Sunday, 21 December 2008

Dortmund, Arnsberg, Hameln

We left Köln after breakfast, heading towards home, although with a few stops planned along the way. The first of these was in Dortmund, at DASA - Deutsche Arbeitsschutz Ausstellung (German Occupational Health and Safety Exhibition). Sounds like fun right? We read about it in the Lonely Planet Guide, and it sounded like it had heaps of hands-on fun stuff for the kids. It was not far out of our way, so we input the co-ordinates into BOB, and off we went.

The museum was great for the kids - the especially loved the air-traffic controller's workstation (landing planes),

the inside of the airbus cockpit,

the robot, all the old typewriters and printing processes, and any computer that had a game on it. We were given earphones as an audio guide (changable to English), which provided some interesting additional information.
After we had all had a good look around (and a play with everything...), the boys found an outside play area, and we found a cafeteria. The boys promptly set about having a construction site, and built a house.

They recruited some other kids to help them, building walls,

putting in windows,

tiling the roof, and Cameron was chief in charge of the plumbing.

The playground was better than the coffee....

After this we set out for out friend's place in Arnsburg. Earlier this year we spent some time with Heike and Guido, touring the Arnsburg area. Today it was a short visit on the way through. We enjoyed a delicious lunch, lots of chat (all in German!) including some very funny stories from Guido. As the afternoon was starting to get dark, we thought we had better get on the road to our overnight stop in Hameln. We look forward to Heike and Guido joining us in Berlin (to go the football) in May.

We had planned to overnight in Hameln. This was about a 2 hour drive from Arnsburg, and is well known for the Pied Piper fairytale. We arrived at the hostel after dark, and after settling in, we walked along the banks of the Wesser River into the Altstadt for some dinner.

It was really beautiful. It was cold and dark, and the Christmas lights bathed the old town (with its beautiful old buildings in light). The Christmas markets wrapped around the town-hall and down a few major pedestrian malls.

There were heaps of people out (the last Sunday night before Christmas) and the mood was really festive. We had dinner in the Christmas markets (including chocolate covered strawberries for dessert - yum!) and walked back to the hostel for the night.

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