Weisseritztalbahn, Germany 6-13

July 11, 2013

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The excitement of the weekly market had disappeared as fast as it had appeared. Getting a leisurely start in the morning, Monika said, “Let’s go to Freital-Heinsberg”. I said “Gesundheit”. No, she said, “It’s the town with the Weisseritztalbahn.” I said, “Are you catching a cold?” She explained that the Weisseritztalbahn in the Eastern Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) is the oldest public regularly operating narrow-gauge railway in Germany, and it was sort of on our way. The 26 kilometer long railway line started its operation on September 3, 1883.

Small secondary roads in any part of Europe were originally built for carts or Roman chariots, and many are still about the width of two horses asses. Read this: http://www.astrodigital.org/space/stshorse.html to understand the truth of what we are traveling over with a full-size Ford pick-up. These secondary routes can be quite exciting when a truck or bus is coming the other direction. Fortunately there is little traffic.

Freital-Heinsberg was an ordinary town and the afternoon spent on the Weisseritztalbahn was relaxing and pleasant.

Weisseritztal was rather an ordinary German town that happened to have an interesting train running through it.

Freital-Heinsberg was rather an ordinary German town that happened to have an interesting train running through it.

The Fichtellbergbahn followed a route through three very different natural settings including the Rabenau Gorge.

The Weisseritztalbahn followed a route through three very different natural settings including the Rabenau Gorge.

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At the end of the track we waited for the boiler to be refilled with water.

At the end of the track, we waited for the boiler to be refilled with water.

Just in case you’re a train buff, here are the specifics.

Just in case you’re a train buff, here are the specifics.

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The engineer’s control panel looks as complicated as a modern jet liner.

The engineer’s control panel looks as complicated as a modern jet liner.

The open-air wagon was the best way to see the beautiful countryside.

The open-air wagon was the best way to see the beautiful countryside.

Had we not wanted to move on to our next stop, this large parking lot, (see our The Turtle on the right), two blocks from the train station and down town world have been a nice overnight camp.

Had we not wanted to move on to our next stop, this large parking lot, (see our The Turtle on the right), two blocks from the train station and downtown would have been a nice overnight camp.

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