FOTD -June 12- Red Poppies, Papaver rhoeas, Yumeiren

Today I went cycling ad look what I have spotted on!

I know that Summer is coming when I see them.

Green wheat fields full of Red poppies or papaver rhoeas.This red beaties are real stunner. They are wild ones, keeps getting back every summer, and yes, it´s not the same without them. When I cycle around, I can´t help but to stop by and look at them. The closer, the better.I just love how they swing with the warm summer breeze and their red petals so translucent from the sun.

At first I thought they are just weeds. They just pop up everywhere and nobody wants to pay attention to them.But not me.

Delicate flower bud, Red Poppies, the German Flower of the Year in

There is such a notable character to these common Red Poppy. For me whenever I see them, I am amazed just how resilient they are. They grew almost everywhere here in Germany. In the side of the streets, on an empty fields, near the garage, in pots , in perennial gardens, and yes, it´s as tough as weeds.Probably they are the twin sister of Dandelions.

Red poppies contains the alkaloid called rhoeadine, which is a mild sedative.It´s interesting to know that Red Poppies symbolizes the lives of the people who died in Military service.They are often made into wreaths and put unto the graves of the people who lost their lives during the war, especially, for the veteran´s lapels.It symbolises eternity, a continuity of the cycle of life.

The mystical charm of Red Poppies

 In the ancient times,  poppies have long been used as a symbol of sleep, peace, and death.  In both Greek and Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead. Poppies were also used as emblems on tombstones to symbolize eternal sleep.

After all, opium is extracted from poppies and used as a sedative. Therefore, the added appeal of its use to represent eternal sleep prevails.

Do you love Poppies?

Cee´s Flower of the Day is a fun challenge to do. See you once again my next Flower adventure.

Stay safe and be kind to all.Tschüss.

Hiking through Burg Randeck Ruins

View of the Essing old Town in early Spring with Burg Randeck Ruins on top

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.

Some Ritter ( Knight) wood engravings we found inside the ruins of Burg Randeck ( Essing)

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

Typical and very Bavarian landscape, Jura cliffstones, quiet and serene flow of the River Danube and a row of quaint houses along the banks of the river.Cycling through this path is really one of the best outdoor activity that locals and visitors loved to do.

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.

What a view…finally!

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!

Getting up close and personal with Tyrannosauros Rex in Dinopark in Bavaria and some fun times digging out Fossils!

Combating Vertigo and Climbing into the green forests in Beilngries

Watching the mighty Falcons fly high and a beautiful view of the Rosenburg Castle in Riedenburg

Cruising into the Donaubruch and having a sip of Beer in the old Weltenburg Monastery

or simply admiring the biggest Crystal in Bavaria in Crystal Museum in Riedenburg

There´s still so much to explore and to see…until next time, stay safe and have a happy week to you all.

Tschüss!

Endless Yellow fields forever-Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge

Inspired by Cee´s Midweek Madness Challenge -Yellow , and Jude´s Life in Colour-Yellow

Alpine Fairy tale Hiking to Salet-Obersee-Fischunkelalm

We´ve found a Paradise in Obersee

We are still high from the dramatic beauty of Königsee and then out of the blue, we are again rewarded with another shock of natural doses of beautiful landscapes from our beautiful hike to Obersee in Salet up to Fischunkelalm. Actually, Salet is the last stop for the boat trip we´ve had in Königsee and St. Bartholomä.This place is actually remote–meaning, it can only be reached by boat. There are no villages near Obersee, only the few Beer gardens and the Fischunkelalm.

Yes, there is no other way you can see this lake, only through the boat company who runs the tours through Königsee. But then, let me tell you—it is really worth the trip because this place is simply—the alpine paradise in Bavaria!

“It´s not the mountains that we conquer, but ourselves ”

I think I lost count of the different shades of greens, blues, aquamarine, turquoise, and teal colors when I saw this place. They say that the tougher it gets going, then the wonder power gets real. What is true about hidden paradise is that maybe the reason why they are deeply tucked into the mountains so it is well sheltered there.

From the time we step out of the boat, I already started hearing people saying ” Ohhhh” ” Wowww” ” Sehr sehr Schön ” ” Wünderbar“, I , myself included saying these words. I still think my photography skills deluded the naural beauty of this place. It is really worth every step to see this place. Well , with hiking with a view like this , who am I to complain?

