Durdle Door May Calendar Challenge 2019

Durdle Door, Dorset

The Month of May is here and another destination ticked of the South West Calendar. This was the first outing in Disco Doris that we would be able to use the roof top tent by Ventura Roof Tents, the two night trip would see us camp at Durdle Door Holiday Park .

Disco Doris

After a scorching Easter bank Holiday weekend how things can change in the UK very quickly, the Temperature was down but at least when the sun was popping its head out from behind the clouds it felt pleasantly warm.

With camp set up we set off to the beach, a bit of advice here it is a steep and long decent with loose gravel underfoot but its worth it ,just remember you have to walk back up.

The sea looked so beautiful and warm but i can assure you it was far from tropical as Lily found out after getting in up to her waist …..yes still with her cloths on.

I’m Cold

We decide to go back to the campsite, back up the hill this time and yes its harder going up than down, we got ready and went for food at the Man o War which is the campsite Bar and Restaurant its more of a Pub food eatery but is was Ok good service and the food was great and a bonus they have Thatchers Gold on tap.

Lulworth Cove

After a good nights sleep which was chilly but once we were snuggled up in our sleeping bags the roof tent was a nice cosy room that kept us safe from Lions and Tigers ;). After waiting for Lily to get up we showered etc in the the clean shower block, we ate our bacon and scrambled egg breakfast and then set off for Lulworth Cove .

can’t beat Bacon in the morning

Lulworth Cove is about a 20 min walk its basically you guessed it ,a hill walk but its fine but not suitable for wheel chairs.

Being a Bank Holiday weekend it was very busy which can make getting fish and chips difficult with a waiting time of 20-30 min just bear this in mind.

Cove Cottage Holiday Cottage
A deserved rest

After half a day of walking around Lulworth we set back to camp with someone nearly giving up on the hill with only 10 meters to go.

The final day arrived so we packed up camp and set off for Tyneham village.

Tyreham Village

The village and 7,500 acres of surrounding heathland and chalk downland around the Purbeck Hills, were requisitioned just before Christmas 1943 by the then War Office (now MoD) for use as firing ranges for training troops. 225 people were displaced, the last person leaving a poignant notice on the church door:

Please treat the church and houses with care; we have given up our homes where many of us lived for generations to help win the war to keep men free. We shall return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly.

This measure was supposed to be temporary for the duration of World War II, but in 1948 the Army placed a compulsory purchase order on the land and it has remained in use for military training ever since.

The Church was saved but the Army did not read all of the note in regards to the houses, its a very similar place to Imber village on Salisbury Plain.

Back on the road we made a short drive to Monkey World this is a place i would suggest a visit.

Next port of call Bovington Tank Museum what can I say super place to go, it has changed a lot since my last visit in the 90’s when i was a member of the 9/12 Royal Lancers the creme of the British Army.

The Tank Museum Is a great place to go even Lily enjoy it…….but not as much as Monkey World , we had a great weekend away, you don’t need to go away aboard all the time the UK has so much to offer which i hope to show and give people ideas for days or longer adventures.

The Ridgeway National Trail Day One

The morning of the 21st of February was here and the weather was exceptional for this time of year, warm air streaming in on the gulf stream, the UK after the chaos of 1 inch of snow a couple of weeks before was suddenly in a spring heatwave perfect timing for my attempt to walk and wild camp on the 87 miles of the Ridgeway Trail.

The Ridgeway is a 87 mile National Trail that starts at Overton Hill in Wiltshire and finishes at Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire.

For at least 5,000 years travellers have used the Ridgeway. The Ridgeway provided a reliable trading route to the Dorset coast and to the Wash in Norfolk. The high dry ground made travel easy and provided a measure of protection by giving traders a commanding view, warning against potential attacks.
The Bronze Age saw the development of Uffington White Horse and the stone circle at Avebury. During the Iron Age, inhabitants took advantage of the high ground by building hillforts along the Ridgeway to help defend the trading route. Following the collapse of Roman authority in Western Europe, invading Saxon and Viking armies used it.


