Now it wouldn’t have been right to take a motorhome tour of Europe and go through Germany without going back and visiting Gutersloh; the town that I lived in as a child.
Driving into Gutersloh was quite exciting as I tried to see if I could remember any of the surroundings, but nothing really brought back any specific memories, so we headed for the town centre eager to have a little walk round. There was motorhome parking pretty close to the centre, so we parked up and took a stroll and before long things started to look a little bit more familiar. We didn’t stick around too long because it was a Sunday and all the shops were closed. This is actually something we really like about Germany, as Sundays seem to be for spending time with family and relaxing; a true day of rest!
We moved on to Avenwedde to try and find the actual house where I used to live when I was a little girl. I was only young when I lived there, but I instantly recognised the area. The kids were sleeping so Richard stayed in the motorhome and I popped out to have a wander. I walked past the play park that me and my big brother used to play in, and then around the corner to my old house. Unfortunately, there is now a high garden fence wrapped around the side so I didn’t get to have much of a nosey like I had expected. While it all looked relatively the same, the area looked so much smaller than I had remembered and, in my head, I thought the park was a much longer walk from the house. It’s funny how your perception of size is so different when you are a kid.
The other thing I really wanted to do whilst we were here was take a trip to the local ice cream parlour, I have such fond memories of going here as a kid, so it just had to be done. Once inside, we had the biggest menu of fancy ice creams to chose from, but I already knew what I was ordering… a Spaghetti Eis! Just like I had when I was a kid! Piper went for a Pinocchio character ice cream, Jack had a snow man ice cream and Richard opted for something really chocolatey!
After stuffing our faces with delicious ice cream, we found a nice motorhome parking spot just north of Gutersloh in Bielefeld and as luck would have it, it was just 900m from Heimat Tierpark, an animal park I had visited before as a child. I recognised the park straight away and the characterful old German buildings made for a really nice setting.
Once we had walked in (completely free of charge), off we set to see the animals. The goats were first and although Jack is rather fond of farm animals, he immediately seized up as Richard took him for a closer look. We spent a lovely few hours walking around the park seeing deer, sheep, lynx, bison, beavers and even bears and then finished off by stopping by the play area as Piper didn’t stop talking about it the whole time. All in all, we had a really nice day out and we made sure to get a souvenir coin to remember the day.
It was lovely visiting the area where I spent 3 years of my childhood, and it was even better, as it was just how I remembered it.