Last night, I took Mac n Tosh out for their final tinkle and boy it was creepy. Lots of rustling in the forest and plenty of strange noises. This place feels haunted. Even Mac n Tosh were tentative about venturing too far. Seeing their reaction made me more apprehensive and it wasn’t long before my imagination went in to overdrive with ghosts and gargoyles frantically chasing us. Before I got totally freaked out, I grabbed them both and dashed back in Vin. Quickly locking the door
We tootled back to the aire and used their services including a quick windscreen wash to debug the splattered screen. Then we set off via the fuel station to top up with LPG or Autogas as they call it in Germany. We squeezed all of €4.46 in to the cylinder, which means a nice utility bill of £0.49 per day.
The sun was belting out some glorious rays and the pale blue sky just made it a perfect spring day. So glad our next stop is not too far then we can enjoy a nice walk. As we drove along the quiet country roads the scattered villages and farmhouses looked well maintained and prosperous. The Westphalia region is not the largest of the German regions, but with a high population in excess of 18 million it is the most heavily populated one. Most people assume this heavily industrialised Ruhr valley region is too commercial and has little sight seeing to offer. Well our experience has found the region to offer plenty from natural forests to historic trails and quaint villages to modern cities but most of all it offers amazing countryside that makes driving a pleasure.
As we passed through the town of Ludinghausen it was buzzing with eager shoppers. We followed the signs for the Schloss to the other side of the town and parked up in the car park. A quick bite to eat and a chat to an English couple who’ve lived here for over 40 years (but still have their Yorkshire accent!) before taking Mac n Tosh for a stroll.
It was cracking the flags and Vin’s weather station showed a healthy 27 centigrade. Craig even managed to unzip his coat, now that is a rare sight. We strolled around the gardens admiring the Burg Vischering. It is one of the oldest castles dating back to 1270 and its condition is one of the best preserved in the area. Inside was empty but the open air balcony and terrace provided great views of the moat and gardens. We strolled around the lakes and waterways watching the ducks dive for cover as the boyz arrived. Tosh has recently discovered a passion for duck poo and finds it highly amusing to roll around in the pungent stuff. No matter how many times I shout “no” he still rolls around in it. After a walk around the grounds we followed the meandering stream and headed into the old town. With a nice open square, a church and a good selection of shops. Then back through the fields via another old castle, Burg Ludinghausen.
We devoted the afternoon to a chat about where we go next. We hadn’t intended to spend the whole afternoon here, but it was so beautiful that made the most of the sunshine.
Early evening and the fading light was so relaxing. The birds were chirping away and so we took another stroll around the castle and its grounds. Along the river bank, a narrow path, full of brisk walkers and the odd courting couple. Swans and geese encircled the lake and all was quiet until one young geese decided to challenge the head honcho and the flapping began. Squarks galore following by mini flights and skims across the lake. The young geese was not bothered in the slightest and gave the head chap a good run for his money. The ladies sat on the lakeside waiting to waddle over and quack the winner!
Every view across the moat was framed by weeping willows. The evening light casted a warm amber light on to the castle lighting up all the tiny elements of detail. The date etched in the brick work, the leaded windows, the stone emblems but most of all the beautiful mirrored reflection in the almost still moat.
Our sleep spot tonight. Burg Vischering car park at Ludinghausen. Free with overnight parking permitted but no services. Come early evening it is very quiet with beautiful views over the countryside.
GPS position N051.77460 E007.440457
Route: Raesfeld to Ludinghausen
Weather: high 27 Low 5, absolutely cracking the flags