A fortnight ago, I went hiking in the Alsace region.
That overnight hike showed clearly, that I need a bigger backpack. One, where I can take my proper sleeping bag along, not the summer down version.
So what better excuse do I need for a trip to my favourite supplier of outdoor equipment? Globetrotter.
Usually I buy in the online shop, but for a backpack there is no better way than try them out.
So Friday saw me on the motorway, crawling through many construction areas towards Cologne.
I had one mystery solved, miracles happen, and planned to find and log this before visiting Tuennes and Hexe, Cologne Cachers met on Mumble.
But as it got dark already, we had no luck finding anything.
So we went looking for Tuennes house.
Okay, I had the coordinates. But no housenumber, no phonenumber and also I had forgotten the surname. Perfect conditions to find someones house, when he’s living in a residential area with no parking availlable at all….
But I got lucky and found the right place.
They provided me with a guided caching tour, which was fun. Just a short drive “around the block” so to speak, but with some interesting cache containers as well as stunning views of cologne by night.
We parked our van in the drive and after a short night and some lavish breakfast we headed into the city centre of Cologne. I found a multi-storey car park high enough for Dolly. Most car parks are only 1,95m high, to low for my van with 1,99m hight.
But then I realised, my wallet was missing. Panic attack. I needed money to get the car out of the car park, at least. Never mind going shopping…
So the big search began, turning everything upside down, trying to remember, when did I last have it.
Well, I bought fuel along the way, but I remembered, that the big wallet, with all the cards was bothering me on Tuennes sofa. But surely I didn’t remove it there, now did I?
Well, no wallet was to be found, so I went through all those little hiding places I have. Like a good squirrel I have several places in my car, where I keep emergency money hidden. Ashtray, glove compartment, the like. I found enough to go shopping at Globetrotter. I know, crazy of me to have so much money in the car, but you never know, I might misplace my wallet…
Someone, who got told this, mentioned that I would never let someone else clean my car inside…
So we went shopping. Globetrotter is a huge shop for all sorts of outdoor activity. You can even try out a canoe….
I especially liked the tank with the jellyfish. Reminded me of someone….
After trying out a few backpacks, I settled on a backpack perfect for my short back. Can’t wait to try this out, now.
The shop has a pool where you can try out canoes or diving gear. But also a freezer big enough to sit in and check out, how warm your new jacket really is.
View from above
Now, after spending the morning in my favourite shop, where would I find my wallet?
In the car it wasn’t to be found, so it must have fallen out of my pocket at Tuennes. Still without a phonenumber, I went back to his place. Luckily they were at home, but no wallet was there, either.
A second time I searched the car. No wallet.
Now it couldn’t have fallen out during our guided caching tour, could it?
That would be disaster, to many muggles would be around those areas.
But what else could I do? So I drove the tour again, checked all the locations. To say, I was upset is putting it mildly.
I gave up. Went to a parking lot, to at least search for that mystery, which we didn’t find last night.
Searched the car a third time, this time taking everything out of the car and placing it beside it.
And would you believe it? My wallet was found!
At the footend of Finnuala’s sleeping bag.
How on earth did it get there?
Well, at least that part is easily explained: My wallet it heavy, because of all those cards, I carry (unnessessarily) with me. After getting into the car it must have fallen out of my pocket, as I changed for the night. Finnuala didn’t have her sleeping bag zipped, so before I went to sleep, I zipped up her bag. The wallet must have fallen into the folds of her sleeping bag and so got trapped inside it.
Well, my relieve was HUGE! At least I didn’t need to ring the credit card company to block my cards.
What was left of the afternoon we spend in one of my favourite museums in Cologne: The chocolate museum…
We also managed to find an Earthcache in the city centre, the world famous Cathedral of Cologne….
On our way there I found a sign, which greatly amused me, being a VW driver myself. Maybe I should try to get this sign as well?
Sunday morning greeted us with a light fog, which promised to be burned away by the sun for another glorious autumn day. Golden October indeed.
We had made arrangements to meet with jmsanta and Zwergbaum.
A new multi cache laid by a dog, no less, was in the area, so we planned to go on a hunt.
The weather couldn’t have been better, the dogs eager for a walk, well at least one of them.
Flava, my aging Labrador-Greyhound-Mix, is not enjoying an outing anymore, she much prefers to spend all day sleeping…
I would have thought, a cache laid by a dog would be fun to walk with our dogs. But with all the stops at the stations, my dogs got thoroughly bored with us. Well, Flava didn’t mind so much, but Nyssa was fed up with the waiting. At least my children weren’t bored, they helped searching and solving the clues.
I have to say, without jmsanta and Zwergbaum and their patient telephone contact (aka telephone joker) we wouldn’t have managed this cache.
Even at the first stage it was clear: He who is able to read, is clearly at an advantage…
The stages were quite ingenious, a chinese puzzle box, a dictionary dog-human, some puzzles, all really lovely.
But our mistake was it, not to read the listing too closely but to believe the description at the stages.
Fatal error, as the instructions were different.
This lead us to a wild goose chase, which clearly was unsuccessfull. But here our mobilphone brought help and so we managed to find the next stages. The two math geniuses, KS-HTK and jmsanta, had no trouble at all solving the math question, which pleased me no end, I find math puzzles tiresome.
There are two ways to reach the final, walking a long way or wading through water. Finnuala took off her shoes and socks, jmsanta gave his new boots a trial run. They proofed to be watertight.
It was the first time, that I found a pathtag in a cache, such a surprise!!!
I’ve traded a lot of tags, but till now, I never found one in a cache! That made this cache really special for me!
The stations were very nice, even so we took a bit of a unnessecary detour,
But apart from that, we had a nice walk. Five swans flew over our heads. It is unbelievable, what a noise they make when flying.
We were hungry after that and found a nice place in Jülich:
Does this look like a salad? What a great excuse to eat unhealthy, at least the name suggest health food…
After a some needed sustenance with a Rhine area salad, (fried potatoes, eggs and greens) we went to an impressive open pit coal mine.
Toycars. If you look very closely beside the digger.
Stacker at work
Digger at work. One of those shovels would be a nice garage for a compact car.
Today Hambach is the largest open-cast mine in Germany. Due to the deepness of the soft-coal layers in this area, Hambach is also the deepest open-cast mine in Germany. The deepest point of the mine ist about 293 meters below sea level comparing to an altitute of 106 meters at the south-east border of the mine.
The sheer size of the hole is unbelievable. Standing at the viewpoint, one can’t really get the dimensions of the mine.
Elli with Nyssa, photo curtesy of jmsanta
We even found art work made out of those shovels…
KS-HTK climbing on the artwork.
On our way back we passed a lovely windmill.
The way home was uneventfull, but I can’t say I minded, I had enough mishaps happening that weekend.
My thanks to Tuennes and Hexe for the hospitality and to jmsanta and Zwergbaum for the company.
We enjoyed meeting you.