” A walk in nature walks the soul back home..”
” There are no short cuts to a any place worth going …”

Of course with a little hiker with us, we took our pace. We stop to admire the universe of moutain peaks and listened to the choir of cows making their own thing. With the crystal clear waters of Obersee, we saw tiny fishes swimming It´s probably that they are also rejoicing, hearing some noise after a long pause because of Corona .

My neck kinda hurt from looking up and admiring the moutain views. The rocky formations are so incredible and imagining how a Moraine separated the Königsee from Obersee.Either way, both lakes have their own charm.

We´ve done so far so many family hikes but hiking through Obersee in Berchtesgaden became our number one choice now. For now.We are already thinking of coming back and seeing this place once again, probably in Autumn when the foliage is more colorful. The hike through Obersee is a great experience, at least for us. For such a long time in Lockdown and confined to only nearby hiking destinations, the sight of Obersee takes away our breath and all our worries from Corona.

This place is definitely worth the hike even with small children. Although I personally would recommend to wear your little toddlers instead of bringing a pram since the ascent path to the Fischunkelalm is not accessible with strollers. The photo below is the one I took just after we passed through the flat hiking path before we continue the steep flight of rocky, muddy steps heading to the Fischunkelalm and Röthbachfalls.

Hiking adventure is one of those thing you can do only if you have the determination to do so.

Crystal clear mirror like waters reflecting the mountains creating a perfect Apline fairy tale views, that´s what Obersee is all about. In every angle, I can smell the clean air, the crisp sound of the trees, and the excited steps of nature walkers like me.About the hike, it starts at Salet and ends there as well. The hike length is approx. 8km ( 5miles ) and classified as medium difficulty. It is doable with kids, and I personally recommend doing this with little children.

The uneven rock steps with only a cable support for hand might be a strain for elderly and for families with very small children. The ascent and descent path is one way so it would be really challenging. I noticed this because we travel during the times of Corona so we are still practicing social distancing. The path is rocky and slippery so small children should be guided accordingly.But then, I have seen so many families doing this hike so it´s really worth the hike.

After hiking for almost half an hour, we´ve passed through cascading river, beer gardens, wandered through the lush forest and finally we´ve reached the first resting area. This boat house is quite famous, it´s the image of Obersee, its all over in Instagram and causing quite a traffic in this point. People are waiting in line to do photoshoots and families lined up with heir kids to do selfies .There are banks and tables for people to sit and rest as well.Now I understand why this spot is really worth a photo.

Finally, after a adrenaline hike, we finally reached Fischunkelalm and this view awaits us.I could stare for hours at these panoramic views. So peaceful, tranquil and beautiful in every sense. Families packed a picnic and sitting near the banks of the lake is quite a beautiful thing to watch. Couples hugged each other and taking selfies beside the lake, and some sit and enjoy a cold beer in this unique setting. Children pets the cows and played with them while others play with the waters.

Pretty mushrooms along the way

While trekking, I spotted these rare row of mushrooms on a tree bark. It looks so pretty with light purple color surrounded with lime green moss. Its amazing how nature surprises us in many ways. As we continue our hike, we sing a song, did a quiz to entertain the little one and with a few pops of Gummy bears, the drama and tantrums came to an end.

Upon reaching the Fischunkelalm, we decided to grab a drink and have some snacks. The menu is limited but everything is delicious.We tried their local delicacies of bread with fresh cheese, bacon and some drinks.This is the stop point as well to completely admire the whole view of Obersee surrounded with stone mountains and reflecting waters. This is where I actually get some space to to snap photographs without the crowds.

My daughter busied herself talking to the cows and playing with other children. She was quite thrilled when she heard that some kids are speaking English so she decided to make friends. She played for a while near the lake banks while I got busy taking photos and admiring the views. The water is still so cold but feeling them with your hand is forgivable.I guess in peak summer months, one can enjoy dipping their feet in this glorious lake.

At this point, stretching for another half an hour, one can continue hiking (1,5km) through the mountain pastures that leads to marvelous view of Röthbachfall, Germany´s highest waterfall (400m). Seeing this waterfall, we were reminded by our thunderous experience seeing the Krimml Waterfalls compared to this one.

A panoramic view of Obersee with the enigmatic Boathouse

Our feet are aching at the end of the day and our faces are red from the sun, but definitely, our hearts are full and glad.We started heading back to Salet to wait for our return boat trip. The last trip departing from Salet is 5.10pm, (on peak season 5.40pm) take note of this last departure time because there is no other way to go back to Schönau unless you are prepared to pay for around 250 Euros for a boat to pick you up!

