Review on Atlantik Hotel in Celle, Germany

On our way home from the Baltic Sea, we decided to break up this eight-hour trip to Frankfurt by spending the night in Celle (Lower Saxony). What a beautiful town. Celle, obviously, did not get bombed during WWII. This town has the most half-timbered houses I have ever seen. Population: 71,000.

Celle Altstadt

Spending the night there was an impromptu decision and so the Atlantik Hotel was the first hotel I inquired within. The hotel director, Les from Scotland, struck me as a very friendly chap and when he showed me the Elvis-themed breakfast room, I knew we’d found something unusual.

Hotel Atlantik, Celle

Hotel Atlantik, Celle

Les’s hotel running motto stands true: “There are no strangers here, just friends waiting to be met.” I made new friends in the beer garden out back, in the breakfast room, and in the lounge.

Having breakfast with Elvis

Having breakfast with Elvis

room at the Atlantik Hotel Celle

I can recommend the town of Celle for a visit. The over 400 half-timbered houses had been built between the 16th – 19th century. From Frankfurt to Celle, it takes about four hours by car.

Celle is also located on the German Timber-Frame Road. This road totals almost 3,000 km in length, winding through Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Hesse, Thuringia, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.

Half-timbered houses in Celle

Half-timbered houses in Celle

Hotel Atlantik: http://atlantikhotel.com/

German Timber-Frame Road Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Timber-Frame_Road

On a different note… one of the hotel helpers told us how busy Celle got during the 1987 Reforger (Return of Forces to Germany) Exercise, conducted mainly in Lower Saxony. I believe he said about 100,000 visitors came.

A friend of the man we met in Celle was apparently involved in an attempt to recover 7 multimillion dollar M1 Abrams tanks, each weighing about 60 tons, that had sunk into a bog.  Their efforts were unsuccessful, and the man believed that the tanks are still buried there.

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Review on Holiday Rental in Maasholm

For our summer holiday, we rented the ground floor apartment called Großer Onkel in this house. There are three apartments available; one on the ground floor, the top floor and another one in the back in the back. Our apartment had the most splendid view over the Schlei Bay – you can see the sun setting light reflected in the windows.

We had our holiday before the official beginning of summer break for the German schools, so rates were decent. We paid about 1100 euro for a two-week rental.

Maasholm is a quiet fishing village and it remained quiet until we left mid-July, that’s when the first German states started their summer break.

Vacation rental in Maasholm

View onto the dining area and living room. This is a spacious arrangement and the four windows made it an airy place.

livingroom

The evening view, with the sun setting over the Schlei Bay, made it very memorable.

From our windows

From our windows

I enjoyed many evenings sitting there by the window with the last rays of sunshine. A good book, my feet propped up, and the stillness of the evenings made my holiday complete.

By the window

This fire place was an added feature, which of course, we did not use during the record breaking temps of 32°C while we were there. But it made the place cozy, nevertheless.

fire place

This was my favorite spot every morning. Not with the wine bottle, but a cup of coffee. :-) As the sun came around in the morning till early afternoon, this was a sunny place to spend my time reading.

Terrasse

The things I missed in this place were a toaster and internet connection. I got pretty good at toasting bread in the frying pan and for internet connection, I used the hot spot at the Maasholm Yachthafen (a two-minute walk away).

It was a perfect holiday – the location was beautiful and quiet, the restaurants served good food, and people were very friendly. This was the first time ever I thought to myself, “I could stay longer”.

We found this rental on HomeAway: http://www.homeaway.co.uk/p773513?uni_id=2129832

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Maria’s Beer Balcony in Germany

Here we have gathered my extended Norwegian family. My cousin Wolfgang is not in the picture, but his wife and two  German-Norwegian off-springs are. Wolfgang and my American husband were the only ones drinking beer.

We had just returned from the neighborhood pizzeria and therefore continued with wine on the balcony. It was a relatively cool evening for August anyway. I see Lena rubbing her hands for warmth in the photo. We had to get some blankets soon after. So much for hot nights in August…

We had a wonderful time seeing each other again after more than five years.

Norway

With Marianne, Kai-Espen and Lena from Bergen, Norway

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Longshore Fishing at the Baltic Sea

It was interesting to see the longshore men bring in their catch one morning. It came in many different colored plastic containers, and together with the ice, looked quite heavy when getting hauled up and stacked. I took quite a few photos, and as time went on, more and more onlookers gathered around.long shore fishing

One morning, they only came in to spread out their nets for mending.

mending fishing nets

fishing net

The port in Maasholm was the most fascinating place any time of day. The sky constantly changed its color, some tourists stopped at the ice cream parlor, the seagulls were ever-present (but not annoying), and there was a constant breeze.

Maasholm Port

The evenings were especially lovely. There are beautiful walkways around most of the peninsula. Sometimes we did not walk that much; we only carried a bottle of red wine to the nearest bench, gazed out onto the water, while others passed by.

Walking around the Schlei Estuary

Walkway around the Schlei Estuary

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Two Weeks at the Baltic Sea

Maasholm – The weather at the Baltic Sea is as changeable as they say. But this summer, it ranged mostly in the upper 20s and low 30s. My iPad even developed some heat issue after 30 minutes in the sun. Mind you, this was at the Baltic Sea, which has a cooler climate. Usually.

The iPad needs to cool down

The iPad needs to cool down

I spent most mornings at the Maasholm Harbor for its fresh air, cool breezes, and wifi access. Our apartment did not have internet connection and I assume most other rental places did not either. Maasholm is an Erholungsort (recreational village), so the residents and landlords might like to keep the internet out as well.

This fishing village also had restricted car traffic within, but there is a big parking lot outside the village.

Maasholm port

Our summer break starts earlier than the rest of the German public schools. Therefore, we usually get to leave before peak season begins. Our two weeks ended right at the beginning of the summer break in four German states.

This is what the beach looked like before schools ends in summer. The first four states started summer break in mid-July (2014). These dates vary from year to year.

empty beach

Here we went on a short boat ride to Schleimünde. From Maasholm Port to Schleimünde, it takes about 15 minutes and we got to spend about 45 minutes there. We joined the volunteer tour guide, who took us around this peninsula stretch.The boat ride is 12 euro per person.

Schleimünde

Schleimünde

Evenings by the Schlei estuary were just as quiet and beautiful.

Sundown Schlei

Maasholm is very much in contrast to the famous Baltic Sea resort of Schönhagen (about 20 min by car from Maasholm). Schönhagen has many facilities to accommodate all the tourists (including a Döner stand) and comes across as very generic and overdeveloped when compared to tranquil Maasholm.

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