I go Into Germany

Wednesday 9th October 2019

Nine times at Bayreuth now. I never thought to be there at all in my life. Somehow it’s become an annual fixture since Anthony Mottram’s brother found a clever way of getting tickets. This year we took Parsifal and Tristan. No dinners and an out-lying hotel in a low, moist position of wonderful economy because of the cost of the tickets. Quite a change from the purring parquet luxury of the Museum apartment in Prague, purring with staff and drawing rooms, whence we entered Germany from Prague. The great revelation at Bayreuth was the simple Bavarian hostelry doing pizza hard by the Festspielhaus shrine. It sits there in full view but is discovered by few in evening dress.

I arrived at Prague by air. Anthony Mottram said, ‘Would you like tea or coffee or a mixture of both?’ The parquet requires constant vigilance. Suddenly stained paintwork was apparent near the fridge.  We set to but Flash is still not readily available in the former Bloc. AM was viewing something called Grand Hotel. We had it here but it didn’t catch on, probably because of the subtitles. They’re all in a hotel in Spain about 1905 with wild tales of missing babies, ferociously indiscreet encounters with the waiting staff in the corridors, risky walks over rocks or climbing up perilous towers in the grounds in order to meet a fatal lover or brutal husband or recover a lost hat. Hats and gloves, as well as wraps, feature but bags less so. We left for Bayreuth by car the next day.

The hotel was at Bad Bernach, by a stream. Quiet little place; nobody about, except for Hitler and the Baader-Meinhof mother and daughter. Hitler was photographed in front of the now abandoned Hotel Bube while staying for the Bayreuth Festival. The B-Ms had been lodged in the village for a short time in the 1940s. So nice village, nasty occupants. We knew none of this while bantering with the hotel owner who in the winter is an air commodore flying refugees from Syria. He had that air: blazer and military hair. German humour: ‘Can I have more coffee?’ ‘I don’t zthink so.’  It was fortunate Anthony Mottram knew nothing of the Hitler connection for he would certainly have mentioned it as part of the banter. The commodore said he’d bought the hotel for 150,000 euros and was doing well out of it. Partly economising by doing the breakfast service himself. I don’t know how the Germans manage to have an old hotel with 70s bathrooms but nothing is stained or damaged. In many ways it’s not fair that they didn’t win the War. On the other hand, perhaps they’re not plucky and nippy like the British with their little Spitfires.

Anyway the hotel was the boiled-down essence of two or even one star, as near as you get in Germany to a one-night-cheap but the Air Commodore saved the whole thing. Really in the dining room with the ferns, the yellow-grey murk and brown of filmy fabric and panelling  and also deadly dead red you would have committed had he not been there.

Bad Bernach: Who would have Thought Hitler Lurked and the Baader-Meinhofs ?

Bad Bernach: Who would have Thought Hitler Lurked and the Baader-Meinhofs ?



Posted Wednesday, October 9, 2019 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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