Today is ” Ostermontag” or the second day of Easter here in Germany.Yes, same as Christmas, Germans have two days to celebrate Easter .One day is enough so we have an extra day of holiday. Well, it´s really a very difficult Easter this year because it doesn´t have the freedom from Corona yet.But then, it´s all okay, at least it´s Spring!
It´s lovely, smells heavenly and feels so romantic!
If there were no cherry blossoms in this world How much more tranquil our hearts would be in spring.- Ariwara no Narihira (825-880)
The whole world is celebrating Easter and so are we. After a peaceful gathering at home, where we had Easter breakfast followed by the egg hunt for the little girl, we head outdoors to get some fresh air and enjoy some beautiful cherry blossoms. It´s timely, since I observed that around first days of April, cherry blossom trees around our neighborhood and in the parks are due for blooming.The branches are ripe enough to cast it´s yearly spell.
In Japanese, they called them “Sakura” .They doesn´t last long, normally they are gone within a week. Today was totally windy so most petals are being blown away by the wind.I´ve read that even the petals of Cherry Blossoms are edible. Famous brands like Bath & Body works & Rituals have their famous and top seller sets with Cherry Blossoms as one of the ingredient. I tried them so I know that it smelled heavenly! I am wondering how would it taste on cookies, rice balls and Mochi…now this makes me dream of it!
No wonder they symbolize Renewal, but also the fleeting nature of life.
It´s a joy to see them, and you can´t help to feel “romantic” when you see them.People are happy and smiling under the cherry blossoms. People gather around it, smelling it´s sweet fragrance and looking up to the skies.Nature seemed to be doing it´s wonder once again.I watched a couple under the tree making lots of photos and I guess they just simply wanted to enjoy this magical moment same as I did.In Japan, people loved to do picnics and hang lanterns at night.This tradition called “Hanami ” which means Flower viewing.
One old couple are taking countless photos under the cherry blossoms and watching them makes my heart warm. A picturesque pink photo together with your loveones is definitely a must once you see these pink blossoms. Whether it´s your child, spouse or partner, Cherry Blossoms is a love flower. I think we´ve made it as a yearly tradition to make photos under the Sakura blooms. I have a collection of my daughter on its branches , climbing and smiling.It´s a treasured memory, a lovely keepsake.
Despite the Pandemic, we always opt and turned to nature´s beauty, gasping for hope and endurance. It provides us strength and healing.
I guess some cherry trees are suited for ornamental purposes only. In some parts of Germany, they are really a huge tourist magnet.Although the sight of these pink blossoms are fleeting, it´s really worth it.
Bees surround the fluffy flowers and hovering around it, and never letting them go.The soft sun gives it´s more radiance, like wanting to show it off.The branches are wide, and provide a gentle shade to people who sits under it.It´s a momentarily comfort, a swift escape, a fleeting gift.In April the weather can be so finicky and thesepink blossoms doesn´t like rain. Today was cold and windy and I could already see that some blooms are wilted.
In the cherry blossom´s shade, there´s no such thing as a stranger.- Kobayashi Issa
More snapshots of our Pink World these days …
Our cheery blossoms here are nothing compared to Japan and US and other countries.But then I am grateful that we were able to see it´s beauty once a year even for a few days.It is definitely a tender beginnings for us as we see another year and battling the scares of Corona.
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.
Let me share with you a really nice German word that I personally love, it´s Spaziergang. For non native German speakers like me, Google provides a simple and easy to digest definition of this word.
Spaziergang means ” a walk, taking a leisure walk ” or a ” stroll”
Etymology : Spazieren ( verb) + gang (spa*zier*gang)
Spaziergang ( M) (genitive –Spaziergangs or Spazierganges, plural – Spaziergänge)
Example when used in sentence : Viele Menschen machen am Sonntag einen Spaziergang mit ihrer Familie. / On Sunday, many people go for a walk with their families./
This morning I gazed outside the window and I saw a familiar face of one old man walking. He really takes a walk everyday, maybe 1-3 times a day and today was no exception. This is probably one of the word where I can perfectly describe my German neighbours and almost general here.They just love to be out, any time of the day, regardless of the season, in quarantine or not, people here loves to go for a walk or ” spazieren” . The other day, I was talking to some relatives in the Philippines and I have learned that they haven´t made a ” walk” for quite some time, all for various reasons. I have no time, I am too busy today, not allowed, too lazy, it´s raining, it´s hot …excuses are there and so on. Sometime its understandable, quite logical in these dire times of Pandemic. I just realized that there is really a huge difference between characters and lifestyle issues here and over there that I would not want to reiterate since its not the call of the hour.
Now back to my story about this word .Spaziergang in other places where I lived is quite different, especially when the weather is quite challenging.In Kuwait, I often take long walks along the seaside. When I was pregnant, I walked in the seashore many times just to ease my aching feet . Seaside is very famous that almost everyone knows it, you can never get lost. Its a long strip of beach , the Arabian Gulf, beaming like diamonds in a blistering 48 degrees summer heat. It´s a nice scenery there especially during mild winter days, and also on very early summer mornings as well as when we don´t have dust storms. I missed those days where the only music I hear is the waves…. I have watched the tides being low and high, calm and clear…now going to the beach for me is quite a luxury.We are surrounded now with different kind of bodies of water which is also another paradise.