Overton Hill

After being dropped off at Overton Hill by my good friend Lel Kelson, off i went on my spring stroll, the plan for the first day was to cover at least 20 miles.

The going was good the by-ways are closed to cars over the winter , walking along the chalk ridgeway you get a commanding view, looking down the first place of interest was RAF Wroughton which was a Royal Air Force airfield , about 4 miles (6 km) south of Swindon. Ministry of Defence aviation activity ceased in 1972. The airfield now belongs to the Science Museum Group and is home to the Science Museum at Wroughton, which houses the large-object storage and library of the Science Museum. The site is also the home of The Grand Tour motoring series’ test track.

Then into view came the battlements of Barbury Castle the track heads downhill then crosses a country road and then climbs to the Castle earthworks , passing through the centre. After the short climb to the top time for a coffee break.

Coffee break over off i set again, feeling good, next checkpoint Ogbourne St George which would be my 9 mile point and a lunch break.

The sun comes out near
Ogbourne St George

Midland and South Western Junction Railway
Ogbourne St George

Passing under the Midland and South Western Junction Railway at Ogbourne St George next stop was Liddington Castle with views of Swindon in the distances, the hum of the M4 broke the peaceful scene crossing this major road was the next checkpoint and resting point.

Leaving the M4 behind me it was Mid afternoon this would be the last few miles before setting up camp for the night.

With the sun setting i had made it to Waylands Smithy Long Barrow.


Waylands Smithy Long Barrow.

Waylands Smithy Long Barrow.

Waylands Smithy Long Barrow.

Waiting by the side of the track for the darkness to come so i could set camp in a wooded area without anyone seeing, the temperature dropped off and with fog predicted for the morning it was going to be a cold damp night.

First Camp Day One over

With the tent pitched and dinner cooking i had time to reflect on the day , all had gone well my only worry was the weight of my burgen having to pack winter equipment the weight had soon added up.

Day Two to follow -Waylands Smithy Long Barrow to South Stoke near Goring

Venice here we come part 7

After a good nights sleep, we left Plitvice Lakes and hit the roads to Venice travelling through the countryside that surrounds Plitvice Lakes, nearly every farm has its own small stole outside selling produce mainly honey it is well worth stopping off and stocking up on Pooh bears favourite food.

We soon hit the Croatian coastline and followed it North it is a stunning drive with plenty of little campsites next to the beach many noted for a visit in the future.

As we left Croatia we re-entered Slovenia for the last time before entering Italy which according to Liam is the best country to visit (he does live there) and I have to admit it wasn’t going to let us down.

We chugged on with our sights set on  Camping Rialto , driving in Italy towards Venice is a pleasurable experience with the marsh/swap on the left and vast farmlands to the right.

We arrived and set up camp and decided to catch the bus to Venice, the bus stop is located right outside the campsite and you can buy tickets at the reception.

This was mine and Lily’s first visit to Venice and I have to say wow it’s stunning with plenty to see around every corner, busy but well worth it.

The Republic of Venice was a major financial and maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as a very important centre of commerce (especially silk, grain, and spice) and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century. The City State of Venice is considered to have been the first real international financial centre which gradually emerged from the 9th century to its peak in the 14th century. This made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history.

It is also known for its several important artistic movements, especially the Renaissance period. After the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna, the Republic was annexed by the Austrian Empire, until it became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1866, following a referendum held as a result of the Third Italian War of Independence. Venice has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, and it is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi.Venice has been ranked the most beautiful city in the world as of 2016.The city is facing some major challenges, however, including financial difficulties, erosion, pollution, subsidence and an excessive number of tourists in peak periods.

Venice is built on an archipelago of 118 islands formed by 177 canals in a shallow lagoon, connected by 409 bridges. In the old centre, the canals serve the function of roads, and almost every form of transport is on water or on foot. In the 19th century, a causeway to the mainland brought the Venezia Santa Lucia railway station to Venice, and the Ponte della Libertà road causeway and parking facilities (in Tronchetto island and in piazzale Roma) were built during the 20th century. Beyond the road and rail land entrances at the northern edge of the city, transportation within the city remains (as it was in centuries past) entirely on water or on foot. Venice is Europe’s largest urban car-free area. Venice is unique in Europe, in having remained a sizeable functioning city in the 21st century entirely without motorcars or trucks.

