by Carol from India

In my German class I have been studying with my teacher Tom about “Ausflug”, which means a “trip” in German. So, I had two “Ausflüge” (Trips) recently with Frauke.

My first trip was on 19th June in Dortmund, after our work on Friday, Frauke and I, we went together to a water castle (called as “Wasserschloss” in German) which was near Frauke’s house, the castle is called as “Schloss Bodelschwingh”.                             .

The castle was situated on a huge lake. Frauke told me that during winter the water in the lake sometimes gets frozen and the people living in this castle or in the villag skate on the frozen lake. Usually people are not allowed to enter in this castle but Frauke knew the owner and hence she got some kind of special permission. So, we explored the castle from outside and its beautiful huge garden. After that we went to the church which belonged to this castle and was made in those times for the people who lived in this castle and for the people living nearby but now this church is open for all. After our visit to the church, we went to Frauke’s house which was at a walking distance. She already prepared delicious Kuchen (cakes) in the morning before coming to work. I sat in Frauke’s beautiful garden together with her family and we ate delicious cakes and we talked for hours. In the evening Frauke dropped me off at the S-Bahn station in her open roof car, which was really exciting and I had a lot fun that day.  It was a great Ausflug (trip).


On 25.6.20, I had my second Ausflug (trip) with Frauke and her sister Elfi, at 11 am Frauke and her sister picked me up from “Wickede” – its the area in Dortmund where I live – and then together we drove to “Sauerland” for 15 to 20 min. “Sauerland” is also called as a land of 1000 mountains.

Well Frauke had it all planned. Our first destination was called as “Dechenhöhle” which was a cave near the town of Iserlohn. Frauke told me that this cave was found during the construction of the train track near the area of Dechenhöhle by a rail worker. We were all in warm clothes as Frauke told in advance that the caves are extremely cold and that we should carry some warm clothes with us. We first went inside the museum of Dechenhöhle and explored it from inside and then from inside there was the stairs which went downwards, in the direction of the cave. In the museum, we saw the history of the cave and how was it found. We saw the bones of Dinosaurs, bear, bats, etc. which was really cool. We also saw beautiful shiny stones from the cave.


At 12 pm our trip inside the cave was about to start and hence we along with many more people waited outside the cave. At sharp 12 pm our tour began. It was 550 metres of the 870-metre long cave. The temperature inside the cave always remains 10⁰ Celsius.


It was a very beautiful cave, there were lights inside the caves in order to see the stalagmites and stalactites formed from water droplets. The guide who was explaining us about everything inside the cave turned all the lights off just to give us all a feeling of darkness inside the cave. When he turned off the light for a minute, there was not even a single ray of light, it was completely dark and scary, all I could think about at that time was that, how did the animals manage to see while living here in those times. The cave tour was around 40 mins.


After visiting our first destination, we headed towards our second destination which was a Castle called as “Burg Altena”. Altena Castle is a medieval hill castle and is located in the town Altena, on the river called as “River Lenne”.

It was not really a castle but it is a fort where people lived and fought during battles. The fort is located in the top most part of Altena town and hence we had to climb all the way up, which was fun but tiring as well. Well there is a lift as well in the down side of the hill, which goes up through the hill towards this castle but due to corona we couldn’t use it this time and hence we walked all the way up but before climbing up we had our small little picnic on a bench. Frauke had prepared a huge basket filled with lots of delicious food, healthy food and cakes. I was the one who told Frauke that I won’t eat anything but instead I ended up eating all her delicious cakes. After our delicious fest, we started climbing the mountain in order to reach the fort. So, after walking in the upwards direction for some minute we finally managed to reach inside the beautiful fort. The view which I saw from this fort was breath taking and it made me speechless, the view of the houses situated in the hill and the flowing river was so beautiful that the only thing I was wishing was that the volunteers house should be located in Altena town beside Altena fort.


Well this is how I had my 2 “Ausflüge” with Frauke. I would like to share a conclusion with you all, which I came on recently that the places which I have visited in my lifetime are undoubtedly beautiful and breath taking and I am sure that there are many more beautiful places all around the world, which I guess most of us aren’t aware about but just imagine if these places are so beautiful, how much more our marvellous creator would be? I feel like our everyday life is just like an Ausflug (trip), which we aren’t aware about. I mean we all for sure plan our days in advance but still we experience some or the other thing which wasn’t planned by us. So, isn’t this (unexpected/ new/ not planned) termin or experience an Ausflug? In other words, Ausflug means trip, which also means Journey and we all know that “life is a beautiful Journey”.


I find this really cool; I mean I never thought that this word “Ausflug” can have so much of power.