Haltepunkt Bottrop-Boy

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    • Day 6

      Farewell Amsterdam

      December 20, 2016 in Germany ⋅ 🌙 0 °C

      Early rise with Kellie waking us up with her ATAR results. We didn't go back to sleep. We packed up and headed to the train station via the Red Light District. We were a bit early to see the girls but we did see the booths. Brodie's comment "at least they have heaters". That was all: a stool and a heater. This morning was the coldest at 3 but weather zone said it felt like -4 and we would agree.
      On the train there is still frost in the paddocks an its the afternoon.
      A few things about Amsterdam:
      Pedestrians have no rights, even on a footpath. Even though there is dedicated bike paths they still go on footpaths along with scooters, cars & trucks.
      They carry anything on the bikes, nothing is too big, small or wide. Funniest thing yesterday, a guy riding a bike while dragging a rolling suitcase.
      Dutch children are the cutest kids ever. Miss getting my photo of them on bikes with their parents.
      I'm putting this in a more polite way than Kellie did. She is coming back to find a husband to have dutch babies. I picked out a nice guy working behind the bar that I thought would make good babies.
      You do not see any obese dutch people only us tourists. The reason for this is the mode of transport is pushbike and all buildings have stairs and the dutch are into organic food.
      Dogs are allowed everywhere even in eating places.
      Photo 1 - Morning tea, yes food again!
      Photo 2 - Cold foggy Amsterdam at 11.30am
      Photo 3 - Our train
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      Deirdre Harrowfield

      I thought that what holidays were all about "the food"

    • Day 6

      Christmas in Germany

      December 20, 2016 in Germany ⋅ 🌙 0 °C

      We had a great 2hr train ride from Amsterdam to Duisberg.
      You know its cold when there is still frost in the paddocks at 2pm. The countryside is always beautiful along the way.
      We picked up our hire car and drove to a town near Essen (Gelsenkirchen-Horst). Once again we were welcomed by warm host and very warm apartment.
      As always, we turned the heating right down. We walked down to the shops to buy something for tea. We needed some home cooked wholesome food. It will be a early night as it was a very early morning.
      A photo to show we don't just eat pankcakes and apple pie!
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      Deirdre Harrowfield

      I should have taken a photo of our tea last night. Graham bought home a fresh crayfish still prefer crabs

      Debbie Adamson

      Ok rub it in. We'll stick to chicken it seems the safest. There is a steakhouse just around the corner, might have to go out for a red meat fix.

    • Day 8

      Damp morning in Gelsenkirchen-Horst

      December 22, 2016 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 5 °C

      It is a damp day today, thankful for our rain jackets as we walked down to the bakery to get our breakfast rolls. We were lucky again to get the same lad who speaks a bit of English as he spent some time in America. He did point out that our Australian English is different.
      We are having a quiet morning resting up. We were going to go for a walk around here but it started raining again, although with the rain it isn't as cold.
      We are going to Viersen Dulken this afternoon to see Bernhard, Monika, Magdalena & Julian. Kellie is going to a party with Magdelena and then going ice skating outdoors tonight. Brodie is going to some climbing thing with Julian. We will be driving there so another stressful hour.
      Photo of Zuckerkuchen-Sugar cake. Texture & lightness of a sponge cake but it was a yeast cake.
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      Deirdre Harrowfield

      When you say stressful drive I'm guessing by other photos the roads would be quite slipped or is it because they all get around on push bikes. We are sitting under the air conditioner bracing ourselves for what's to come hot weather them storms which mean muggy weather where aircon doesn't work as well I told graham we will have to move to spare room

      Debbie Adamson

      Stressful as in driving on the wrong side of road its like constant peak hour traffic and german drivers have a very different style of driving. You do have pushbikes but not like Amsterdam.