We soon got to our destination after a long walk and there it sat in front of us Piazza San Marco all I could think of was how close the Assassin’s Creed game had depicted it, what a place unbelievable, the beauty is out of this world.

Assassin’s Creed


What can I say about Venice……It’s beautiful but it’s so expensive for example a gondola ride is not far short of a £100 a glass of wine is an eye-watering £12 the saving grace is a dirty Mac’s is the same price all over the world.

Don’t let the cost of this place put you off it is well worth a visit.

It even may start sinking as you take your photos

More of Croatia Summer Trip 2017 Part 6

 

With our stay in Split coming to an end we spent our last day at the beach with the temperatures hitting 40 degrees again plenty of suntan lotion was required.



After packing Kitty and saying our goodbyes to our host Rosa the owner of the guest house we hit the road for a drive north to the Plitvice Lakes National Park which  looked awesome, 20km out of Split there was a sudden “Oh No” from the back seat of the truck, “Whats wrong I asked” , Sharon had only left her 2 Ipads in a draw at the Guesthouse, so back we went and got them crisis averted. For a second time, we said goodbye to Split and what a great time we had had some great memories and a place that will be visited again I’m for sure.

We chugged along the country roads(204km), using these rather than the highways so we could indulge ourselves up close with the local communities of Croatia, with all the windows and air vents open it made no difference the heat of the day was blistering it felt like a hair dryer was being held in your face on full heat. In the distance, flames slithered up the hills consuming all vegetation in its path luckily we would not be venturing towards the fires.

We arrived in Plitvice Lakes National Park in good time and the walk began around this gem from Mother Natures crown.

 

The sixteen lakes are separated into an upper and lower cluster formed by runoff from the mountains, descending from an altitude of 636 to 503 m (2,087 to 1,650 ft) over a distance of some eight km, aligned in a south-north direction. The lakes collectively cover an area of about two square kilometres (0.77 square miles), with the water exiting from the lowest lake forming the Korana River.

The lakes are renowned for their distinctive colors, ranging from azure to green, grey or blue. The colors change constantly depending on the quantity of minerals or organisms in the water and the angle of sunlight.

I will just leave you with some photos and a video of this stunning place

 

Gear 360

Part 7 sees us travel to Venice  Italy

 

 

 

Königssee Lake then On wards to Croatia Part 5 summer trip 2017

 

Our last day in the stunning German alps was spent at Königssee Lake, what a beautiful place the water is crystal clear, we were lucky that a traditional Bavarian festival was taking place.

Situated within the Berchtesgaden Alps in the municipality of Schönau am Königsee, just south of Berchtesgaden and the Austrian city of Salzburg, the Königssee is Germany’s third deepest lake. Located at a Jurassic rift, it was formed by glaciers during the last ice age. It stretches about 7.7 km (4.8 mi) in a north-south direction, and is about 1.7 km (1 mi) across at its widest point. Except at its outlet, the Königsseer Ache at the village of Königssee, the lake is similar to a fjord, being surrounded by the steeply-rising flanks of mountains up to 2,700 m (8,900 ft), including the Watzmann massif in the west.

 

The literal translation of the name, Königssee, appears to be “king’s lake”; however while German: König does indeed mean “king”, there had been no Bavarian kings since the days of Louis the German until Elector Maximilian I Joseph assumed the royal title in 1806. Therefore, the name more probably stems from the first name Kuno of local nobles, who appear in several historical sources referring to the donation of the Berchtesgaden Provostry in the twelfth century; the lake was formerly called Kunigsee.

The Königssee Railway (Königsseebahn) served the lake from 1909 until 1965. Its last tracks were dismantled during 1971, and the former station of the Königssee Railway in Berchtesgaden (Königsseer Bahnhof) was demolished in 2012. The only remaining element of the railway is the Königsee station, which is now a restaurant. The track route is mostly used as a walking path.

