Germany in September – Nothing else needed

We had been thinking how Germany has been forgotten in our travel destinations for a while. We have been a lot to France and quite some times to Luxembourg as well, but Germany we had skipped for the whole summer.

This error has now been fixed. Photographic evidence of the occurrence can be found here.

We have a national park called the Eifel  right at our border, so that was our heading. Since we had been promised good weather, we were looking forward to sleeping outside and hiking a couple of descent circles. The first challenge we usually meet in Germany, is that camping in the wild is rather prohibited. So instead of camping in the actual, well guarded, national park, we searched a forest close by, pitched our tent in the darkness of the night (into a mud pool) and slept like babies for the coming 12 hours. I always sleep so much better in a tent.

A hotel, where ever you need it to be. A.k.a tent.

In the morning we needed to hurry. I had not been so smart while selecting the walk for the day and we were looking at a good 20 km of forestry walking. So breakfast down the throat and off we went.

There is something really pleasant in the light of an autumn morning. It hugs the things it touches in a special way. Also the nature, when the autumn comes, is full of preparation for winter.

Mushrooms pushing up and apples hanging from the trees, all the plants storing as much sugar into their roots as possible, the atmosphere in the forest is very, hm, busy, in a way.

Stubs of trees killed by flooding. Giving a home to new life.

I was rather happy that we were in just a forest, rather than in the Eifel park. We could enjoy a lot more solitude there on our lake circling trails. The forest was apparently so calm that even beavers had taken it as their home. The walk of the day brought us by three streams that all had beaver colonies alongside them.

Those animals, quite some builders they are! And ambitious too, judging by the size of trees they aim to cut down!

The beauty of beavers work.

We decided to move camp for the next night, just to lessen the change of getting caught. We happened upon a seemingly unused BBQ/playground area, with nice and soft grass and some bushes behind which we could easily hide our tent.

There is happiness in the other end of these legs.

That was the best campsite we have had for a long time. Largely thanks to the amazing sunrise we had the next morning.

Who would not love this.

The early hours kept treating us with wonderful views.

The mist kept lingering in the valleys, refusing to give way to the sun. Lining grass and spider webs with tiny shining pearls.

I think we all have that one kind of a landscape in which you can just breathe out and all the worries and stress and everyday life is vanished. That landscape to me, is there. In the midst of misty fields, softly rising to hills and again rolling down to make a valley. With sun trying to push away the morning chill, piercing holes into the covering clouds. Where could life be better?

It was in any case time for our walk of the day, our sore muscles were not too happy to hear that. A bit more gentle 15 km circle this time, following the shores of the lake called Rursee.

Rursee. Imagine some slager to the background.

We were treated with nice scenery of forests that already had a hint of soon blooming autumn colors, a lot of tasty wild apples and some slager music. Ah, so German.

We decided to leave the gentle notes of slager behind us and head for the hills. They offered us some more views over valleys and to an old German war base of Vogelsang.  Also we found some more apples. Seriously, those things are everywhere.

Apples not shown in the picture. Stop searching for them.

From the field on top of the hill we were walking up, and down, we found some very pleasant stones, that quickly transformed into a huge heard of sheep.

Stones that are sheep.

All of a sudden we just were surrounded by sheep, maybe 500 of them. All going to a destination unknown to us.

Definitely not stones.

There was this one very curious lady who really tried to figure out what and who we were, sitting on top of her field.

Who are you?

She took a good look from different sides and sniffed.

Michel Angelo, anyone?

Checked whether the camera was dangerous or not. Behind her was her little lamb probably thinking that his mother is a fool, acting like that. Which was very strongly also the opinion of one other sheep, who was demandingly stomping her hoof to the ground behind her. Clearly saying that getting close to a strange human cannot be a good idea!

The sheep went and left us dazed and very much amused. We followed the example and started heading to the village where we started from, crossing green fields with the sun in our backs, a September Sunday cannot get much better than that.

We walked through the village, got a few new friends of a horse duo, that was very eagerly bribed with apples.

An apple buys you a friendship. Or two.

The day was topped off with some genuine German cheese cake and beer before driving back home.

And now we are living the Monday again. I think we have a bit too good weekends. The drop back to the everyday is always so huge…

Advertisements

Rainy days have a purpose too!

Autumn has come. The rain says so. When the rain falls, washing away the colors of the landscapes, dampening the ground, making all outdoor activities feeling like the worst idea you have had since you were born, many people take their blankets and sofas and hot drinks. In our family it is a bit different. For us, it is time to take out the knitting works, laptops and maps.

These ladies did not get the memo.

These gray, cold and wet days are often the doom of our empty looking weekends. Planning happens at these moments. What usually happens in between the clinging of knitting needles is endless amounts of hunting down average weather reports, browsing through Google maps and flight shopping.

That is one reason why I love living in Belgium. You can fly from here fast, usually also cheap, into most places in Europe and Northern Africa. It is completely possible to fly for the weekend to Spain, south of France, eastern Europe, places like that. And of course we can just take the car, drive a few hours and be in a totally different setting in Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg, France or even UK, God forbid!

So how the organizing of all this goes; First we check if there is no good coef at the same time, naturally. Then we take Google maps and a finger. Point an area. Check for which weekend that might be able to fit and according to that go find a service that records long term weather and temperatures. These will tell you whether there is any point in going to that area after all.

