Today we had a whirlwind day of touring around the countryside of northern Germany. Manfred says they live in the middle of nowhere, but I’ve been to the middle of nowhere before, and there is WAY more to do here than there was there. The weather was just terrible today. It was pouring so hard I thought we were going to float away. Ahhhhh, feels like home! The house (the one in the background that looks like the shed) is where my Dad’s cousin Manfred was born and lived with his family growing up. The house in the foreground is actually new…He was born right before WWII ended, so things were not easy for the people of Germany at that time, but he was telling me today that they all felt very lucky. To be alive, to have food, to not be bombed on a daily basis. Different times, that is for sure.
This is the house where Karin (Manfred’s wife) grew up in a village close by called Soltau.
We were driving by the garden gnome centre today and Manfred stopped because he knows I like them. Now, I feel I must clarify that I would not have gnomes in my garden. I just think they’re hilarious and adorable. Karin and Manfred would also like the world to know that all Germans do not have gnomes in their garden, nor do they even like them. I didn’t realise the range of styles these bad boys come in! There’s the classic gnome, but also cows, horses, camels, the statue of liberty and all kind of scary clowns and celebrities. Elvis! In your garden! Karin was laughing so hard she was crying. It was worth the visit just for that!
Dirty little gnome! You can’t see it but his girlfriend is flashing her tata’s behind him.
They are either riding pigs or geese in gnome land.
Would this look normal in any one’s garden?
Just in case you miss the begging gypsy woman on the streets of Europe, you can have your very own in your yard!
This is a “love van.” Call it what you want, but there are about 4 of them in a couple of mile radius. Manfred was telling me that they now call them “girly girly” vans because that’s what my sister Meredith called them when she saw them on her visit here. Hilarious. And yes, it is legal here! I also saw a “house of love” with a red light in the front and everything! So very different from home.
This is a village nearby where my ancestors from the early 1500’s lived. Manfred has traced this line back to the year 1529, and it’s not 100% filled in, but a very good start.
The house where some of them lived was right in this area. They were carpenter’s, and this is a lumberyard so it kind of makes sense that they would live close by their work.
Next we went to the Ole Mullern Schun to have some famous torte. It’s an old farmhouse decorated in a mish mash of old farmhouse furniture from farms in the area. The atmosphere was just great, and the torte? To die for!
I had a strawberry cheesecake with poppy seeds.
This is an old church across the street from the bakery called St. Laurentiuskirche in Muden. It was built in 1217 and is a typical example of a rural farmers church in the German countryside.
This is a new church called Eine-Welt-Kirche. In English it means One-World-Church. It’s only about 12 years old, but it is unique because of its alter. It is made up of over 5000 samples of earth, sand and soil from all over the world. They have space for 7000, so if you travel to this region, please bring a sample of your earth to add to the alter!
This region is also known for it’s beautiful heather, and we visited this park that has a range of all the different types and varieties. There is a “heather queen” who travels the world promoting the plant. Who knew? There is also a potato queen, a corn queen and( I’m just guessing) a beer queen.
A windmill from the late 1800’s. Where did I put my wooden shoes?