In 1944 a sub-camp of the Dachau concentration camp was located near where Heinrich Himmler had a residence built at Schönau for his mistress Hedwig Potthast.

 

With Kitty all packed again we left Hotel Zum Turken for a mad dash across Austria and Solvenia our destination was Novi Grad in Croatia for a one night stop to rest before the final push to Split.

 

The closer we got to Croatia the weather became warmer and warmer, all the windows and front flaps open made no difference but we would soon find out that Split would be an oven.

 

We arrived in Split after a gruelling drive with a small issue that had developed with Kitty, the immobiliser relay on the fuel pump had worked lose thus cutting the engine out momentarily this problem was solved with a hair band to get us on our way.

We would be staying at a guesthouse about a two miles from the centre of Split ,it was early evening so we decided to have a meal and explore Split in the morning, after asking the guesthouse owner the best places to eat, we walked and found a gem of a place that would become our regular restaurant for our stay, Konoba Pizzeria Dalmatino .

 

The sun rose it had been another hot night 30 degrees thank god we had air-con in the rooms, luckly the bus stop was close by and we travelled to the centre of Split getting off at the vast bazaar, the sun was relentless and the temperature was already 40 degrees.

Diocletian’s Palace  is an ancient palace built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century AD, that today forms about half the old town of Split, Croatia. While it is referred to as a “palace” because of its intended use as the retirement residence of Diocletian, the term can be misleading as the structure is massive and more resembles a large fortress: about half of it was for Diocletian’s personal use, and the rest housed the military garrison.

Diocletian built the massive palace in preparation for his retirement on 1 May 305 AD. It lies in a bay on the south side of a short peninsula running out from the Dalmatian coast, four miles from Salona, the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. The terrain slopes gently seaward and is typical karst, consisting of low limestone ridges running east to west with marl in the clefts between them.

 

After the Romans abandoned the site, the Palace remained empty for several centuries. In the 7th century, nearby residents fled to the walled palace in an effort to escape invading Croats. Since then the palace has been occupied, with residents making their homes and businesses within the palace basement and directly in its walls. Today many restaurants and shops, and some homes, can still be found within the walls.

After the Middle Ages the palace was virtually unknown in the rest of Europe until the Scottish neo-classical architect Robert Adam had the ruins surveyed and, with the aid of French artist and antiquary Charles-Louis Clérisseau and several draughtsmen, published Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia (London, 1764).

Diocletian’s palace was an inspiration for Adam’s new style of Neoclassical architecture and the publication of measured drawings brought it into the design vocabulary of European architecture for the first time. A few decades later, in 1782, the French painter Louis-François Cassas created drawings of the palace, published by Joseph Lavallée in 1802 in the chronicles of his voyages.

This palace is today, with all the most important historical buildings, in the centre of the city of Split. Diocletian’s Palace far transcends local importance because of its degree of preservation. The Palace is one of the most famous and complete architectural and cultural features on the Croatian Adriatic coast. As the world’s most complete remains of a Roman palace, it holds an outstanding place in Mediterranean, European and world heritage.

 

Diocletian’s Palace is such a beautiful place, the beauty is immense and you cannot help but fall in love with Split.

Split has everything a traveller could want, many restaurants and cafes and those all important gift shops and not forgetting the bazaar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

perfect photo bomb

 

 

part 6 to follow more Croatia adventures

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer trip 2017 Part 4 The Eagles Nest( Kehlsteinhaus)

We awoke and was pleased that the ghostly SS officers had had better things to do that night which was a great relief to us, we would be heading off to The Eagle’s Nest with just a short 10 min walk from our hotel we purchased our bus tickets as only buses are allowed to travel the road up to the Nest, and I can assure you this is totally understandable.

