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This is just a private page so that friends and rellies have some idea of where I am, what I've done and what I've seen. They know my email, how to text me and therefore you won't find any contact details on this site. I don't know how you got here, but feel free to leave at any time. All the images, photo's and anything else on this site are copyrighted to me and I do not grant permission to use the material on this site for any purpose, unless I give written permission.

The photo's here are not "the best" ones I took, they're the ones of things I really enjoyed seeing.

TIP: For train travel in the UK and Europe, the website The Man in Seat Sixty-One is the best place for advice on how to book train journeys, information about the journeys, how to get the best prices and has videos of some of the more scenic routes. Thanks, Mark D, for giving me the URL for this site.

16 August- Zürich: I like Zürich. It's very clean, the streets are a pleasure to wander, people speak English and didn't laugh at my horrid attempts at German (except once, but she was a cutie who sells chocolate for you lot, so I forgave her) and there seems to be an average of one restaurant per 1.2 people. I have sent some chocolate home for a few people, as promised.   The Hotel Montana was nice, the staff were friendly, the room spacious and comfortable, their breakfast was OK. But without aircon, just a Dyson blower, 33°C made things a little uncomfortable. I'd go back there, but not in August.

TIP Euro mains converter plugs don't fit Swiss outlets. You can borrow a Swiss adaptor at reception.

18 August- Train- Zürich to Innsbruck then Garmish-Partenkirchen to München. Do it. I didn't even try to read my book, I just took photo's and watched the countryside.

TIP: Don't do it during Bavarian school holidays. I had to stand up for six stations out of G-P- or about 45 minutes before I could get to the 1st Class seats.

Click images below for larger versions

München/Munich: The Hotel Germania. Very nice staff, comfy bed, brekky so-so. Pro:Lots of restaurants around (Thai, Chinese, as well as lots of Mid-Eastern), a supermarket across the road and lots of shops. Con: Right in the middle of "Little Syria", noisy (even four floors up and window closed) and an elevator with "character". Also lots of loud arguments between people in the street, sirens, traffic and no aircon. I was set to leave on my first day, but stuck it out. When I come back I'll stay somewhere else, thanks.

TIP: Don't use the ATM around the opposite corner from the hotel. You'll attract an audience.

I got to the Deusches Museum Flugwerft Schleißheim and spent a great morning there. It nearly rivals Cosford in the UK, though much smaller.

Sorry, Tim, but that Fokker D.VII just wouldn't fit into my baggage allowance.

What really impressed me was the Nymphenburg Palace. A huge palace consisting of the main building, wings, outbuildings and outlying mini-palaces, it left me gob-smacked. The artworks, relics and architecture were marvelous. If you get a chance then go to see it. It's that impressive.

21 August- Train- München to Ingolstadt. An hour long trip, nothing special but pleasant. 1st class gets you a seat with a table and power jack.

Ingolstadt: The Intercity Hotel. Five years old, very nicely appointed, AIRCON!!, but services- eg laundry- a bit expensive. After the Germania it's very impressive.

22 August-Train- Ingolstadt- Nürnberg-Kulmbach and return. Up early and on the train to Kulmbach at 08:03. I finally got to the town at about 10:40 after a ride on the Nürnberg Express. Not a really fast train, it was still doing 160kph at times. Changed trains at Nürnberg for a regional train that did about 100kph less. Still, it was nice to sit and watch the country side go past. Finally off the train and grabbed a taxi to get up to the Plassenburg- an ancient hilltop fortress that now houses the Museum of Frederick the Great and the Zinnfiguren Museum.

Unfortunately there is no photography allowed inside the museums. Herr Sammlung Windsheimer was on leave, but had assigned two people to assist my enquiries. Chris, in the Cafe, makes a great coffee and was also able to give me some information on the history of the Plassenburg.

Kronoskaf (Everyone else can ignore this bit.) Richard, we have permission to use the photo's they have of all seven flags in the collection, though only two are from the SYW period- a Leibfahne of IR 42 from 1760 (replacement for one captured or damaged, probably, that was laid up before 1806- or it would have been lost to the French and burned at Versailles in 1814) and a captured étendard from the Conde Dragons (post 1763) The others are a Kompagniefahne of the Szekely Husaren Regiment (Nr. 1), probably laid up in October 1742; a Leibfahne of the Infanterie Regiment Nr 53 from 1786 (not formerly carried by the impressed Saxon regiments as it was a new combination of colours); a Kompagniefahne of the Derflinger Dragoner Regiment of 1690; a Kompagniefahneof IR Nr 11 from 1740- I think it would have been carried until 1742 (so in the WAS, before being replaced by the new issues 1742-44); lastly a black flag that's misidentified Prussian Kürassiere standarte. It has a blue spruchband, lettered in gold, what may be faded orange or white grundtuch to the mittelschild, and a narrow arm of white cross that can be identified from the surviving fragments. That fits the basic style of the M.1816 Landwehr standarten, though the eagle is in an unusual pose. What it's not is an M.1713, M.1742 or M.1798 pattern standarte. Can you ask the other members of the group if they've got any ideas, please? Also we should ask for permission to use photo's of the uniformed manikins they have at Kulmbach. The KR. Nr 2 manikin looks like its uniform dates to 1760, but the DR uniform looks too bright and new. It is definitely darker than we usually see depicted by Bleckwenn, Dorn & Englemann, or Knötel.

