The fast few days were cold over here in Bavaria and it´s in the forecast for us to have the first snow this weekend.The air is freezing cold, especially in the early mornings . As you can see from the photos, we had a bit of Frost.Good thing I already took my plants inside which are sensitive to frost.The garden is ugly,only my Mums and the `winterhart Silberdraht ( Calocephalus Drownii) and Olender stays unbothered by the cold. I don´t have the energy anymore to rake the fallen leaves once again. Let them turn into soil this time.
Yesterday I took my morning run and brave the cold, minus 5!I took a couple of short breaks and look around. Most trees are now leafless, withering.Standing in the middle of the forest where I usually run feels eerie, the silence is really something. The surroundings are bleak and grey.There´s nothing much really to admire these days.In a few weeks, I know that this place will all be covered in white, and yes…colder.
I used my iPhone to take these photos and I´m glad they turned out well.
There´s an ongoing rendezvous over Corona-Lockdown over here in Germany, (again!). Cases of infections are rising again and public mobility for unvaccinated people is being monitored and controlled strictly. Impflicht (Vaccination Law) is now imposed and yes, everyday, there´s something new so I don´t really know what will happen tomorrow or next month. Christmas markets are cancelled but life goes on…
Exploring my neighborhood is always a joy to me. Everyday I found something unique about it. From where we lived right now, we can experience the best of city life and rural indulgence such as sights of different fields and the modern amenities of the city.For me, fields here in Bavaria is a normal sight. In Spring, we enjoy the vast fields of wild flowers, the endless Yellow Rasp Fields, and in Summer, we are lucky to cycle around the Red Poppies stunning fields, Sunflower fields and the Wheatfields. Of course, our summer won´t be complete if we don´t visit to the Spargel (Mushroom) and Strawberry fields! Another top field to explore is the green paradise of the Hop Fields—the green gold in Bavaria where the key ingredient for Beer is from.
So you see, we have a LOT of fields over here. Every season, it´s different except in Winter where fields become a place for sledding!
I decided to compile all my Wheat Fields nature photos and share it here in my Blog so here are some of my favourite photos.I realized that Wheat as well produce flowers, which is called “Florets“. . Florets in wheat are very small , inconspicuous and green. They are arranged in an inflorescence called spike of spikelets.It can make it to Cee´s FOTD-Flower of the Day Challenge, though not in the garden but at least it´s in fields!
As a foreigner living here in Germany, a sight of Wheat crops is quite a surprise to me. I grew up seeing only fields of corn and rice fields but here, I was acquainted with Wheat .No wonder that Wheat ( 20,2 million tons/year-2018 data) belongs to the top 3 agricultural crops that Germany produces, making it to 10th place as world producer.
While Wheat is the largest crop followed by Barley and Rye, some fields are also planted with beans, potatoes and other agricultural crops.For me, It´s a joy seeing them while I am running and cycling through them while they are still green from late Spring to mid Summer.
By late Summer, these Wheat fields turns into “Gold ones”.They exude an exclusive natural beauty in the morning mist, on a foggy day, after the rain, and even covered with spider webs!
I found this great video below explaining about the Beauty in Cultivating Wheat in Bavaria. Quite not a surprise since “Weizen” (Wheat in German) is essential here for making bread.Bread is a stable product here ,I mean we even eat Bread for lunch & Dinner! Germany is actually a Bread country and (Brot-German word for bread) consuming carbs is a significant part of German cuisine. Living here made me eat so many bread for the past 5 years. It´s quite shocking when I found out that we have about 600 main types of breads and 1,200 different types of pastries and rolls are produced in about 17,000 dedicated bakeries and another 10,000 in-shop bakeries.
So you see, Wheat fields explains the beloved German culture of “Kaffee und Kuchen” ( Coffee and Cake).
They even study and do constant researches to make Wheat “fit” to climate change!
Today, I did my morning run and I stopped for a while to admire them again, wet from today´s rain. I just realized that in every 1 square kilometer area of this wheat field, out of the 18grams of seeds planted, it produces 800grams of grain, and eventually roughly around 500 grams of Flour (weizen mehl) which can make 23 yummy German buns! Every sunday, I cycled to the bakery and buy 4-5 buns to enjoy in our Sunday breakfast!
What´s your favourite type of Fields?
Until then, I´ll be writing more about my life here in Bavaria in my next Posts.
This is the first hike we did this year, I mean out from Ingolstadt. We visited Essing before a couple of times in early Summer, during the peak of Corona Lockdown. Now we are back again, still in Lockdown ; but for another reason than sightseeing.With strict Corona measures and restrictions, the places we´ve been through are all outdoors, where we did almost hiking and walking.