Some practical tips on visiting and hiking through Obersee :

  • Don´t forget your camera. It´s such a shame if you don´t caprure these wonderful nature.
  • Start early, especially if you are traveling with small children. The mid- path going to Fischunkelalm can get lots of traffic as noon time approaches so this can strain your child. Bring plenty of snacks and drinks to keep them hydrated.
  • Wear comfortable and sturdy shoes, preferably closed. The rocky parts can hurt your toes and you don´t want to go home with blisters and cuts. Layers are recommended to wear. You can also discard a light jacket once it gets warm and hot.A hat and sunscreen is always a great idea.
  • Go to the bathrooms and wash hands frequently before doing the hike. The cable for hand support on the face of the moutain is used by thousands of people who hike there so be aware of personal hygiene.
  • Decide early if you want to go to St. Bartholomä first or hiking through Obersee. The earlier the better to avoid the long queue lines on returning to the boat back to Schönau-Königsee.
  • Bring some cash–it´s always wise to bring cash since snacks from the Fischunkelalm is paid in cash only.
  • and lastly but very important —Bring lots of Good Mood!

What is your favourite hiking adventure?

Have you already traveled during Corona times?

Until then, stay safe and have a happy week. Tschüss!

Königsee -Schönau,the heart of Berchtesgaden National Park

Königsee majestic views taken from the Jenner Bahn (1,874m)

I am super excited to share about our family trip to Berchtesgaden which is also called Berchtesgadener Land.I totally fell in love with this place at the moment I saw it. It looks even more beautiful than the photos I have seen in internet.For a moment, I thought I was in Norway seeing Fjords but then it´s just right here in Germany! Berchtesgaden is definitely a heavy tourist magnet in Bavaria , especially during the summer season .We are lucky enough to visit it end of May so the crowds are still manageable and the temperatures is still enjoyable.

In 1978, Berchtesgaden was declared a National Park no wonder everywhere I looked, everything is clean and the nature is quite well preserved.

It is located southeast of Germany, near the Austrian border, (Salzburg 30km) ,180km away from Münich and connected through A8 and is easily accessible with inter city trains. It´s quite famous for Königsee, the cleanest lake in Germany , and the second deepest to Bodensee ( Lake Constance), with a depth of 192 m (650 ft).This lake is so unique and beautiful in every sense that it even retains its cold temperatures even in summertimes.Königsee or King´s Lake can only be explored through the electronic boats which is run by Königsee Bayerische Seen-Schiffahrt. I highly recommend to book your tickets online and early as possible since this place can get really crowded and packed.

Very charming boat houses in Königsee

We booked our tickets online and got there early, around 9:30 am to avoid crowds.The Corona Testing stations are located near the entrance and the one beside Mcdonalds in Seestraße.The parking area is large enough but I noticed that during lunchtime, it was already packed. FFP2 masks are required inside the boats and everyone was really observing the regular hygienic measures.The boat trip is stroller friendly and also handicapped persons are welcome on board.Pets are also allowed provided they wear nozzles. Unfortunately, bicycles are not allowed.The boat tour starts from Schönau, then make a stop in St. Bartholomä and goes further to Salet. All the timetables and boat shedules are clearly indicated in here so it´s really good to plan your trip to avoid missing the boat.In general, all boats trips goes every 30 minutes.

A beautiful world in greens and lush waters

Berchtesgaden is a national park so private boats, fishing, and camping are not allowed. They only allowed electric boats to preserve the cleanliness and silence of the lake.With the water temperatures, it is not really ideal to go swimming .

There´s a very informative audio guide tour while on board so everything is actually well narrated about the lake and the surrounding nature. One of the highlight of the trip is the “Echo of Königsee ” (at the Echowandcliff) which is interesting as we heard the mimic echo sounds played with a Flugelhorn.

Königsbach Waterfall

Through out the sailing, our hearts skipped a beat because the scenery is really beautiful. The boat glides gently and creates soft ripples through the water. With the majestic views of the Watzmann mountains, cascading waterfalls, and evergreen forests, we surrendered to the power of nature. The beauty of nature is beyond words.

During the calm boat ride, we feast our eyes on the beauty of Watzmann, the 3rd highest in Germany, 2,713m (8,953ft).We saw another side of this mountain aside from the views we have in our hotel.the Watzmann Ostwand is the highest cliff in the Eastern Alps and stories says that almost 100 mountaineers have lost their lives there. So climbing this peak is actually not for the faint hearted.