    • Day 9

      Afternoon with friends

      December 23, 2016 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 6 °C

      We drove to Viersen Dulken which is 1 hour away from us. Stressful drive for me, Germany has a very different style of driving. Dave does really well, we are thankful for the sat-nav we couldn't image trying to navigate through the autobahns with a paper map. I know I would spit the dummy and be on the side of the road. We did get done with the speed camera again! The Germans don't obey speed signs if there is any but they do know where the speed cameras are and then they slow down, us australian dumb bunnies don't. Lesson learnt: if all of sudden they aren't flying past you there is a camera coming up.
      It was lovely to catch up with the family, we walked in and it was like we had never left. We had good German coffee and Monika had baked their traditional Christmas biscuits. Which the kids want the recipes for. Kellie went off with Magdalena to her friend's house where they did their Kris Kringle, played games and ate biscuits. They have an American exchange student at the school. So Kellie had someone who spoke English and translated for her. They all learn and speak limited English but often the translation gets a bit confusing. With Magdelena I forget that you have to speak in simple terms not our slang. She didn't understand 'there were people rocking up'. I had to rephrase and say people arriving. The three girls went to an outdoor skating rink where they taught Kellie to ice skate. They had lots of fun and Kellie had a few falls but did get the hang of it.
      Brodie went to a clip and climb with Julian and then on to Laser tag. Both places did an English version of the instructions for him. He worked up a bit of a sweat at both places. He really enjoyed the laser tag.
      We sat and chatted with Bernhard and Monika and found out we won't be able to catch up with Mr & Mrs Kunz as their daughter is in hospital. After we picked up the boys we had soup and fresh rolls. Monika made her family soup recipe, leek and cheese with mincemeat through it. It was delicious, I would like that recipe too. Bernhard took Dave & I down to a small pub to sample the Traditional Christmas drink 'Gluwein'. A spiced warm red wine. It certainly warms you up. A stroll back then off to pick the girls up. Then we drove back to Gelsenkirchen-Horst. It was a lovely day catching up and sampling some of their Christmas traditions.
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      Deirdre Harrowfield

      Sounds like a lovely day for all Just as well you didn't get done for speeding here double demerit points We had forty degree weather today with rain lovely not and then the sun came out again air conditioner working overtime

    • Day 10

      It was the day before Christmas

      December 24, 2016 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

      It is 7am over here and we are up having a coffee. Dave reading the papers back in Australia. You have to love technology. Today we are here until about 2.30pm then we head off to Viersen Dulken to spend Christmas Eve with Bernhard & Monika. We will be staying the night and returning after breakfast to spend Christmas day here. We will be going to their church, which is the largest in their area. They are Catholic churches over here. Monika will be singing in the choir. It will go for about 2hrs so it will be an interesting 2hrs not understanding anything. I haven't told the kids how long it goes for so when they read this there will be some squawks. Hopefully we can sign into their wifi to send Christmas messages otherwise it will have to be on our Christmas Day here.
      I am cooking the kids favourite meal on Christmas day. In the apartment we have a fully functional kitchen which is good. We did forget to buy a little Christmas tree from the markets. Will have to see what's around here.
      Will be thinking of you all on Christmas Day. ♡♡♡♡

      Photo 1 - Our Christmas socks we bought at the market
      Photo 2 - French Nouget from the markets (something to take to Monika & Bernhard on Christmas Eve)
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      Deirdre Harrowfield

      It's 10.30pm here all organised for tomorrow I have made grahams pavlova and the prawns have been peeled saved the back bits for Millie she will get two good deeds from them guessing the kids favourite is chicken of some type Will talk to you Christmas morning your time

    • Day 9

      Essen Christmas Markets

      December 23, 2016 in Germany ⋅ 🌙 4 °C

      After a late night, we are all a bit slow this morning. Another stroll to the bakery to pick up rolls for breakfast and a chat to the guy who has been serving us every morning.
      We caught the train into Essen which takes about 30 minutes. Once again a heavy police presence at the entrances of the markets. The Essen Christmas Markets is represented by a lot of different countries. Even though Brodie couldn't see the point of going to another market when you just see the same things. Once again we tried a few different foods. There was always a line up for Heisser Kartoffelte which was bolognaise meat wrapped in a potato pastry then deep fried and a tomato sauce with cheese in it then poured over. Served with a salad which was nice but have no idea what it was. We shared one just to have a taste.
      For dessert we had a Bratapfel (baked apple with custard). Once again we shared one, that was a hit with everyone. We would like to stay until night to see the christmas lights, but we are always too tired. We started to head back to the train station and I found another Christmas Market much to Brodie's disgust. Most of the markets finish today but Dortmund continues after Christmas so we plan to go on the 26th, so he is really enthused about that.

