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I wanted to see the Meerfelder Maar up close, so Bill and I stopped by there after we hit the nearest Penny Markt for a couple of bottles of wine and some snacks. I’m glad we took the time to get the wine and see the maar, as we were both pretty exhausted after our long hike in the woods. A lot of people were visiting the natural volcanic crater lake on Saturday. Most everyone wore a mask on the way to the “beach”, which surprised me a bit. But then, there were a lot of people on the trail over there… and quite a few people were enjoying the refreshing waters. The Meerfelder Maar was formed by a volcano eruption, making it different than the Glaswaldsee, the lake we visited near Bad Rippoldsau in Baden-Württemberg a couple of years ago. The Glaswaldsee is one of a few “Karseen”– lakes formed in the Ice Age due to melting mountain glaciers.

I might have gone swimming in the maar, but I was pretty tired and cranky and definitely not in the mood to deal with crowds. So we just went to see what the lake looked like and observe. It looked like they had people there collecting people’s names and contact information, just as they do in the restaurants. I don’t know if there is also an admissions charge. My guess is that there is one because I noticed that there are toilet facilities at the lake and someone has to clean them.

Anyway, I just took some pictures…

When we were finished looking at the lake, we went back to the hotel. I took a shower, then got into my bathing suit. I looked forward to a dip in the hotel’s spa pool. Alas, when I arrived, there were four or five women already in the pool, and there were signs directing that no more than four people swim at one time so as to maintain social distancing. The ladies had also taken up three of the four loungers in the waiting area/solarium, although I noticed there were more on the second floor.

I sat down on the one spare lounger, noting that the Hotel Zur Post has saunas (textile free, of course), foot baths, a salt brine room (closed), and a steam room (closed). The pool uses minimal chlorine due to a modern ultrafiltration system. It has cool lights that change color, a neck shower, current waver, and a “whirl” bench. All of these features can be turned on at will by anyone in the pool.

After about twenty minutes or so, the ladies left the pool, and Bill and I took a turn. It was really nice to swim a bit after our long walk. We were soon joined by a very tall, thin, athletic looking Belgian teenager in a bikini. She spoke English, and asked if we minded if she turned on the current. We said that was fine, so she turned it on and I watched in delight as she swam against it, a big smile plastered across her face. It was really nice to watch her enjoy the pool… such a simple pleasure. The pool also offers a nice view of the back of the hotel.

Other people soon showed up hoping for a chance to enjoy the pool, so after about a half hour or so, Bill and I went back to our room and watched the news while we drank wine and ate peanut butter “Flips”. I was introduced to this snack in the United States by my German friend, Susi, who helped Bill and me adopt our dog, Arran, in 2013. At the time, Susi was a fellow Army wife, and she related to our sorrow after we lost our beloved hound, MacGregor. We’d had to euthanize him a week before Christmas due to a highly malignant spinal tumor. Susi was working with Triangle Beagle Rescue and helped us meet and adopt Arran, who has turned out to be a wonderful dog! Susi is still in North Carolina, now working as a nurse, although she’s no longer an Army wife.

We definitely weren’t hungry for a big meal after our filling lunch near the Eagle and Wolf Park, so we drank dinner and went to bed early… I was eager for Sunday morning, which would take us to the Vulkaneifel Therme. More on that in the next post.

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