We began the day with breakfast in the bottom floor of the castle, a heavenly breeze drifting in the open window – Germany is having a major heat wave! A bowl of plain yogurt, cold cuts, and a few hard-boiled eggs later we hit the road. Destination: Sleepin’ Putey’s Castle (ohh how we miss Justin! That was how he said Sleeping Beauty as a toddler).
A quick stop at the castle and we continued driving; the driving around this area is indescribably beautiful. Zipping through the German forests, on roads that are pushing it to be classified as one-lane, it’s strange how familiar and unfamiliar they are at the same time. The miles of tress and constant spectrum of green is – while pretty – nothing out of the ordinary for us. However, the absence of ground cover and the scraggly pine make it easy to imagine the Brother’s Grimm writing down tales the cautionary scary stories that have become our children’s fairytales. History tells us that the Brother’s Grimm would travel the area, stopping at the local pubs, listening to the tales of 19th century, and writing them all down – a gift for future generations. As we traveled the fairytale route, the stories take a new life and it becomes easy to see where the inspiration was drawn (much like the life that was given to the Harry Potter books when we traveled throughout the UK).
Back on the road, we stopped in a small German village just before Furstenberg that was in the midst of their annual strawberry festival. No one spoke any English but we managed to purchase a few baskets of delectably fresh strawberries before continuing into Furstenberg.
We searched the entire town but found nothing open, nothing!! It has been a surprise to find that Sunday is truly a day of rest – everything from cafes to pubs; grocery stores to Starbucks are closed on Sunday. All of us now hungry, we continued into Hameln. Entering a café with charming outside patio on a pedestrian only street, Cameron asked the waitress if they had any open seating and English menus. Apparently his German was so good she thought he was fluent because she quickly jabbered a paragraph back to him – not the yes or no we were hoping for and our blank faces gave us away. She switched to English telling us to go out the patio and she would bring some out. Ah, so close 🙂
The boys managed to get their beer order correct to get the kind they wanted and our food was wonderful.
In the midst of our dinner, another German tourist tapped my dad on the shoulder and began speaking in German, gesturing quickly toward his wife and holding his camera. Without missing a beat, Dad jumped up, mumbled a few mmhmm’s, and walked to the middle of the street to take their picture. The man continued to talk to him in German, giving him instructions on how to use the camera and what to take in the picture (we think…) while Dad just nodded and said sehr gut. Taking the picture and handing the camera back to the man, he sat back down and the man walked happily away. The three of us were dying with laughter – the man had not a clue that Dad didn’t speak any German and Dad didn’t do anything to correct him. It was absolutely hilarious.
Leaving dinner we headed our to our hotel for the night, a quaint B&B in the Hameln suburbs. The B&B also served as a sort of petting zoo with several animals and a myriad of bird species. We walked around a bit before heading to bed; ready to continue to Hanover the next day.