      Photo 1 - Apple strudel
      Photo 2 - Heisser Kartoffelte
      Photo 3 - Bratapfel
      Photo 4 - Brodie enjoying the Christmas Markets
      Photo 5 & 6 Christmas Markets
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      Deirdre Harrowfield

      Swop places with you Brodie love markets. The food all looks delish the salad looked interesting not what I was imagining. Picking my nectarines birds have got about five of them and they aren't even ripe yet. I have decided to do tapas for our Christmas lunch so spending today getting things ready for that and making graham his pavlova. One week down you have packed a lot in in a short time

      Annette Luckraft

      Christmas eve here so we are wishing you all a very Merry Christmas. Hope your white Christmas is one to remember.

      Annette Luckraft

      we have eaten too much already! Miranda here for tea tonight as we are off to Coffin bay tomorrow with the van and pulling into Neville & Vicki's shack and having Christmas with them and staying a day or two.I hope to take the row boat but the weather is looking very unpredictable for the coming days.I will think about it overnight. Glad to hear Kellie mastered the skates and Brodie the clip and climb. What is laser tag. is it what it sounds like. Clean version of paint ball? Will be thinking of you all enjoy your day. Chat soon love Annette and Brian

      Debbie Adamson

      Annette, It won't be a white Christmas here just feels like it. Very rare for snow here. I know the feeling of eating too much, been doing that all week. Yes a clean version of paint ball. Have a great couple of days. xx

    • Day 7

      Brass Monkey Weather

      December 21, 2016 in Germany ⋅ 🌙 4 °C

      We awoke to a very frosty morning. Dave & I walked down to the bakery to pick up some fresh rolls for breakfast. You really can't beat Germany's bakeries; their fresh breakfast rolls are delicious. We decided to head to Dusseldorf to look at their Christmas Markets. We caught a train as it's easier than finding a park. The forecast was for rain or snow. Well it did neither but it was so so cold, by far our coldest day. Well every second stall was either food or Gluwein. There was 7 Christmas markets around the town. I think we did a pretty good job of seeing all of them. Well my feet think we did. There was a very strong police presence around the markets. Dave had his photo taken with a couple of them.
      We were going to call into the Essen Christmas Markets but we were too tired and cold.
      We are still struggling with the time zone. It is dark by 5pm and your body is telling you it is 9pm. Then it is so dark in the morning you just don't have any concept of time. I will never whinge about our time zone or daylight savings again.

      Photo 1 - Ice on our car
      Photo 2 - Ice at the train stop
      Photo 3 - Reibekuchen (deep fried potato cakes served with apple sauce or garlic sauce)
      Photo 4 - kids happy they found dunkin donuts
      Photo 5 - shop front of a bakery
      Photo 6 - Duesseldorf
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      Deirdre Harrowfield

      Weather here still can't decide what it wants to do still blowing 41 in Perth yesterday almost killed Nicole even though she was in an airconditioned office all day

      Debbie Adamson

      Yes we looked at Whyalla's weather and saw a few hot days forecast. The day after Christmas is forecast for 12 I'm looking forward to that. Much rather be over here when its colder than when its hot. They do the winter better than summer.

      Annette Luckraft

      Good morning Debbie and gang, Brian and I are having couple of warm days in Adelaide. We are over to pick up a engine Brian has been having specially built for one of his GT's. I think I am in front budget wise so I spent the day in the camping shops. By lunch time I was completely confused. Coffee and cake later I went back and purchased my Gortex coat. Just hope I have made the right choice. Having Xmas with Neville and Vicki at Coffin Bay.Will take the caravan and my boat down and stay a couple of days. Your food looks divine. Better than the "food court" at Myer's. Look forward to reading your blogs. Keep it up. Well shops are open so time to go. Chat soon Annette

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    • Day 11

      Christmas Day in Germany

      December 25, 2016 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 9 °C

      We had breakfast at Viersen Dulken and once again Monika made us a few Christmas breakfast traditions. A bread in shape of man called weckmann bread and then christstollen, a sweet fruit bread with a ribbon of marzipan through it and of course, boiled eggs. We were lucky to be able to share Christmas with friends. After breakfast we drove back to our apartment and we opened our presents. Then we spent the afternoon playing family games using our phones and had lots of laughs but it's still strange to think it's Christmas Day. For our Christmas tea I cooked chicken involtini and apple crumble. All turned out well considering I had to remember the chicken recipe and finding the same ingredients over here. We are now fat and full so I suppose that's about the usual for Christmas Day. It was a drizzly day here and reached about 9 degrees. We did miss you all, but wouldn't change the experience we had.