Good thing about Lockdowns,we adapted to slowing down, staying outdoors as a family.Apart from cycling together,we opt to go to nature parks and go hiking, exploring the old cities since there is no other places actually to go. Museums are closed, play grounds are open but only the one outdoors.Nothing else to do.
In this hike, we aim for four things ; hiking with a view, seeing Ruins and Castle, and doing some exercise, lastly, and most important–having fun!
Driving to Essing from Ingolstadt takes about 45 mins. We parked and started our hike that assumed to be good for families with children. It´s about 7,7km and is doable with small children from 5 yrs old up. It can´t be done with strollers so it´s not suitable for very small children as there were steep stones and cliffs. During our hike, the temperatures were mild and most of the paths are in shaded trees so we really enjoyed it.
The first 2 km we walk on flat grounds and going steep. The paths are well marked and plenty of tree views to enjoy.As soon as we reached the vast field, we took a break since the Little Miss already starts to whine. She kept on insisting to look for a playground but there isn´t. Good thing we opt to tell stories and do quizzes once again to entertain here.
Below is the photo of the wooden bridge that we visited from last year. From here, you can have a beautiful view of the Altmühl river
There´s so much to explore in this wilderness. We took our time to spot early spring flowers, counting and checking out Bunnies and even had a glimpse on a garden with pools. I actually don´t know if it´s part of the river but it is quite beautiful.
The crackling of leaves on every steps makes the rhythm. We feel exhausted but we kept on. Holding on to branches of trees and rocks saves us always from slides and fall. In the end, we just smiled and laughed at our own sillyness.
I saw many families are also doing the same hike like we did and it just made me smile. I hear the same tantrums of the kids same as what my daughter did and I just smiled.Looks and feel familiar in every way. One practical tip, engaging your child to participate in a quest, like looking for Knight and swords signs, or who could be the first one to spot a Knight sign then receives a reward is a great motivator. It always works and effective.
There are many activities that can be combined in this area. Here´s a sample of our itinerary and the places we´ve explored that is tailored to be family-friendly.Altmühltal offers a variety of activities for all ages but below are some of our personal favourites!
Great news, we are finally able to do traveling again.
I have always wanted to see Königsee in Berchtesgaden for a long time. I have long heard from friends what beautiful nature paradise it is and I can´t wait to see it by my own eyes. Besides, we are really looking forward for proper hikes and just being out in nature. It´s still too cold for swimming but the thought of lakes and boat rides is so tempting.As the temperatures starts to get warmer, the more that I am itching to be out…to explore and to safely travel again. Of course, with Corona, it was not so easy. It really felt odd. I feel uncomfortable just the thought of being in a large crowds and mingling with people once again. The idea of having contacts is somewhat exciting but then the worry is still there…
There were so many “What if´s” ….
I am telling you, It felt really strange to pack a suitcase once again. I don´t even know where to start…
What to bring?
Of course, masks and dinsinfectants are present.
But then our excitement grows more and more…so we decided to book ahead , pack our stuff and go !
We kept on checking the updates in Berchtesgadener Land for the re-opening of Tourism so we can book our hotel. Luckily, from last week, hotels and vacation houses finally reopened and Königsee reopened for Tourism. These includes the boat rides, cable cars, tours and everything. Some attractions remained closed during our visit but then we didn´t mind it since we planned to stay outdoors as much as possible.The less crowds, the better. We took note of the current Corona situation and scheduled daily Corona Tests just to be sure.We are already partially vaccinated but then we opt to do a PCR test just before leaving since it´s also required for our hotel stay. Schools here in Bavaria have two long weeks of holiday so we are definitely looking for something to do with kids and just be out from the house and staycation in Berchtesgaden made is simply a heaven for us.
Berchtesgaden is quite a great choice for a family staycation.It´s located in the southeastern part of Germany, almost near to the border of Austria ( 30km), south of Salzburg and only 180km drive from Münich.We drived out early, so we reached Berchtesgaden in time.Throughout the planning, I was totally stressed out thinking about the weather and what do we wear. It was predicted to be rainy, cloudy and yes–not so good so I was really frustrated. It would totally ruin our itinerary.But then we pushed through it, and I was really thankful that we are blessed with wonderful blue skies and enjoyable temperatures for the coming days.
It was perfect!
Lovely weather, fewer crowds, it´s just perfect time for lots of hiking and enjoying the glorious nature.
