The Eifel: Come Jog With Me

by Piotr Buraczewski March. 29, 2021 570 views

1. I love cycling. If I had more time, I would cycle the world. I also like jogging, although it is a bit of a necessity: a 10-mile jog every second day allows me to stick to marzipan-and-chocolate diet with little risk of reaching the size of a blue whale. Whether on a bicycle or wearing running shoes, put on a windbreaker and let's explore the area where I live.

2. This is Monschau, a picture-postcard town at the Belgian border. Busloads of Chinese tourists come here to take selfies with three-hundres-year old houses in the background. During the pandemic however, Monschau is blissfully quiet. Although the area witnessed regular (less and more violent) dispute whether it should be part of France, Prussia or Wallonia, time seems to stand still here.

3. Anything can happen in March in the Eifel: sunshine and 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) follow a blizzard. This is the time to get up early and dive in the bathtub full of hot water with eucalyptus oil, drink a cup of coffee and then enjoy the run before browsing morning emails in home office.

4. Billig is said to be 2,000 years old. At least this is what archeologists gather by the looks of stones excavated here and from the records of ancient Romans. Much nicer than the archeological finds are neat houses surrounding little chapel and bicycle trails around rapeseed fields that will soom blossom yellow.

5. The Eifel is famous for its high quality water which ancient Romans would transport via aqueducts all the way to Cologne (Colonia) and Trier (Augusta Treverorum). Nowadays, mineral water brands such as Gerolsteiner are well known all over the world. Few consumers in Tokyo or Miami realize they come from the German outback.

6. A couple of sunny days and nature bursts back into life. Go out in the evening and breathe in the scent of cherry or apple blossom. If no winter comes back, fruit will be ripe at the beginning of June. Feel free to pick the cherries which are so much sweeter than the ones you get in supermarkets.

7. The catkins on willow trees are one of the earliest signs of spring. The word "catkin" comes from a Middle Dutch word katteken ("kitten"). We associate them with Easter, especially when it comes early, at the end of March or the beginning of April.

8. Bad Münstereifel is a spa town near Euskirchen where I live. Once a week I take an early morning train there and then jog back home. Bad Münstereifel had been very quiet until its old houses were turned into an outlet center with more than fifty fashion and lifestyle brands. Although busy at weekends, it retains its charm while being more prosperous than ever before.

9. This is my favourite house in the Eifel. It is located in a small village close to where I live. I would be happy to buy it if only its owners were willing to put it on sale one day. Dream on...

10. The Eifel is laid back and I like its countryside bliss. I also appreciate its proximity to high speed railway line and three major international airports. I do miss long-haul flights to all out-of-this-world destinations and hope the airports will work at their capacity again soon...

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Steveandjustyna Nomads 5 months ago

Przepiękna okolica w której mieszkasz Piotrze!!! Taka prawdziwa Europa! Mieszanka średniowiecznej historii, unikatowej architektury, rolnictwa i względnie umiarkowwanego klimatu (nawet pomimo nagłych zawiei snieżnych w marcu lub kwietniu). Niektóre fotografie zdecydowanie przedstawiają Niemcy (dla mnie bez wątpienia jest to #2, #8 i #9), ale na przyklad #3 fotografia mogła być wzięta w tylu innych zakątkach Europy! Taki klasyczny "landscape" z miasteczkiem i wieżyczką kościoła otoczonymi polem... Kiedy wiedzę taką scenkę na myśl zawsze przychodzi mi Europa, mój ukochany kawałek ziemii... I tęskno się robi. No i te bazie! Ojej! jak jak dawno ich nie widziałam!!! Dzięki ogromne za podzielenie się nimi smile Taka wycieczka rowerowa z Tobą przez zachód Niemiec (lub gdziekolwiek) bardzo mi się podoba!!! 
P.s. A teraz trochę slangu i, że tak się "wyrażę"- Super selfi i ta rama to totalny wypas! ;)

5 months ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Steveandjustyna Nomads 4 months, 1 week ago
Comment was removed
4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Steveandjustyna Nomads 4 months, 1 week ago

Hejka Justyno!  Tu jest pięknie i, masz rację, klasycznie europejsko-niemiecko. Uwielbiam okolicę, w której mieszkam, chociaż niedługo przeprowadzam się. Ale nadal będę mieszkał blisko Eifel i też ładnie, nad samym Renem. Bardzo lubię Nadrenię Północną-Westfalię. Sielsko, wiejsko, ale z typowo zachodnioniemiecką infrastrukturą. Wszędzie blisko i zimy łagodniejsze niż w Berlinie czy Warszawie. 

Z powodu pandemii nasze ruchy są ograniczone (tutaj nadal wszystkie hotele są zamknięte), więc wakacje z rowerem (uwielbiam wycieczki rowerowe) to chwilowo jedna z nielicznych opcji. Powolutku, 15-20 km na godzinę, ale z cudownym poczuciem wolności. Nie potrzeba bagażu, supermarkety z jedzeniem na każdym kroku, czekamy tylko na otwarcie hoteli. 

Lubię to lustro, taki podrobiony antyk nie starszy niż 50 lat. Mam parę starych gadżetów: moje biurko ma tyle lat co USA 😁. Kiedyś go nie znosiłem (bo ani na takim meblu nie można się rozwalić, ani laptopa bez podkładki postawić, a jak się cola rozleje, to nieszczęście gotowe), ale przyzwyczaiłem się. Na razie!