The boatman shared an interesting legend which my daughter found so cool that she kepts on asking what happened to King Watzmann. I said, probably, He´s still bad and did not repent so He´s still a mountain up to this day and guarding the Königsee. The legend says that King Watzmann is the highest peak, his Queen is the second and their seven children are the smaller peaks in between.Unfortunately, he was a cruel ruler so God turned him and his whole family into a stone.

The entire boat trip from Königsee Seelände to St. Bartholomä is approx. 35 minutes. This is the first stop where you can depart the boat and have a hike in the area surrounding the church and the lake shores.From St. Batholomä, the boat goes further to Salet which takes again another half an hour. We stopped by here to check out the check but unfortunately, because of Corona, the church was closed for public so we just have a short hike around it. The views are breathtaking as ever!

View from the dock harbor of the St. Batholomä Church

This little Baroque church in the peninsula of the west shore of Lake Königsee is quite admirable. It was built from 17th century and it´s idyllic setting makes it even more peculiar. The architecture is so unique with its two onion domes and a red domed roof has the floor plan after Salzburg cathedral.We take a look around and my daughter enjoyed feeling the cold waters and hiking thorugh the large boulders of stones along the shore line.

Emerald blue waters of Königsee

Königsee is so clear that the water quality is like drinking water. Just looking at the waters is really relaxing and how I wished that all lakes would be so clean like this.

This Fjord-like lake is 8km long and up to 3/4 miles wide reaches a maximum depth of 192 meters. It is really deep! I saw many tourists in a rowing boat and they looked so small in the middle of the lake.What amazes me more is its unique emerald color which cames from dissolved mineral deposits which breaks the sunlight on a beautiful sunny day. High above viewed from the Jenner Bahn, Königsee lake is quite deep blue in color which creates a very picturesque view.

This stop also allowed us to take a breather and relax with a view. There are charming beer gardens, restaurants with serves traditional Bavarian foods, plenty of bathrooms and infinite nature vista of Königsee and the outstanding mountain peaks.

The rock formations ” Schlafende Hexe” or sleeping Witch

We´re quite amused to know that on the right side of the boat we are rewarded with another fascinating view. This is the rock formation of the “Schlafende Hexe” of the Sleeping witch.Legends tell that these rock formations resembles a witch who lie on her back. When we drive back and on the area going to Bad Reichenhall, this view is actually in front of us. The whole time we are talking about how prominent the nose of the witch and probably someone already hike and reach the peak of her nose!

My daughter loves Königsee very much and she adores the mountains. Once we reached Salet , it´s almost nearing lunchtime. Good thing that we took our snack in St. Batholomä before we go on our next hike through Obersee. There are many families doing this hike so she was quite entertained that many children of her age are also doing some fun hike with alpine views.

We took our own pace and enjoy our time hiking , making frequent stops taking photos, creating memories along the pristine views of the mountains and azure blues of the lake Obersee. I highly recommend that you wear adequate clothing and plenty of layers just in case it gets windy and sudden change of temperature. It is always good to wear proper shoes as this path going to Fischunkelalm is quite rocky.We brought enough water and snacks so we can stop and make a picnic whenever we wanted to.

“To walk in nature is like witnessing a thousand Miracles” –Marie Davies

Exploring Berchtesgadener Land

Great news, we are finally able to do traveling again.

Fresh air, lush mountains and crystal clear emerald lake

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” ….

A much need breath of fresh air and hiking together

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 !

View of the Berchtesgadener Alps from our hotel room

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!

Can´t get enough of these beautiful mountain peaks

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.

Malerwinkel Hike in Berchtesgaden

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.

Prost!

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.

Medieval Beer Fountain ( Bierbrunnen)

Waiting in line at the Beer Fountain (Bierbrunnen)

Let´s talk about Beer for a while and let me take you again to another fascinating, unique hidden gem in my old town, Ingolstadt. Germans take pride of their Beer, especially the Bavarians. One of the pride of the locals here in my town is the Georgianum Beer Fountain or what we also called in German “Bierbrunnen“.We have lots of Beer gardens but then this fountain is really special.

Well, yes, Beer is an important part of Bavarian tradition, especially here where the Beer Purity Law or Reinheitsgebot from 1516 begun. For locals here, Beer is an integral part of the daily life and people regarded it not as an alcoholic drink, rather a “staple food” or Lebensmittel.With this Purity law, it goes by the rule that only 3 key ingedients should be present in brewing beer.These are Water, Barley and Hops.