 

 

The Kehlsteinhaus is situated on a ridge atop the Kehlstein, a 1,834 m (6,017 ft) subpeak of the Hoher Göll rising above the town of Berchtesgaden. It was commissioned by Martin Bormann in the summer of 1937 as a 50th birthday gift for Adolf Hitler. Paid for by the Nazi Party, it was completed in 13 months but held until a formal presentation on April 20, 1939. A 4 m (13 ft) wide approach road climbs 800 m (2,600 ft) over 6.5 km (4.0 mi). Costing RM 30 million to build (about 150 million inflation-adjusted euros in 2007), it includes five tunnels but only one hairpin turn.

From a large car park a 124 m (407 ft) entry tunnel leads to an ornate elevator which ascends the final 124 m (407 ft) to the building. The lift interior is surfaced with polished brass, Venetian mirrors, and green leather. Construction of the entire project cost the lives of 12 workers. The building’s main reception room is dominated by a fireplace of red Italian marble presented by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, which was damaged by Allied soldiers chipping off pieces to take home as souvenirs. Much of the furniture was designed by Paul László. The building had a completely electric appliance kitchen, which was unusual in 1937, but was never used to cook meals; instead, meals were prepared in town and taken to the kitchen on the mountain top to be reheated. The building also maintains heated floors, with heating required for at least two days prior in order for the temperature to be comfortable enough for visitors.

The Eagles nest is a place that must be visited it is stunning the views will take your breath away.

little sister

 

 

 

Gear 360 video watch through YouTube

Summer Trip 2017 Part 2 Munich and Dachau Concentration Camp

 

With only a 150 miles to go until we reached Munich, we had to make a decision as due to the endless road works and traffic jams which I thought were only part of UK life, so travel on and reach Munich at 2300 hrs or stop at the nearest campsite and rest so we are fresh in the morning…..”Lets Stop” was the call.

Sat Nav Set, we found and stayed the night at CampingPlatz Estenfeld it was very busy I think other travellers had had enough of the traffic jams but we managed to secure a pitch.

After a good night sleep, we hit the road for Munich(28th July) hoping the roads would be better and thank god they were and great progress was made, with much rejoicing.

The choice of campsite in Munich was Campingplatz Munchen Thalkirchen it is over an hour walk from the centre but a U-Bahn station is close by and is only a 23 min journey, so after setting up camp we set off  to catch a train.

The train soon arrived on-time unlike the British rail network and off we went towards St. Peters Church square, on exiting the U-Bahn Station we were stunned a the beauty of Munich.

 

St. Peters Church

It was very busy so off we walked to find the beer hall where Adolf Hitler made his early speeches and have a beer.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived around the block from the beer hall in the late eighteenth century. In a poem he wrote, Mozart claimed to have written the opera Idomeneo after several visits to the Hofbräuhaus fortified him for the task. In the nineteenth century, most of the breweries in Munich, including the Hofbräuhaus, were converted into large beer halls, restaurants, and entertainment centres with large, cavernous meeting rooms for weddings, concerts, and plays. In the period just before World War One, Vladimir Lenin lived in Munich and reportedly visited the Hofbräuhaus on a regular basis. In 1919, the Munich Communist government set up headquarters in the beer hall, and in February 1920 Adolf Hitler and the National Socialists held their first meeting in the Festsaal, the Festival Room, on the third floor.

 

What a stunning place it gets very busy but we found a table away from the crowds and ordered our first beers the first of many

More beer please

With our heads feeling a little light, and the kids feeling hungry off we went for some food, not to adventures a visit to the Hard Rock Cafe but it was a lovely meal….a bit on the expensive side, I expect no less.

It was getting late and the adults were a little tipsy so we headed back to camp to hopefully awake in the morning with a clear head as we were heading to Dachau Concentration Camp.

Arriving at Dachau you pay to park and then enter the old camp it is a very moving place and it upset Lily but it has to be seen.

