|Aalen, Germany (Roman Fort)
|Miles Driven Today
|Total Trip Mileage
|New Countries visited Today
|Countries visited on trip
|US, Canada, UK, The Netherlands, Germany
I’m on day 19 of my travels, and I’ve logged a little more than 2150 miles, so I just keep a puttin’ the miles in my rear view mirror, and enjoy the fantastic things that the world has to show me. Can’t wait ’till tomorrow…
Change of plans…
You’ll recall that I had expected to visit the Porsche Museum, and then maybe a bit of wine country, but my plan was foiled when I looked at the schedule for the wineries, and discovered that they’re closed on Sundays. And then, I looked at the schedule for the Roman fort in Aalen, and discovered that it’s not open on Monday, so I wouldn’t be able to stop there on the way to Munich tomorrow, so I called an audible.
Hut 43, Ride 21, Romans 6, Romans 6, Hike…
And off I went. That is to say that I left the BnB at 9:00 AM, and headed to Aalen, the site of the Roman fort, which is called a Limes when it’s not used for aggression, but instead it is used for holding garrisons of soldiers, who simply allow the magistrate to observe the trading in the area. These Limes were all along the Northern edge of the Roman Empire, poking into where Germany is today.
I wanted to show you just how narrow the pathway is that I had to exit through. So, I stated the front/rear cameras, and headed down through the gates of hell. Feeling very confident, I rode through the gates, and just as I was getting the bike through, I heard a clunk, as my right pannier (Luggage) hit the post on the right side. Since I had filmed it, I thought you might enjoy a bit of self deprecating video.
I had a light breakfast before I left, so I was going to need to stop along the way. But, once again, I don’t quite understand how things work, and so I found myself without a working plan. I had hoped to ride along the Autobahn, waiting no more than about 10 minutes before I would come upon a Rest Area, where I’d be able to get a good breakfast. But, it seams that the highways to Aalen are secondary roads, and there are no rest areas, as there are on the bigger, primary highways. So, eventually, I figured this out, and went looking for something that is close to, but just off the highway.
I saw a McDonald’s, but by the time I saw it, I had passed the exit, but as I continued just 1 more mile, I saw a Burger King, and exited. I figured out how to make my way to the Burger King, using a series of rights and lefts, and I pulled into BK, ready for a good breakfast, but it was closed. I mean, it’s 10 AM, and the place is closed. What’s with that?
There was one employee on duty, who was throwing away trash and she said that BK opened at 11:00, but McDonald’s pens at 9:00, so they would already be open. I continued along this side road, and came upon the same McDonald’s that I had seen from the highway. Kismit? Who the F#$k knows. In any case, I had a “proper breakfast” at McDonald’s.
Now, don’t get the idea that I like McDonald’s. I mean, I’ve already written about it twice, but in this case, I comment on Micky D’s only because of how it is different from the US. For example, none of the foods for breakfast are the same, except for the Egg McMuffin, which I’m sure, sucks just as much in Germany, as it does in the US. But me, I’m a refined gentleman, so I ordered a Egg and Tomato, on Toast. and it tasted great, just like you might imagine.
With breakfast in the bag, I hit the highway again, and made my way to the Roman Fort.
Arriving at the fort
Now, before you read any further, take a moment to try to imagine where a bunch of ancient Roman Ruins would be. Once you’ve got it pictured in your mind, read on…
As it turns out, the ruins are just about in the middle of the city, intermingled with houses, apartments, and other businesses. I mean that the edge of the ruins, is literally 6 feet from an apartment building. I found this rather strange, but as I think about it, I can see how it came to be.
This video shows exactly how much these ruins are in the middle of the city.
The ruins were originally discovered in the 1800s, but then they were not really “worked” until 2000 or so. And so, for all those years, the city grew up around then, and once they were declared a historic sight, soon to become a UNESCO Heritage site, the German Govt found that they had ruins, among the people. So, being Germans, they figured out how to make it work, and although it seems a bit unorthodox, it was quite fascinating.
