Saturday, 5 September 2015

Germany - Part 2 - Nidda

I am so sorry that it has taken me this long for the second instalment of our recent holiday. School began on Tuesday and it has completely taken over! I hope to find a better work-life balance in the coming days so that normal blogging service can resume asap. Anyway, back to our holiday, which now feels like a lifetime ago!

After a busy few days in Munich, both Mr JK and I were looking forward to the slower pace of life with our dear friends Andrea and Wolfgang. They live in Nidda, a small town north east of Frankfurt. It's a fairly rural area with a lot of farming. We have known them for years and always enjoy our time together - plenty of fun and laughter along with good food and music. On our first day, we visited The Hessenpark, an open air museum filled with timber-framed buildings that have been quite literally moved from various towns and villages throughout the county and re-erected to create a village. 

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Within many of the buildings there were exhibitions on all manner of things including farming, textiles, clocks and radios. Of course I homed in on anything textile related. I spotted this spoon in a knitted case, which someone had lovingly lined with fabric, dating back to World War 1.  I wonder who owned it and what happened to him?

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I bet this swift wound a good many skeins of yarn in its day too. The design has changed very little over the years. I love these links with knitters from days gone by. 

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There were a couple of chapels within the museum too. The glass windows reminded me of the bottoms of the milk bottles we used to get delivered when I was little. Services are still held here occasionally I believe and you can even get married in the chapel.

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The following day we went for a walk around the town of Bad Salzhausen. People have been visiting this spa town since the 19th century to bathe in the waters and breathe in the salty air. The impressive bath complex is still used today and many baths open out around the edge of the colonnade.

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This photo was taken inside one of the courtyards within a bath house. A number of treatment rooms open off the courtyard. Needless to say, neither Mr JK nor I were in any hurry to taste the water!

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The next photo shows an area where you can breathe in the salty air which is meant to be very good for you. The spa water is constantly cascading down the 'walls' of the structure and you walk inside it and can sit in there to breathe in the air. I have never seen anything like this before in the UK, only in Germany. I do think that the Germans seem to have a far greater interest and belief in alternative medicines and homoeopathy from what I have come across.

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Evenings were spent chatting, playing the board game Malefiz, and playing the guitar (Mr JK and Wolfgang.) I also managed do do some knitting without too much discomfort - huzzah!! I can't show you what I was working on right now as it's a Big Secret, but I promise a Big Reveal in a couple of weeks time! 

On our last day in Nidda, our friends had arranged for a guided tour (in English for my benefit!) of the old university town of Marburg. It was an absolutely beautiful place with old buildings everywhere you looked. The town had not been bombed much during World War Two, meaning that most of the old historic town remained. The first thing we saw as we approached was the castle. It sits above the town and is home to a large family of pipistrelle bats. 

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On the way up to the castle, you pass this church. The tower looks pretty good, doesn't it? Nice and straight...

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... but sadly not quite so straight when viewed from the castle! Apparently the architect was so ashamed of the wonky tower that he hung himself from it! Oh dear!

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I enjoyed a traditional flammekueche sat in the biergarten by the castle. Flammekueche is a delicious savoury dish consisting of a very thin sheet of bread dough, covered with creme fraiche and topped with onions and bacon lardons. Mmmmmmm!

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We went around St  Elizabeth's church, a Gothic church built to honour St Elizabeth from Hungary. It was a popular pilgrimage site for centuries and is packed full of beautiful objects.

St Elizabeth church Marburg

We were sad to say goodbye to Andrea and Wolfgang as we set off on our journey home. An overnight stopover in Delft was the perfect way to end a fabulous holiday. xxx

Delft 2015

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