 

Dachau concentration camp was the first of the Nazi concentration camps opened in Germany, intended to hold political prisoners. It is located on the grounds of an abandoned munitions factory northeast of the medieval town of Dachau, about 16 km (10 mi) northwest of Munich in the state of Bavaria, in southern Germany. Opened in 1933 by Heinrich Himmler, its purpose was enlarged to include forced labour, and eventually, the imprisonment of Jews, German and Austrian criminals, and eventually foreign nationals from countries that Germany occupied or invaded. The Dachau camp system grew to include nearly 100 sub-camps, which were mostly work camps or Arbeitskommandos and were located throughout southern Germany and Austria. The camps were liberated by U.S. forces on 1 May 1945.

Prisoners lived in constant fear of brutal treatment and terror detention including standing cells, floggings, the so-called tree or pole hanging, and standing at attention for extremely long periods.There were 32,000 documented deaths at the camp and thousands that are undocumented. I will just leave you with some pictures.

Rail terminus and entrance to camp

The main Camp building a memorial museum

Main Camp building

Memorial

Original gate “Work sets you Free”

Guard tower

original fence

original fence

Prisoners beds

prisoners lockers

Prisoners wash basins

Prisnoers toilets

Guard tower

Gas Chamber and Crematorium

Crematorium

Gas Chamber Zyklon B was used to kill

old fence line

old fence line

The Camp is a real eye-opener to the evil side of Human Beings and we have not learnt from it as we saw in the Third Balkan War 1991-2001

 

 

 

Summer Trip 2017 Part 1 Bradford on Avon to Wewelsburg Castle Germany

 

The Orange Easyjet bird appeared through the grey clouds that seem to always hang around Bristol Airport its landing lights homing in on the runway, with a screech of tyre’s and the roar of the reverse thrust,the plane slowed as it approached the end of the runway and turned onto the taxiway, our fellow travellers had arrived from Sanremo Italy a destination that would be seen again in a few weeks.

Sharon and Liam, my sister and nephew quickly passed through the rigors of the airport scrutiny and with greetings over we walked to the car park, they were introduced to Kitty home and transport for three weeks…..

The final Packing was completed and after a good nights sleep in Bradford on Avon we set off on the Monday morning(24th July) first stop Oakham Rutland for a family get together and some last minute shopping in Stamford with the pleasant surprise of catching up with an old friend who Co-owns  More Travel  ,this is a great travel agent’s and their friendly team will make sure you have the get away you desire.

The morning of the 25th July arrived a hearty English breakfast was enjoyed followed by a chilled day, the time soon arrived  for us to travel to Harwich to catch the ferry to the Hook of Holland this was it the start of the adventure, with the farewell picture taken and goodbyes complete we hit the roads and Google Maps guided us towards our waiting ferry. We arrived with no problems all was going well, onto the ferry we chugged.

 

We tracked down our cabin for the night and claimed our beds, I managed to secure a double bed for myself being the driver I needed the sleep the most, unknown to me these arrangements would change, children always change their minds.

After a good sleep, the morning alarm call for breakfast awoke us all and we had another English breakfast…not good for my waistline. Rolling off the ferry we drove to the nearest petrol station for a splash of diesel and tyre pressures check, all was good so we began our trek transiting through flat Holland and onto Herford Germany. As we became ever closer to Herford our bellies began to rumble so a pit stop was in order, we chugged into the town of Hiddenhausen and ate some wonderful German sandwiches at Backerei Hensel.

 

Why stop at Herford I hear you all cry, well in 1992 this was where I was stationed with the 9/12 Royal Lancers at Harewood Barracks, I wanted to return and see what had changed. So we found a campsite and then headed to the H2O water park for some watery fun, great place but the changing facilities when busy are insufficient and you ended up walking around aimlessly waiting for a changing room.

Harewood Barracks

After the swim and a quick explore of Herford, a visit to Lidl’s was the order of the day for the all-important wine supply then back  to the campsite as the next day was going to be very busy.

 

Siekers Bar ( 9/12 lancers bar )

On the morning of the  27th July we set off for Munich but had decided to explore Wewelsburg Castle which is the dominant landmark of Wewelsburg Village, the Castle has a Dark past as it was acquired by the SS (Schutzstaffel) under the command of Heinrich Himmler after 1934 it was rebuilt and expanded for the purpose of being the focal point of the SS ideology.

