Rossetti and I had hired a car and we got lost. The sat nav (no smart phones) got very confused when a key road on the route was closed. Just sent us round, and round and round in circles. We had to stop at a garage and buy a map. And then, because we were very, very lost and the sat nav was only displaying road numbers, to get our bearings I had to ask what town we were in! Oh, the garage attendant’s face. It was priceless! Anyway when we finally arrived at our destination, it was wonderful place to stay.
Siecks Scheune sits on the bank of the River Weser which forms the boundary line between Hesse and Lower Saxony. A perfect location for morning walks along the river to admire the dreamy purple house nestling in the trees on the opposite bank. It is also a great base for some literary tourism.
A. A short ferry ride across the river and a 30 minute drive south to the fairy tale Rheinardswald in Hesse.
B. 1hr 20 minutes north to Hamelin to be greeted by this lot straight out of Grimm’s Fairy Tales.
B. 1 hr north to Bodenwerder. Erich Raspe was born in Hanover, and his Baron Munchhausen was loosely based on the real Hieronymus Karl Friedrich, Freiherr von Münchhausen, who was born there. These days you will find this unpretentious but very entertaining museum dedicated to the Travels and Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
C. 45 mins east to Göttingen. I was on the tracks of Carl Gauss, the mathematician, as featured in Munich-born Daniel Kehlmann’s brilliant, Measuring The World. Judging from my photographs, I didn’t find him, but a meander through the old town delivered some medieval buildings and a fusion with modern life that didn’t quite work for me. However, I did find a delicious tribute to our old friend Goethe, unlike anything I had seen before or have seen since. It was delicious!
A few years later, when I was in Hamburg, I took another day trip to Lower Saxony. Schleswig-Holsteiner (Husum) Dörte Hansen’s This Land is Mine contrasts life in the metropolis of Hamburg with rural life in the Altes Land. I had to go and see it for myself as it was just a hop, skip and jump – well ferry ride, bus journey and a wander along the dyke – to the village of Königreich.
Recommended reads about Lower Saxony
All mentioned above with only Raspe’s novel coming from Lower Saxony. I’m reviewing a second tomorrow. It’s a great read, but it takes us to Russia …