In the beginning of this month, Boyfriend and I went to the Eifel to celebrate our five year ‘wooden’ anniversary. What better place to celebrate this than in a forest. So far, I already posted some highlights of our vacation, such as Köln and Schloss Drachenburg on our first day and Burg Satzvey, Hochwildpark Rheinland and Burg Eltz on our second day. Now I want to focus on the Eifel itself and the lovely little city we stayed in, namely Schleiden.
When we were planning our vacation, we were looking for a place to stay that was as close to the national park as possible. We found the Kurparkhotel in a little village called Schleiden, of which we both never heard before. The hotel seemed decent enough and it had a great location so we booked it.
The hotel was good. Nothing fancy, but it was quiet and clean and there were a lot of books you could borrow, something we booklovers really liked. It had a great ambience and an even greater breakfast buffet that was included. Our room had a little balcony (though it was on ground level) and overlooked a cute little garden.
The city itself was small and cute. It was a sleepy town, with some stores and some restaurants, but not many people and definitely not tourists. I thought it was a great place to get away for a couple of days.
Did I mention the portions in Germany are the biggest? On our first day in Germany, after Köln and the closed castle, we were super tired and hungry when we finally made it to our hotel. We looked for a restaurant that was nearby and found a few, among them a greek restaurant. I had a tomato soup and boyfriend had goulash soup, which were both fine. For our main course, we decided to share a platter of different kinds of greek meat (suzuki, soufflaki, kefteda and gyros). It was so much and we finished maybe half of it, us not being used to so much meat. But it really was good, so we felt kinda sorry for not being able to finish it all.
We went in for another surprise when we asked for the bill. Turns out, we could not pay by card, only cash. We didn’t have that much cash on us, so Boyfriend had to go out to a bank, leaving me inside the restaurant. Unfortunately, my phone was still in his pocket so I was getting bored quickly (and frankly, a little scared, imagine sitting by yourself in a restaurant in a place you don’t know anyone and where you don’t speak the language). Luckily, boyfriend wasn’t away for too long, we payed and set off to our hotel again. So here’s a tip: if you’re going to Germany, make sure you bring enough cash and if you don’t have much on you, ask beforehand if you can pay by card in restaurants.
The Eifel is a mountern range in the western part of Germany, close to Köln and Bonn. We had seen a lot of the forests and the mountains when we drove around on our first two days, but on our third and last day, we decided to actually visit the national park. We packed our instruments, drove about ten minutes from our hotel to the entrance of the national park (which we could have done by foot, but we had to leave today anyway), and set out to explore the park.
The national park is fun and educational. Along the route, there were several signs with information about the forest, such as what kind of animals lived there and the history of the park.
We had a nice and quiet day, enjoying the peace of the forest. I loved being here. The air felt so fresh and the sun was shining through the trees, it was lovely.
During a big storm, lots of trees had fallen down. The local authorities had decided to keep them like this, to show visitors the true power of nature. What they did do, was smoothe the surfaces of some of these trees and made bannisters, so people who came to visit, could walk over the trees and get a closer look on the results of the storm. Which was educational but also quite fun.
As I said, we packed our instruments, for what better place is there to make music, than the peace and quiet of a forest. For those of you who don’t know, I play the ukulele and I brought it with me, so I could play a little. Boyfriend plays both the ocarina and tin whistle, and he too decided to make a little music in the forest, as a conclusion of a great vacation.
And that was it. When we walked quite a bit through the forest, we decided to go home again, after spending a great few days in this part of the world we hadn’t seen before.