It was a long 3.2km walk back to the station, with the 1st km down a slope that varies from 1:6 to 1:3 (there were warning signs). Couldn't get an earlier train, so talked to Mary from Chicago, who runs the newsagent in the station. Nice lady who gave me tips about keeping out of trouble in Germany. Basically they boil down to avoid the ex-pat Russians.

Nearly forgot the Zinnfiguren Museum. An amazing collection of mainly "flat" figures, there were also some demi-ronde and fully round pieces on display, all painted to much higher standards than I can do. Three dioramas stood out- the Colosseum, the diorama of Pavia (1520's- Spain and France fought over Italy for nearly 400 years) and one of the siege of Plassenburg. The last two had literally thousands of (20mm) figures in them.

23 August- So far Gail and Michelle have got their chokkies, so I'm safe on those fronts. Karen gets the ones she will share on Monday. Can someone ask the girls in the Fat Goanna and Zenia at CMC if theirs arrived?

Off to the Bavarian Army Museum, on a hunt for information. They hadn't replied to my request email so I'm not confident.

Nor should I have been. I'll have to write again asking for a catalogue of their relics, but don't expect a reply. They have at least a Kompagniefahne of the Prussian IR Nr 17, probably from 1807 (the eagle looks like the post 1786 type), plus those others on the Kronoskaf site. It was still interesting, though- especially the bit about them returning 20 captured Prussian flags to Berlin in 1930. They would have been held at the Zeughaus or Potsdam in February '45, and will be gone now.

The Museum of WWI is also interesting. The people there were quite pleasant and forgiving of my fractured "Ginglisches". To drown my sorrows tonight I had a big glass of Erdinger Weissbräu dark ale. It's a local brewer and is what Aussie dark beers dream of being.

Tomorrow to Wien/Vienna.

Had a pleasant train trip to München. Joan, a lady who had lived in Canada for 25 years, was sharing the compartment. We got to chatting and it turns out that she is a horse person as well. So we talked about Boof's liking for chicken sandwiches and dumping me off, her mare's complete domination over a young gelding she'd bought and the plight of wild horses in Australia, Canada and the US. Apparently the US body that protects the mustangs, where possible, is looking to re-home them in Europe, as the people US aren't taking many any more. There was some big show in the Netherlands about it, which ended this weekend. Nice lady.

At München Hauptbahnhof (main station) they played musical platforms. I'm lucky they announced the change in English, German and what sounded like Arabic. Everyone relocated from platform 14 to 12 and got on the Austrian EC 113, which cruised along at a gentle 160kph to Salzburg- where it was pissing down. The schedule had a nine minute window to get from platform 9 to Platform 4, find the right carriage and board. But we were four minutes late. So I had to run the length of the train (fkup Darcy, Elliott and Davis!) and boarded carriage 26, not 27. Not that it mattered, because nobody checked my ticket anyway. Then the run from Salzburg to Wien Hauptbahnhof in RJX 563, a 2.5 hour trip. There ain't many photo's of the run- with the terrain flashing past at speeds up to 235kph most of them are a blur of some tree. But it was a great run, with a monitor on the ceiling telling you the speed, the next station- and trying to sell you tomatoes at "Don's" and various sorts of beverage.

The Neues Hotel Belvedere is quite nice. The front is being renovated, so it's covered by scaffolding, but the room is nice. I have a view over Belvedere Park (or I would have except for an inconsiderate tree). They only do breakfast, but there's all sorts of restaurants around, so I grabbed some nice teriyaki noodles for tea. (What did you expect me to have- Wienerschnitzel?).

Now to get organised for the HGM, etc, and the viewing of the Delacre Handschrift. Steph couldn't have put me in a better spot- walking distance to the Hbf, HGM and Belvedere, and there are trams outside the door for anything more distant.

Vienna, Day 1. Got an email confirming that I can view the Delacre Handscrift on Thursday, but thought I'd wander up today and do a recce. I'm glad I did, the place is amazing. And I obtained my first mug, a fridge magnet for Occy and a book on the museum itself. There were some other interesting books on display, but most Maria Theresa period books seemed to be rehashes of Ottenfeld. Tomorrow I may go looking for a couple of antiquariats and see what I can find.

