Blogs from North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, Europe

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Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Dusseldorf December 1st 2017

It’s six AM, I rollover and hear Bea busily getting ready for work. So, at this time I would like to give a special THANK YOU BEA!!!! If it wasn’t for you Bea we wouldn’t have had such a great Christmas Market vacation. Kirsten and I see Bea and Omi along with the rest of the Delta crew off. All of a sudden Kirsten and I are alone. WOO HOO, we grab our bags and off we go. We are to catch a flight out of Dusseldorf tomorrow morning at 11:35 AM. It’s now Friday around 8:30 am. What to do!!!!!! Kirsten looks at me and says find me a quaint Christmas market. Ok, I do my famous sticking my finger on the map and after multiple rejects Kirsten approves Rudesheim. We’ve been here a few ... read more
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Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Emmerich am Rhein September 24th 2017

We flew from Belfast to Eindhoven yesterday, heading for Emmerich on the border between Germany and Holland in the Neiderrhein, to meet up with our friends Rita and Holger, and to do a bit of cycling and exploring of this beautiful area. We're staying at their lakeside cottage on the Wildweg lake. We had a fantastic welcome from Rita and Holger, and great advice for our travels, not to mention a fridge full of best German delicacies, beer and wine! Sunday 24th Oct Rita and Holger have lent us their bikes, so we headed out to explore our neighbourhood. Unusually for this flat terrain, we found hills! The route took us to Hochelten where we made careful note of the pancake cafe for future reference, then downhill to Elten, and on to Beek. From there we ... read more
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Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Bielefeld September 9th 2017

Have you ever heard of cities like Bielefeld or Stemwede? OK, Bielefeld is a bigger city, but Stemwede. Being german, I myself (Nina), had to look it up on a map. OK, it is "somewhere in the north" but honestly I had no clue where. Well, and Bielefeld is a city you only go to when you are born there, when you have family relations or when you work at Dr. Oetker ;-). As our spiritual master Paramahamsa Vishwananda was giving Darshan in Stemwede, we were ready to visit this not so well known region. Originally, we had planned to go camping at the beautiful looking Dümmersee, a holiday destination. But with a wet tent from the previous night and more rain and storm about to come, we decided to go for a hotel room. Well, ... read more
Markus enjoying ice cream
Kunsthalle
all of us who helped with the event

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Cologne September 7th 2017

It is been a while since we really had visited Germany. OK, we drive to the ashram of our spiritual master Paramahamsa Vishwananda which is in the Taunus region near Wiesbaden very often, from time to time we go to Stuttgart for family visit, but Markus really has not seen a lot around Germany. Well, and this is my (Nina's) home country. So we got a big chance this year in September. Our spiritual master went on a Darshan Tour (a tour on which he blessed people) through Northern Germany. 6 Darshans were on the plan in different cities - an amazing gift for Germany and a huge blessing for us as we could join the whole tour. The first stop was Cologne. For us it was a 7 hour trip by car from Lake Thun ... read more
talking with our spiritual master Paramahamsa Vishwananda during darshan in Hamm
riverside Cologne
our spooky campground opposite a nuclear power station in Hamm

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Cologne August 1st 2017

It was a rainy day today, so museum time it was. I went to the "NS Documentation Centre" - basically the Nazi Museum for Cologne. It's housed in the former Gestapo building and prison which certainly adds to the authentic feel and creepiness of the place. It was a truly impressive museum though - right up there with the very best Nazi/WWII museums I've been to. You start in the basement which is where the prison was - they've preserved the etchings on the walls which I found really fascinating. I guess prisoners were allowed to write/scratch things, and so you're left with this beautiful mixture of poems and musings about liberty, hope, resistence, love. You're also left with harsh words against the Gestapo and the Nazis, against fear, against inhumanity. And there are also many ... read more
One of the cells
Examples and translations of the etchings
I really liked this one

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Cologne July 31st 2017

Major props to Clarion Frankfurt - when I checked out I got a very heart happy birthday from the staff at the desk. Again, the area might be super dodgy but the hotel itself I can't recommend enough. The same, sadly, is not the case for Flixbus. If you're in a rush or have a lot of baggage, save yourself the potential hassle. Please. Bus was 50 min late today. I heard "5 more minutes" 4x from the employee at the station. Funny, I heard that a lot in Nuremberg too when the bus was 70 min late. I was giving it 10 more minutes before I was going to march into the ticket stand, cancel my ticket, walk back to the train station and pay the 40 euro to take a train to Cologne instead. ... read more
Looking up, way up
Up above one of the doors
Statues above the main entrance

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Cologne July 16th 2017

So after my last blog, I decided to walk back into the city centre of Bruges and climb the bell tower. I paid the 10 Euros and started up the spiral staircase on the marble stairs. So far so good! As I carried on climbing the stairs got more and more narrow, and kept changing materials between wood, marble, and stone. There was only one staircase for people climbing up and down, so there was a lot of squeezing past other people while trying not to slip on your arse! There were a few platforms you could stop at to catch your breath, and read something historic about the tower. The way up was comparatively fine until about two thirds of the way up, when the staircase became TINY!! The steps were about 6 inches wide ... read more
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Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Cologne July 12th 2017

I am still on the train, and am going to attempt to bust out another entry for this rather nifty city. I must say in terms of the actual city, I wasn’t overly impressed by the majority of the architecture, most of it seems like many other generic cities, albeit with some old and impressive buildings interspersed with more modern buildings. My primary motivations for visiting this place were to see an old friend of mine, and of course to see the Cologne Cathedral. My kiwi friend, Erin had moved over to Germany with her German boyfriend of whom she’d met while she was living in New Zealand, and whilst he was travelling within New Zealand. She’s spent about 6 or so months living in a town called Euskirchen, not too far from Cologne. She has ... read more
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Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Düsseldorf June 30th 2017

In my head two days would be more than enough time to get ready, and it would have been, if I had remembered the things I needed. Wednesday morning started off fairly chilled, till I decided to plug my Tom Tom in to the laptop. The updates downloaded in seconds but the transfer was going to take over an hour, so I left it while I carried on packing. By 10am it was still claiming it need an hour, so begrudgingly I decided to do a few last minute jobs, which I was gong to do on route to the ferry, but would now have to go back home instead. The first was to pick up the radio remote which I thought was in my Land Rover. It wasn't, so that was a load of time ... read more
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Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Wuppertal June 8th 2017

Kisbee was very keen and ready for the off this morning. Last time out was in the Lake District in May when the ignition lock was failing so Kisbee has been in the garage and is now very much good to go. Weather forecast was rain at 7am and again at 10am. They were right about the 7am but fortunately wrong about 10am and we had a really lovely sunny day. We headed up the steep hill to Solingen. 1 in 10 (or 10% for my younger readers), I sat well forward, as one does uphill on a horse, to make it easier. We are after all between us up to poor Kisbee's weight limit. Bob found our way through this quite large town with the help of Tomtom which has a special "Bob-made" bracket on ... read more
Wuppertal suspension train and Bob
Wuppertal suspension train driver
Wuppertal suspension train with a car from the road below reflected in the front




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