To Muenster we will go.... - The Bartletts Bike the Baltics - CycleBlaze

April 29, 2019

To Muenster we will go....

A good sleep in our comfortable room in Nottuln and a very good breakfast. Fresh eggs, meat, cheese....everything you like about a German breakfast in a Gasthaus. The only problem was that the woman who did the cooking and serving was so unfriendly and rude that it erased our good feelings about the place. We would not return. Even when paying the bill, she was pretty miserable to deal with.

The Guesthouse in Nutteln where we arrived last night, once again so cold! A dinner of bread, fruit and Dutch cheese, a hot shower and quick refuge under the duvets.
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Thanks to Google maps and our trusty Garmin, we  made a route to Muenster via the apt. we had booked in Hiltrup, 6 km south of the city. At one point my phone had powered off and I didn’t realize that Google Maps had defaulted to a car route. I found it  odd that our bike lane had disappeared and when I saw that the Autobahn was where we were heading, we regrouped and got back on track. It’s ironic that the route wanted us to go on the Autobahn, as Barry and I are truly “Island Drivers” and we are not Autobahn people even when driving  a car!

Westphalian landscape
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The landscape is quite beautiful here with rolling hills, lush landscapes and red brick homes and barns. Being from Ontario originally, I love seeing these familiar red brick rural buildings and appreciate the  colour against the verdant countryside.

We have booked to stay at Villakunterbuntmuenster in a studio apt. Now I know that its name is a mouthful, but we have learned over the years of spending time in Germany that German is a practical language where the descriptive words are strung together to make a meaningful word. I loosely translate it as: an eclectic villa in  Muenster. 

We had long debated before this trip about bringing our tent to help offset the costs of staying in a guesthouse or hotel every night. Knowing that the bulk of our trip would be in the countries like Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, that offer such good value in modestly priced accommodation, we knew that we would be ok there. But we worried about the cost of crossing Germany.  We decided to set a budget and happily we have been able to stick to it so far. It helps to be in the off-season, but also we book through Hotels.com which gives us a free night after 10 stays, plus we use Booking.com which gives us extra discounts because we are repeat users. We often save €10 off the already reduced rate. So far so good....and we have been consistently pleased with the places we have stayed.  Our apt here is well appointed -we even have an oven-and it gives us complete independence. It is a pleasant  6km ride in to the centre of Muenster -recommended.

We like seeing these intricate signs over shops.
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A typical building style in Muenster.
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It is a cold, rainy day as we head in to Muenster after checking in early. There are over 40,000 students in this university town and all have bicycles. Riding in to town was a joy as the infrastructure is excellent and despite the large volume of bikes, it is easy to navigate. It struck us that one never needs to be in traffic to make a turn at an intersection as every corner has a crossing with a bike dedicated traffic light. North America has so much to learn both in terms of infrastructure and in cyclists following the rules of the road. The relationship between cars and cyclists is very positive.. cyclists stay on the bike paths and follow the rules. Most impressive and a model to learn from.

Shopping at a bookstore in Muenster for maps and Seavo gets to wait on the street.
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A time consuming task for the priest at St Lamberti church lighting the many candles. We were lucky to hear the organist practicing.
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An important task keeping the streets clear of debris.
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Muenster’s historic centre- here are 2 of the 500,000 bikes in Muenster.
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In the centre of Muenster, bikes are everywhere with riders of all ages. None are impatient and they give us space. We like the feeling of this city with its blend of beautiful buildings and youthful energy in the middle of such an historical setting. A good vibe.

Bike repairs, storage - whatever you need.
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Across from the Rathaus, a group of university students and their professors are holding a rally about Climate Change, enthusiastically singing and chanting. As the politicians are in session today at the Rathaus (City Hall), they are hoping that their voices will be heard. 

Enthusiasm, passion and solidarity
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A member of the protest group came over to see our bike and helped us to find a bike shop.
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Positive energy with a supportive community watching - hope the politicians heard them.
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As well, at another square, dance troupes are performing, followed by groups of multi age, professional/amateur, people with disabilities...dancing with the theme of the event:  “Life in Motion”. 

One of the many dance troupes rehearsing.
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 At the end, all of the participants and the people watching joined together with hands clasped in a circle and danced/moved together. It was joyful to see. As mentioned earlier, Muenster has a good vibe.

Everybody joining in at the end.
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Barbara from our home island of Saltspring has a sister here in Muenster who gave us recommendations on where to eat. For people like us who seem to “travel to eat”, this is important insider information to have. We went to Drubellken for a Westphalian dinner. Housed in a historical building  from the 1600’s is impressive enough, but the food is even better.

Drubbelken restaurant
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 This very popular restaurant with locals was full (all 3 floors) with unique nooks and crannies for dining. A fine evening. 

Roulade and Pinkus Pils for Mary Ellen and Sauerbraten with Pinkus Weissen for Barry. Pinkus Brauerei has got it right -they’ve been brewing in Muenster since 1816.
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Some of the charming dining areas at Drubbelken
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Kathleen ClassenKeith and I really like how you put several pictures in a collage, as it were. I tried to do it in iPhoto and was a fail, so I have downloaded an app and made my first attempt tonight but wasn’t thrilled with it. Can you tell me how you do it, or what app you use, if you use one? Many, many thanks.
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3 weeks ago
Barry BartlettHi
Good to hear from you. Sorry to hear that both of you are suffering with colds. Last year with a month left to go, I got a bad cold in Italy which turned out to be pneumonia and we still had the Alps to go. Do take care.
Re: collage. We use Fotor which we download free from the App Store. We also use Live Collage but we seem to prefer Fotor. There are many free ones on the App Store. If you need help, let us know. Happy travels. Enjoying following your journal.
Mary Ellen
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3 weeks ago

To cap off our positive day here, we were riding back to our apt. in the dark and a woman riding her bike home asked us if we had a place to stay. She said that she has a large home and would like to offer us a room in her house. We graciously declined as we told her we had a place to stay. She exemplifies for us the spirit that we have felt here. 

A nice ending to a good day.

Today's ride: 45 km (28 miles)
Total: 448 km (278 miles)

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