With this Beer Fountain, it looks rather more than a faucet per se, but then before it was really regarded as a sacred fountain where fresh water is dispersed and people quench their thirst here on hot summer days.This place was an old school then turned into Catholic Seminary and were later bought by the local Brewery Herrnbräu.On the Jubilee year anniversary special, a golden liquid started to flow giving this little nook a special charm for the locals and visitors.Of course, only the finest beer of 16 years of age flows in this fountain.

Beer Fountain or Bierbrunnen

Last 2016, we had a local celebration of the Jubilee Year of the 1516 Beer Purity Law.It celebrates 500 golden years of the Reinheitsgebot and to commemorate this event, the Beer Fountain was made.The event was actually very festive. Starting with the programme, parade, and musicals, the whole town is really very noisy and full of people.Recalling the times before Corona, we have yearly celebration for this.People dressed up in medieval costumes and made an reenactment of the old times where people gather around the fountain to have their drink. I think it was really cool and I am so lucky to have seen this. My daughter was really thrilled when she saw Knights, and people clad in vests, funky shoes, hats and yes, swords!

Mural Bronze made by Alexandra Fromm

This bronze Mural was designed by the artist and painter Alexandra Fromm from Neuburg an der Donau.Along with the 500 year anniversary celebration, the state of Bavaria also released a limited post stamp, and coins from silver and gold. I managed to go home with a Beer mug (Bierkrug) and the golden coins so that makes me happy!

My husband and few of our friends attended the Beer tour which caters the history of the different kinds of Beer and their brewing process. Of course participants were able to taste all of those beer so practically, this day is really a celebration of Beer! With all of these beers, from dark to light coloured ones, I always go to my favourite—the Pils!

Pils is invented by the world class Master Brewer from Bavaria, Josef Groll from Vilshofen.

Declaration of the Beer Purity Law with the Little visitor

The Beer Festival, together with the whole celebration was attended by so many people and there were beer stalls where people have the chance to know the Beer history. It was decorated with stalls, weapons, tents and a stage where the law was read and declared by the Duke.

I was totally shocked to found out that world record of 1.3 seconds is what only takes for an American man named Steven Petrosino to drink a whole maß of Beer! That is a big gulp of 1 liter of Beer! This record is still unbreakable…

I am not a heavy Beer drinker but when I came to Germany, I began to appreciate their beloved Beer drinking culture. Sitting in Beer gardens is a normal habit, it is super cozy and the whole family can totally enjoy it. Writing this post made me missed those times.Because of Corona, Beer gardens are closed .People dressed up especially on weekends, wearing Lederhosen and Dirndls, even the children are clad in Bavarian Tracht as well. Most Beer gardens has a corner for children to play so it´s really an ideal place for weekends.

And last thing, here in Bavaria, we say instead of ” Cheers” , “ Prost” !

Do you like Beer? or are you more of the Wine type?

If you´re interested for more Beer related stories, I have written quite a few of them ,feel free to read them if you have more time to kill.

The green Gold of Bavaria, the Hops

Beer Gardens and Beer drinking tradition of Bavaria

1516 Reinheitsgebot -Beer Purity Law in Ingolstadt

Until then, Danke und Tschüss!

A very Bavarian Easter

A very Bavarian Easter

Let me share with you how Easter looks like in my little old town, which I particularly branded as very “Bavarian easter“.I grew up in a very different environment as people observed Holy week here.But then as an Expat I have learned to love this LOVELY tradition here in Germany.One thing, here I observed that it´s not a religious event, mogre like a feast. It´s also a big celebration, just like Christmas sans the snow and it´s mostly enjoyed within families. The best part is that we can finally sit outside and enjoy some warm weather. This week, we had spring T-shirt weather,we have 10-21 degrees! On the other hand , sadly, just like last year though, we are still in Lockdown. Travelling is not actually required because of Corona restrictions, but finally it´s Spring.

