August 25th: Berlin/Quedlinburg/Erfurt

We took off from Berlin early today. It was rush hour and the autobahn was backed up for miles heading in to the city. Good thing we were going the other way!

Our goal today was to travel through the old East Germany, stop in Quedlinburg and get as far as we could to the start of the "Romantische Strasse", the Romantic Road (which is a German tourist attempt to get tourists to drive down it----and its working).

As we drove through the side of Germany formerly behind the iron curtain, we were both struck by how dilapidated the buildings were. They had exactly the same structure, layout and historical buildings as the beautiful ones in the former Western side, but it was amazing how they'd been let go----most were in need of "redashing" of the stucco, the roofs needed repair and everything needed a good cleaning.

The old Soviet-style Communistic governmental system clearly was a failure. Perhaps our own liberal politicians should take note as they push to take care of people to the detriment of their initiative.

It is tough to see here but I was struck by how old and run down the buildings were. That is an old Soviet truck ahead (with smelly exhaust!).

 

Then we ended up in Quedlinburg. My oh my what a gem! While Hameln and Celle have been "prettied up" for tourists, Quedlinburg is how those old medieval towns would look if not kept up since World War II----which Quedlinburg was not.

They've certainly got the message though, as they are fast and furiously cleaning and fixing this town. Clearly there is much investment here.

This town goes back to a Saxon settlement in the early 10th century. It has a wonderful castle (unfortunately closed when we were there).

A side street in Quedlinburg

 

The market square. The winding (and very narrow) cobblestone side streets off this marketplace were breathtaking!

 

A photo of the castle

 

A house built in 1511!

 

Grandpa and I ate at a wonderful little pizza place. He had a small sausage and I had a small vegetarian pizza. You guys.....it was the best pizza I've ever had!

 

Continuing on the road....