1148 – Wet in Weringerode
Sunday 18th April 2019
We had the option of two parkings in Weringerode, the first looked OK, but we drove onto look at the second … glad we did. It was gated with services. Only EUR5 and when I paid the tourist tax and asked how long we could stay, was told as long as we liked … just the one entry fee. He did look a little concerned when my eyes lit up, that we may move in permanently. Having paid our Tourist Tax, we were now entitled to free bus travel and discounts off some attractions. We had been wondering about being able to park in a few days time at Shierke as the village is small and the parking limited. The TIC chappie also gave me a sheet with the FREE shuttle bus times to the Shierke Walpurgis Nacht festival. Result … we’d stay put for 3 nights. Just as well we got there when we did as, 2 days later, we counted over 20 vans in the overflow (and pay at the metre every day) car park outside our barrier.
With the wet stuff coming starting to come down, we poured wet stuff down our necks. When the waiter offered us a selection of wines, we raised our arms in defeat … we knew some names but not the flavours. A chatty chap next to us told the waiter to bring a Dornfelder and promised to drink it for us if we didn’t like it! Liked it so much, we had two! And we’ve been experimenting with the same grape at different prices from the supermarket since.
Weringerode is a really pretty town. It has over 1000 half timbered houses, a steam train and castle. Oh and this rather special town hall.
This is as close as we got to the train and up the Brocken mountain. We would have gone up … until we discovered that, not only EUR45 per person, but 60% of that for each dog. In the words of my daughter … ‘Not happening, Mummy’.
1149 – Hitching
Monday 29th April
Wet, wet wet. And cold. And having said I needed an admin day, this should have been my opportunity! However, the rot had set in with the wine in Weringerode square … it turned into a late night. Don’t think I was up until abut 11.00! And not a lot got done.
We left the dogs about 6.00 p.m. (fortuitous) and caught the free bus to Schierke. It was the first night of the festival and there were Celtic music bands playing. Had a glass, something to eat and enjoyed the music. Got back to the bus stop …
OOPS No.1: The busses stopped at 19.30. Shuttle bus then …
OOPS No.2: The shuttle only ran on the main festival night – tomorrow! Taxi then … I counted our cash …
OOPS No.3: Asked in a restaurant … no, taxis from here!
All my fault and J uttered not one word of blame … her really is one tolerant man. So here we are stranded in a small village, 19km from the motorhome and our two dogs!!! If it hadn’t been for the dogs, we’d have just checked into one of the small hotels, assuming they had space. Toothbrush-less. Nothing for it, but to walk. I was seriously concerned about J, as the treatment has really affected his fitness levels, but he is a game one! The quickest route was several KM through the dark woods but witches are about, so we elected the road and tried hitching. The first 5 cars passed, obviously deciding we looked very dodgy! But the 6th, a solo lady, took pity on us. And despite her near vapour fuel tank, drove us well past her turning and to near our motorhome. So lucky. And such a lovely lady. Sure we’d not have got a lift if we’d had the dogs … it would have had to be a hotel costing us more than our daily budget! This is the first time either of us has hitched in over 30 years … Maddy is so concerned that we are regressing to our teens and totally irresponsible!
All the stalls were done in Medieval style. Addition of a warm coat over her costume to keep warm. Warm wine seemed in order … you chose your fruit and she warmed it in the kettle! Neither of us liked mine … too fruity!
Brilliant German Irish folk rock band. We recognised most of the songs. Shame more people hadn’t turned out, but it was soooo cold.
Pea soup … warming. As well as 2 thermal vests and leggings.
1150 – Witching
Tuesday 30th April
We followed the walking trail around the town in the morning and dined out in a fast food style cafe for well under EUR20 for two full main meals and soft drinks.
Weringeroode locals! Getting into the mood for Walpurgis Nacht.
We caught the shuttle train to the castle at the top of the hill, where our walk started.
Along the old town wall … they were smaller then.
Half a tower … exposed at the back.
A nanny nap for both us us and off we set again for Schierke and the festival … with CO2 this time. J had double checked the shuttle bus timetable!!! As we arrived people were lining the road … not for us, but the parade. Bonus, hadn’t known about that. All the local clubs from local distillery to Ice Hockey (a lot of beer on their float!) paraded past. Then a cracking band and some wine. We all got home safely on the shuttle bus :).
The costumes were generally amazing … a film set.
A coven of witches dancing next to us … they must have been some of the Line Dancers Group!
Almost worth getting a cat to be able to carry / wear one of these!