Coolest Road-trip Layover EVER

When planning our road trip to and from Switzerland, we didn’t have much of an agenda besides spending a few days at Tammi and Martin’s. Mike did suggest stopping in Trier, Germany on the way back to Belgium, so that was in the plan. But that was it.

Since we had some down time on Thursday before we left Belgium, I started looking at the map, plotting potential routes from Switzerland to Trier, and seeing if there was anything interesting along the way. That’s how I stumbled across THE coolest place ever. Annelies and I agreed it was a place the guys would enjoy, and it might keep them busy while we did some shopping.

The town of Sinsheim was sorta on the way to Trier. Having a layover there would allow us to spend Sunday morning with our friends in Switzerland, enjoy a leisurely drive to Sinsheium Sunday afternoon, have a leisurely day in Sinsheim on Monday morning/afternoon, arriving in Trier on Monday night. That left most of the day on Tuesday to roam around Trier.

McDonalds in Germany


Rest Stop with Americana Decor


An Ice Box!

Europeans don’t seem to like ice nearly as much as we do. In fact, ask for ice with your drink in Europe, and you’ll be lucky to get more than a couple of cubes. Really. I was surprised to see an ice box, but an ice box with a blue frog? I just HAD to take a picture to share.

The ride itself was pretty uneventful. We managed to find our hotel and, in pretty short order, headed out for dinner. The German restaurant we’d been hoping to find was closed, so we ended up in an Italian restaurant. But they served the Neopolitan-style pizza we really like and, of course, had German beer on tap. So there were no complaints from any of us.

Delicious Neopolitan Pizza


The plan for Monday had been to spend a couple of hours at the Sinsheim Car & Technology Museum. That’s the attraction that had made us select the town. What an amazing place. Really. We weren’t there for long before we realized we could easily spend an entire day there, and still not see everything.

Their Web site describes it as housing…

…more than 3,000 exhibits from all areas of technical history on more than 30,000 sqm of indoor space and in our open air ground. The exhibitions include a genuine CONCORDE from Air France and the Russian Tupolev TU-144, more than 300 classic cars, 200 motorcycles, 40 racing cars, the largest permanent formula-1 exhibition in Europe, 60 airplanes, 20 locomotives, and much more.

There’s a “sister” museum a mere 40 km (~25 miles) away — Technik Museum Speyer — I wish we’d have seen, too. It’s described on the museum’s Web site as having…

…a variety of masterpieces of technology to be found nowhere else. Apart from large collection of aircraft, classic cars, locomotives and fire engines, some of the highlights are an original BURAN spaceshuttle, the largest space flight exhibition in Europe, a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet, the submarine U9, a former German Navy submarine and a gigantic Ukrainian Antonov AN-22 cargo plane. In the Museum Wilhelmsbau you can admire a unique collection of automatic musical instruments and much more.

To say the guys were pleased by our choice is an understatement. There were thrilled. It’s the kind of place most guys LOVE. And, thanks to the extensive collection of interesting and amusing mannequins, Annelies and I loved it, too.

The Concorde and Tupolev were mounted on the roof.


The guys were immediately spellbound.


A thunderstorm rolled through right around the time we decided to view the aircraft on the roof. Of course.

It got cold, and windy for a bit. And, yes, it was raining. So we lingered a bit longer inside of the airplanes, which were all canted at such unusual angles that it made for some very unusual photo angles.

Believe it or not, we were all standing upright.


It was really quite entertaining. Speaking of entertainment, check this out.

1950s-1960s era DC3 airplane with built-in sliding tube.

We laugh a lot when we are together. And sometimes, we do silly things. Like sliding out the nose of this airplane.

How could we not? I mean, it’s not every day one gets to slide out of an airplane…

Wanna see the video?

It was lots of fun.

The most amazing array of artifacts ever.


This is just one of their very cool and sometimes creepy mannekins.

Annelies and I took a ton of pictures. That made it really hard to decide what to share here.

Biggest collection of vintage autos I’d ever seen under one roof.


Mini Motorcycles


Did I forget to mention that there were lots and lots of motorcycles, too? Of all shapes, sizes, and ages? Unbelievable.

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Stunning Old Indian


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Old Harley Davidson sidecar rig.


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LOVE those headlights.


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Lots of pretty rare stuff.


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Racing motorcycle with a platform for standing.


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One of many amazing old tractors.


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A Munch Mammoth


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Very cool Formula 1 car.


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A motorcycle built for four!

I was completely amazed by the variety of vehicles. Many of which I’d never seen or even heard of before.

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Rolls Royce Milk (?) Truck



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Period artifacts, like the gas pump, were everywhere, too.


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I just loved the seats on this Ardie.


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This one was pretty cool, too.


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Scooter and sidecar.


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Who wouldn’t love to drive this old Porsche?


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Awesome old bus.


Another very cool motorcycle/sidecar rig.

See what I mean about the variety of stuff? Unbelievable, really. And I haven’t even shared much military stuff yet. And there was LOTS of it. Planes, tanks, helicopters, TRAINS…

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These mannekins were among my favorites.


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Pack and go motorcycle. Who knew?


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See all the extra “stuff” in the shot?


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Even stuff like engines and flight suits/ejection seats were on display.


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Missiles, old documents, motors… incredible.


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Unrestored Tank

A number of the military artifacts are displayed in pretty much the same condition they were in when discovered.

See what I mean about not knowing what to share?

It was quite overwhelming, but in a good way. And needless to say, we spent more than a couple of hours there. We even watch an IMAX 3-D video about flight history. Way cool.

I know I use the word “cool” too much. Sorry.

Much to my delight, look what I spotted among the mannequins…

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Vintage, life-sized baby dolls like one I used to own.


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There was even a collection of old sewing machines.

It would be worth a trip to Germany just to see this museum again. And visit the sister museum. I can only imagine what all is housed there.

Annelies and I enjoyed the mannequins so much, that I decided to share our collection of fun images in a slideshow.


If you’d like to see all 478 images captured at the museum, CLICK HERE to get to the Flickr album.

And if you’re ever in the area, you really should plan to visit one or both of the museums.

Next up, our final tour stop… Trier, Germany (Treves in English), which is perhaps the oldest city in Germany (founded in or before 16 BC).

That’s old.

12 Replies to “Coolest Road-trip Layover EVER”

  1. That museum has a stunning collection… What awesome stuff! Well, except for the mannequin at the sewing machine–just creepy.

    1. Ryan, it really was amazing. The collection was vast, to say the least. And the mannequins, like the creepy seamstress, were truly entertaining.

  2. At first, when I just the McDonald’s ad, I was like, please tell me she’s not gonna say the coolest layover ever was at a freakin’ fast food joint! Lol. That does seem like an awesome museum and I loved the video of the slide out of the plane.

    1. Shan, that would be lame. I don’t like McDonalds in the US, so I’d have to be really desperate to eat there in Germany when there’s so much other good food to be had.

  3. “Hold onto your sack.” “That’s your wife.” Still makes me laugh to see that video! The slideshow is fantastic!!

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