Friday, September 20, 2019

Exploring Eifel National Park in Germany

Last weekend we planned to go with friends to a cool playground in Belgien a couple of hours drive from Düsseldorf. All good we packed some picnic got ready and was in the car ready to go at 11.30 Saturday. Everyone was excited happy to be in the car going on adventures. NOOO!! Of course not. Everyone apart from me was heavily complaining. Mila wanted to stay home and play with her friend next door, Filip did not want to get in the car at all without explanation and Loren was thinking that it is unnecessary to drive for two hours when we can do something fun in Düsseldorf. Yeahh!! Bad mamma for thinking it would be fun to explore a little, to see something different and to force the poor family to sit in the car for 2 hours. But Somehow I managed to get them all in the car without too much drama.. Kids started complaining and asking if we are nearly there yet before we even hit the motorway which is literally 8 minutes from us. And Loren cheered them on sighing heavy and telling me "I told you this was a bad a idea.... " I put on Spotify with music from Blippi (kids songs about vehicles) and everyone calmed a little.
Loren had Google maps on and was gonna navigate me. We got out of Düsseldorf and drove towards Maastricht. GPS rerouted us to avoid a traffic jam and then we kept driving and it was pretty enjoyable with all passengers in ok mood (no screaming, not kicking the dashboard or being nervous) After 40 min Loren suddenly said "Take the next exit" ohh ok yes of course google maps was not following us at all and when he realized that we had driven pretty far in slightly wrong direction.
And to get to our planned destination now would take us 2 hours including the heavy traffic. We did some research on the map and found a couple of National parks not far off from where we were as a replacement destination.

We decided to go and check out Eifel National Park located in North-Rhein-Westphalia, Germany, bordering Belgium and Ruhr Lake reservoir.
We came to a very cute town called Heimbach
Heimbach - with cobble stone streets and cute restaurants and bäckerei (bakeries) 
The Castle on the hill is called Burg Hengebach a very old castle seated a nobel family of the region in 1207
We took an elevator up the fortress and had a great view from up there and also a Flammkuchen and a pils. Flammkuchen is a German type of pizza. 

The view from Burg Hengbach - kids spotted the playground by the river Ruhr
We started walking on one of the trails towards the mountain and we were impressed with all the small beautiful gardens. Narrow gardens side-by-side leading down towards the river and people growing vegetables and flowers and having a little cabin to have a beer or coffee in. Loren wanted one. 

Across the river we saw this café and canoe rental place - it looked so peaceful and cool and next trip we will check it out closer. 
Happy Team members - after all not so bad to experience new places even if it takes a little while in the car....

Cute fontaine in the center of Heimbach with a lot of cute places to eat or just drink a beer or coffee. 

We had a great day in Heimbach it was such pretty and magical place and the weather was great too. Driving back home was good and without drama Mila fell asleep and Filip was listening to a wide variety of children songs although mostly Row row row your boat on repeat. And Loren was also calm. 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Summer 2019 been and gone

Thank you Summer 2019 for a great mix of weather and a long break from routines
We have spent our vacation in Sweden. We left Düsseldorf and flew to Stockholm Skavsta on 4 of July and stayed all the way until 18 of August. At first I was stressed to get as much as I can out of this precious time we call Summer and to meet up with family and friends while we are in Sweden. How stupid to get stressed and so I stopped with that and could enjoy fully instead.

When we first arrived in Sweden it was cold - no but really I mean cold cold as in 15 degrees. We had to drive to the Outlet in Vingåker to purchase fleece jackets, wellington boots and long pants. When we left German in was hot and I couldn't even imagine that it could be such a different 2 hours away (in an airplane) But the weather picked up and we have enjoyed warm weeks where we have been swimming in the lakes but also rain and cooler weather - and to be honest I think this big variation is the magic with Swedish Summers.
Here is some of our Summer memories out of many happy memories we will take with us from this summer

Our old and cool cat Levis was happy to have us home 

Nice clean water in the Swedish lakes without billion of peoples
Mila learned to swim and Filip impressed by getting in the fastest in the water and even pappa Loren was swimming

What a dream to have kids nextdoor to play and pick wild strawberries with 

A lot of gold in the forrest and for me that is pure happiness to find and to pick 
Rainy day doesn't stop us from going up to the forrest searching for blueberries and chantarelles 

Breakfast with granddad nextdoor 

Boat-ride with mormor and Göran and Lugnet 

Me and the kids took a Trip down south to Österlen to visit friends 

You beauty Vittemölle beach in Österlen close to Kivik 

Milas dream came true - to ride by herself and to canter for the first time 

Bozze dog was also happy to have us home and Filip happy to have his besties next to him 
Hanging at Lugnet with mormor picking berries from the garden 

Granddad/morfar big summer project at Lundsätter was the tree house 

Celebrating Uncle Christer at St Djulö with a swim at the dog beach