Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Mulhouse - Jan 8

We arrive sans M's luggage, courtesy of those fubar Air France peasants. Not ever, ever flying Air France will become a resolution....
The trip next day to DMC goes well, access to their rarely-opened museum granted, and photos permitted. Then we take to the trains: Mulhouse-Strasbourg-Stuttgart. The first leg is SCNF (French) and is quite good - wending through the Rhine valley, with schloss (castles) on each major hill (the rich Rhine valley land has been traded back and forth between various overlords for some time, now). We change to DB (German) at Strasbourg, and immediately things improve even more: German timeliness and nice level trackbeds make for a very comfortable ride. Of which we see nothing, as it's now dark.
We brave the German language and the Stuttgart S-bahn (city rail, again courtesy of DB) and find our way to Bobelingen, then a cab to Sindelfingen and our hotel.
Sindelfingen is home to a large Mercedes plant, where the employees can buy a Merc for 20% under list, then sell it after a year for that same amount. So, unsurprisingly, the town is full of new Mercs. It's a rich area in farming terms as well: cultivated fields right up to the Mercedes plant and (we see in the Monday when we fly out) the airport too.

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