Anyway, here, three weeks before Easter, shops are already full of Easter things, that includes colorful easter egg chocolates and Easter Bunnies. The designs are limitless, everything is colorful. When it comes to chocolates, Germany has it all.Top chocolate makers like Kinder, Lindt, Milka and Cadbury are always the top choices for children. When it comes to Easter Bunny chocolate, the bigger, the better.I am not so fond of this but I have a kid so we get some for her as well.
Egg hunting is an old tradition for German speaking countries (same as in the Netherlands) where painted colorful eggs are hidden in the bushes or in between plants, or almost in every nook for children ( and adults!) to seek and find.Easter decorations adorn each houses with painted eggs hanging around, baskets with colored eggs and early spring flowers.


Actually , there´s nothing much special in it compared to other countries when it comes to celebrating Easter, but then there´s something about our blue and white themed Egg Art work here in Bavaria.
Does it look familiar?

It resembled closely to Dutch´s Delft paintwork, using only two shades, blue and white .It´s a local heritage here where creative ladies handpainted all these eggs all year round.Imagine the time they consume blowing and drying all these eggs then afterwards painting.These two colors are the prime Bavarian colors which is also seen in Bavarian state Flag.

Handpainted blue and white Easter Eggs adorned the Fountain in the city
Every egg is unique and painted with different designs.What makes it more laborious is that it needs to be hanged together in a steel rod to join them together.Each piece is a masterpiece and the ladies put on so much effort in binding all of them.I´ve heard that it can count up to 10,000 pieces of eggs as of 2019.Those are indeed lots of eggs.

The eggs are binded with green garlands and decorated with little flowers so it can be hanged in the fountain.It´s another long time tradition here to put up an Easter Fountain or Osterbrunnen.Normally we have Easter Market, where people can sit and enjoy the festivities and listen to folk Bavarian music.There are small craft shops, Beergardens, play areas,face paintings, games and programmes, but then now everything was cancelled because of Corona virus.

A very Bavarian Easter celebration

Then there´s the osternbaum, or the tree with painted eggs.Handpainted or plastic eggs are hanged on foliage, trees and bushes are an example of this old tradition.It´s not only in Christmas where Germans decorate their trees, it happens that it´s quite the same in Easter as well. I , myself did this as well in our garden.My daughter brought home some Easter creative art projects, which she eventually displays at home.

Why do I love our Bavarian Easter, probably because it´s unique, cozy, Gemütlich and festive; and anyway, who doesn´t love chocolates?

Do you celebrate Easter?

Happy Easter, or in German we say it best with ” Frohe Ostern!”

tschüss.

Spring Adrenaline rush

I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen.Anne Lamott

This week is Holy Week.
Schools are having their 2 weeks Easter break (Osterferien) so we are stay at home and trying to survive each day.We visited the Library few times to get more books.We need to get the girl her new big bike and for her to master her inline skating skills.We need to plan and prepare something for Easter but I haven´t figured it out yet.
The number of Corona cases are still rising up so tight restrictions are bound to be implemented over these days.Hard to think that it´s almost been a year since pandemic started and we are still in the same situation.I don´t think travelling is encouraged over here in Germany, we don´t have anywhere to go to. Since most of the shops are still closed and Easter celebration is coming, I guess we make something at home.The only luxury that we can afford during this time is out in nature, playgrounds, and social distancing.

I said to myself that there´s no need to fret and rush.

While on the other side, at least there´s a lot going on. There´s a kind of “rush” that is going on, the kind that I like.Every morning, I am awaken by continous singing and chirping of the birds, there´s much sunlight now as we entered the “Sommerzeit“, or summertime over here in Germany. Sunny days, and finally it feels warmer now.I can tell you that it is indeed Springtime.I know that for sure, I never doubted Nature, its true to it´s course.

Somehow this Gallery shows the Adrenaline Rush that Spring brings us.Just like Marty Rubin´s words–

The deep roots never doubts, Spring will come….”

Coming up is BBQ and grilling season.There´s nothing cozier than having warm grilled meals in the garden.We don´t mind the rush, but it´s awesome.We just take a long bike ride and run just in case we eat a lot!

It´s still chilly in the mornings but in the midday, the sun is really enjoyable.Most of my neighbours are working hard on in their garden as we did. We did new flower beds and I planted seeds for our elevated garden. I hope I succeed in propagating carrots, radish, and more herbs.Mind you, Germans take gardening seriously. In my trips in the garden shops, people swarmed over buying pots, soil, seeds,plants, fertilizers and wood and more gardening things. Almost all supermarkets here sells different kinds of plants and flowers. I spent almost a day repotting and transplanting all of my indoor plants. I was personally amazed at its amount, it´s exhausting to care for them but then it´s all worth it.I never regret that I have become a plant-lady, it´s not a prestigouos achievement, but the rewards are incomparable.

