As I mentioned in previous blog posts, as we cannot have our ‘proper’ honeymoon this year we are planning one weekend away a month as a mini honeymoon, and it seems that we will be staying in castles for each of these (well, why not!)
The chosen castle for November was Burg Schnellenberg just outside Attendorn in the Sauerland. We drove there in Klaus’s Octavia as the Z3 is now hibernating and I made the most of the heated seats as my back was really hurting. I was a bit concerned we wouldn’t be able to go if my back got any worse but fortunately it was manageable.
The castle really looks like a proper castle! Here is the gate on the way in.
The main building where our room was.
Some lovely autumn colours.
The castle was built on a small hill outside Attendorn and was surrounded by woodland which was very pretty with its autumnal colours.
Our room was suitably decorated for a castle with a really high ceiling!
On the way out of our bit of the castle I took the photo below – I’m rather proud of it!
The hotel description said there was a kettle in the room but there wasn’t! This was a problem as I needed my hot water bottle for my bad back, and of course the cups of tea that I would need, so I we asked at the reception and they said they would put a kettle in the room for us.
We decided to go out for a walk, so headed off down the hill past some local residents.
Klaus said he was rather peckish so we decided to walk the one and a half kilometres into Attendorn, trusting for our cake radar to find something. What was a minor issue was that I thought we were just going to be walking around the castle so had no teabags with me, nor money. Klaus had a 10 Euro note and that was it. Well, we both had Apple Pay, so thought all was not lost.
We arrived in Attendorn and true to form found some cake, this time in a Milk Bar. Klaus had a piece of cheesecake.
And I went for something else, a waffle – which was very good!
We walked back the same route as dusk was falling. In this photo you can see down to Attendorn from the castle.
Klaus had a bit of a chill out in the room and I went to take some photos during the sunset.
And then it was time for dinner! We had reserved a table in the restaurant and we dressed up for our meal.
The restaurant had lots of game on the menu, not a surprise seeing the decor.
We had a really good meal again with excellent service. Klaus enjoyed a martini, some very dark red wine and a grappa at the end.
The next morning we went out for a short walk before breakfast. We don’t normally eat breakfast but it was included in the room rate and I was looking forward to a croissant so we decided to eat breakfast late as a kind of brunch. We went at 10:30 and a lot of other people had the same idea so we had to queue for a while. The service was also a bit slow (they were understaffed and had a new chap who was a bit hopeless) but I got my croissant!
We had a slow breakfast and Klaus stuck mostly to low carb food (I was treating myself to croissant and rolls etc). But he also partook of the nice biscuits we were given with our tea and coffee.
And then it was time to leave. Rather than going straight home we decided to visit the reservoir at Attendorn which was built in the 1950s.
We saw a sign to an Aussichtsplattform (a viewing platform) so decided to give that a go. It turned out to be a walk of a kilometre but up quite a steep hill so good exercise after breakfast! The platform itself was a very impressive structure hanging out over the lake.
From the platform I took this panorama photo of the lake – you can’t see all of it as it continues off into the distance. There was a dam wall built on the right hand side.
And here is Klaus enjoying the view!
We noticed at the viewing platform there was also a small building which turned out to be the ubiquitous German café with cakes. Despite having eaten an enormous breakfast half an hour ago it seemed rude not to partake. So we did!
After the cake and for Klaus a coffee (I had once again forgotten my teabags) we walked back down and headed home.
It was another really enjoyable weekend with good food, nice walks, excellent cakes and time alone together which we appreciate. We had booked a castle weekend once per month until April but with the increase in coronavirus cases in Germany we made the decision to cancel our December Mini Honeymoon as it was to be in Thüringen which has very high corona cases, and anyway with the corona situation as it is in Germany we should try to avoid unnecessary contact with people. So sadly no honeymoon next month, and also sadly no visit from my sister, brother in law, nieces and Mum due to Corona – we have postponed their Christmas visit until next summer.
Millie gets some treatment
The neverending story of Millie my Velomobile’s electrical issues was briefly on hold when there was a difficulty in ordering a new front lamp (one of the two had died). However, as I was commuting to work in the dark I really missed the second front lamp so had another look and found a decent Busch & Müller 36v lamp, which I purchased. Beyß in Straelen had agreed to fit it for me while I waited.
So one afternoon I cycled to Straelen again and helped lift Millie up onto the Velomobile operating table.
Andreas removed the old lamp very quickly, he was able to undo the nut holding it in place through the front light hole and then pull it out through the foot holes that I have in my Milan.
It was so tricky to get the new lamp through the hole and onto the mounting rail that he slightly enlarged the front hole to give him space to work.
He of course enlarged the other hole too so they were a matching set.
And then before fitting and soldering the new lamp we tested it… no light! Argh!!
After faffing around a bit Andreas Beyß noticed a switch on the lamp – set to off! We switched it on and behold, there was light! So it was then fitted, the wiring soldered and everything was back to normal.
The whole thing took half an hour and I then cycled home in a huge rainstorm but at least I had two front lights again.
We drove with Lara to Café zum Schafstall in Twisteden one Sunday afternoon so she could experience more good cakes – amazingly she had never been there with us, although we have been there loads of times. They make their own cakes and they are very good!
However I only cycle commuted a couple of times in Millie due to coming down with a cold that gave me a hacking cough and due to the cold air early in the morning when I commute I was mostly lazy/sensible and took the car! But there were one or two rides with a nice sunrise.
Here is the Veloviewer Wheel with all the activities I did this month – as you can see, very few.
I did four runs (each time 5k), lots of cycle commutes to work and one long ride to Beyß. This is probably my month of least exercise since I arrived in Germany (except the month when I had flu about six years ago, but that was a fair enough reason).
When being lazy I drove to work in my car or Klaus’s when he had Home Office. My car was doing its thing for Remembrance Day:
The Poppy symbolism isn’t really known about in Germany and 11 November is the start of Karneval anyway – a completely different mood!
Klaus has been doing much more cycling than me this month, going out several times a week for a couple of hours to relax. He has also been doing some good photography as usual!
But mostly we have been lazing around at home and looking after the dog of course.
On our walk on All Saints’ day (1 November) we noticed a pumpkin halfway along a track – must have been quite heavy to carry at least 300 metres from the car park!
It was still there on 18th November when I walked that way again so it has lasted well, although it’s not looking quite as fresh.
What also doesn’t look as fresh as normal is our neighbour’s van… apparently some of the wiring inside caught alight and the van burned, also damaging the garage that it was parked next to. It was lucky the house wasn’t further damaged. There were four fire engines in attendance and Klaus, who was working at home, saw them all going past but fortunately it was put out fairly quickly.
We enjoy our cosy evenings where we sit and read and drink tea or coffee.
Cakes this month
Here is the traditional cake gallery
And apart from this there is very little to say. It seems we are going into a semi-lockdown here in Germany – as I said above, Klaus and I have cancelled Honeymoon #4, Oliebollentocht for December has been cancelled, my family visit here has been cancelled… we are expecting to have a quiet Christmas with just Klaus and I (and Lara some of the time) and we hope that in the New Year things might be improving a bit in Germany. I have over 7 days’ overtime at work so hopefully can use a few days to visit my family in England in January or February, but only if it is safe enough. We shall see!
Stay safe everyone!