I wanted to share this post for families who are planning their first vacation and Staycations with smaller kids.I think it has been quite stressful for everyone but then I am glad to post more positive experiences during this time.The scare and anxiety is real but then I think we all deserve something better than worrying.I was totally happy seeing my daughter singing happily, hiking in the woods and dreaming of playing endlessly under the sun.
On the positive note, I must say that I am quite impressed by the system.We felt at least assured since the normal Corona Hygienic measures were strictly observed in Berchtesgaden. When we arrived at the parking area of Königsee, I noticed that there were quite a number of tourists, probably because it is “Ferien” or school holiday. The hotels requires a negative Test results and only in- house guests are allowed to dine -in and eat in the restaurant. The touristic places have very clean bathrooms, complete with Disinfection stations and there were lots of Schnell Tests Stations or ( Corona Quick Test). Doing these tests made us feel assured and safe so it´s really a must to do if you are planning to go on a trip during this time.
Here, ticket purchases can all be done online and reservations are quick to do as well so it really saves us time.
And lastly, we were able to finally sit in a Beer garden, but luckily, this time with a majestic view of Watzmann and Hochkalter mountains!
Did you already tried traveling during Corona times? How was it?
Wishing you all a great Sunday, and stay safe. Tschüss.
Let me take you to another fascinating nook in my neighborhood.This place is special because it´s where 17 Torqouise war cannons are displayed. They can be found in the front yard of the Bayerische Armee Museum.Museums are still closed up to now over here so we can only visit the grounds.The Bavarian Army Museum is beside the Neues Schloss or the New Castle.
The castle grounds is in spring mood. Cherry blossoms are blooming and the view is quite picturesque. The grounds are filled with yellow and white Narzissen and surrounded with birds chirping about .Picturesque enough that it deserves a photo.
My daughter is a history buff at the age of 6. She loves to read World History, and everything about important events in the history in Germany and of the world, including wars and other significant events. Believe me, if you asked her about famous presidents of the USA; she will elaborate it to you. I am embarassed when she asked me when was Abraham Lincoln born and why he died.
Who was the first elected, the youngest, the oldest and of course, how and why did they died.I wished I have her memory…I really do.
Normally when we walks, she talked a lot. She just can´t stop talking.She loves to stop for a while and read signages, especially writings about famous person, buildings and places. Even the roman numerals she wanted to decipher. Then we came across the billboard near the castle where it says ” Formen des Krieges” ( Forms of War) and then she asked if we can take a look at the grounds because she wanted to check if the cannons are still complete. She knows how to count, actually she´s very good in it so she can never missed it.
So we began another explorations of the Turquoise Cannons. Her favourite color is Turquoise so I promised to her that I called them Turquoise War Cannons.
Then I wonder why the cannons have faces of Lions,not really like a beast but somehow one looks more like a dog, wailing and waiting to be fed.With heraldic Lion´s head, it´s no wonder. They symbolized the power and strength of this animal. It´s also used in many sculptures around here as well in the Bavarian flag.
Actually this is one of the first places I´ve visited since we´ve moved here and I am always fascinated with it.From all of the relics of war that I usually see in Museum, especially war canons and weapons, they looked dull, black as granite, and cold.
Why would you even engrave something so intricate when you would only load large iron balls in it and shoot to destroy enemies?
I mean, cannons are weapons of war and used for defense and attack. It´s a weapon to kill, not to display some kind of art.
But I think these ones are used for decorative purposes only.
In the time of Pandemic, the castle grounds is so quiet and empty. No people around except us. But then I still asking myself why would they made such cannons with Lions faces, and engraved them so intricately with animals, flowers and even faces of Kings (Kaizer) .I´ve seen quite a number of cannons in Kuwait when we visited the Failaka Island, the bottleneck of Gulf war and other museums in there, but nothing compares to these war cannons.
Good thing they are in Turquoise shade. If they would be in dull bronze color then they would be so boring.
Looking at these canons made me realize that war before is definitely ugly and bloody. A pair of these cannons are named “Scherer and Schererin ” weighs more than 9 tons! They are not to be joked upon. Imagine how large and expansive the War Defense Arsenal in those times.
Thank God war is over…and hope that cannons remains for touristic purposes only.
It´s a rainy, gray Monday over here, hoping on your side it´s sunnier.Tschüss!
It´s Good Friday and I am busy watching trees budding their new leaves, such a joy to see it´s curls turning into green leaves.Nature is really always on time. It knows it´s course, and without delay, it goes with it´s cycle.A walk in my neighborhood makes me always appreciate life even more, taking note of small , little things that makes our hearts grow with warmth.
