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Germany Tour: Hours of Tranquility

A journey through Germany while not only Le Mans, but also Germany stands still. Steering clear of the German autobahn on tree-lined country roads to lakes, nature and high culture. A journey to Goethe, Fontane, and Beethoven in the Porsche Taycan.

We take our time and enjoy the country roads, following in the romantic footsteps of Germany’s poets and thinkers. Quietly and carefully, in a Porsche Taycan. Traveling down empty roads to the great figures of history, in a present that’s itself making history. Our starting point is Neuschwanstein Castle in southern Bavaria, and we’ll travel up to Neuruppin, Brandenburg, which will be the northernmost stop on our tour.

A visit with Goethe, Schiller, and Gropius

We park the Taycan and continue on foot—in the spirit of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s words: “Walking is the only way to truly experience your surroundings.” So we walk to Goethe’s garden house, where the illustrious author took up residence in 1776—his first home in Weimar. Goethe’s house at Frauenplan as well, where he died in 1832, can only be seen from the outside. A little more than five hundred meters away, a monument on Theaterplatz (Theater Square) recalls the city’s intellectual greats: Goethe stands next to his contemporary Friedrich von Schiller. These world-famous literary figures shaped Weimar’s golden age, which was followed by the city’s silver age with an emphasis on music, in particular the works of Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner around 1850. Like the Classical Weimar ensemble, the Bauhaus buildings in Weimar, Dessau, and Bernau are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Switzerland in Saxony

While the Taycan recharges, we read about the Elbsandsteingebirge (Elbe Sandstone Mountains) and our next destination: Dresden, where the writer Erich Kästner was born. It’s hard to imagine a German childhood in the last century without his children’s books like Emil and the Detectives or Lottie and Lisa.

We return from dreams of childhood days; the batteries are back at 100 percent. Craggy sandstone landscapes rise up, shaped by water and wind over millions of years. The Elbe River interrupts our thoughts of plate tectonics as we cross over it. A delicate river like a connecting seam between two countries—Bad Schandau, Saxony, on this side; on the other shore is Děčín in the Czech Republic.

With Fontane en route through Brandenburg

Romanticism in Brandenburg. As we quietly glide through them on electric power, Theodor Fontane comes to mind: “I have roamed through Brandenburg and found it richer than I had dared to hope,” he once wrote.

Fontane, son of an apothecary and one of poetic realism’s foremost representatives, was born northwest of Berlin in Neuruppin, Brandenburg, in 1819. The literary and theater critic referred to the numerous country roads of Brandenburg and Western Pomerania as “green groves of travel,” and their dense canopy of leaves in summer served as his inspiration.

Birthday Bash in Bonn The year 2020 is all about Ludwig van Beethoven. The perhaps greatest composer of all time was born here at the Rhine River 250 years ago. Beethoven’s most famous work may be his Fifth Symphony. But he kept on composing, “hearing” the notes with his eyes. The adjacent buildings house the chamber music hall and the Beethoven Archive. Perhaps the composer was even sitting up there at the window when he immortalized Friedrich Schiller’s famous “Ode to Joy” in the fourth movement of his Ninth Symphony, which Europe chose as its anthem two centuries later in 1972.

This European river travels 1,233 kilometers. Info

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Jun 17, 2020 at 14:43

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