There are a couple of paleonthological sites in Germany which have been providing people with spectacular specimens all the time. I like Solnhofen for its beautiful surroundings, the quarry which you are allowed to get into and use your hammer, the museum with its exhibition changing every season and – what is equally important – where you are allowed to take photos. That’s unlike Holzmaden, where you can admire the walls covered with world’s famous fossils, but where the owners reserve the right to use your photos. Once we met the mayor of Solnhofen in the local museum. He said: „of course you can take photos and publish them – you give us a good publicity, after all”. And so people come to the small museum.
Before the departure we had packed the sleeping bags and a tent. Then we arrived at the local campsite, waited for 40 minutes right by the building for the owner to come. We freezed and decided to look for a private guesthouse. We were going and knocking from door to door, but it turned out that at the end of October the small town hibernates. Our last hope was a bakery next to the basilica and we hit the nail on the head! We got the keys to the room with a kitchen annex and bathroom. We turned on the heating and all the hobs and were happy not to stay at the campsite.
In the quarries you can turn the pages in the history of Earth book. The eroding plates of jurassic limestones split into thin sheets. Within ten or fifteen minutes you can come across crinoids, ammonites and their aptycha. Those working in the qarries find daily fish, crabes, lobsters and plenty other fossils. You can see the specimens in the museum or in the quarrymen houses.
I’m awaiting a warmer weather. Then, much better equipped, we will set off for fish.