau), that as is common practice here, seems to have that every other house produces there own wine, to a very acceptable level!

The food is delicious; I as usual had my favourite, Flammkuchen, thrown down with a beautifully fresh and fruity Muscatel (Muskateller), that I had on more than one occasion.

I’ve been here before and of course will be back, but what always strikes me here is the utter lack of any pretension. Believe me, if this place was in France or Italy the entire world would know about the region. But if you were to read this ridiculously pretentious article, I’m glad that they don’t know about it as much.

It’s hot, inexpensive (a class bottle can set you back 7 Euros), the walking and bike riding (as it is actually quite flat) is superb, and the proximity to other regions in Germany are easily traversed, whether by car or train.

Try it!


Loch Lomond – Part 3 – The picturesque village of Luss . . .

Luss is one of those places that you like (it’s beautiful, has walks, is next to Loch Lomond, has a multitude of pubs / restaurants – and even has a scene or church from the film Four Weddings and a Funeral, if that’s your thing, at Luss Parish church – maybe it does, as the number of weddings in its diary is amazing!) or don’t like; it has too many tourists, there’s too many people from Glasgow (they simply DON’T travel any further north than here!), and has a packed carpark; though they do have a new, purpose built one on the south of the town since the last year.

I cycled to here from my Cameron House stay, and had a lunch among the midges that consisted of a wonderfully textured veggie burger (one of the best I’ve had) and chips, at The Village Rest cafe.


Interesting for those of you who have not had to survive the midges during a Scottish “summer”, it’s only later in the day, where one discovers that they’ve been bitten dozens of times by these things. The local “known” cure is Avon’s “Skin so Soft” and I would have to vouch that it does, indeed work, though I had forgotten to use it on this particular day!

For a laugh, please see this link, where a debate ensues! OTOH, there is also a product called Smidge, which I also use (and forgot to bring as well!), which has it’s own “forecast” as to the midge situation. Check it out!

After the lunch, we had a wander to the quay, and had an ice cream whilst watch the numerous queueing for the boat or trying their hands at canoeing, etc.


Circulars? Will they ever go away?

Are these everywhere?  And surely in this day and age, there must be an alternative to them?  But as always we try to see the humour in everything.  But would anyone want to tell me, do people actually buy the products contained therein?  They must do! 

In addition, what are the strangest things that anyone has seen advertised?  I must confess, some of them are completely modern (the pictured furniture supplements, usually a plenty at or after the Christmas season); or completely old school such as the ones seemingly devoted to the OAP population, and containing anything from socks for circulation, to DIY heart pressure devices.  Maybe I’m going on too much, but it would appear that the cost is cheap enough, that we will continue to see these for the years to come.