In the last post I had been feeling a bit under the weather but after resting for a few days I am doing well, and just in time for our trip to visit friends in Germany. After a train from Amsterdam and one change to a local train, we arrive in Ennepetal, just outside Cologne. Evi and Frank pick us up at the station. You may remember that we met them on a hike while we were staying in Bozeman, Montana in July. Evi and Frank want us to experience their Germany, so what does one do after arriving in Germany? You go for a walk. After becoming acquainted with their home, they asked us if we wanted to take a walk to see their neighborhood. There’s a lovely trail system just down the road from their home where the trail leads around pastures, and woodlands. It was the perfect thing to do after a travel day. Back home we enjoyed Evi’s home made schnitzel – all I can say is, wunderbar!
We joined the first Saturday of the month informal walking club on an 8-mile trek through the hills near the Hagen Open-air Museum. Actually we accomplished 3 hikes and were able to stamp our Wanderpass 3 times at little stations along the way. Joining us were Christian, Alex, Burghardt, Justus, Elisa, Evi and Frank. It threatened rain all day but we were fortunate to enjoy this autumn walk - in spite of Christian’s cross country short cut (truth be told, his GPS failed him). We went back home, had a rest then drove to the quaint village of Hattigen (14th-16th century timber-framed houses) where we enjoyed a dinner of sauerbraten in a restaurant specializing in German food. Our day was topped off with a gelato on our way home.
Evi and Frank’s 18-year old son, Lucca, had a soccer game on Sunday, so after breakfast we all went over to the soccer field and watched the game. Unfortunately, it was raining but we held onto our umbrellas and enjoyed standing with the locals cheering for their team - but no win today. We drove to Altena to visit the medieval hillside Altena Castle (12th century). We were there for four hours and enjoyed learning about the castle history, seeing the many exhibits on armor and weapons, and surprisingly the history of the birthplace of hostels in Europe. It all began here in the early 1900s!
We can’t thank Evi and Frank enough for allowing us to experience their German life. They both made sure we tried the different cheeses, meats, and breads from their area along with a taste of all things German. What a treat for us. Also, a big thank you to their son Ricco as he gave us his room/bath while we stayed. We enjoyed the time together and look forward to seeing all of them again. No goodbyes but until again works for all of us.
Thanks for joining us on our journey.