Germany
North Rhine-Westphalia

Here you’ll find travel reports about North Rhine-Westphalia. Discover travel destinations in Germany of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

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  • Day40

    7 hour drive to visit the extra factory and pick up some parts. Really pretty country , very nice hotel , the aero club bunks will b even harder when we get back and this air conditioning will spoil an old guy. These are pictures as we made the trip across.

  • Day784

    Lobberich stellplatz

    August 19 in Germany

    We've chosen the corner pitch out of the three provided at Lobberich stellplatz. Leafy trees on two sides give us a little privacy but the large billboard behind us makes sure we don't mistake it for a countryside setting. Saying this, the quiet residential estate has little passing traffic and has has an urban park with a small lake beside it.

    It was another long journey today but we are getting closer to Dunkirk, as evidenced by the increasing number of British cars passing us on the motorway. Will was pleased to get out in the canoe for a short time while Vicky got stuck into her latest knitting project and got creative in the kitchen too, preparing courgette and sweetcorn pancakes for tea!Read more

  • Day68

    Buchenwald concentration camp

    September 2 in Germany

    Spent half the day visiting the memorial was light rain the entire time. Unbelievable the things people can do to each other. This was the first camp liberated by the allied forces, the third us army arrived there on 11 of April 1945. The SS fled . Approximately 21000 inmates including more than 900 children and teenagers were liberated.

  • Day5

    Journey home!

    October 18 in Germany

    Gestern war traumhaftes Wetter, heute ist Abreise bei Regen - gutes Timing! Es waren schöne Tage in Sevilla, die Lust auf mehr Andalusien machten - das nächste Mal vielleicht in Granada? Nicht nur die Stadt selbst, auch unser Apartment ( COME TO SEVILLA Casa del Arenal ) war ein Traum - alles richtig gemacht! Gerade beginnt der Sinkflug - in dreißig Minuten wird die Boeing 737 pünktlich auf dem Baden-Airpark landen. Nach einer Reise ist vor einer Reise :-)!Read more

  • Day454

    Cologne

    September 23, 2017 in Germany

    In Germany the month of September means that it is Oktoberfest time. Obviously. This time last year we'd visited the country's original and largest Oktoberfest in Munich with our friend Ade and we thought it would be interesting and fun to visit a different one this year. We'd enjoyed Cologne when we'd visited in the early days of our European tour, so fixed our sights on their festival. Just before midday we pulled into the familiar stellplatz and were relieved to find a selection of vacant spots. Parking up in one with good access to the park for Poppy, we paid our €12 for 24 hours, had a bite to eat and got ready to cycle in. We'd spent time looking at Köln's Oktoberfest website but it wasn't very clear and gave only directions to the site (no address). Will had programmed a few possible locations into his phone and we set off along the lovely tree lined cycle track that followed the River Rhine. Once in the city centre the going got tougher. It wasn't clear to us where we could and couldn't ride and we needed to wend our way along busy roads with many junctions before we got to the first possible site where there was no sign of the celebrations. An hour after setting off we arrived at a large white marquee with sounds of instruments being tuned and a sound system being tested. We'd not seen anyone else as we approached and it clearly wasn't yet open to the public. Checking website once again we saw the entertainment started at 4:30pm and entry was from 3pm onwards. It was 2:10pm so we walked to a nearby park and found a bench to wait it out. This wasn't going well. Munich Oktoberfest had been open all day with several tents, stalls outside selling food and souvenirs and a whole fairground set up around it. At 3pm there was at least a decent gathering of festival goers, buzzing around the entrance in their dirndls and lederhosen while the brass band played upbeat oompah tunes. This was more like it! We watched as people began to get their tickets out and our hopes fell slightly. Tickets had been available via the website but we'd not needed them in Munich and assumed it was the same set up in Cologne. The saying goes that to assume is to... A doorman informed us that the event was full and without tickets we couldn't get in. Well bang goes that plan! We'd have been unable to get tickets because they would need to have been posted and we aren't at a fixed address.

    The 40 minute cycle back into the city centre was stressful. Having to find our way amidst car fumes, cigarette smoke, noise and hoards of people wasn't fun and when we sat down at a table outside a café in the old quarter, Vicky was in a foul mood and Will was irritated. A 0.2L beer each did a little to lift our spirits and we wandered around town in search of food to substitute what we'd planned to have at Oktoberfest. Will found a pork sarnie but there was no lebkuchen hearts anywhere to be seen for Vicky so we returned to the van and she had her fill of Aldi biscuits.

    Later that evening we'd made the decision to try and get a bit more out of Cologne than it had delivered so far. We went to a café bar in the park that Will had seen selling beer earlier in the day. It was just our luck that it was shut on a Saturday night! We persevered and eventually found a bar in the little run of shops close to the stellplatz. It was open and advertised an Oktoberfest special of a Maß of beer for €7. Hooray! The quiet bar was very different to the rumbunctious festivities we'd been looking forward to but we had Oktoberfest bunting above us, a litre of beer each and we were very happy to be able to be there. So happy in fact that we ended the night with a second litre and swayed our way merrily back through the park.
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  • Day452

    Dümmer See & Stemwede

    September 21, 2017 in Germany

    Feeling refreshed after a couple of days at Harpstedt we continued on our journey towards Luxembourg. We toured Germany for nearly 4 months when we set off on our travels but two places we didn't visit were Dümmer See and Stemwede. We'd previously spent a couple of summers at a little campsite near Dümmer Lake and while we were there we visited an open air music festival at Stemwede. We have fond memories of the area so we decided to drop in and reminisce.

