Mechanical

Idstein, Germany

As you may know, I took a trip to Idstein, Germany in July. I went with my brother, Greg, and our friend Tom to visit Jim, the father of Greg and myself. Below are a few photos from my Flickr stream. Clicking on any photo will take you to Flickr and once there, you can click on the 'all sizes' link to see the large size of the photo. Going to the Flickr stream directly will let you view all of the almost 200 photos.




One of the lovely ladies to wait on us at the Brauhaus.

Idstein - 2008



We first went to the Liverpool Street Tube station to catch the train to Stansted airport.

Idstein - 2008

Here's where the Stansted express train starts. Because of the travel time across London, the trip to the airport took longer than the flight to Germany.

Idstein - 2008

In the US, I'd probably be hauled away for this photo.

Idstein - 2008

We landed at Frankfurt-Hahn, an airport that used to be an important US military base during the Cold War. Of course, that's clear from the architecture.

Idstein - 2008

Driving into Idstein, a small German town with about 26,000 people, it doesn't look terribly different from many other towns.
Idstein - 2008

And my father's flat doesn't look too strange.

Idstein - 2008

Nor does looking down on the square from his balcony seem too different, though it's a nice view.

Idstein - 2008

And here's the same view, at night. It's generally relatively dark at night, though it can get a bit rowdy on the weekends.

Idstein - 2008

This is my brother Greg, on the left, and our friend Tom on the right. Tom's a Scouser, so don't let him near your wallet.

Idstein - 2008

My father, Jim Poe, relaxing. He left the US 40 years ago and has lived in Germany for about 20 (I think).

Idstein - 2008

Hmm, the walk outside is beginning to look interesting.

Idstein - 2008

And the buildings are simply gorgeous (and cheap compared to London!)

Idstein - 2008

And this is Idstein's famous "crooked house".

Idstein - 2008

And a couple of views of the castle gate that I thought you might enjoy.

Idstein - 2008

The crooked house is a bit to the left of this view.

Idstein - 2008

And more photos of downtown.

Idstein - 2008

Idstein - 2008

It was during the weekday, so there weren't many people here.

Idstein - 2008

We went back to the flat and rested for a bit, then went out later. The tower is the "Hexenturm", or Witches' tower. Witches used to be tortured here and many of them were thrown from the top of the tower.

Idstein - 2008

And the real reason we went to Germany: the beer.

This is the Idsteiner Brauhaus, Alte Feuerwache (old firehouse).

Idstein - 2008

And we took up the end of the bar.

Idstein - 2008

And got to know the staff.

Idstein - 2008

And they got to know us.

Idstein - 2008

And of course they brew their own beer (and those pretzels (Brezel)) on the right are heavenly when they first come out of the oven).

Idstein - 2008

And Greg and Tom repeatedly sampled the beer to ensure quality control.

Idstein - 2008

The next morning, Saturday, they had a fresh produce market in the square.

Idstein - 2008

The next morning, we left early again. This is the view from Jim's courtyard.

Idstein - 2008

And we had to see the Hexenturm close up.

Idstein - 2008

It had a plaque commemorating the "witches" who were killed there.

Idstein - 2008

And gorgeous gardens next to it. They're hundreds of years old (like so many things in Europe).

Idstein - 2008

Idstein - 2008

So, um, tell me again why I'd want to move back to the US? History and scenery like this is commonplace in Europe.

Idstein - 2008

And here's another view of the garden's, with a 17th century palace in the background. Today, the palace is a gymnasium (school).

Idstein - 2008

And here's Jim at the entrance to the gardens.

Idstein - 2008

One of the castle doors.

Idstein - 2008

And a rear view of the castle gate.

Idstein - 2008

That Tom and Greg are passing through.

Idstein - 2008

And trying to get into trouble.

Idstein - 2008

And walking through the castle gate.

Idstein - 2008

And the view off to the left as you pass through.

Idstein - 2008

Later we took a walk through the woods.

Idstein - 2008

And Greg making sure he doesn't fall from some rocks and die.

Idstein - 2008

Because it was a long way down.

Idstein - 2008

But made for a lovely view.

Idstein - 2008

Jim, our tour guide, barely tolerating the camera.

Idstein - 2008

This is the high water mark of floods which hit the area about 50 years ago.

Idstein - 2008

Attached to this lovely pub, established 1607.

Idstein - 2008

The visitor's center (which we didn't visit).

Idstein - 2008

And some detail of it.

Idstein - 2008

I just can't get over how beautiful the architecture is.

Idstein - 2008

Greg and Tom standing in front of the high altar at the Unionskirche.

Idstein - 2008

Which has magnificent ceilings. Note the pacifict Jesus beating up the money changers at the lower right.


Idstein - 2008

And incredible craftmanship.

Idstein - 2008

Idstein - 2008

But the highlight of the evening was to be the log sawing competition at the Alte Feuerwache Brauhaus. Unfortunately, it started to rain, but it cleared up before the competition.

Idstein - 2008

The Brauhaus hired entertainment for the evening.

Idstein - 2008

And got down the saws.

Idstein - 2008

And Greg decided to pretend that he knew what he was doing (he and Tom are psychiatric nurses. Log sawing doesn't come naturally to them).

Idstein - 2008

Greg and Tom put up a valiant effort.

Idstein - 2008

But they were crushed by their competition who finished so far ahead of Greg and Tom that they relaxed to watch Greg and Tom finish.

Idstein - 2008

Idstein - 2008

Greg and Tom were gracious losers, though (they had plenty of practice from last year), and posed with the team that defeated them the first round.

Idstein - 2008

So we took some time to reconsider their strategy.

Idstein - 2008

While Greg inexplicably developed gender confusion issues.

Idstein - 2008

And round two started.

Idstein - 2008

To cut a long story short, they would like you to think they came in first.

Idstein - 2008

But they really came in second to last (the last place team just walked away).

Idstein - 2008

And though they put on a brace face ...

Idstein - 2008

... they decided to stick to what they were best at.

Idstein - 2008

And things went downhill from there.

Idstein - 2008

Idstein - 2008

Idstein - 2008

Here's the owner of the Brauhaus and a couple of the ladies who work there.

Idstein - 2008

And he posed with us because he's friends with Jim. Incidentally, much of the boar served at the Brauhaus is brought in from his hunting. Boars to Germany are like pigeons to London. They're so overpopulated that they even enter Berlin and the government is trying to get more people to hunt them in an effort to control their population.

Idstein - 2008

So we went hunting. Well, not really. The owner just showed us around his hunting sights. You can see more of those photos on my Flickr stream because I'm tired of posting photos :)

Idstein - 2008

And I leave you with Jim's stein.

Idstein - 2008

When he walks into the Brauhaus, someone who works there automatically walks over to a cupboard, pulls out an oversized stein with Jim's name engraved on it, fills it and sets it down in front of him without even asking. His is only one of six or seven custom steins they have. They love him at that Brauhaus and a finer tour guide couldn't be had.
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You are just making my desire to go to Germany stronger and impossible to resist. ;)
You do look like your dad. Though I think Greg looks a bit more like his mom. Though a bit hard to say without seeing a photo of her.
Idstein
(Anonymous)
My husband, Eberhard Helwig, was one of the first intake of students at the Idstein Gymnasium in 1940 when it became a Teacher's Training College. While there he was drafted into the German infantry for insolence towards an SS officer. You can read his story for free on http://fayhelwigauthor.com