There is really a kind of green rush when Spring comes.It feels great to feel the chilly wind and not cringe anymore for fear of frost, to smell the dirt from the soil, and the simple genuine pleasure of decorating balconies and terraces with plants.Anything that blooms and grows signals life..For me, the sight of “Reincarnated gardens ” are amazing!

With all these, I am just grateful that we have a small garden to tend to.

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. “– Charles Dickens

Indeed, Spring had sprung and we are not complaining.

What about you, what kind of “rush” are you into right now?

I don´t have anything grand to share, just wishing you all to be safe, healthy and enjoy some time under the sun!Until next time.

Tschüss.

Not to Scale (NTS) Expat life

Dominating the skyline in Kuwait, the Al Hamra Towers

What do people usually means when they say “Not to Scale“?

Looking back in my college days where we are asked to draw a floor plan, elevations and everything, this term is very common and eventually it becomes a normal terminology. Triangular Scale is a very important tool that I have often used, and through the years, I have learned that in reality, not all things can be presented with the exact proportions. Everything depends on how you make your own perspective.

Just like we gain and lose weight as we grow old…

Idealism has a fair play through the years.I asked myself before where could be a perfect place that expats finally call it a “home”?

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The view of the Skyline of Kuwait from the Liberation Tower , here despite the dusty weather, everything seemed quite a normal day.

To scale means allowing us to understand the relationship between a drawing or an illustration and a presentation or a scale model—against the Reality. If you are able to draw accurately as per scale and you can immediately shift from one scale to another, like from 1:100 to 1:50 then you can do very well in doing architectural drawings and spatial design.Looking at scale models help us to have a perspective of what would it look like once it built, a bird´s eye view, a glimpse of the vision into reality.

I can very well use the principle of Scale in my life as an Expat.

After we leave our homelands, we , too have a perspective in minds. We all carry a luggage of dreams, hopes and expectations.

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Beautiful well-preserved Gable Houses in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

I know from a fact that from an Expat eyes, everything is different from the tourist’s view and from the locals itself. A Tour Package always highlights the best, the most sought-after destinations and attractions, the off the beaten path are reserved for adventurous ones.As tourists, we want to see the icing of the cake.

What´s in? where´s the famous places? where are the top attractions?

The quaint beauty of an old Fortress ,Kaprun Castle where in 1645, the Salzburg Musketeers once occupied

A place is only a setback of your expectations, dreams and aspirations. Everyone has their own reason why they decided to move to a new place—either for work, better life, education, to bridge a relationship, or to just simply fulfill a wanderlust—the longing for a change.But in reality, the moment we started to see things in a different way, our perspective of the new place is changing.Probably this is the stage where we start to integrate, accept and ” do as the locals do“.

Pre Covid-19 Virus Era, where touring historical places like the Reichstag in Berlin can be a good place to entertain your 4 year old daughter and listen to audio guide telling about the charms of this City.

I grew up not knowing what is “Recycling ” or upcycling is.But since I came here, I started to obey and do what is norm and not just to avoid the angry stares of my neighbours if they ever saw me putting plastic in the Restmull, the black container.I started to dispose the Green, white and brown glasses in the Glass Containers as well and yes, I got acquianted with the “Yellow Sack” as well. In my bag is always an extra shopping bag, even in my bicycle and in the car, there is always a place for shopping bags.

Why, because here in Germany, you bring your own bags and pack your own grocery. I even observed the Rühezeit, the silent Sunday where we don´t mow the lawn in the garden and no loud music.I remember our times in Kuwait where the shopping cart is alwys full of plastic bags. There is no recycling there, people totally just throw garbage everywhere.Littering is quite a norm.They are really a big fan of using plastic bags there for grocery shopping.I think you collect up to 20 pieces of shopping bags for every grocery!

Now that I remember it, I felt odd.

Fast forward,5 years after, I began to look at Germany, especially Bavaria, in a “Not to scale”terms.Do I really belong here ? or this place does even exceed my expecation?

Cycling in my new neighborhood offers a new freedom to explore places

If you have your own terms of measurement about the quality of life that you want, or your preferred surroundings, then it is better not to put borders. If you expect too much and then ended up into a mountain of dissapointment, then you just feel worse.

“Why are people here are so unfriendly and “cold”?

“Why the weather keeps on changing every four hours?”

“Why Winter here in Germany is too long”?

