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Youth hostelling in the Lake District


Hitchhiking in post-war Germany
Norman Greenwood Scientist
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Whilst we were there I decided that I would like to see a little place called Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which is a part of medieval Germany on the Romantische Strasse near Würzburg, or down south of Würzburg, further to the east from where I was. So Tony Nicholson and I thought we would try and hitchhike, but that proved very difficult because of the conditions: there were all sorts of people moving around and the troops weren’t allowed to pick up and there wasn’t much petrol, so it was difficult. But we did manage to get there and saw this old place which I’d seen an etching of in my aunt’s room and decided I would get there. And I won’t go into the details because many people have themselves been there, but it was a typical old fortified medieval German town that had preserved its character.

And the other thing perhaps I remember was a trip to Heidelberg where the Heidelberg student Ausschuss had invited us down. We went to another play down there, saw the castle and Goethe’s Romantische Strasse, the Philosopher’s Way, and so forth, and trips up the Neckar River, but it was really... we were well looked after and had a wonderful time there learning about Germans and the problems they had, and I found them to be thoroughly admirable people.

Norman Greenwood (1925-2012) was born in Australia and graduated from Melbourne University before going to Cambridge. His wide-ranging research in inorganic and structural chemistry made major advances in the chemistry of boron hydrides and other main-group element compounds. He also pioneered the application of Mössbauer spectroscopy to problems in chemistry. He was a prolific writer and inspirational lecturer on chemical and educational themes, and held numerous visiting professorships throughout the world.

Listeners: Brian Johnson

Professor Brian FG Johnson FRS, FRSE, FRS Chem, FAcad Eu, FAS. Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Edinburgh 1991-1995, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Cambridge 1995-2005, Master Fitzwilliam College Cambridge 1999-2005. Research interests include studies of transition metal carbonyls, organometallic chemistry, nano- particles and homogeneous catalysis. Professor Johnson is the author of over 1000 research articles and papers.

Tags: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany, Romantische Strasse, Würzburg, Heidelberg, Neckar, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Duration: 1 minute, 43 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011