Mosbach

On Sunday we went to Mosbach to see a friend perform with her choir at the Stiftskirche (Collegiate Church) there. We arrived pretty early and the church wasn’t open yet, so we decided to have a bit of a walk around and go for coffee.

I initially thought Mosbach was a village, but my boyfriend assures me it’s a town and Wikipedia tells me it has a population of 24,233, so I guess he’s right.
The drive to Mosbach from Karlsruhe took about an hour and 15 minutes (for those who know the area, it’s in between Heidelberg and Heilbronn). It lies on the Deutsche Fachwerkstrasse (German Half-timbered Road), from which I’m sure you can guess what there is to see there…

Yep, it’s another town that’s full of half-timbered houses. Here are some (sorry the photo’s a bit dark):

Those of you who have been reading for a while will have gathered by now that I’m a fan of this kind of architecture. For any new readers, in a nutshell: I LOVE half-timbered buildings! They always make me think of houses in fairytales.

Here is Mosbach town hall (the building with the clock), which I thought was a church when I first saw it (and Wikipedia tells me I was correct – it started life as St. Cecelia’s Catholic Church until Otto-Henry, Elector Palatine, ordered it to close because he refused to tolerate Catholics in his principality). Again, much prettier than Karlsruhe’s excuse for a Rathaus (I haven’t forgotten that I promised you a photo of it for comparison, I just haven’t been in town with my camera recently).

The town’s emblem is the Palmsches Haus (Palm House – the words “Anton Palm” are engraved on one corner of the building, so Palm is presumably the surname of the original owner). Naturally, I failed to take a photo of that despite getting one of the bulding next to it, so you’ll have to make do with this one from Wikipedia:

Description in de wikipedia Bildbeschreibung: ...Here is the church where we went to see our friend perform. It is used as both an Evangelical and a Catholic church. The Catholic part is known as St. Juliana while the Evangelical bit (where we were) is the Stiftskirche. It’s quite nice inside, too, but I didn’t actually manage to take any photos in there.

After the performance, we went to a Greek restaurant called Artemis. The food was good, but the service was incredibly slow. Also, my friend who is lactose intolerant ordered the salmon filet and it turned out to be in a bowl surrounded by creamy/cheesy potatoes. No mention of that on the menu!

Mosbach is very pretty to look at, but there doesn’t seem to be a great deal to do there. There is a town museum (I think almost every German town has one!) and a castle that you can look at but not go in, so the best time to visit Mosbach would be on a warm, sunny day when you can walk around and look at things without getting cold.

A cute street in Mosbach

Schwäbisch Hall

So, I promised you a post about my trip to Schwäbisch Hall, and you would have got it sooner if I hadn’t gone down with the cold from hell and ended up spending most of the weekend in bed (I kind of got up on Sunday… I moved as far as the sofa, where I wrapped myself in a blanket and watched Newcastle play football against Liverpool. We drew. *Sigh*).

Anway… Schwäbisch Hall. It doesn’t quite have the fairytale beauty of Tübingen, but it’s old and has lots of pretty half-timbered houses, which is good enough for me.
We arrived just in time for lunch, which we ate at a little place called Entebäck. If you ever find yourself in Schwäbisch Hall go there! Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo of the inside, but it’s very quaint (all wooden beams and stuff) and our waiter was so friendly! Whenever the waiter brought a dish out he would introduce it like this: “For you, sir, the fantastic duck Maultaschen soup” (except in German obviously). It was pretty cute 🙂 And look what they did to my after dinner coffee:

Well, it made me smile anyway 🙂 Add to that the fact that the food was, in fact, delicious and you’re on to a winner! Entebäck definitely gets my recommendation. Also, the people on the table next to us had a million special wishes (one of them seemed to be on a very restricted diet), all of which were complied with without complaint, which doesn’t always happen (as I know from experience after many meals out with a family friend who has coeliac’s disease, i.e. can’t eat gluten. You’d be amazed how many restauarants have trouble with the question “what do you thicken your sauces with?”).

After lunch we headed to Marktplatz, which was just around the corner, and went into the church there, St. Michael’s. Here’s the outside of it:

And opposite it the Rathaus (Town Hall) – slightly nicer than Karlsruhe’s effort! (One day I’ll post a photo for you and you’ll see what I mean. Or you can Google it. I’m sure there are images somewhere on the web).

The river that runs through Schwäbisch Hall is called the Kocher. I love that the town is built up around the river – Karlsruhe is technically in the Rhine valley but the River Rhine is nowhere near the town centre. I miss living near water!

Bridge over the River Kocher

We were lucky with the weather for most of the day (just look at the blue sky behind the Rathaus1), but by 6:30 p.m. it had started to rain quite heavily. Since it was also dark by that time and my throat was already beginning to hurt (the start of the evil cold from hell!), we decided to head for home. And that was Schwäbisch Hall, number seven on my list of 30 towns to visit before 30… I wonder where my travels will take me next?

Update from August 2014: I’ve added this post to the Travel edition of the Expat Bloggers Bloghop over at Young Germany, check out the other entries here.

Calw

I haven’t posted in a while because there hasn’t been anything to say. When I wasn’t at work, I was proofreading somebody’s PhD thesis (written in English by a German), which is basically also work. In between I managed to watch some football, but seeing as anyone who is interested has probably been watching that themselves I don’t feel the need to blog about it. After all this work with no play, I was desperate for a change of scenery yesterday – if only to get my away from the housework for a while! So Jan and I decided to go to Calw.

Calw is about an hour’s drive from Karlsruhe, in the Black Forest. It’s famous for being the birthplace of German author Hermann Hesser – among other things, he wrote the novel Steppenwolf. Some of you may remember the 60s band of the same name. (I, of course, am far too young ;-)).
Our first stop on arriving in Calw was thus the Hermann Hesse Museum, for obvious reasons. Unfortunately we didn’t arrive til 4:30 p.m. and the museum closed at 5, so we only had time for a quick look. We could have done with more time to read everything properly, but what we did manage to take in was interesting.

Having seen the museum, we went to have a proper look around town. Calw is located in the Nagold valley, which allowed it to escape being bombed during the war. This means lots and lots of pretty old buildings. Just the kind of town I like!
Here is the Marktplatz. You can see the half-timbered houses and the Market Fountain in the background:

Calw Marktplatz

Marktplatz again, this time taken from right next to the fountain:

Hermann Hesse was born in this house:

Hermann Hesse birth house

I took a photo of a lantern, just because I always do.

Lantern and rooves

Later, we walked down to the river and I took this picture because I liked the reflection of the clouds in the water:

River Nagold

In the evening, we ate at a cafe/bar place called Kult – their homemade soups are delicious! – and stayed there to watch the football before heading home. It was a lovely day in a beautiful town (we were lucky that the weather decided to be nice for a change, but unlike Würzburg, I think Calw would still be pretty on a rainy day) and I get to cross another German town off my list of places to see. Not a bad Saturday at all 🙂