Wewelsburg Castle

Wewelsburg Castle was built between 1603 and 1609 in Weser Renaissance style as a supplementary residence for the Prince Bishops of Paderborn. The triangular castle, which is located in the village of Wewelsburg  in the district of Paderborn, stands high on a rock overlooking the Alme Valley.

Himmler decided to buy or lease the castle on his first visit on 3 November 1933. His architect, Hermann Bartels was able to draw on existing plans for the Freiwilliger Arbeitsdienst (FAD), (voluntary labour service),   camp, for the now envisaged Reichsführerschule SS (SS Leadership School). This school was mainly intended to ensure a unified ideological training of the SS leadership and would be run by the Rasseamt of the SS.

consecration-hall

Negotiations were difficult, however, since the Landrat of Büren was unwilling to give up control of the castle. In the first half of 1934, a 100-year lease was agreed for the symbolic annual rent of 1 Reichsmark. Initial work on the school by the  Freiwilliger Arbeitsdienst (FAD), (voluntary labour service),  started in January 1934. In August 1934, former professional soldier and brother in law of Walther Darré, Manfred von Knobelsdorf moved in with his family as Burghauptman. On 22 September 1934, Himmler officially took over the Wewelsburg in a large ceremony. The Völkischer Beobachter, in reporting on the event, while mentioning the Germanic and historic past of the region, emphasized the educational aspects.

The focus of the school was to become: “Germanische Vor- und Frühgeschichte, Volkstumskunde u. a. als Rüstzeug zur weltanschaulich-politischen Schulung” (i.e. “Germanic pre- and early history, folklore studies, etc. as an equipment for ideological-political training”). Knobelsdorff envisioned a kind of Nordic academy

There is some speculation that it was Karl Maria Wiligut who convinced Himmler to use the castle not only as a school but also as a cult site; Wiligut allegedly was inspired by the old Westphalian legend of the “Battle at the Birch Tree” (Schlacht am Birkenbaum). The saga tells about a future “last battle at the birch tree”, in which a “huge army from the East” is beaten decisively by the “West”. During 1935, Wiligut reportedly predicted to Himmler that the Wewelsburg would be the “bastion”.

Black Sun “Obergruppenführersaal” ( Upper-Group-Leaders-Hall)

 

 

SS Guard House

 

Wewelsburg Castle is a must place to visit, parking was free and the Memorial Museum is free and takes 2-3 hours there is a cafe and other museums that you have to pay for.

After a bacon sandwich in the car park, we set off for Munich but with continued road works and traffic jams we had to stop for the night about 150 miles short of Munich.

Part 2 Munich and Dachau Concentration Camp

 

 

 

 

May calendar Challenge Clovelly Devon

May saw us travel to North Devon for a 2-day trip to visit Clovelly a quintessential fishing village with a steep cobbled road lined with beautiful cottages

We arrived on Friday night and set up camp at Stoke Barton Farm campsite which was very reasonable, that night the wind and rain howl through the site so the roof top tent was abandoned and a night inside Kitty was the result.

On waking in the morning the weather had improved bacon butties for breakfast we showered packed up camp and set off for Clovelly.

Arriving at Clovelly we parked up and headed for the visitors center, basically, you park and in the visitor centre, you pay an entrance fee to the village which incorporates the parking fee.

After a look around the shop which is quite extensive and has a cafe as well, we headed out for the walk down the cobbled hill that I would advice sensible walking shoes.

 

The walk down is hard work and in the back of your mind, the little voice says” but you have to walk back up” but don’t let this put you off as you can use the Land Rover shuttle service that uses a service road to get up and down the hill.

When you arrive at the Harbour your breath will be taken away, it is stunning the colour of the sea etc it is picture postcard

 

 

 

 

 

If you are in the North Devon area we can assure you  put Clovelly high on list of places to visit it is a stunning place and a friendly environment, for more information click this link   “Clovelly”

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your own adventures “One Life Live It”