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I don’t know if it is because I’m from Finland but I must say my blood just drags me to the beautiful forests that surround the Bielefeld area. We have made this forest searching a family hobby and try to get out there as often as possible.

The forests, Puck tree I believe? are just amazing. They are tall like Gothic Cathedrals and have not much under growth. This makes it amazing for the kids to move around and play princesses, or treasure hunters (we have found a deer antler so far). Another major difference to a Finnish forest is the lack of mosquitoes and elk flies, and this really is a bonus! You can so easily have a picnic in the forest.

Unfortunately I can’t even tell you where these forests are as I don’t pay attention to the actual location, they are everywhere and you are allowed to park at the side of the road and roam around unless there is a private sign. We go towards Werther I think, but I advice you just to explore and see where looks nice and where the sun is at that particular time of the day.

We have always travelled by the car, many people cycle. Unfortunately I don’t know how to get to the forests by the public transport. Anybody any ideas?

Piia

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Nachtansichten

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A couple of weekends ago, we got to enjoy Nachtansichten in Bielefeld (a.k.a. Museum Night). For about 8 euros each, you can gain entry to all of the city’s museums, galleries and churches. We went to see the Historiches Museum, the Kunsthalle, and the Bauernhof Museum. It was a beautiful night, one of the first comfortably warm summer nights of the year, and it was incredible to see how many people Bielefeld actually has. Highlights: seeing massive weaving machines; learning about the microphotographer/artist Carl Strüwe.
Sam

Bielefeld Nordic Walking Trails

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We live just on the edge of the Teutoburger Wald, famous for maybe(?) being the site of a battle between the Roman Empire and Germanic tribes, and also for being kinda pretty.

We chose a beautiful day to talk a walk through the forest, which is full of tall, narrow trees. I was a little concerned that we would fall into a hobbit house or be stolen away by fairies. However, before any of that could happen, the shaded forest opened up onto this field:

People were studying, sunbathing and playing with their dogs. Something that has been really difficult for me here is not interacting with dogs when we see them out and about. I’m totally cool with not interacting with people, but I’m used to being able to at least give a smile and a nod to someone with a dog, and maybe stopping to pet him (the dog, not the person), and maybe having some “dog talk”. Here, that is not the case. If the dog is on a leash, the owner will generally tug him away from other people. Most dogs, however, are not on a leash, and are ridiculously well-behaved. (They also seem to be allowed in most restaurants, which is a whole other post). They follow dutifully, and stop and come when called.

German dogs are only allowed to poop pleasant things.

It doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for the dog to, well, be a dog and run over to strangers to say hi. However, on our hike we came across a yellow lab with huge eyes and a tennis ball shoved in his mouth, and I got to quell my canine craving by throwing it for him a couple of times.

We really thought we’d wandered into a fairy tale when we saw the windmill on the horizon. It turns out it’s part of an historical re-enactment village for kids. We continued on our way, and stumbled onto a little village. Of…hobbit huts?

The land is divided into plots, with stairs and paths winding through. It covers the side of the hill, so there is a beautiful view of the city of Bielefeld. Apparently, on a nice day, you can see all the way to Detmold. Each plot has a garden, and the houses are too small to be houses, but too big to be just garden sheds. Google Translate tells me that it’s called a “Garden Hermitage.” There is a restaurant on site that serves food and drink, and my guess is that some of the food was grown right there.

This was all on the shortest of all of the Nordic walking paths available. When spring rolls around, we’ll be checking out the rest.

Rainy Day fun with the kids

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On a rainy Sunday we visited the recently renovated Ishara swimming pool. We were really impressed with the huge kids area. Lots of different pools to splash around in for all ages, a pirates ship, giant slides, Jacuzzi, water fountains etc. Everything was very clean with lots of chairs to relax in and nice thoughtful touches – like car seats and playpens for babies to sit in by the pool, armbands and toys. Mornings are the best time on a weekend to visit as afternoons get pretty crowed.

A great place to take kids on one of those cold rainy Bielefeld days.

http://www.ishara.de

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