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Our new home.

Monday, Dec 5th

Hotel Backenköhler

We nearly slept too late for breakfast. I could sleep all morning, feels like. Breakfast is served in the restaurant across the road from 6:30 - 9:30. Again, a decent breakfast buffet, similar to Hotel Villa Ludwig. I love their bread selection: rye, a sweet raisin walnut bread, and a sweet bread with shredded carrots. And by sweet I mean not at all sweet by NAM standards. I love what I call caprese squares: a softish white square of cheese with a tomato slice and basil pesto on top. On toast. Umm yum. By the time we leave I hope to have learned the names of everything we eat. I google so many things in a day that in between I have to give her a rest. Each table has a small silver carafe with hot coffee. Oh! There is also a large and beautiful tea bar with 15 flavours of loose leaf tea.

We chatted with Bert and Cindy from Heart Valley at breakfast. Their son Jordan had surgery last week. After lingering so long at the table that the server who had told us to sit with our coffee as long as we wanted came and cleared our table and motioned us out the dining room, we went walking. Explored the village and decided it is definitely of a different style than down south of Munich. Brick houses that look much more modern, with black clay tile roofs. Perfect little manicured gardens. The World Wide Web tells me the population of Stenum is 415 with 49% of it being male, in case anyone was wondering. Back to our hotel room and I performed a thorough inspection of our new home. The towels are thin. The towel warmer is hot. The pillows are big, flimsy squares that, when folded in half, are the size and thickness we are accustomed to. The bed is comfortable, and like at Hotel Villa Ludwig in Schwangau, we each get a narrow blanket instead of one large one. Our room, like every hotel we’ve been in here, has no coffee maker but rather an electric kettle with tea bags and sugar packets. We have a tiny balcony overlooking the most Englishy garden you have ever seen. It is darling. Low shrubbery walls marking the borders. Clumps of holly, rows of boxwoods, and a gazebo neatly stacked with firewood. Beyond the hedge an old red brick house with a red clay tile roof that has no overhang. Totally Rosamunde Pilcher material. In the constant drizzle it looks like maybe the English Channel should be just across the way.

Rylan had X-rays at Stenum hospital at 2 pm. In and out pretty quick. We continued being lazy till all the tea bags were gone. Walked to the next village - Schierbrok- and found the post office to send post cards to Canada. Exactly 21 min to the train station, and another 8 to the PO. Gtk for when we need a getaway. We noticed all the little walls on the walk back. Brick walls along front yards, 2 feet high. Gates across driveways, but only 3 feet high. Who are they keeping out? Certainly not the Dutch. Again we noticed the modern style of houses. Brick homes that look like what we’d see at home, with beautiful black clay tile on the roofs, gated driveways, and some exterior accent lighting. No Mcmansions, but nice houses with nice little yards. It’s black out by 4:30 pm, so most of the walk was in darkness. Rylan has been trying to ramp down his pain meds to make post-op pain control more manageable for the Drs, but realized today it’s just not working. Not even on a lazy day with only an hour of walking.

Back at the hotel and we were starved. Our incessant snacking of apples, pumpkin seeds and Kirkland Signature mixed nuts was not feeling sufficient anymore. Rylan went into the hospital to see Jordan before dinner was served at the restaurant. I ordered pork schnitzel with mushroom gravy and fried baby potatoes; Rylan chose the venison goulash. Both were delicious.

Lazy days are exhausting.

Following is the price list if I care to utilize the hotel laundry services. Prices are per garment, washed and dried:

trousers - 4.7€

pullover - 3€

t-shirt - 3€

underwear, short - 2€

underwear, long - 2.1€

pair of socken - 2.1€

shirt - 3€

sport shirt - 2.6€

pyjama - 4.2€

This is why I brought a ziploc bag of laundry pods. One load of laundry could set us back further than two plates of pork schnitzel, easy.

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