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Visiting Germany: My Last European Excursion

by Katelyn Lyman

Sparrenburg Castle fortress Bielefeld Germany

 Sparrenburg Castle

Bonjour a tous!

There are plenty of places in Europe for someone who loves history to visit, but my latest excursion was to Germany. Although I went with my boyfriend, we didn’t visit any “main” attractions; instead we visited his family in a small town called Bielefeld. Above is a photo of the old fortress castle called Sparrenburg Castle that was originally built from 1240-1250 by Count Ludwig von Ravensberg. Because of the destruction during World War II only the tower remained and has been slowly restored over the years. It has the best view of the town!

Bad Salzuflen Germany salt wall

Salt wall

Other than visiting with family we went to a really cool thermal spa town called Bad Salzuflen, which has a park dedicated to improving health with thermal and salt pools. There is also a salt wall where salt water flows down and when you walk by it you’re supposed to breath in the air to help with respiratory problems like asthma. The main town is so picturesque with homes and buildings in the typical old German-style architecture.

On Easter Sunday we had dinner with the family: veal, lamb, potatoes, and other veggies. One thing that I will remember most about visiting Germany is that apparently ferrets and hedgehogs are wild animals there and can be found meandering about, or as the ferrets do, eat the wires in cars. But then again these small critters are pets in the United States and they had to be wild somewhere at one point before they became domesticated, and apparently it’s Germany.

Bad Salzuflen Germany

Bad Salzuflen

montblancOne point of advice I have for those wanting to visit Germany: learn some German before you go. Although Germans are friendly and generally speak a good deal of English, it was a little uncomfortable not being able to communicate. I haven’t had much culture shock while in France so far, but I confess that in Germany, not being able to read any signs or understand anyone, it was as close to a shock as I could get during the Easter weekend.

On the way back we saw Mont Blanc from the airplane as we flew over Geneva! A Bientot!

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