Germany - off the beaten track to Stemwede and Bielefeld
Have you ever heard of cities like Bielefeld or Stemwede? OK, Bielefeld is a bigger city, but Stemwede. Being german, I myself (Nina), had to look it up on a map. OK, it is "somewhere in the north" but honestly I had no clue where. Well, and Bielefeld is a city you only go to when you are born there, when you have family relations or when you work at Dr. Oetker ;-). As our spiritual master Paramahamsa Vishwananda was giving Darshan in Stemwede, we were ready to visit this not so well known region. Originally, we had planned to go camping at the beautiful looking Dümmersee, a holiday destination. But with a wet tent from the previous night and more rain and storm about to come, we decided to go for a hotel room. Well, Stemwede is small, and all accomodation around was fully booked because of the event with our master. Even in Osnabrück, there was no decent and payable place free. The closest possibility to find was in Bielefeld, about 50 minute drive away. We were desperate in need of a hot shower and a dry bed. So Bielefeld was the place to go.
We did not expect anything of the town. And how things are - it is all about expectations. So we had a wonderful bed&breakfast, a wonderful bed and were pleasantly surprised by the city. People were friendly, there are some really beautiful old buildings in town and we had a pleasant stroll through the center. Later on we met 2 other devotees for a vegetarian lunch in a very special place called Glückundseligkeit . This is a restaurant in an old church. It is very modern but at the same time cozy and beautiful. Lunch was amazing - really a place to go once you come to this region. Afterwards, Markus and I went up the hill to visit a castle - the major sight of Bielefeld. The Sparrenburg is really a nice place to be with an amazing view over the city. We enjoyed some icecream before walking back to town. For dinner we found a Flammkuchen Restaurant (where they offer only these french style "pizza"). And to our delight, they had a full page full of vegetarian and even vegan choices. We had a blast. It was a relaxing day in Bielefeld and we went for an early night in the comfy, warm bed.
Next day after a long breakfast we got ready for the third darshan (blessing) on this trip with Paramahamsa Vishwananda. We dressed up (always funny to watch the shocked faces in a hotel in the western world when you walk through in a sari :-)) and jumped into the car. The drive was pleasant over the flat, beautiful countryside. Markus now believes me when I tell him that northern Germany can be really flat ;-). The sun was out, the rain had stopped and we could also see the typical houses of this region. Finally we arrived in the little town of Stemwede. Today, the event started early. Paramahamsa Vishwananda was greeted by the major which was really sweet. Afterwards he gave satsang. That means that people could ask him something publically and he answered it. Then there was a little break and then a cheerful darshan started which lastet till late in the evening.
Happily and tired we drove back to Bielefeld. After another relaxed morning and a nice breakfast in the hotel we packed our car again. And off we went to our next destination... Our trip continues!