Weekend in Monschau

Haus Burgblick MonschauThe last weekend of May we went with a group of 7 people (30-ers) to Monschau. This group is a group of friends who know each other since they studied together in Nijmegen (The Netherlands). After a long searching exercise for a good location to stay in the Eifel, I found this pearl called ‘Haus Burgblick’ in Monschau (Oberer Mühlenberg 4) runned by the family Schallenberg. Preconditions for the accommodation were that it must be an accommodation for 7 people, no bunk beds, not too expensive, possible to stay 2 nights and to pay 2 nights (instead of a minimum of 3 which is common practice in this area). The price for renting the house was 460 euro. This is including a fixed cleaning fee of 40 euro and including fair use of electricity, water and heating. Before arrival it was required to pay 100% of the rent. This is a risk when you don’t know the owners of the holiday house and even never saw the accommodation in reality. But I can assure you that the owners are 100% reliable and this house really exists.

Split-level house

The house is situated in the middle of the city centre (tourist area) of Monschau and is a so called split-level house.

At the street level you will find a two person bedroom including a seat. After climbing the first (steep) stairs you will find the kitchen, dining room, bathroom, shower and guests toilet (toilet paper included). In the bathroom there is a second toilet and a washer. Towels are available in the house. The kitchen is complete with oven, stove, kettle, filter coffee machine, microwave, pots, cutlery, dishes, glass, tea towels etcetera. There is no dishwasher available.

At the next floor you will find two living rooms, one with television (not a flat screen yet) connected to a satellite receiver (adjusted to one of the Astra satellites). For the Dutch guests: The channel BVN is free-to-air so you can watch some Dutch/Belgian television. All the important German channels like ARD, ZDF, WDR, RBB etc. are available too. Besides of that you will find a DVD-player, a lot of German books and some German (board) games. At this level you also find the entrance to the garden. From the garden with furniture you can see both castle ‘Burg Monschau’ and the ruin Haller. In case of a concert at the castle you can sit here and enjoy the concert for free with a glass of wine in your hand.

When we climb the next steep stairs we are at the level containing two double bedrooms and one single bedroom. The basement and loft are not accessible by guests.

At the different floors of the house you will find things like leaflets with tourist information, a telephone book and umbrellas.

Arrival

At arrival Manfred Schallenberg was welcoming me. Manfred and I unpacked the car and he guided me as passenger of my car to the nearest parking. After this we walked back (5 minutes) and he was telling me stories about the places we passed. He is a very friendly man and English language is no problem at all. He and his wife do have a shop in Monschau selling gifts for dogs and cat lovers. During this walk he gave me also advice about a good restaurant for that night. Later I will tell you more about this restaurant. Back at Haus Burgblick I got a tour through the house with a big warning for the steep stairs, explanation of the separated waste collection etc. We also talked about the problems with fire in the old (wooden) houses of Monschau. That’s why smoking is (fortunately) not allowed in the house but also a BBQ is not allowed in the garden.

Friday evening

As guest of the Family Schallenberg you will get a 10% discount at restaurant ‘Zum Haller’ (Eschbachstraße 4).  Not to promote this restaurant, but just to tell the truth.. At Friday evening we went with three persons to this restaurant. The atmosphere was good, we settled at a long wooden table between people from Monschau itself and Germans who were resting after mountain biking in the area. So it was luckily not a typical tourists restaurant, but a restaurant where locals are dining too. I ordered a schnitzel with pepper-cognac-sauce, French fries and salad and as dessert a ice cream with egg liqueur. With some drinks minus the discount including the tip, the total bill was around 18 euro and the food was very good. A specialty are mustard dishes, musterd is a regional product.

Saturday

At Saturday we went to the Nationalpark Eifel, first we walked +/- 12km near the Rurtalsperre Schwammenauel and later that day we went to the Kraftwerk Heimbach.

This is a (small/old) hydro power plant in Art Nouveau architecture including a museum with all kinds of electrical appliances from the 20s to 40s. The access of the plant and museum including a guide is free of charge. At Saturday evening we have fondued with permission of the owners while we were careful so there was no smoke.

Sunday

Sunday we walked around in the city and visited the castle and the ruin. Here you do have a great view and you realize that Monschau is located between hills. After this it was time to travel back home.  Now it’s time the make plans for the next trip…

Pros

  • Very friendly owner(s);
  • Communication in English language with owners is no problem at all;
  • Fully furnished;
  • All in price (fair use of electricity, water and heating);
  • In the middle of the tourist area and not far away from Eifel national park.

Cons

  • Parking in front of the house is not possible, there is very little space to park your car in front of the house for unpacking/packing. At the other side of the Market: Schleidener Straße‎ (5 minutes walk) there is plenty of space to park your car (daycard 7 euro/day) You can pay with coins or by mobile phone (SMS);
  • It is not allowed to grill (BBQ) in the garden because of the fire regulations/fire risk;
  • There is no dishwasher available.

Further reading