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Diary Entries

Wednesday, 06 May 2009

Location: Gladigau, Germany

THE GLADIGAU EXPERIENCE!

We started off our morning early in Wernigerode, and were on the train heading towards Gladigau (or somewhere vaguely in that direction...we hoped) by 7.30 a.m. We had decided to take the train to a tiny place called Brunau-Packebuch, as this was the closest location to Gladigau that we could access by train or bus. We had three changes, in Halberstadt, Magdeburg and finally in a village called Hohenwulsch, where we were to swap from train to bus and head to Brunau-Packebusch. By the time we reached Hohenwulsch, the cities were turning into towns and towns into villages, and we were both having seroius doubts about ever finding Gladigau. But our hopes rose when we hopped off the train at Hohenwulsch and there was an empty bus waiting for us, which was going straight to the Brunau-Packebusch train station. The driver was a big fellow who became quite jolly when we told him we were from Australia (AUSTRALIA! WOAH!), who spoke no English, and as we spoke no German, we resolved to the handy pen and paper trick, waving our arms around a bit, until we thought he understood us. He dropped us off at a bunch of buildings that looked like they'd been severly damaged during the war, but was more likely an empty canola factory cum train station. We had just jumped the tracks to look at the timetable (of course we happened to be trying to find the smallest village in the area on a Sunday...) when we saw our bus zoom back over the rail crossing and our jolly friend honking the horn and waving at us. So we jogged over to him, only to find out that he hadnt understood that we wanted to go to Gladigau at all, that in fact he had know idea how to get us there, and that if he hadnt of returned we would have been stranded in Brunau and probably wouldnt have found the place. He had in fact turned around to take us to Salzwegel, where he thought we wanted to go in the first place... We jumped in the bus, which was still parked on the side of the road, while he called up a buddy who told us we would have to take a taxi 40km from Salzwegel to Gladigau. But as we were rolling along through another random village on our way to Salzwegel, the driver suddenly halted, wound down his window, reversed up the road and started chatting to a woman on the street, who said she could give us a lift to Gladigau, as a taxi would be too costly. So we snap a quick photo with our friend and jump out of the crazy bus into the lady's car and 10 minutes later (almost 4 hours after we had set off) arrive in Gladigau. We have an idea how small it will be as there were no signposts for it at all along the way.

The weather was beautiful, the lilac and blossoms were out, and no cars to be seen. And we found as we walked to the main intersection (the only intersection) that it was a pretty, quaint little town with a single pub, a one truck fire station and cobbled streets lined with lovely, off balance, tudor style cottages, a few more modern houses and a couple of old barns and stables.

We went into the little pub for a bite to eat, and were quietly greeted by the owner, a grey haired little man. Another middle aged local and an elderly man wearing braces (who later rode off on his bicycle with a six pack and a watering can) were sitting at the bar drinking beer and having shots of gin. After a schnitzel with egg, cabbage and salad and a couple of drinks, we got chatting to the owner, told him our story and where we were from. He just happened to have a daughter Dorthe who had visited Adelaide and met a woman with the surname Gladigau who showed her the same Gladigau family history book that the Allens each have a copy of now. This man gave us a sticker with the Gladigau coat of arms, gave us our meal and drinks for free and we snapped a shot of him inside his pub on our way out.

We strolled around the village for a little while (a bit conscious of time, as we had no idea how to make it back to Wernigerode), found the church that was built in the 13th century, and walked around its beautiful garden and cemetary, which was by the River Biese. The river was in fact more like a stream, complete with little jetty and full of fish, not to mention bright blue dragonflies and some bumblebees. Very picture perfect.

As we were about to walk to 6km back to Brunau-Packebusch train station, we heard a loud HELLO! and saw the man from the pub calling us back with the phone in his hand. He had his daughter Dorthe on the line, who we had a chat to, and who offerred us a place to stay with her in Hannover if we wanted to visit.
At about 1.30 p.m. we started the long walk to the train station through the amazingly bright yellow canola fields and wheat fields. We decided to stick our thumbs out to see if someone might give us a lift, but its obvious we have hitch hiking experience as the drivers just give us a thumbs up in return... 6km later we reach Packebusch, where we find another sign for Brunau, which is another 2km away. On we walk. When we finally can see the station in the distance, Jesse thinks it would be pretty funny if the boom gates lower now and our train comes. This happens exactly as he finishes saying it, and we start running towards the station and just make it in time!
The train ride back is quite uneventful, except that we attract a group of drunk soccer fans, fresh from a match in Magderburg, who sit right next to us and want to know how many babies a kangaroo can hold in its pouch. We make it back to Wernigerode as it starts to rain, completely satisfied with our awesome day and pretty overwhelmed with the warmth and help we received from the locals!

