It was late Sunday morning after breakfast when Sven suggested we go out for a walk. He made no hint as to the location of where we would be headed, and I soon learned it wasn't going to be our usual outskirts-of-Düsseldorf forest hike. Rather, we spent more than an hour in the car before arriving in Monschau, an old historical village on the border to Belgium. 

I don't think Sven was aware of what was in Monschau other than a nearby national park, so when the buildings suddenly emerged from a thick blanket of fog, we were delighted to have come across it. I was so unprepared for this day trip that I didn't realize until after we reached our destination that my camera's memory card was still sitting on my desk from a recent photo upload. It was so disheartening to arrive at such a beautiful location and have no means of photographing it other than with my iPhone. With every look into a store window or turn of a corner, I would just sigh with the wish that I had a functioning camera. 

Somehow, though, my luck changed when I saw Sven step out of a small open shop with a new memory card in hand. 

In the evening we climbed up to the fortress on top of the hill to overlook the village. Monschau held so much charm that from this vantage point it was as though we were looking down on a model village - straight out of a Grimm's Fairy Tale. Before driving home, since we were so close, we decided to stop over in Eupen, Belgium for dinner, where we ate at a bistro next door to a beautiful cathedral.