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Steveandjustyna Nomads Replied to Piotr Buraczewski 4 months, 1 week ago

Dalekodystansowa wycieczka rowerowa brzmi znakomicie o tej porze roku!! Też bym się wybrała. 
Trzymam kciuki, żeby hotele wkrótce się pootwierały! A możliwe jest kempingowanie w Twoich okolicach? Jako alternatywa noclegowa. 
My mamy taki malutki namiocik, który woziliśmy ze sobą na motorze zawsze (backpacker's version), na wypadek gdybyśmy nie mogli znaleźć hotelu (lub gdyby okazał się za drogi ;P). Kilka razy go użyliśmy.

Podoba mi się idea tego biurka w tym samym wieku co USA smile LOL
Prawdziwy antyk!! Tutaj wszystko co jest starsze niż 50 lat to już "antyk". Budynek poczty w naszym mieście jest z początku XX wieku, więc to tutaj taki "prawdziwy" zabytek ;)

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Olga Helys 5 months, 3 weeks ago

GREAT  REPORT 
Fantastic captures

5 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Olga Helys 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Thanks, Olga. I enjoy taking pictures of the beautiful area I live in.

5 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Gethin Thomas 5 months, 3 weeks ago

So are these photos taken in Germany or Belgium? It's a beautiful area that I have never seen but we got close once going through Luxembourg.

5 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Gethin Thomas 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Hi Thomas,

All these pics are from Germany. The Belgian border is next door, though. It is a very beautiful area but which area of Europe is not?... 

That‘s the advantage of the pandemic: we start appreciating the places we live in.

5 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Gethin Thomas Replied to Piotr Buraczewski 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Very true.

5 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Gethin Thomas 5 months, 3 weeks ago

#2 Amazing place and I've never heard of it either.

5 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Gethin Thomas 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Sure, Monschau pales in comparison to Munich or Berlin. I sometimes wonder why the Chinese like it so much. Well, for the ones who collect the number of countries they visited it is quite simple: if you hop on a tourist bus right after beakfast, you can visit The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and still have a leisurely dinner in France. 5 countries in one day!

5 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
R Kuerbovich 5 months, 3 weeks ago

#2WOW, what a superb region to live in...

5 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to R Kuerbovich 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Hi Rabino, it is in fact the pandemic that helps me appreciate the beauty next door. I think every place in Europe has its charm. I remember staying in Jijona for a week once: my friends laughed at me as I did not bother about Alicante. Without offering impressive sights, the area was fascinating, though. Off-the-beaten-track Europe is so beautiful and interesting. I do hope to see more on my cycling trips.

5 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
R Kuerbovich Replied to Piotr Buraczewski 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Fascinating indeed! Please share with us the pictures you do in your trips. I am learning so much!

5 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to R Kuerbovich 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Rabino, same to you. Your pictures and stories are fascinating and so unique.

5 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Björn Roose 5 months, 3 weeks ago

A few years back we (my girlfriend and I) re-visited Monschau (which we had both visited on previous occassions). We couldn't seem to understand why all the tourists really had to see it. A day later we visited (for the first time) Bad Münstereifel and wondered why there were no tourists at all in the town. Okay, we visited Monschau on December 31 and Bad Münstereifel on January 1, but Bad Münstereifel looked way lovelier to me smile

5 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Björn Roose 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Oh, this could be because you visited Bad M on New Year‘s Day. It is very quiet then as most of us sit at home and devour herring salad in hope of getting rid of hangover. Usually it is full of visitors because of the outlet stores located in these lovely old houses. Even in peak hours you can easily escape the crowds and walk towards the mountain top castle and the forest, though.

5 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Björn Roose Replied to Piotr Buraczewski 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I've got a strange knack for visiting towns on the right moment smile

5 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
John Durham 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Fascinating and beautiful - thank you.

5 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to John Durham 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you, John. The pandemic helps us get to know the areas we live in.

5 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Benny Law 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I don't know if it's just my eyes, but your dream house looks a bit crooked, and so do some of those really old houses in #2! I hope they don't collapse and fall into the river!

5 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Benny Law 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Most of these old buildings are a bit crooked. Do not be afraid, though. Countless German inspections reassure us they will stay intact for the next 100 years.

5 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I hope you realize I am your biggest fan and always looking forward to your posts, because as I have mentioned earlier, you always bring a smile ( I👋 at you on #1..... Hi!)  This post made me crave for living and traveling around Europe again (hopefully soon). It also hit home because just last week I captured some shots of the early rise of the "pussy willow" or "catkins" and thought yes, we are approaching Spring. But the other eye catcher in this post was #9...I would love to see what the inside of the house looks like because whom ever drew the lines on the outside was definitely talented but yet somewhat on the tipsy side which adds to the beauty! Thank you for another wonderful post grinning

5 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Piotr Buraczewski Replied to Camellia Staab 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you, Camellia. It is peolle like you and other Photobloggers that make sharing my pictures and stories so much fun. In fact, I turned my attention to Europe and the area I live in because of the pandemic and travel restrictions. However, travelling around off-the-beaten-track USA must also be fascinating. 

The little house in picture #9 is just an ordinary residence. I really like its timber framing, so popular in Germany. It looks a bit crooked but it is kept in perfect condition as the rest of the village it is in.

5 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
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