Inside the Roman Limes Museum
I’m a bit of a history nut, and so I really wanted to understand what was happening at this location, some 1700 years ago. So, I paid for admission, and asked for the English Audio Guide, which I had read about on another Blog Post. But here’s the thing… There is no audio guide. Not in English, not in German, not in Slovak, nothing, nada, no guide. But, I was told by the young girl at the desk that I should not worry, next to each explanation, which was in German, there would be an English corollary. Except, that’s just not true.
For some of the exhibits, perhaps 15%, there was an English explanation, but for most, there was nothing. So, I did my best to be fascinated, in fact, just to be sure that everyone knew that I was fascinated, I let out an audible “ooooh”, and the occasional “ahhhhh”. So, a few ooos, and ahhhs, and I made my point, right?
I’ve included two galleries from the museum. The first, is a series of statues, and other exhibits from within, and the second, is a series of pictures from the excavation that they’ve completed outside.
Outside Exhibits and the grounds
Arrival at the Porsche museum
For anyone that calls themselves a Car guy, or a Car gal, the Porsche museum is like Shangri la. Imagine, looking down into the mythical valley, but instead of being filled with a peaceful community, who lives extended lives, in harmony, I’m facing race cars, from every era, all of which have a strong winning history.
This museum is smaller than the Mercedes museum, but as I’ve been told by several folks, the two museums are quite different, with MB focusing on “the first motorcar”, and “the history of motorcars”, the Porsche museum focuses on race cars, and the winning history.
I paid for admission, but I also asked about the “Open Tours”. When are they scheduled, and are they in English. Well, as it turns out, yes to both questions, and the next tour starts in 10 minutes. I was the only one on the tour, so I got a 90 minute private tour of the museum, by a very energetic young man named Dennis.
I did not take any videos which were worth looking at, but I took a lot of pictures of cars. So, I’ve divided the slide shows into Cars, and Race Cars.
The gas tank issue…
I want to be sure that I address the issue with the gas tank filler door ASAP. So, this morning, I sent a note to the BMW dealer in Estonia, and asked them to prepare for repairing the filler nozzle. I sent a link to the video that demonstrates the problem, and I’ve asked them to review it, and be sure to have parts on hand.
I’ll let you know this issue progresses, over the next few days.
I did notice that the Service Manager from the BMW dealer in Estonia has subscribed to my YouTube channel. Now, he’ll be able to keep an eye out for what else goes wrong with the bike between now and the time I hit Estonia. Thanks Marten…
The memorial to Catherine…
Alexandra and Chris told me about a shrine, which is up in the hills of the city. They said it’s a Must-See place, so on my way back to the BnB, I figured I’d finish my day with a quick trip to the memorial.
It’s called the Württemberg Mausoleum and it is a memorial in the Rotenberg part of Untertürkheim in Stuttgart, Germany. The memorial was built for Catherine Pavlovna of Russia (1788–1819), the second wife of William I of Württemberg (1781–1864).
Unfortunately, it was raining as I arrived at the memorial, and I wasn’t able to drive up to it, I was stopped at a gate. Given the rain, and the fact that I’d need to park the bike and secure it, I turned around and came home. Perhaps, the next time I’m in Stuttgart, I’ll see this treasure…
Wow, what a day. I only rode about 113 miles, but it was almost all in the rain, on secondary highways, with rain that was heavy at times. I managed to see the Roman Fort, and the Porsche museum, but did not make it to the wineries, or the memorial for Catherine, but so goes life.
What will tomorrow bring
Tomorrow will most likely see some adjustments to the schedule, for a second consecutive day. I’ll no longer be visiting the Roman fort, having done that today, so if I can arrive in Munich early enough, I’ll be able to enjoy one or two of the possible activities. So, we’ll just have to see.