MAINZ - FOOTBALL

Trip date: November 7-8, 2015

During the first weekend in November 2015, we took another trip to Bundesliga (more trips here). As every half year we found a city in Germany, where Bundesliga plays. This time we chose Mainz. On 7.11. the match between Mainz and Wolfsburg took place. That time Wolfsburg was in Bundesliga in third place, and it promised to be an interesting game or match. Another adventure for the men of the family me, Ota (my son), my brother and his son could start.
Before the trip we had bought tickets, booked a hotel and found something to see in this area. Unlike other German cities, I found almost nothing interesting about Mainz. Except one thing, it is the place of one great story - the story of the inventor of the printing press - Johannes Guttenberg. This man worked in this city and his invention started the Printing Revolution. It is widely regarded as one of the most important events of the modern period. 
You can read the impressive story about his invention, about his life and that he died in poverty - see link below.
So, besides visiting a football match, we planned a tour of the city center and Guttenberg Museum. For the second day we decided to see a building complex Waldspirale in Darmstadt and our favorite Sinsheim Technic Museum - again after three years.

Mainz Coface arena

Back to the football. Most of the Bundesliga matches started at 15:30 on Saturday. Due to this fact, we were able to comfortably reach our destination with an adequate margin for unexpected problems such as transport. We set off from Prague early morning before 8 AM and arrived about 1 PM.
When we were looking for information about the stadium, we found out that the club Mainz has an almost new stadium on the outskirts of the city.
But when we arrived, we found ourselves in the fields outside the city. Moreover, we were quite surprised that there is almost no place to park at the stadium. However, Germans are good organisers and they sent us to the parking lot at the University which is near.
In addition, public transport to the stadium is not yet available. The closest station is almost at a distance of one km. Although we saw prepared tracks, it had not been completed yet.
Another thing that was not clear to us was the number of parking spaces for cyclists. There were many hundreds of places for bicycles and only a small part of them were used.

Mainz Coface arena

As usual here, all other things worked properly. We picked up the tickets, put the jackets in the car and spent the remaining time on the university campus and in the botanical garden. Even though it was November, we could enjoy wonderful weather. The temperatures reached nearly 20 degrees and there was a beautiful sunny afternoon.

Mainz botanical garden

In contrast to the other stadiums, this is not so big. The capacity is about 30000 visitors. But it is almost new and well equipped.
The atmosphere at the stadium was great as is usual in Germany. A home team was not the favorite at this match. It was the fourth Bundesliga match we visited, and we had not yet seen a home team victory.

Mainz Coface arena

But ten minutes after the initial whistle the Wolfsburg player was shown the red card and he was sent off. That situation on the football field had changed. The home team took advantage of this option and during the first half they were be able to put hosts in front. The home fans were excited. The second half was similar and Mainz scored another goal. They won 2:0 and we enjoyed their game.

Mainz cathedral
After the match, we were stuck for a while in a traffic jam when we tried to exit the parking lot, but nothing dramatic. We moved to the city center. We parked in a parking house and went to the city. We saw a quiet, almost sleepy pedestrian zone. It seemed to me that the lights were quite weak, insufficient. They had an interesting design but our old lights in Prague just shine better. We admired an amazing cathedral in the city center and the impressive River Rhein. Unfortunately, the museum was closed and thus we only walked around the old quarter.
When we decided to go to the hotel, we wanted to buy a few cans of beer. And that was a problem. All stores were closed. It looked that we had no chance. But we finally found some at place where nobody would expect to find a beer. Bio supermarket Alnatura! We could buy a six pack of some Bio Pilsner beer. A saleswoman looked a bit surprised but in the end all good :)
We arrived to the hotel shortly after 8 PM. We thought we had a lot of time because check-in on the confirmation from booking.com was at 10 PM. But when we were parking, we met the receptionist who was just leaving the hotel. Luckily, he asked us if we want to stay here, and he was willing to go back to give us the keys.  

Mainz theater

It turned out that the hotel has check-in only until 8 PM on Saturday (in contrast to 10 PM on other days) and booking.com is not able to process this information.
Finally, everything ended well. Only booking.com „lost” one star.
The next day we had two goals: the building Waldspiral in Darmstadt and the Technic Museum in Sinsheim.
Darmstadt is less than one hour from Mainz. We wanted to see the unique residential building complex Waldspirale. It was created by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. He is the designer of several similar buildings in Germany and in Austria. This building with the unique facade was finished in year 2000. It contains more than 100 apartments, a kiosk as well as a cafe and a bar.

Darmstadt Waldspirale

The building is special because it does not follow the regular grid. Nothing is horizontal. Each of more than 1000 windows is original. No two windows are the same.
Our attention was attracted to the gilded onion domes and the absence of straight lines. It was an interesting and surprising experience; we have not seen anything like this yet. 

Darmstadt Waldspirale

On the other hand, the next destination was well known for us. We decided to see the Technic Museum in Sinsheim again. This time we enjoyed wonderful weather. We were able to look into the Concord airplane. We admired the collection of American dream cars from fifties and sixties or awesome exhibits of military equipment.
That was about three years after our last visit, and we had a great time in Sinsheim again. When we were leaving the Sinsheim, we saw the newly built stadium of Hoffenheim Bundesliga Club. Maybe one of the goals of our next trips :)

Sinsheim - technic museum

Where we stayed: Hotel Garni am Hechenberg, friendly hotel in the suburbs of Mainz, very friendly staff, well equipped rooms, it is a bit tricky to get there from downtown

The shop that saved us :) http://www.alnatura.de/de-de/alnatura-maerkte/staedte/mainz

Awesome story of Johan Guttenberg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Gutenberg
http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/gutenberg.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldspirale
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedensreich_Hundertwasser