” Why learning German is necessary to survive here?”

” Why customer service here sucks or totally non-existent?”

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Because in reality, things can be crooked, out of proportion, partially twisted, and though it looks to be perfect, it will have uneven features. I call this “Reality bites in the life of an Expat.”

As an onlooker, with naked eyes, I always ponder on the views that I see. I think it´s normal.For 5 years that I am walking the streets here in Bavaria, I still am not that fully integrated yet…or maybe I am, but sometimes, I feel like I am feeling at home.A combination of these rollercoaster feelings.

I hate it here during the long winter months but I really love it here during Spring and Summer. I loved how good the roads are and how communting can be so easy and flexible, and yes, that everything adheres to punctuality. I loved that I can even worked from home during this Pandemic times ,do part time jobs and have a job security. I appreciate that women even can take longer maternity leaves to care for their babies and come back to their jobs.

I loved the fact that my child is growing up in a kid-friendly environment and we are surrounded with playgrounds and nature.Its even amazing that traveling becomes easy, and I don´t need to worry about cash when I get sick because of the good Health Insurance System here. I even got new vaccinations ( all for free!) since I came here.

Speaking of Not to scale scenarios, here in Bavaria, the tallest building ( a Tower or a Turm) actually that I have ever been to is the Olympic Tower in Munich and the Pfeifturm here in Ingolstadt, which is btw a former watchpost. The tallest building here in Bavaria is actually the Commerzbank Tower in Frankfurt, reaching up to 259m.Actually, Frankfurt is the only city with lots of Skycrapers.Here in Germany, they try to preserved the German cultural heritage therefore the historical, Medieval and Renaissance skyline still dominates most of the old towns up to this day. It´s actually its unique charm.

There´s nothing compared walking into lovely, German old Town´s unique streets lined up with well-deserved architecture and rich history.

Exploring my own little town where not seeing “Skyscrapers” is actually also nice.The Architecture and landscape is so nice and very picturesque.
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The view deck from the interiors of the luxurious Al Hamra Towers in Kuwait

This is an absolute contrast to the former views that I have while living in Kuwait. Kuwait is a small city but it has skyscrapers and modern buildings. Quite a few are worthy to mention actually, just like my favorite-the Al Hamra Tower, the tallest building in Kuwait.It´s even named as one of the best inventions in 2011 by Times Magazine.After we left I´ve heard that there are more sleek buildings and modern architecture built.We´ve got used to the norm that modernity and functional aesthetics comes with beautiful modern buildings.

Speaking of malls, I haven´t seen quite comes close to the Avenues in Kuwait.It´s really a shopping mall with beautiful architecture.This mall itself is an attraction there.While here in Germany, shopping is like taking a leisure stroll in the inner city lined with authentic, unique shops.I haven´t really had that “mall feeling” even from our local Ingolstadt Village where “branded” marks have their boutiques and it´s already considered high end .I am not a shopaholic and into top end brands.I am more of the functional shopper–getting what I need and love to ogle some pretty nice things.Nowadays, a trip to the Greenhouse, Botanical gartdens and anything with plant shop is my thing.

But then I guess, “not to scale ” in Expat life also means that you perceive things depending on your taste.When you have seen beauty and therefore your standards have been set, then others can either comes to second or outweigh your preferences.

I prefer sightseeing in the beautiful streets where there are unique , wood-timbered houses looks like a fairy tale land.

But, looking through Kuwait from above made me realize that scale is really not important. Some things might quite look a bit odd, or lacking in proportion, but then, it embodies the urban presentation of the area.

Why would the local ladies dressed up to kill , heavily make-up on, nails are done and perfumed when they are covered in Abaya with only the eyes being shown , in stilettos and doing grocery shopping?”

Or why would most of the drivers love to speed up their cars, with children in front without seatbelt and with loud banging music?

Recently we came across a car and it´s driving a bit faster than allowed, with loud Arabic music in the background and then suddenly, I realized that I already made an assumption .They are absolutely Arabic ( doesn´t matter if they came from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon or UAE; or even Kuwait) but when I´ve heard the word “Yalla , then I am sure I haven´t been wrong.

Was my mind programmed? or were my ears gotten used to these local behaviors?

I am sure I would probably recognized in a crowd that they are German,or coming from Bavaria if they say ” Servus, Grüs Gott! ” as well!

What do you loved the most in your city?

Wishing you all Happy Sunday and Stay safe.Tschüss.