Monday, 5 August 2013

The weekend of... wizards, spy-action, and a beach?

So as I may have alluded to last week, we were seriously looking forward to a relaxing weekend... I was pretty excited for it.
yes, we haven't bought sticky-tape yet. But plaster tape works just as well ;)

We spent Friday afternoon/evening riding around the forest, and then relaxing at the stream... While I tried (and failed) to take pretty photos of my ring under water (because it seems to sparkle more there...), Malcolm made a sweet little heart out of pebbles, also not well photographed :)

Saturday we decided to head to the Rhein to see how much ferry/boat trips are, seeing as it's on our list of things to do here. While on the train, though, a guy dressed like a wizard (I thought he was a monk but Malcolm pointed out that he had a bottle of potion hanging from his belt) got on and sat across the isle from us. Okay, so we're in Germany and pretty much anything goes in Koln... nobody else really gave him a second look, but we figured it can't be normal and something must be up. 

Eventually I got the courage to ask him where he was headed. He said something about Chorweiler, and we guessed there was a medieval festival of some kind. Instead of getting off the train when our stop came, we decided to stay on and follow him, especially as more dressed up people got on. 

We were slightly concerned that we were going further than our ticket allowed, so we got off at a station just to check it all out. I don't know why we didn't look at the map on the train, there must've been one somewhere...? So we got out and realised we were okay to carry on, but the next train only came in half an hour, so we explored the area around the station (Longerisch). We discovered a war monument, a cute little house, berries (which looked quite old and not great to eat, but still took a photo because we hadn't seen any growing wild here yet), and a phone booth... they're yellow here? 

Eventually we got back on the train and, because we weren't sure which of two stations to get off at, looked for some strangely dressed people to sit near to and follow. This is harder than you'd expect with the large amount of punks and goths here, which made it difficult to determine which category girls wearing corsets fell into. We found a guy with a shield and fur collar and thought he was quite possibly going to the festival... 

Turns out our spy-skills failed. The first stop we saw a few maidens and knights get off, but we stuck by our man. He didn't get off at the next stop either... I don't know where he was going dressed like that. We got off anyway though, because of the limit on our ticket, and because we knew the festival was in Chorweiler... somewhere. We had nobody to follow, and didn't know where we were, so we waited for the next train back to where we'd seen the others get off. It took a while, but we were excited when we got there and there were loads of people dressed up... there were people dressed as a team, some smaller groups, some looked as though they had come from far... but the detail in their costumes was remarkable! I would have taken a photo, but we were trying to blend in...

I was pretty nervous about following them, and even though we'd come all the way, I was ready to chicken out. Fortunately, Malcolm was brave for the both of us, and we continued our mission. We followed them and took the bus with them, until we got to where the festival was happening. 

There we discovered a 25euro entrance fee each, which we weren't prepared for. We decided that we'd rather be dressed up and know what we're in for than pay all that and then not have money for anything once inside. Or a jersey, for that matter. Disappointed, we walked away. 

But then, we noticed there was an entrance to "Black foot beach" and through the gates we could see a white beach and a lake. After coming all the way, we decided we might as well do something so we paid that entrance fee (much less than the festival) and headed in. 
It was beautiful! The sand was soft and white, and the water clean and calm. There were lots of people, but everybody sticks to themselves anyway. We found a spot under a random bush of bamboo, and spent our afternoon in the sunshine. They also sold chips there... they tasted like Steers chips... a taste of SA for sure!

 After getting a bit of a tan and lying around like the badgers last week at the zoo, we decided to head home. We definitely want to come back, but I'll try get a swimming costume before then! (and we'll take a towel along... we were coated in a thin layer of very fine sand. I still have some in my hair.)

Sunday we went to church, hung out and chatted afterwards. On the way back we didn't feel like waiting 30 minutes for the next tram so we took the one in the opposite direction. While on it we met our SA church friends, who introduced us to Margaret from Canada. We needed to go the same way as she did so we hopped off together and made friends along the way. She told us about some places nearby, which are now on our list to visit, and we're going to her for dinner this evening :)
When we finally arrived at the station here, the bus was going to be another 20 minutes, so we walked along its route to see where we'd meet it. Along the way though, we needed to walk on a path in the forest, where we recognised a field and decided to take a short cut through the forest. It took longer than the bus would have, but we got our 30 minutes of cardio and some endorphins.

I'd say that basically we weren't very good at following our plans this weekend, and we certainly didn't take the easiest ways home, but it was SO worth it.

1 comment:

  1. What an adventure you had! You guys are brave to follow the clues (dressed up people), and to find a fine beach. This is cool!