Thursday, March 17, 2016

Another Day in Bayreuth with a New Pair of Shoes

The list of attractions and other sites to visit had diminished a little by Sunday morning. My expensive £130 ECCO shoes has fallen to pieces yesterday but I had managed after protestation to find a nice pair of size 50 Josef Seibels reduced to €80 in a mega shoe supermarket. I'm sure that you are all pleased to read this detail.

We ascended the hill towards the Festspielhaus in light drizzle.

We don't see names like this in Buxton

With immense disappointment we discover the place under wraps - Stephen Fry would have wept. 

Next on the list was a visit to my Great  Aunty Wilhelmine's place, the Eremitage which ist eine ab 1715 entstandene historische Parkanlage mit Wasserspielen und Bauwerken some miles out of town.

Not Hyde Park corner in London  but the roof  of the Orangerie

Panoramic shot through drizzle showing the stables - a welcoming hotel and tea room were not open in this low season.

Amazing use of teeth

We stroll back to the PkW through a tree canal

As a former glider pilot of little repute I suggested to Mrs N that we visit Bayreuth International airport where gliding championships take place and there was bound to be derelict GDR MIG fighter to look at and a welcoming cafe.

I was correct...

...on both counts.
We discuss taking flying lessons so Mrs N could become a flying Doctor.  We look forward to a pleasant evening strolling in the town as the sun comes out.

I was warned about converging verticals at my school photography class.  Here is our second hotel the Lohmule  thankfully lacking plastic RWs.

I start the long journey back to England and note curious single carriage rail bus trains.

I'm informed that this is a tilting train able to negotiate twisting tracks at high speed whilst passenger's coffee is dispensed sideways due to centripetal forces.  Anyway a quick journey to Nurenberg cost only €11,20 including a U bahn ride to the airport - a bargain compared to UK rail fares.

Oh for a beautiful SNR Excelsior 55! Where would she take me? 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Radio Bayreuth and Me

The Prologue:
There snuggling at the bottom right of the MW band  below Beromünster  and boxed in the corner by Stuttgart with only a faux art deco knob for worldly company  lay Bayreuth - yes - my Grandfather's Grundig 1010 radio provided childhood geographical fascination all wrapped up in gold inlayed faux wood bakelite case whenever I visited his villa in Πρίγκηπος. I remember Bayreuth to this day and when Mrs N announced her 2016 programme with three solid weeks in Upper Franconia I jumped readily at the opportunity to fly to Nurenberg in Ryanair discomfort and catch a type DB610 tilting pendolino DMU to Bayreuth HbF.

Grundig 1010 receiver with 5 valves and some other stuff  - 1952 vintage - my Grandfather's pride and joy along with a cuckoo clock

And then there was Wagner.  And naturally enough for UK media the works of  manic depressive Stephen Fry e.g. VERY INTERESTING DOCUMENTARY ABOUT WAGNER AND mostly STEPHEN FRY

Hello again

Long time no  queue and fly:  Stansted  airport shopping mall "no where near London" (or anywhere else for that matter) to Nuremberg  Airport (A €3 U Bahn ride to the HbF touch.)

Arrived at Bayreuth to a Third Man film set but no cat spotted.

Sightseeing Day 1
Everywhere we went we saw plastic Richard Wagners

The sauna equipped Hotel Rhinegold conveniently near a brewery as it turns out

We are to be heading up the map towards the Hofgarten park - an extensive list of sites to visit has been drawn up.

'Bayreuth Rococo' style shopping centre

The Bayreuther Festspielhaus appears in sight but as will be revealed is a site.
We visit the Neues Schloss, Margrave Friedrich seat and unphotographable is a well-known example of the 'Bayreuth Rococo' style and is considered to be one of the most important masterpieces of 18th century architecture in Germany

Actually I do take another sneaky photograph before a guard appears from a secret door

The schloss from the Hofgarten park

As it says and  we stroll past Richard and Cosima's grave.

Blooming lovely front garden sweeps in to Haus Wahnfried

Haus Wahnfried now part of the Richard Wagner Museum, lived in by the Wagner family until 1966

This carbuncle of a building sits to the side of the house and is connected by a tunnel and forms the entry point to the museum and house.

Please don't try this at home
Das Schallarchiv - I'm patriotic so choose a Roger Norrington 1994 rendition.

The cosmos of Wagner composition available on command through marvelous Sennheiser headphones.

Having a Steven Fry Wagner moment listening to Siegried Idyll  D-flat motif.

Richard Wagner should have gone to SpecSavers

Shopping list

Opening bars of Tristan and Isolde 
If you had watched Stephen Fry's film you would have noticed reference to the stain on the works of Wagner associated with anti-semitism. To the credit of the Wagner benefactors (if that is an appropriate turn of phrase) the friendship of Wagner's immediate descendants to Hitler is not swept under the carpet. Here are some images from the villa next to Haus Wahnfried.  

Nearby is The Franz Liszt Museum in the house where Franz Liszt died, with about 300 photographs, scripts and printed papers from the collection of the Munich pianist, Ernst Burger, which were bought by the town of Bayreuth. Unfortunately there was no music to hear, a particular favourite of mine being the Beethoven 6 piano transcription.

Chopin and Liszt - not quite cockney rhyming slang for anything.


A stroll past the Margravial Opera House (under restoration - no entry possible) leads us to a  sedate tea room

A further stroll and we visit a brewery museum??

Beer being bottled museum style 

Beer being drunk

Lots of beer being drunk with friends

The next day....

To follow - did I find Radio Bayreuth?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Beautiful Game and Lunar Society in a Weekend

Whilst not ostensibly a fan of soccer now known as Association Football or The Beautiful Game as disgraced paedeophile Stuart Hall called it, I do like a good lunch especially if a family member is offering  it to me in an Executive Box  at The Ricoh Arena in Coventry. The lunch is followed by the entertainment of watching a match between Coventry City FC (formerly Singers FC after the bicycle company) and Fleetwood Town FC (the CODS) - this apparently is match in the first division which is now third tier.

I lead the Northern contingent to the birthday party and we stand under Jimmy Hill

The Ricoh Arena is properly meant for rugby football but Coventry City FC rent the facilities having sold off their former Main Road ground to build a Tesco supermarket.  A hotel is incorporated.

This is the "Executive box" - it's actually a converted hotel room (the bed is stuffed in the cupboard)

Confused by the rules I don't understand why there is line out with water spraying over the players in February?

Jimmy Hill appears again - no capacity crowd but nice blue seats - the stands long since disappeared along with coal mines and British industry.

Nice boots Fleetwood

After a while the bored goaly starts practicing silly walks

Three blokes wearing hi viz

The next day the NW team visited Lichfield.

The cathedral is approximately 1km long

View from the house of Erasmus Darwin

Early disguised mobile phone mast.

Across the green from the cathedral we visited the former house and now  museum of Physician Erasmus Darwin (12 December 1731 – 18 April 1802).  He was the grandfather of Charles. He was short fat and ugly and produced 14 children with 3 different ladies. Amongst other things he invented a speaking machine and proper coupled steering for horse drawn carriages (before the German Ackerman system) . He was a founder member of the Lunar Society.  I have plans to investigate Erasmus further.

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