Sunday 16th February – To the Bavarian countryside!

February 26, 2014


Well, with a name like that and company like this I suppose it has to be breakfast here!

Well, with a name like that and company like this I suppose it has to be breakfast here!

That night I slept fitfully and am almost glad when the alarm goes off as I’ve been nervously waiting for it for seemingly ages. After a quick shower and check out I arrive at the train station soon after, buy a coffee and a waffle and get a little worried that my train and two others on the board are written in red.

I ask, apparently that’s what denotes an international train…do you think you could have chosen another colour??? Anyway, I climb the stairs to the station, find out where my coach is going to be (a fantastic idea that appears yet to catch on properly in the UK which results in people frantically scurrying along the platform as their booked coach sails passed them) and then get aboard. The caffeine from the coffee and the sugar from the waffle (Liege style – because they’re just so much better) kick in and I get a large chunk of work done on the train. I’m on this train to Frankfurt for about three hours and it terminates at my stop. So, even though I have a pretty sharp connection to make the other end, I can fall asleep without worrying about missing my station. An hour’s dozing on the train and then we head into Frankfurt.

Mmm train track...(Frankfurt-am-Main)

Mmm train track…(Frankfurt-am-Main)

From here I catch the train to Wurzburg (the short connection is made easy since my ticket lists the platforms I have to change between – again UK, are you listening?!) and pleasantly watch the world go by and the scenery become more Bavarian. On the final train, from Wurzburg to Ansbach I send a text to Thorsten, my host, and sit back to watch the dark green trees and rolling fields with dainty villages peppered with the occasional tall chimney stack. On the stretches where the train track is cut through the forest it feels a little bit (despite the ultramodern, ultraquiet comfort on the train) like slowly stepping back in time with the prettiness of the surroundings.

Wurzburg. And yes it's more train track. And no I didn't take photos of the pretty countryside. No, I don't know why not either.

Wurzburg. And yes it’s more train track. And no I didn’t take photos of the pretty countryside. No, I don’t know why not either.


At Ansbach I’m met by Thorsten and his girlfriend Suzie and they drive me back to the family farm in Esbach. A quick introduction to the father, Georg, and Thorsten gives me the tour of the farm buildings and particularly the anaerobic digestors, or biogas plants as they’re named here. The plant seems pretty big on first viewing with two gas engines producing about 550kW, of which about 10% is used by the farm and the rest sold to the grid. As well as AD the farm, like seemingly everywhere in Germany, is covered in PV solar panels and these also feed in to the grid. We sit for a coffee and doughnut (known as krapfnel around here) which is awesome.

I’m pretty tired from the journey so I get shown to the room I’ll be sharing with Tim, who is set to arrive later, and I grab an hour’s kip and catch up on the Olympics. That’s the benefit of knowing nothing about the winter sports; when the commentary is in German for the ice hockey I’m no worse off than were it to be in English since I’d still have little idea what was going on. Still, it’s nice to relax and at five I meet Thorsten again to head back to Ansbach to pick up Tim.

Due to a delayed flight (wouldn’t happen on the train 😉 ) Tim is slightly late so we sit for a coffee in the train station. Thorsten tells me of his time working on a farm in Canada and a ranch in Colorado. We’re the same age, if anything he’s 6 months younger, but you can tell from the confidence in the way he speaks about the farm that this is a man with plans.

Tim arrives and we jump in the car back to Ansbach. Dinner that night is called vespor (or that’s how it’s written but it sounds different in dialect) and includes a selection of delicious breads (mostly rye-based), jam, cheese, butter and ham followed by a honey cake which was pretty special made by the mum Christa, who runs the household and, as everyone has done, makes us feel very welcome.

Aware that we’ve agreed to start at 6:30 the next morning Tim and I soon turn in. With no English channels on the TV we’re stuck with a dubbed Jackie Chan film and so exchange life stories. In the hope of early to bed early to rise we turn the lights out and have the rumblings of the cows in the barn next door as the only noise to be heard.


One Response to “Sunday 16th February – To the Bavarian countryside!”

  1. sampickard said

    Reblogged this on Overland to the Far East: A better way to travel ? and commented:

    Here’s the journey part 2. I’m trying to work out whether the placement also deserves a home on LowCO2Motives…thoughts?

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