After the frame work is done we will need to figure out if it is smarter to drive to that chosen destination, of if we should take a plane. Train is sometimes a fabulous option too! At that point it is better to prepare for chattered dreams. Sometimes exactly at the chosen time the prices for flying are high or something else does not match, small airports do not have flights every day, they are only just building the railway network to there etc.

But usually it is quite easy to walk around those issues. Just pick another location close by, check a different transport method or just ditch the whole idea and decide to dedicate the weekend for cleaning or maintaining the hiking gear and buggies. Not to forget seeing some friends, just to remind them that actually we still exist and are as irritating as a couple as they were thinking we were!

So a couple of grim afternoons usually means that we have enough activities for the winter months. During spring and summer we do not usually plan weekends, we just go weekends. Still we might forget some of those plans or dismiss them and do something else more on extempore basis, if there is no flights booked. I think we are actually rather well off with full time jobs. If we worked shorter hours we would have waay too many trips coming up all the time. Which is not good, since I do like impulsiveness too!

Hm. What actually was the purpose of this post? I don’t know, maybe spend a bit emptier working day somehow productively.  But now, have a nice weekend people! We are off to Germany with Waffle!

A Birthday, Sunset and Kite buggy

Our weekend started with a birthday on Friday. One of Waffles friends was getting older, not that you noticed anything. Such a special man he is, that we thought he might deserve something not so ordinary. So we arranged some fireworks for him. Almost burned a forest, but luckily it had been hellishly rainy for the last too weeks and everybody survived.

That evening we had to cut short, we tried to, at least. Since on Saturday we were off to France again with the buggies. It was promised to be a short coef, so we were expecting good beaches only from Sunday on. We visited Les Hemmes shortly, saw a wet and muddy piece of beach and absolutely nobody there. So change of plans. We drove further down the coast, closer to Touquet, where the beach is a bit more elevated and a lot harder!

When we arrived, the sun was setting and we were running up and down the dunes searching for a spot to pitch our tent up. So we found this small dive in the dune, opening to the beach with a splendid (Gosh I love that word!) view of the setting sun, coloring the whole beach and sky as the setting sun so often does. Being so bloody beautiful it should be illegal.

Touquet sunset

To make the evening really cheesy we lit some candles around our tent, took a footsie and ate our dinner sitting side by side, watching the sunset and the moon, casting a bridge over the sea and the beach.

We went to sleep. You would maybe think, that sleeping on a sand dune is comfortable. Well, it is not. Sand has always some bumps somewhere and you end up waking up every now and then because some part of your back is hurting like crazy. And also, the fine sand gets everywhere!

Moonshine

Bridge to the moon.

Touquet camping

So came the morning and time to crawl out of the tent. It is particularly pleasant thing to do, when you see a beach opening up in front of your porch. It was early, no wind but lovely sunshine. Warm morning was promising a nice breeze towards the afternoon. Before that, we packed our camp and headed for berry bushes to pick some wild sea buckthorns – massive mistake, their spikes rip your skin to pieces!

DSC_0415

Sunshine maybe?

In between the bush came maybe the biggest surprise in the life of Waffle so far. I had been planning on a small surprise for him for his birthday. It was terribly late already and everything, but still. I had given him some small hints, like that it was related to an activity and begins with the letter A. Suddenly, that morning, he started guessing a bit more. “Is it related to buggying? Does it cost more than 100€? Are the other letters a P and an X?”

Well, yes, to all of the above. I had secretly gone and bought him an Apexx kite buggy. Until then I had been thinking, that it was just a regular, a bit better than average, buggy. I had been wrong. So wrong.

An Apexx, it is apparently just about the best thing money can buy in the world of buggying. It is the wet dream for many. The buggies are made to measure and last for a life time. So, that piece of news drove my dear Waffle to the verge of a melt down. His brain seemed to get twisted and tangled into it self. He thought I was lying for a moment, I convinced him that I wasn’t. He was an absolute mess for the whole day, but mainly insanely happy! I am afraid that his smile is gonna leave permanent damage.

I am slightly afraid about what is going to happen, when Waffle is finally able to hop onto a buggy, that actually moves somewhere and in which he is actually locked safely into the seat. He is planning on starting to fly with the buggy. Insane? Yes.

DSC_0491

The Yakuza and squat in diapers.

Well, after that episode, we picked some berries until the wind picked up. I walked the still dizzy Waffle down to the beach with the buggies and started practicing the handling of race kites. Exhausting stuff! You need some more brains with those kites compared to what I have gotten used to driving. They react fast and they keep accelerating in a different manner and try to kill you a bit more.

DSC_0474

Practicing was done, a few kites had gotten new lines and handles. Waffle was still dizzy and smiling, a bit lost from time to time. We were ready to pack our stuff and get home. Especially when the sea started to come up again and almost stole one of the kites. Remember to keep an eye on to the tide when you are on a beach!

DSC_0684

On the way back home, we found this. Basilisk of Boulogne-sur-mer.

On the way home, we strolled around Boulogne-sur-mer’s fortified town and checked out who were on the beach in Les Hemmes. Waffle of course was yelling his happiness for all the people to hear at the beach. Apparently his new toy was considered a good buy.

The Waffle, he is still smiling, by the way.