A few days in Germany - part the first

 A fabulous and very fine cast iron decoration on a huge gate.

I speak a very small amount of French, but no German. This was of great concern to me as I didn't want to seem rude. So many British people assume that the rest of the world speak English. I had hurriedly learned the usual - please, thank you, good day . . . but still felt bad.

After a brief flight I landed at Frankfurt airport and was met by a lovey taxi driver booked to take me to my hotel in Weinheim, who was very happy to practise his English on me . . . . After a couple of hours rest I was picked up by Per, my host from Freudenberg Vilene (Vliesoline in the rest of the world). Per drove me into Weinhiem old town to show me around.

A lot of the architechture is quite Gothic. There were lots of fabulous towers, you could imagine Rapunzel at the top of the tower, letting down her long hair . . .

A lot of the buildings still have the original wooden decorations. Great for 'flipping and mirroring'.

There are also many buildings with gargoyle style carvings decorating the corners.

After all that walking about it was time for a drink in the shady market place.

I was then whisked off to be shown the view of the town from Windeck Castle. The castle is a local attraction built around 1100 and you can see right across the Rhine valley from the bar that is beautifully situated amongst the grounds. The castle was very badly damaged by the troops of King Louis XIV in 1647. Some of the walls were repaired and restored in 1960. It is a stunning place to spend a couple of hours in the early evening sun.
The tower . . .

 I love this colour combination, summer sky blue and terracotta.

 The trees were just starting to burst with colour, Germany has also been enjoying very dull weather for a long time.

 One of the reasons that Per took me to see the view was to help me realise the scale of the Freudenberg premises in Weinheim. It is ENORMOUS. It is like a massive industrial park that takes up half the town, it is amazing.
 The buildings from the right side of the tree are part of 'Freudenberg City'.
 And then it was back down into Weinheim for dinner . . . and pudding . . .

Creamy vanilla ice cream with hot raspberries - a gorgeous and surprising combination.

I will report on the show and the workshops tomorrow - am off to get my jewellery ready to display at the Brighton Open Houses this weekend. I am in the The Pink Birdhouse - number 26 on the Independent Trail

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