You got a few choices when you visit someplace new. You could do the touristy stuff, you can try to fit in with the locals, and you can eat. Then in cases like the North Rhine-Westphalian town of Mettingen you don’t have to choose, you’re able to do it all.
There’s no question that when you visit a medieval town you’ll have at least one old church to see; Mettingen’s got three. The Protestant Town Church, the Maria Ascension Church, and St. Agatha’s. Good old St. Aggie holds a super fun Herbstkirmes festival on the last weekend in April.
That will give you a chance to eat some really yummy Westphalian specialties, the most famous is its pumpernickel bread and potato pancakes.
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Mettingen also has a wonderful Christmas Market on the 1st Sunday of Advent (4 weeks before Christmas). While you’re here try the Hähnchenförmiges, a pastry made with sugar and Kümmel spice that’s served around the holidays.
Other eating/shopping opportunities exist at Mettingen’s annual Farmers & Flower Market (Springtime) and in the Fall is the Ärrappelfest.
If the weather’s warmer take a picnic over by the town’s centuries old Oak Tree. But, a picnic over by the old Blood Beech tree would be just as wonderful. Imagine the stories this massive tree could tell, it’s been a fixture around town since 1792.
After relaxing under the tree’s shade head off to the Heimathaus (or Homeland House). The museum itself was created from a few timber framed structures (thatched roof included) with exhibits looking at the culture of daily life.
Mettingen even has a post office museum with the world’s first stamp (!) and one of the world’s first desktop telephones from 1903 (!!). Then pull out your little tiny cellphone and see how much technology has changed in the last century. ;-)
It’s a no-brainer that you really can do it all here, and I’ll bet a good bratwurst will taste great on that Mettingen pumpernickel bread; so eat up!