Sunday, 03 May 2009

Location: Gladigau, Germany

THE GLADIGAU EXPERIENCE!
We started off our morning early in Wernigerode, and were on the train heading towards Gladigau (or somewhere vaguely in that direction...we hoped) by 7.30 a.m. We had decided to take the train to a tiny place called Brunau-Packebuch, as this was the closest location to Gladigau that we could access by train or bus. We had three changes, in Halberstadt, Magdeburg and finally in a village called Hohenwulsch, where we were to swap from train to bus and head to Brunau-Packebusch. By the time we reached Hohenwulsch, the cities were turning into towns and towns into villages, and we were both having seroius doubts about ever finding Gladigau. But our hopes rose when we hopped off the train at Hohenwulsch and there was an empty bus waiting for us, which was going straight to the Brunau-Packebusch train station. The driver was a big fellow who became quite jolly when we told him we were from Australia (AUSTRALIA! WOAH!), who spoke no English, and as we spoke no German, we resolved to the handy pen and paper trick, waving our arms around a bit, until we thought he understood us. He dropped us off at a bunch of buildings that looked like they'd been severly damaged during the war, but was more likely an empty canola factory cum train station. We had just jumped the tracks to look at the timetable (of course we happened to be trying to find the smallest village in the area on a Sunday...) when we saw our bus zoom back over the rail crossing and our jolly friend honking the horn and waving at us. So we jogged over to him, only to find out that he hadnt understood that we wanted to go to Gladigau at all, that in fact he had know idea how to get us there, and that if he hadnt of returned we would have been stranded in Brunau and probably wouldnt have found the place. He had in fact turned around to take us to Salzwegel, where he thought we wanted to go in the first place... We jumped in the bus, which was still parked on the side of the road, while he called up a buddy who told us we would have to take a taxi 40km from Salzwegel to Gladigau. But as we were rolling along through another random village on our way to Salzwegel, the driver suddenly halted, wound down his window, reversed up the road and started chatting to a woman on the street, who said she could give us a lift to Gladigau, as a taxi would be too costly. So we snap a quick photo with our friend and jump out of the crazy bus into the lady's car and 10 minutes later (almost 4 hours after we had set off) arrive in Gladigau. We have an idea how small it will be as there were no signposts for it at all along the way.

The weather was beautiful, the lilac and blossoms were out, and no cars to be seen. And we found as we walked to the main intersection (the only intersection) that it was a pretty, quaint little town with a single pub, a one truck fire station and cobbled streets lined with lovely, off balance, tudor style cottages, a few more modern houses and a couple of old barns and stables.

We went into the little pub for a bite to eat, and were quietly greeted by the owner, a grey haired little man. Another middle aged local and an elderly man wearing braces (who later rode off on his bicycle with a six pack and a watering can) were sitting at the bar drinking beer and having shots of gin. After a schnitzel with egg, cabbage and salad and a couple of drinks, we got chatting to the owner, told him our story and where we were from. He just happened to have a daughter Dorthe who had visited Adelaide and met a woman with the surname Gladigau who showed her the same Gladigau family history book that the Allens each have a copy of now. This man gave us a sticker with the Gladigau coat of arms, gave us our meal and drinks for free and we snapped a shot of him inside his pub on our way out.

We strolled around the village for a little while (a bit conscious of time, as we had no idea how to make it back to Wernigerode), found the church that was built in the 13th century, and walked around its beautiful garden and cemetary, which was by the River Biese. The river was in fact more like a stream, complete with little jetty and full of fish, not to mention bright blue dragonflies and some bumblebees. Very picture perfect.

As we were about to walk to 6km back to Brunau-Packebusch train station, we heard a loud HELLO! and saw the man from the pub calling us back with the phone in his hand. He had his daughter Dorthe on the line, who we had a chat to, and who offerred us a place to stay with her in Hannover if we wanted to visit.

At about 1.30 p.m. we started the long walk to the train station through the amazingly bright yellow canola fields and wheat fields. We decided to stick our thumbs out to see if someone might give us a lift, but its obvious we have hitch hiking experience as the drivers just give us a thumbs up in return... 6km later we reach Packebusch, where we find another sign for Brunau, which is another 2km away. On we walk. When we finally can see the station in the distance, Jesse thinks it would be pretty funny if the boom gates lower now and our train comes. This happens exactly as he finishes saying it, and we start running towards the station and just make it in time!

The train ride back is quite uneventful, except that we attract a group of drunk soccer fans, fresh from a match in Magderburg, who sit right next to us and want to know how many babies a kangaroo can hold in its pouch. We make it back to Wernigerode as it starts to rain, completely satisfied with our awesome day and pretty overwhelmed with the warmth and help we received from the locals!

Sunday, 03 May 2009

Location: Gladigau, Germany

THE GLADIGAU EXPERIENCE!