What´s good about Spring is that it reminds us that cold doesn´t stay forever. I think this is the best part that I personally love.It makes me grateful that I have seen another beautiful Spring in my life and I can enjoy this simple wonders in Life. Watching the trees and bushes starting to unfold and transform is quite a beautiful journey.
“To be without trees would, in the most literal way, to be without our roots.”—Richard Mabey
Trees are good for our soul. They’re essential to the air we breathe. And they provide a majestic example of strength and perseverance in the face of adversity.
and this Willow doesn´t weep anymore…it´s back to it´s poise, elegance and again lithe with a new life.
Two days ago I had a long run and today I did my 45 mins progression run.It´s one of those days that I just run and pound the pavement.I made a few detours because my preferred path was blocked due to some tree cutting and repairs.It is the kind of run that I did not stop until I feel like I am done.I did not give in to excuse and did a 10 km stretch.Going for steady and easy runs of 6-8km on weekdays and 1 long run on weekend is the new challenges that I am keeping on track.
I want to challenge myself and plan to join a virtual Half Marathon this year so I am doing myself a favor to start training.
As I am writing about this, I asked myself if I am crazy?!
Indeed I am.
But then at least I am enjoying my morning views and magical misty mornings.
Views like these are the kind of things that I won´t trade off .
This goal for me is quite scary, I am afraid that I cannot do it or maybe I wouldn´t even finish it.I think I am still too weak and not that strong. Questions myself many times, is my body ready and prepared for it or it´s just a shoot in the star.
But then…..as I keep on running, I spotted something from the ground.Snowdrops!!!!
Spring is finally here!
I have been continously running now for a year exactly. I remember challenging myself to run just when the world started to be turned upside down by Corona virus.Everybody stayed home in Quarantine and lockdown and I think I am not the only one who got hooked into sports.I still have so many other Hobbies but this one is far by my favourite next to painting.
Aside from running, I walked and walked a lot.I don´t know why, but walking makes my day always. Although I preffered running, It´s hard to find time for it.
This goal scares me.But I will try my best and let us see what happens in the end.Looking back from last year, I couldn´t even run 1 kilometer continously without breaking a sweat .I´m breathing deeply and I couldn´t go on anymore.That is how weak I was.I feel frustrated because I couldn´t hit a goal that I´ve set.
I am about to give up, many times.
After a long run and my whole body aches and my muscles are sore, I wanna give up. As I ride my bike, I feel like my joints are breaking apart.I feel miserable.
But this is the kind of misery that I love.
After a run, I feel like something is happening to my body that I cannot explain.
I couldn´t imagine myself if I totally give up and stopped running.What could have happen to me.
I wouldn´t even know that I am capable of doing what I am doing now.I don´t think I could ever run like I do now. Before, I thought runners are just sport freak .Why do they always run????
I remember in my early years here in Germany , I see people consistently running whatever the weather and I just shake my head. But then…..
This year was total turning point in my health life. I wanted to change my lifestyle and myself so I want to make changes in my routines. I have tried running and sweating hard in warm summer days, on foggy misty mornings of Fall, while its snowing and drizzling, and this year I had the chance to experience running on snowy pavements.There had been many simple moments in my running days,like the time I ´ve got my first running shoes and first 5K run. They were all happy moments.
They say that when there´s no mud, then there´s no Lotus, and as the days goes by, even if I am tired and depleted, I still believe that there is definitely a magic in misery.I know I am not yet there and I still need to do a lot of running and training.
But then, I am not giving up and I am keeping track of my progress.
Lastly, I realized that if we do things consistently, our bodies are really capable of doing amazing things.
My usual visit from the weekend Market last Saturday was extra special because of the Ice Figures Art exhibit by Markus Jordan.The Art made of Ice and Frozen water with Figures are installed directly in the heart of the City of Ingolstadt, just a stone throws away from the weekend market. Itwas totally eye-cathing and immediately drawn lots of visitors and people walking through the old city.
We had a row of days with cold temperatures up to approx. minus 16, and these Ice figures just came in time. The front yard of the Stadttheater was transformed into a little winter wonderland with frozen figures. It really depics our current frozen state,with the pandemic and lockdown as well. My most favourite figure was the man with dark cape holding a skull, the robots cycling and my daughter adored the frozen Dinosaur.
What a difference these icefigures could bring to a normal , Saturday market day indeed!
At night, visitorscan enjoy watching them with special lights and effects that makes it even more beautiful.more stunning shots and videos are seen here and here. Doing our daily walking routine was definitely more fun during our visit to this Ice Art Figures.