    Despite it being over 4 years since we'd last seen the lake and its surroundings, nothing much had changed. It was a warm day with a light breeze but the windsurfing shop and school were closed. We had a short wander along the tarmaced path that ran parallel to the shore. People walked dogs, jogged and cycled, making the most of the good weather. We had thought about hiring a dinghy but despite a few lessons taking place for school kids at one of the small marinas, nowhere seemed to advertise rentals, so Will made a picnic and we set off in the canoe. As we climbed in off the wooden launch ramp, the sights and smell of the washed up weed brought back memories of when we used to windsurf from here. Our route to the opposite shore was rather circuitous because we'd forgotten about the line of buoys marking out the nature reserve by the shore where boats were prohibited. Dümmer's scenery is low key rather than stunning. The water is full of sediment, the perimeter cordon means there is a lot of time spent away from the surrounding countryside, which is made up of low lying fields, forest and a few wind turbines. It was however a great feeling to be back and out on the lake! We passed several sail boats and as we were approaching the channel of buoys that allowed us access to a marina, there was a large wooden craft under engine power taking 30 or so tourists on a sightseeing trip. Hauling the canoe up a handy launch ramp, we left it on the grass and ate lunch on a bench looking out on the lake and marina. We could have hired a sail boat from here but by now the wind had died and we were glad we had paddle power to get back to the van. The round trip ended up taking nearly 3 hours so we were a little tired by the time we had driven the short distance to the free Stellplatz overlooking a park in Stemwede. Along the way the large fields of corn and cereals that had already been cropped reminded us of the music festival ground but we didn't actually pass it. Our overnight spot was on grass with a short walk through the adjacent forest where Shaggy Ink Caps grew between the leaves and needles. It was quiet and seemed the perfect place to chill after an enjoyably tiring day.
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  • Day453

    Lunch at Wissinger & Wetter Stellplatz

    September 22, 2017 in Germany

    It was Friday and as we were no longer in pricey Norway or Sweden we could reinstate our routine of eating Friday lunch out. We told the sat nav to avoid motorways and tootled through agricultural land that was dotted with little towns and villages. After a while we spotted Wissinger Eck, a nice looking pub at a crossroads. Parking at a nearby supermarket we went to investigate and found they had daily specials at very reasonable prices. The bar was smokey but the manager welcomed us and gave us the option of sitting in the beer garden, a paved car park with wooden tables, benches and chairs with cushions, throws, coloured tablecloths, burning lanterns and flowers. They'd put a lot of effort into making this little sun trap a pleasant place to be and we certainly appreciated it. Will ordered beer and Vicky an alcohol free pils along with liver sausage and fish, the two daily specials. We couldn't quite follow what was said but realised when the fish fingers appeared with a slice of sausage loaf, that there was fewer fingers available than they normally served so they were substituting. This was fine with us. The food was reasonable and the manager attentive. We revelled in the warmth of the sunshine and this Friday treat. When we came to order the day's desert, the extent of the food shortage became apparent- they didn't have any, despite the fact that we were the first lunch time guests. The manager again substituted with 3 mini cornettos each but didn't charge us. (The bill came to €15). He became even more stressed when someone we assume to be his mother in law came out of a nearby bungalow on a zimmer frame and plonked herself down at a table expecting to be fed. 'We don't have any food!' he cried in German, almost pulling at his hair. Oh dear. It really was a lovely pub and we enjoyed our time there, we just hope they can get more organised in the future!

    Nearing our overnight stop we were sent on an 'umleitung' (diversion) due to a closed bridge near to the stellplatz we had programmed in. Wetter was a large, quite industrial town and unfortunately the sat nav took us along a maze of small residential streets with cars parked either side and not much room in between. We used our better judgement when it tried to send us down a very narrow cobbled road marked as a cycle track! Just as we'd given up hope, Will turned into the car park of a swimming pool and we saw signs for camper van parking. What a relief!

    Wetter stellplatz was a gravel car park with grass around and a small green corridor ahead of it where people walked, cycled and played with their dogs. There was dog mess in the parking area but a gravel track snaked down the hill to a riverside walk we would have explored further if we weren't moving on in the morning.
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  • Day11

    Christmas Day in Germany

    December 25, 2016 in Germany

    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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  • Day7

    Brass Monkey Weather

    December 21, 2016 in Germany

    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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  • Day9

    Essen Christmas Markets

    December 23, 2016 in Germany

    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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You might also know this place by the following names:

Nordrhein-Westfalen, North Rhine-Westphalia, NRW, Renania del Norte-Westfalia, Rhénanie du Nord-Westphalie, Renania Settentrionale-Vestfalia, 노르트라인베스트팔렌 주, Северный Рейн-Вестфалия, Kuzey Ren-Vestfalya

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