(We will fill in the rest of the trip at a later date...)

We started off our morning of the 3rd of May early in Wernigerode, where we were staying at a brand new, awesome hostel, and were on the train heading towards Gladigau (or somewhere vaguely in that direction...we hoped) by 7.30 a.m. We had decided to take the train to a tiny place called Brunau-Packebuch, as this was the closest location to Gladigau that we could access by train or bus. We had three changes, in Halberstadt, Magdeburg and finally in a village called Hohenwulsch, where we were to swap from train to bus and head to Brunau-Packebusch. By the time we reached Hohenwulsch, the cities were turning into towns and towns into villages, and we were both having seroius doubts about ever finding Gladigau. But our hopes rose when we hopped off the train at Hohenwulsch and there was an empty bus waiting for us, which was going straight to the Brunau-Packebusch train station. The driver was a big fellow who became quite jolly when we told him we were from Australia (AUSTRALIA! WOAH!), who spoke no English, and as we spoke no German, we resolved to the handy pen and paper trick, waving our arms around a bit, until we thought he understood us. He dropped us off at a bunch of buildings that looked like they'd been severly damaged during the war, but was more likely an empty canola factory cum train station. We had just jumped the tracks to look at the timetable (of course we happened to be trying to find the smallest village in the area on a Sunday...) when we saw our bus zoom back over the rail crossing and our jolly friend honking the horn and waving at us. So we jogged over to him, only to find out that he hadnt understood that we wanted to go to Gladigau at all, that in fact he had know idea how to get us there, and that if he hadnt of returned we would have been stranded in Brunau and probably wouldnt have found the place. He had in fact turned around to take us to Salzwegel, where he thought we wanted to go in the first place... We jumped in the bus, which was still parked on the side of the road, while he called up a buddy who told us we would have to take a taxi 40km from Salzwegel to Gladigau. But as we were rolling along through another random village on our way to Salzwegel, the driver suddenly halted, wound down his window, reversed up the road and started chatting to a woman on the street, who said she could give us a lift to Gladigau, as a taxi would be too costly. So we snap a quick photo with our friend and jump out of the crazy bus into the lady's car and 10 minutes later (almost 4 hours after we had set off) arrive in Gladigau. We have an idea how small it will be as there were no signposts for it at all along the way.

The weather was beautiful, the lilac and blossoms were out, and no cars to be seen. And we found as we walked to the main intersection (the only intersection) that it was a pretty, quaint little town with a single pub, a one truck fire station and cobbled streets lined with lovely, off balance, tudor style cottages, a few more modern houses and a couple of old barns and stables.

We went into the little pub for a bite to eat, and were quietly greeted by the owner, a grey haired little man. Another middle aged local and an elderly man wearing braces (who later rode off on his bicycle with a six pack and a watering can) were sitting at the bar drinking beer and having shots of gin. After a schnitzel with egg, cabbage and salad and a couple of drinks, we got chatting to the owner, told him our story and where we were from. He just happened to have a daughter Dorthe who had visited Adelaide and met a woman with the surname Gladigau who showed her the same Gladigau family history book that the Allens each have a copy of now. This man gave us a sticker with the Gladigau coat of arms, gave us our meal and drinks for free and we snapped a shot of him inside his pub on our way out.

We strolled around the village for a little while (a bit conscious of time, as we had no idea how to make it back to Wernigerode), found the church that was built in the 13th century, and walked around its beautiful garden and cemetary, which was by the River Biese. The river was in fact more like a stream, complete with little jetty and full of fish, not to mention bright blue dragonflies and some bumblebees. Very picture perfect.

As we were about to walk to 6km back to Brunau-Packebusch train station, we heard a loud HELLO! and saw the man from the pub calling us back with the phone in his hand. He had his daughter Dorthe on the line, who we had a chat to, and who offerred us a place to stay with her in Hannover if we wanted to visit.

At about 1.30 p.m. we started the long walk to the train station through the amazingly bright yellow canola fields and wheat fields. We decided to stick our thumbs out to see if someone might give us a lift, but its obvious we have hitch hiking experience as the drivers just give us a thumbs up in return... 6km later we reach Packebusch, where we find another sign for Brunau, which is another 2km away. On we walk. When we finally can see the station in the distance, Jesse thinks it would be pretty funny if the boom gates lower now and our train comes. This happens exactly as he finishes saying it, and we start running towards the station and just make it in time!

The train ride back is quite uneventful, except that we attract a group of drunk soccer fans, fresh from a match in Magderburg, who sit right next to us and want to know how many babies a kangaroo can hold in its pouch. We make it back to Wernigerode as it starts to rain, completely satisfied with our awesome day and pretty overwhelmed with the warmth and help we received from the locals!


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