Today, we´re just thankful for the sunshine, snow and the chance to see this wonderful creative Art!
Also, I recently discovered this App called ” Too Good to Go” , the number 1 anti Food- waste app that is currently being raved by my neighbors so I finally decided to try it and I must say that it is really good.I love vegetables and I really dig in to the weekend offer in our nearby stores and finally I found one being offered in Viktualienmarkt, just in front of the Stadttheater. I arrange my order, the Vitamin C-Heimat, and I was totally satisfied of what I´ve got just for 8Euros! Lots of different kind of Veggies in one big bag.I certainly can´t buy that much with the same amount in a supermarket.
Happy New Year everyone! I know it´s Winter over here, but we are already dreaming of Summer.We are dreaming of sunshine, tulip fields, strawberries, funparks ,hiking in the mountains, and getting lost in some European cities.
Yesterday while eating luch we are discussing, or rather dreaming, and (hoping!!) that we can fill our suitcases again and able to travel.Travel without health worries, because that is super important.But for now, we can travel back through time and dream away….to Jurassic period!
Have you ever dreamed of walking through the woods with giant dinosaurs in the view ?Those giant claw, magnanimous size, razor sharp teeth, and yes, the presence itself is quite overwhelming.With dinosaurs, we all know that the bigger..the better, the more realistic it is!
Well that is the experience we´ve had while walking and exploring through the Dinopark in Altmühltal.
Gigantic Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex are just a few of the “friends” we met in this beautiful nature park.We were quite amazed of how funtional and cleverly designed it was , considering that we visited this place during Corona pandemic times.This is definitely one of the best open air Dinosaur Museum here in Bavaria.
My daughter is crazy about Dinosaurs, she knows each dinosaurs with all their crazy names by heart.From the year they were discovered, and from each era , from Jura, Kreide and Trias. Hard to tell, but I really don´t know how and where her fascination started.We have watched couple of Jurassic films and we haven´t even finished it all becaused she got scared of all the screaming and bloody T-Rex manhunt. I guess children loved dinosaurs , adored them and gasped at their powerful statues ,bewildered, and thinking that they were heroes and lovable, or something like the best friend one could ever had, just like in the movie films “The good Dinosaur“, “Dinosaurs“, and” the Land before time“.
And myself only knows “Barney“, the purple dinosaur!
When she watched Peppa pig, she just loved how George adore his Dinosaur.We have tons of Dinosaur books and she always loved to read about them and yes, I think that´s how she got so hooked with it. So imagine her delight when she saw this giant disnosaurs in the park.She could even put them beside her when she sleep and no, I can never win with her Dinosaur Quizzes…She knows it all!
The park itself is HUGE,We haven´t had the energy or the time to even explored it all.There were lots of fun playing activities to be found inside it,of course considering that we need to distance ourselves from the crowds as much as possible.There´s of course a Museum, play areas for big and little children, outdoor recreational spots, picnic areas, restaurants, Fossil exploration areas, shop, and much more.All these fun filled areas are with Dinosaurs views, and that´s what we find so engaging.I was really glad we visited this place, because not only the child with us is entertained, we as parents as well. We can´t complain any further, lots of fresh air, lots of greens, and children will never get bored because they have always something to see and explore!
And about the Museum, here´s what it looks inside…
We paid 19,50 Euros each for adult fees and children are 9,5 Euros. This includes all access to everything inside the park.We are allowed to bring snacks and drinks so we never really worried about getting hungry.The beergarden were spacious, large enough for Dino-groups.I saw families even brought picknick bags and they just hang out there in the grass, enjoying full sunshiny day.TheParking lot is also admirable and the location of the park is easily accessible from Autobahn.
Another fun part of this Dinopark is the Fossil area where kids and adulhts have the chance to see, find and explore their own Fossils, with tools and everything! My kid is totally into this and could never stop hammering out from rocks looking for Ammonites! Now that is one way to let go of their energy!We even got freebies when we check-out since we mentioned that it´s her birthday!
Since we are observing Hygienic restrictions, I am perfectly impressed as well how the park observed these rules.There are plenty of clean bathrooms, outdoor sinks with sopas and disinfectant for children and families to frequently wash their hands.Mask is required when entering the shops, museums, and Restaurants.Only when wandering through the open air dinosaur park that wearing masks is not required.
I am really excited where would be our next family destination this year…
Meanwhile, while we are still on Holiday break, we stay at home and dream away our worries, hopefully this year would be a better one!