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Saturday, 15 June 2013

We always had a ball on Mars

Marburg has had a university for almost 500 years and clearly takes its responsibility of education seriously and has built a planetary learning path that followed our cycle route south out of this stunning town.  The planets are spaced apart at a scale where 1m on the ground represents one million kms in space; this means that the outer planets are spaced a long way from each other but as you get nearer to the sun they come thick and fast and we sped past Earth, Venus and Mercury in seconds.

The villages we cycled through all had narrow winding lanes and wooden framed houses in deep brown and white with impossibly tidy gardens and well swept farm yards.  The farmers were busy in the fields and we met a number of tractors, who share the lanes between the fields with the hordes of cyclists out on a fine Saturday.

Marburg itself rises steeply up the hill from the river Lahn and the story is there are 400 steps up to the castle right at the top of the town.  On the way you walk up cobbled streets surrounded by colourful wooden framed houses; the town is straight out of a Grimm's Fairy Tale an is that childhood version of Germany and this isn't surprising, as the Brothers spent three years studying here in the early 19th Century.  The town survived the war without bombing, as it was designated as a hospital town and has since had enlightened town planning that has protected the buildings and local environment.

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