      Photo 1 - Breakfast
      Photo 2 - Our Christmas tree
      Photo 3 - Brodie handing out the presents
      Photo 4 - Opening presents
      Photo 5 - Christmas tea
      Photo 6 - Dessert
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      Deirdre Harrowfield

      So are the biscuits like a shortbread. The church looks amazing. When you say there's a church like that in every town what population are we talking. How did the Aussie gifts go. We had a quiet Christmas ate too much got a call to go to the school smoke alarm going off met the firies there false alarm though. It was 44 degrees at that time which was about 4pm. Cooler today trying to rain so a bit humid. Glad you had a great Christmas talk soon

      Debbie Adamson

      Yes one lot was shortbread but they make theirs with cream not butter. The stars are cinnamon biscuits, chocolate meringues, the crescent shape ones were kellies favourite. We have the recipes for the cinnamon & the crescent ones. It would be tad hot to really enjoy Christmas Day?? Great day for an alarm to go off. The aussies gifts went well. Will send you picture of the candles we gave before.

      Annette Luckraft

      Hi Debbie, i have just spent an half hour typing a note to you. tried to send and a orange line came up saying there is a problem!

      8 more comments
    • Day 2

      Zum Rhein

      March 16 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 10 °C

      Der Weg führt mich heute mitten durch das Ruhrgebiet. Ich fahre am Rhein-Herne-Kanal entlang. Das Gelände der ehemaligen Zeche Nordstern in Gelsenkirchen ist jetzt ein Spielplatz. Auch die Hauptverwaltung eines Wohnungsbauers ist hier.
      In Essen erreiche ich den Radschnellweg 1, der einst das ganze Ruhrgebiet durchqueren soll. Bisher ist aber nur ein kleines Teilstück fertig. In Mühlheim fährt man auf dem alten Eisenbahnviadukt mitten durch die City.
      Doch ach, schon kommt das Ausbauende, und ich muss mich auf Straßen und kleinsten Radwegen durch die Stadt fädeln.
      Endlich überquere ich die Ruhr und schließlich den Rhein. Der Weg ist frei zur Eisenbahnsiedlung in Rheinhausen.
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    • Day 12

      Oh no, not another Christmas Market!

      December 26, 2016 in Germany ⋅ 🌙 5 °C

      Woke up to misty rain this morning. A walk down to the bakery to find all the shops closed. We must have got lost in the translation as we thought they said they were only closed on Christmas Day. Luckily we were having an aussie brunch, bacon & eggs. So I also made pancakes as we didn't have enough bread. We had a leisurely morning in the apartment. We headed out about 12pm to the Dortmund Christmas Markets, one of the few that are still open after Christmas. Brodie was super excited to head to another Christmas Market. I wanted to see the markets at night which is 4.30pm anyway. The only thing about the markets is that there are no seats anywhere. There are tables that you stand at to eat but that is about it. We found a cafe that was open and we went in for a coffee and rest. When we came out it was getting dark. They have lots of pretty lights that you really can't capture in a photo. Dortmund has the largest Christmas tree in Germany . Once again we tried a few tradional foods. Currywurst(hot dog with a curry sauce, Bratwurst (a very long hot dog in a roll), grilled schinken (baked ham sliced served in a roll with saurkraut and cocktail mayonnaise), bratapfel punsch (warmed spice white wine). After a walk around taking photos, tired and cold we headed back to the train station to head home once again. Brodie pretty happy on the way home, that's it for Christmas Markets.

      Photo 1, 2, 3, - Dortmund Christmas Markets
      Photo 4 - Currywurst
      Photo 5 - Grilled Schinken
      Photo 6 - Bratwurst
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