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.
A view across the wide Teufelsmoor landscape near Ritterhude
Several small rivers cut through the Teufelsmoor region. Here you can see the river Hamme at the hamlet of Tietjenshütte (Tietjen’s hut).
The river Hamme at Tiejenshütte again, viewed through some trees.
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.
A view across Teufelsmoor at the town of Osterholz-Scharmbeck, the county seat. Note the church and the hunters’ look-out in the foreground.
The river Beeke between the villages of Teufelsmoor and Penningbüttel.
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.
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.
Look across a meadow in the village of Teufelsmoor
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.
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.
A look across a meadow through some trees in the village of Teufelsmoor. Note the farmhouse in the distance.
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.
A blooming Christmas rose or Black Hellebore plant
Waiting at a railway crossing near Osterholz-Scharmbeck on the way home.
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:
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.
And here is last night’s dessert, panna cotta. Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph the starter.