A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about karlsruhe

Being a Tourist at Home

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Paris is great - but who can afford Paris all the time?
TGV in Karlsruhe central station

We all like to travel to distant destinations – but how much do we know about the surroundings of our hometowns? There is certainly a lot to discover at our doorsteps, no matter where we live. This is not a choice to be made – international travel versus staying in one’s country and region – but a combination of both is best.

Touring from home has several advantages. No packing, no luggage schlepping, no organizing who takes care of the house, waters the pot plants, feeds the pets and collects the mail. It saves money because you do not need to pay for accommodation since you sleep at home, and travel costs for short distances are usually low. It can be done without taking holiday time off work. A free day or just a couple of spare hours are enough to transform into a tourist and see one’s city with different eyes, or hop over to a new place nearby.

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Tram S4 in Eppingen

One summer, when I had no money left for travel, I bought a monthly pass for the entire KVV, our regional public transport network, and set out on a new day trip every day. My aim was to have travelled all train and tram lines at least once and to see as many of the small towns in our surroundings as possible. The KVV area covers parts of the Northern Black Forest, the Kraichgau hills and the southern part of Palatine and two border destinations in Alsace, so there are plenty of options. This was a well-filled summer holiday.

Then there are DB’s Länder-tickets, namely Baden-Württemberg-Ticket and Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket, which both cover a lot of more ground in the respective federal state. And thanks to fast ICE, IC and TGV trains, the range of possible day trips extends into northern Switzerland and to many cities in Bavaria, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate. Karlsruhe is a transport hub with excellent train connections in all directions, both long-distance and regional trains and local trams. I have been living here for 15 years now, and I still have some unseen destinations left…

Russell the Wombat is my faithful companion on these trips and will make an appearance in my photos every now and then.

This blog is based on the seemingly countless number of destination pages I wrote for the now defunct Virtualtourist. The city of Karlsruhe itself will, due to the vast amount of material I have, not be described in here but receive its own blog at some point.

Destinations will come up at random and totally unsorted in here, because this is the nature of day trips: We choose a place to visit and off we go, and next time whe choose another destination which is usually unrelated to the previous one. No need to plan itineraries - another advantage of tourism from home!

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Coffee break and a postcard for Grandma

The "Postcard" layout feature matches this purpose perfectly. My little reports are like illustrated postcards sent from the places I visited. This reminds me of what I used to do when Grandma was still alive. She spent her last years after Grandpa's death in an old people's home. For daily lunch she sat at the table with five other ladies, and every day after lunch the six of them would take their walkers and parade to their letter boxes in order to pick up their mail. After I heard that there was some kind of undeclared competition among them who gets the most, and that Grandma boasted with postcards she received from her only grandchild (i.e. me), I took to sending her a postcard from each and every, even the smallest trip I went on, so she could be the star of the day as often as possible. She proudly collected them all, after her death we found the big pile in her room.

Posted by Kathrin_E 02:00 Archived in Germany Tagged karlsruhe Comments (5)

Rappenwört in Autumn: Going for a Walk by the Pools

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Rappenwört on the Rhine is Karlsruhe's finest open air swimming pool, founded in the 1920s. The original pool was a branch of the river. Nowadays this isn't in use any more, there are 3 or 4 modern pools instead, among them one with artificial waves. The area is huge so that one always finds a quiet spot on the vast lawns underneath old trees, no matter how crowded the pool is. For children, there is a separate pool and play area on the opposite side.

The bath is situated right on the bank of the Rhine, so between swims you can promenade along the river. The pools are open from May to the end of the summer holidays.

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The modern pool area, off-season and closed
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This branch of the river used to be the original pool.

Outside the season the bath area is open for walkers. The gate is open during the day, entry to the grounds is free. Shops, eateries, facilities etc. are closed, though.

No dogs please! No one wants to find droppings, not even old ones, on the lawns when the pool reopens for the summer. Bikes cannot be taken inside either (although there are people who ignore this rule, as the photos prove).

It is a popular destination for a walk on the Rhine bank, ship-watching and enjoying sun and fresh air among Karlsruhers, in particular elderly people without car who would otherwise have difficulties to reach the river. The Rhine is quite far from the city centre – which saves the city from the Rhine’s frequent floodings, so this was clever planning in former times. But there is no real river promenade to enjoy for nowadays’ citizens. Rappenwört is the best option for a little riverside walk since it is easy to reach by tram, and the distances are short: The tram stop is literally outside the entrance gate.

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The original 1920s entrance gate
How to get there? Tram #6 to “Rappenwört” stops in front of the entrance.
Attention, not all #6 trams go as far as Rappenwört, the ones to “Daxlanden” won't take you there - it's quite a walk from the final station in Daxlanden.

Even better: go by bike. Rappenwört is on the bike trail through the floodplain forest that offers endless opportunities for bike tours.

From my home in the western quarters of Karlsruhe I need, depending which route I take, 25 to 35 minutes to reach Rappenwört. From the centre it will take 10 minutes longer. In other words, perfect for an afternoon on the bike with a little walk in between to stretch legs and back.

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Ships passing on the Rhine

In autumn, when the forests of the floodlands turn golden and the grounds are covered in the rustling leaves of the poplar trees, this tour is particularly pleasant.

Often there is a haze or even drifting mist in the air, caused by the open water surfaces of the river and in the wetlands. When the sun breaks through, atmosphere and colours are at their best.

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Russell the Wombat tries ship-surfing;-)

Posted by Kathrin_E 00:47 Archived in Germany Tagged karlsruhe Comments (1)

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