The Gerrard Chronicles 2008 - Traveller's Tales 1

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Middlesbrough & Winterthur

February 11th to 13th MIDDLESBROUGH TRIP


Skiddaw from Lodore (roughly)

This was to see MIMA, the splendid new 'regeneration' Middlesbrough Institute for Modern Art, opposite the Town Hall in the centre of the city. We drove up by way of Saltburn, an attractive surprise of a seaside resort & stayed in the Highfield Hotel but ate at the Poverino Inn because of the hotel's criminal dinner prices. There was a very good Bauhaus Show in MIMA, which was why we went, including art work, artifacts & historical material. After, we drove via Barnard Castle (not seen before) for lunch & on to the Lake District, going over the Pennines by the A66, looking round Keswick, now blissfully pedestrianised in the middle, down Borrowdale & over Honister Pass to Buttermere, where we stayed in the Bridge Hotel , very comfy & did not over-charge for dinner (£20). We drove home via the Newlands Pass to Keswick & by Thirlmere to the M6. However, the M1 was closed, so we had a protracted trip via the A14. See the photos for the weather!

Middlesbrough Town Hall from MIMA

Perfect reflexions in Thirlmere

April 15th to 21st WINTERTHUR TRIP

Because of a leaflet sent to the Tate Director, for whom she works, Avis wanted to visit an art gallery in Winterthur (CH) so, leaving home at 0555, we took the truck on the ferry to Calais & headed off on the motorways, a familiar way to Liege & then, the A27 (which becomes the German A60, some of which is single carriageway) to beautiful Bernkastel on the Mosel for the night in plenty of time to look round. We stayed in the Hotel Bären (£96.13, a bit steep) but ate well, although it is a ten minute walk to their restaurant! The next day, Ken for reasons undisclosed, set off across little country roads in the Hünsruck to the village of Woppenroth, asking Avis if she recognised it. She did, vaguely: the 'Schabbach' of the "Heimat" series of films on German 20thC history.


In Bernkastel

The 'Simon haus' in 'Schabbach'

Then, on round Mainz (Guthenberg can wait) & on to the Romantic Street (Romantische Strasse), a string of villages & little fortified Medieval towns that World War II passed by. After Creglingen, it snowed enough to settle on the road but this had abated by time we got to Rothenburg for our night's stop at the Hotel Rappen , very friendly & £69.95. We had time to walk round the walls of this tiny city & found each metre is sponsored by someone or a firm, good idea.

Röttingen on the Romantic Street


Rothenburg Markusturm

Rothenburg in the snow 17-4-2008

The next morning, the city was snow covered but this gradually went as we drove on to Feuchwangen & Dinkelsbuhl, which is perhaps, the prettiest 'city' on this tour.



Nordlingen Rathaus Café

But Nordlingen runs it close & both have full walls. An unexpected extra was Schloss Harburg, high above the village. From Donauworth, the road is like motorway & it proved impossible to park in Augsburg. Trauchgau is just North of Füssen, our much-loved objective (& Hotel Hirsch ) & the wintry conditions are evident.

Schloss Harburg

Schloss Harburg


Füssen - says it all

We set off along the Deutsch Alpenstrasse on a beautiful day. We had had an expensive room at the cheap (E92) price. This was very snowy but our 1st objective was the little island city of Lindau in Lake Constance. Then, we drove into Switzerland at Schaffhausen & headed for our objective - Winterthur. Not strong on hotels, we stayed in a grotty (in Der Schweiz?) motel near the ring road but with very comfy beds & we had 2 nights there.

The harbour at the Southern end of Lindau

At Am Römerholz , the tacked-on gallery is a ghastly addition to the pretty house outside but full of goodies inside. There were quite a few 15thC & 16thC works crossing the boundary set by Giotto in realism & a number of impressionists & Cezannes, which were the real glory of the collection assembled by Oskar Reinhart who was in the cloth business, which is what Winterthur is all about, & presented to the city. His taste in sculpture was iffy, including a large number of bronzes of the late 19thC & early 20thC by conventional mediocrities e.g. Malliol. There were several Corots & more Courbets, including 'The Wave'. We watched a film about Daumier & the collection included a lot of lithos, drawing & some paintings. After lunch, we drove off towards the Toggenberg & on round by the Rheintal to above the Walensee for dinner & back to Winterthur.

Am Römerholz

Säntis from Waldhaus (Toggenburg)

Schloss Buchs (Rheintal)

Quinten from Murg

Ken wanted some photos & took Avis on a tour of about 13 lakes. (Switzerland is not strong on lakes). Down to Lake Zürich & to Einsiedeln (Sunday - no parking!), over the Iberegg, round Lake Luzern, over the Brünig Pass, by Lakes Brienz & Thun, into the Simmenthal & to Lenk for the night but now deteriorating weather.

South from Iberegg - this was a late Winter

Rigi (right) & Pilatus. We had contributed to buying Turner's "Blue Rigi"

Lungernsee from the Brünig Pass road

Although Ken got his photos of the Simmenfalle, the weather turned atrocious. We drove over the Col du Pillon, to Montreux, Yverdon, Biel, Basel to Avis' ancestral village of Rixheim (en Francais) in Alsace to stay at the Relais de Rixheim & be made welcome in Nico's Café, where they remembered us. The weather continuing poor, we drove home the 670 miles to Islington.

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Contact: Ken Baldry or Avis Saltsman, 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)020 7359 6294 or e-mail him or her
This page's URL: Last revised 1/12/2008 ©Ken Baldry 2008 All rights reserved but print it off if you want to.