Kronoskaf: On display are 22 Prussian infanterie fahnen, a single example each of the M.1741 and M1743 pattern Austro-Hungarian infanterie fahnen (one Leibfahne and the other a Bataillonfahne). There are several examples of Kürassiere- and Dragonerregiment standarten for the Austro-Hungarians, while a Kompagniestandarte of the Prussian v. Buddenbrock (Nr 1) Kürassiere Regiment was also on display. The sole French flag I can identify is from the Orléans Dragons (yes, it has the correct escutcheon on the obverse). When I go back (Wednesday) I'll take better notes- this was just a recce. As you would also expect there's a lot of unidentified/mis-identified flags. Considering the amount of fading that has happened over the last ~265 years that's to be expected, as has the loss of cloth and, on the KR Nr 1 standarte, the reverse has been stripped of all the gold and silver embroidery. A couple of the flags are bleached of any colour, even the painted mittelshild is just a uniform dirty-cloth colour, so identification ain't going to be easy. The flags on display are:

Austria-Hungary: Kürassiereregimenter v. Berlichingen, O'Donnel, Leopold, Lucchesi, Modena. Dragonerregimenter Batthyany, D'Este. Chevauxlegereregiment v. Löweenstein. Husarenregiment Török.
Bavaria:  Kürassiereregiment Törring (WAS).
France: Orleans Dragons (WAS).
Prussia: Kürassiereregiment v. Buddenbrock. M.1713 Kompagniefahne. M.1742 Leibfahnen v. Brandes, Kompagniefahnen Anhalt-Dessau (caption is "3 oder 4", but it doesn't have the inserts for 4's flammenkreuz, so 3), v. Wickeradt, v. Schultze, Markgraf Karl (Brandenburg-Schwedt), v. Wied, either Wietersheim or Saldern (both impressed Saxon regiments) and Manstein (ex-Saxon again). Garnisonsregiment Kompagniefahnen GR Nr 8 (definitely wrong- it has black eckkielen inserts so has to be 3 or 4- is that where the caption of Anhalt-Dessau is supposed to be?) and another that is labeled, and could be, GR Nr 8. I have to go back and take some notes to confirm the flags- one of them is definitely IR 58, though they call it IR 9, but the flammenkreuz is red, not pink. I'll take further notes on Wednesday.

Vienna, Day 2. Running around train stations and walking around Vienna yesterday were not good ideas, according to my ankles. The Belvedere is a bit less than a km away so I sauntered over there for a look. Built by Price Eugene of Savoy (a famous general of the late 17th and early 18th centuries). He built this complex with the money the Austrian crown granted him for winning various wars on their behalf, especially the ones he fought against the Turks and France. Never having heard of the word "ostentatious", he got a servant to organise getting this little place cobbled together, as his city residence.

Vienna, Day 3. Took a cab up to the HGM, where I was disappointed to discover that the Tank and Artillery Halls were only open on the weekend. Still, took a lot of notes on the flags there and will sort them out later. My appointment to view the Delacre Handschrift is at 0900 tomorrow. A lot of the photo's here today are for Occy and Steve and concern the excellent WWI and WWII displays. I also resisted temptation and didn't buy a 2kg book on the k-ü-k, though if it had gone back to 1700, not 1790, I would have.

I didn't get to the Spanish Riding School as I didn't finish up at the HGM until after 1300, then was hunting down a new SIM. Tomorrow, if I finish up with the Delacre before 1300, I'll go straight to the riding school from the HGM.

Kronoskaf, the notes I took are very specific. They basically note what inserts, if any, are in each Prussian Infanteriefahne, what colour the spruchband is and, if possible, the colour of the inserts and of the field (grundtuch). Getting some idea of the colours on each flag can be difficult, as the dyes have faded completely away on some and vermin have eaten away a lot of cloth on many. Because the devices were painted on the flags (corner monograms, the wreath around the centre device, and the background to it), the spruchband or centre ground is often still an identifiable colour. So the field may look green, but if the band is dark blue then the band is correct. For the cavalry standards and guidons things are easier. Silver wire goes black. Gold-plated silver or brass still shows some colour and all that embroidery holds the flags together. I also got some good close-ups, with the permission of the two guides in the hall, which may come in useful for the site (and the book I'll never finish).

Vienna, Day 4. I met Frau Magistra Barbara Kramreither and Herr Werner Froehlich, and was given a desk, a pair of cotton gloves and told I could only take notes with a pencil, but could take as many photo's as I wanted. However Kronoskaf will have to pay to have any of the photo's I took published on the site. Also I cannot share them, as someone may obtain them and publish them (as happened before, apparently). I also asked about permission to publish two of the photo's I bought in 2014- one each of the Prussian M.1713 and M.1742 Dragonerfahnen. The price has gone up, from €50 to €100 to publish on the net, but will remain at €50 if I publish them in my book. I'll discuss this with Richard. As it is I managed to take notes and photo's for 61 plates before it came to 12.00. I was hot and tired, and I got the impression I was keeping Herr Froehlich from other matters, so I (really, really reluctantly) handed back the book. They people were both friendly and helpful, and I'd love to go back again.

So I called it a day and took a cab to the Spanish Riding School and Schönbrunn Palace, which was seething with bloody tourists. I had a look around and then took one of the electric, mock-Rolls Royce tours of the "Museum District" before walking back to the hotel. It was 33ºC today, so a bit too warm for comfort. I detoured to an antiquarian bookshop I've bought from previously, but they were closed. I felt my wallet sigh in relief..... Vienna is a lovely city, I'd come back in a moment, if I could.

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