New Year 2014 and photos of Teufelsmoor

I hope you’ve all reached 2014 safely.

I’ve never been much of a New Year’s person and this year, I was not happy at all on New Year’s Night for a variety of reasons and in fact, I would have preferred to just stay at home and write or watch a DVD (since TV is crap on New Year’s Night anyway). Alas, I had already made arrangements to go out for dinner at a local Italian restaurant on New Year’s Eve. They had two set menus. The fish menu, which I had, consisted of bruschetta, sole with truffle pine kernel sauce (which actually contained more than a homeopathic dose of truffles) and panna cotta, all of which was delicious. Afterwards, we shot off the obligatory fireworks, even though one rocket got stuck and failed to launch and thus exploded while still sitting in a flower bed. Not recommended, though no one suffered worse than a minor shock.

On New Year’s Day, we always visit some friends in the Teufelsmoor region. We had lunch at a very good Greek restaurant and afterwards coffee or respectively tea at our friends’ place in the middle of Teufelsmoor. For lunch I had baked feta cheese with onions and chilli peppers, followed by baked trout with vegetables and Greek rice (yeah, I really like fish).

Teufelsmoor (Devil’s Moor) is a boggy moorland region just North of Bremen. Teufelsmoor was colonized in the 18th century and is nowadays mostly farmland for raising livestock, since the area is too wet for growing anything. There also was a lot of peat cutting well into the second half of the 20th century, but that has slowed down a lot. In the late 19th century, the Teufelsmoor region also became home to the artist colony of Worpswede, where several painters of landscapes and rural scenes gathered. The most famous among them are Heinrich Vogler, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Otto Modersohn, Fritz Mackensen, Fritz Overbeck, Carl Vinnen and Hans am Ende, who captured the distinctive Teufelsmoor landscape in many of their works. Picture postcards of several Worpswede painters (Heinrich Vogeler, Paula Modersohn-Becker and Carl Vinnen, to be precise) adorned the walls of my student pad in London BTW, probably a form of homesickness.

New Year’s Day was a glorious clear day and so I took my camera along to capture some landscape shots of Teufelsmoor as well as some photos of our friends, but I’ll spare you those.

Teufelsmoor landscape

A view across the wide Teufelsmoor landscape near Ritterhude

Teufelsmoor, river Hamme

Several small rivers cut through the Teufelsmoor region. Here you can see the river Hamme at the hamlet of Tietjenshütte (Tietjen’s hut).

Teufelsmoor, river Hamme

The river Hamme at Tiejenshütte again, viewed through some trees.

Teufelsmoor, Tietjenshütte

A pump house at the river Hamme near Tietjenshütte. This is not the eponymous hut BTW, which is a restaurant located at the other side of the river.

Teufelsmoor, Osterholz-Scharmbeck

A view across Teufelsmoor at the town of Osterholz-Scharmbeck, the county seat. Note the church and the hunters’ look-out in the foreground.

Teufelsmoor, river Beeke

The river Beeke between the villages of Teufelsmoor and Penningbüttel.

Teufelsmoor, river Beeke

Another look at the river Beeke. Note the wet patches on the field next to the river, which show how wet the whole region really is.

Teufelsmoor

Some trees and a field in the village of Teufelsmoor (it’s both a region and a village) where our friends live. Birch trees, as seen on the left, are typical for the region.

Teufelsmoor field

Look across a meadow in the village of Teufelsmoor

Teufelsmoor trees

An oak tree (on the right) and a holly bush (on the left) in the village of Teufelsmoor. Holly bushes grow wild in the Teufelsmoor region.

Teufelsmoor path

Look down a path in the village of Teufelsmoor. Note the trees, the holly (left) and azalea (right) bushes as well as the ditch. The Teufelsmoor region is crisscrossed by ditches to keep the land dry.

Teufelsmoor field

A look across a meadow through some trees in the village of Teufelsmoor. Note the farmhouse in the distance.

Teufelsmoor tractor

A holly bush, a tractor and a house in the background in the village of Teufelsmoor. I actually learned how to drive with a manual shift here on a tractor that was very similar to this one. Almost rolled over a Mercedes, which had cluelessly ventured onto the narrow dirt paths in the process.

Christmas rose

A blooming Christmas rose or Black Hellebore plant

Teufelsmoor railway crossing

Waiting at a railway crossing near Osterholz-Scharmbeck on the way home.

Train Regionalexpress

The Regionalexpress train from Bremen to Hannover races past Osterholz-Scharmbeck. Coincidentally, a trip from Bremen central station to Osterholz-Scharmbeck was the first train trip I ever took.

And now for some food porn:

Sole with truffle pine sauce

And here’s the main course from the New Year’s Eve menu, sole with truffle pine sauce, rosemary potatoes and mixed mediterranean vegetables. Contrary to standard practice, the sauce contained more than a homeopathic dose of truffles.

New Year's Night dessert

And here is last night’s dessert, panna cotta. Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph the starter.

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2 Responses to New Year 2014 and photos of Teufelsmoor

  1. When I think of moors, I think of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

    That sole certainly looked delicious.

    • Cora says:

      There are a lot of moors and bogs all over Northern Europe (including the UK), though most of them have been drained and colonised by now. As for the Hound of Baskervilles, our friends told us that a hunting dog living on one of the farms in the area just recently bit a cat to death. Not quite the Hound of Baskervilles, but still not a dog I want to meet all alone.

      As for legendary hellhounds, Vechta, the town where I work at the university, has one of those. Supposedly, it’s the spirit of a local nobleman who fought the Swedes in the Thirty Years War and had a deal with the devil. After he died, his spirit kept roaming the area in the form of a hellhound with glowing eyes. Not that I’ve ever seen him, but it’s a great story.

      And that sole sure was delicious.

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