We felt sad leaving Brian & Heike last Wednesday but we still have a few things we want to do before heading down to Spain. We wanted to be on the road by 10am as the campsite we were heading for had a quiet time between one and three (no arrivals). According to our sat nav it was roughly a three hour journey! We only stopped to refuel and got to the campsite with 15 minutes to spare. The site is in Bad Rothenfelde (Campotel) just outside Bielefeld and seemed very quiet with only a few people about. There are a lot of seasonal vans on site and I’m sure the weekend will be busier. We last visited this site in 2009 so knew where everything was. After parking the trailer and van on our pitch I filled up with fresh water while Angela sorted the inside out making it nice and cosy. The kettle was then put on for a nice cup of tea before having a snooze. We didn’t bother going out into the town as our plan was to have a full day in there tomorrow.
After a good nights sleep I decided that I would keep up with the running and ran into the local Edeka to get some fresh rolls while Angela went through her own fitness routine.
We had what we call a Motorhome breakfast that normally lasts for at least an hour. It consists of various cheeses, meats, smoked salmon and spreads with fresh tomatoes and cucumber. All washed down with a cafetière of coffee and some sparkling water from our new Soda Stream, which was a birthday present for Angela from Brian & Heike…….thanks, it makes drinking water so much more enjoyable and will be brilliant for Spain.
We walked into town and headed straight for the two graduation towers (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graduation_tower) A large structure built for the production of salt by stuffing bundles of brushwood (usually blackthorn) into a wall. For more information see the link above.
They are very impressive to look at and it is lovely to walk around as they are surrounded by a large park on one side with great big trees, a couple of ponds and on the other a garden full of roses. Looking at the pictures from the summer it must be amazing to see and smell.
Most of the shops close for a couple hours lunch break which is good as it stops us from spending so we window shopped instead. There are a mixture of shops from fashion, cooking, art, second hand and lots of cafes. We also found a nice speciality food shop that had attached to it an area to buy Bratwurst with a bread roll and Gluhwein. We just opted for the Bratwurst.
We ventured back to the van and made a lovely chicken casserole which we had with a nice bottle of German red wine. We never used to drink German wine thinking it was only like Blue Nun and Liebfraumilch! How wrong were we? Our favourite (at the moment) is made from the Dornfelder grape which is the second most grown red grape variety in Germany.
Yesterday (first thing in the morning) I went to Edeka again but this time on Angela’s bike to get a few provisions. They do not have baskets in this shop as most Germans go prepared with their own collapsible one. They do however have shopping trolleys but I did not have a 1 Euro coin so carried what I could, but was soon struggling as there was still more to get. Do I put my shopping in my rucksack and possibly be lifted for shoplifting or go and speak (in my poor German) to a shopworker to ask if they could change a note and then get a trolley? While deciding my choices and still picking up more items I rounded a corner and there she was, my saviour. A woman was stacking a shelf and had just put down an empty cardboard box. In my best German I asked her………”Kann ich habe?” She gave me the box smiling and said “Bitte”. I finished my shopping without any more dilemmas and after passing through the checkout stuffed it all in my rucksack and went as fast as I could back to the safe haven of our van for a nice cup of tea.
The rest of the day Angela and I decided to give the van a good clean and tidy (station org!) ready for travelling again.
Today after a motorhome breakfast we ventured into town again for a walk around followed by a nice big piece of cake and a latte.
We have just finished the last of our stew, more red wine and will soon be watching a movie in bed followed by an early night. We are leaving in the morning and going to Koln where we will be staying on the Stellplatz for four or five nights. We went to Koln in 2009 for the Christmas market. Actually I think there are about five there and the Cathedral is spectacular, especially this time of year. It will be our first proper Christmas market for a while and we are really excited as we are meeting up with our friends, Geoff & Barbara. Itwas a deal we made with them last year in Spain as she was going through a really tough time and we are so pleased to be meeting up again. I’m sure we will have a few glasses of Gluhwein together.