|We woke at 8.00am, went through our usual morning ritual, and discovered breakfast ready for us at 9.00am. We ate fairly quickly and then drove the short distance to our host’s house. The girls were up and having breakfast, so we had plenty of time to plan our day. Since Brooke was keen to do some shopping and we wanted to experience a little more of this part of Germany, we decided to drive to the city of Munster, about 40 minutes South of Neuenkirchen. With good directions from Richard, we followed the GPS through the now normal grey, wet countryside to a car park very near the city centre (zentrum). We parked without difficulty and walked almost immediately into the heart of the city. Despite the threatening grey clouds, the rain held off as we strolled through cobblestone streets full of post-Xmas bargain hunters. We passed the Rathaus, with its typically imposing tower, the cathedral and a range of impressive building facades (many supported by ‘hidden’ roof ties).
In the process of our stroll we also visited a large number of shops, most specialising in either clothes or shoes. Brooke made several purchases, while Zoë and Evania were comparatively restrained (possibly in the knowledge that they were already close to or over their airline baggage limit). Barb picked up a woollen head scarf, while Ron settled for coffee and a waffle for lunch! With the weather threatening very heavy rain we increased the pace slightly and made our way back to the car. We left the city without incident and were back at the house by 4.00pm. Despite intending to simply drop off the girls and head back to our hotel, we were once again made to feel incredibly welcome and, once again, invited to join the family for dinner. This time Britta (assisted by Brooke) prepared a feast of chicken, pasta, tortelleti, and salad, followed by a traditional German dessert (alcoholic custard / cream / chocolate mixture) with a range of ice cream. Once again, we greatly enjoyed comparing notes on our respective countries and we spent some time discussing New Zealand with Frauke, who will travel to NZ in March for two months (staying with Brooke’s family). Google maps and street view got a pounding as we reviewed an array of attractions, including our house in Palmerston North and Brooke’s house in Te Puke.
We left for our hotel just after 10.00am, having made plans with Brooke for the following morning. We intend to make a brief visit to the Netherlands (only 40km to the West) with Brooke before we drop her back and then head south to Frankfurt.
We were completely overwhelmed with the hospitality of Richard and Britta, and are delighted that Brooke is in such capable hands while in Germany. We hope to catch up with Frauke when she is in NZ and look forward to hosting Richard and Britta in NZ some time in the future.