Here in Germany, people loved to take leisure walks. It is really a lifestyle that stands out everywhere. When people doesn´t cycle , you know they are walking. Sometimes I feel like if you don´t get out at least an hour a day, you are commiting a sin.I watched people of all ages do this, including myself. Germans takes walks for various reasons as well, but mainly, they loved to be out.Walking along the Danube river, in a park or forests can be a daily adventure trip. Walks are used for relaxation, recreation for families, or just simply observing and thoughtful leisure…or killing time, especially on Rühetag Sonntag ( Quiet Sundays).When the sun is out, people go out and take a walk to get under the sun, having a friend beside you walking and chatting is quite extravagant.Breathing fresh air, exercising in a form of ” brisk walking” is like a common changing your ” wallpaper”. You see,walking helps you see a different backdrop from nature especially during the change of seasons. A walk in the city is totally different experience from a walk from a quiet valley or countryside. A walk done through the weekdays is probably feels different when its on weekends.Here in Bayern, its very normal to see people walking with sticks, they say it makes walking easier, although I see it more frequently with old people.
All of the above reasons, I did it all, all for the sake of ” walking”. In the early days, I would take a walk with my daughter in the stroller. In this way, I´ve got to know my new city and meet new people. Through “Spaziergang” , I have alearned to appreciate nature more, and made more pauses just to linger more with nature. It´s some kind of therapy as well. It´s a form of relaxing yourself aside from it is naturally healthy. I ´ve took a walk with my family, with friends, with my daughter, and yes, most of the time, I treasured the me-times or alone. There is a great consolation that I get when I took an early morning stroll and having a place all by myself. Most of the photos and inspiration from this Blog are the product of my daily Wandertags ( or strolling).
These photos are the ones I´ve took last week when we took a walk in the nearby town here in Ingolstadt. We were so early ( we always go out early to avoid crowds) that the trees and shrubs still have wet stems and misty. I totally got excited to take many photos and experiment with my camera.
When was the last time you took a walk? Have you enjoyed it?
Until next time friends, Stay safe and have a great week!
The other day I was desperately needing a nature boost and a couple of hours spent outdoors to breathe some fresh air is always good. I was greeted by lovely spring atmosphere and new foliage colors. The magnolia and blossom trees from our neighbour signals the change of season and we are all loving it.I watched it everyday from our window.I noticed that everything is slowly, or rather incognito turning back to life, exuding a rare confidence of vibrant spirit during the dire times of pandemic. Of course we can´t sit out in Biergartens or meet with friends. Sunshine on my face feels great, I ´ve missed the light sting it does on my skin. I´m thankful that I´m still alive and I am bent to continue writing for this Blog. Last weekend I decided to visit our local park and saw that the Daffodils were on their last blooms.I observed that some flowers have served their purpose already, slowly on the bend, downing for their final bows…I guess soon it will the turn of the Dandelions and sunflowers to amaze us!
One of the events that I certainly looking forward to attend this year was the Landesgartenshau 2020 here in Ingolstadt. It´s like bringing Keukenhof here in Germany. I have written many times how I admire all the plant loving people here in my town and how much it inspired me to start gardening as well. I love plants and everything inspired by nature so for me, this is one of the highlights in Spring and the coming warmer months. It was supposed to open this April but considering the health risks we are facing because of Corona, it is not yet sure if it can be open for public even up to latest of May.We don´t know yet when will everything returns to normal.The acres of magnificent Garden site and flower show is already built and the exhibition is set off to kick off soon but then for the meantime, everything is put on hold.
Can you imagine the loss that the small entrepreneurs and flower shops including garden shops are facing right now due to the crisis?
From last weeks´s weather that reached up to 23 dec Celsius, I thought Summer came early! It felt warm and my daughter is asking me if she can swim outside! Finally, it´s time to ditch the layers and wear shorts and tshirts! Despite the corona lockdown, people here managed to go out for a few hours. Aside from usual shopping and errands, children are running in the streets, cycling and people keep on walking, but of course with distance! Bottomline is, people just kept on, moving forward. It´s hard not to enjoy the inviting sun especially when outside breathes a lot of fresh blooms. Just look at them…!
Of course it´s still a day in the Life of Quarantine so the much needed tranquil and peace is out there. Every morning I hear the chriping of the birds. I usually watch them from my window when they fly back to their nest and sometimes they stop on top of the hedge. Out in Klenzepark, a park where we frequently visit because it has a lovely playground, I admired once again the field of blossoming white and yellow Daffodils, here its known as Narzissen.This park used to be full with sunbathers and families trying to wiggle off the dust of boredom and gasping for fresh air, letting their bundles of joy run around like crazy in the open field, especially on weekends. But now everything is empty, so serene.What a difference when everybody else is staying at home, except for the few brave ones who still needs to go to work. I guess nobody wants to make loud noises these days.Here, Easter went off quickly and our foolish thoughts were grilled right there in the comfort of our balconies, listening to music, and getting away from the family drama. A number of lithe people still sweating their limbs as they go on with their fitness and sports regime, exhaling the numb sounds of fear and succombing to the natural call of the hour— which is to keep on living and staying healthy.
How does Spring looks like in your area?
How many times were you out since the lockdown?
I am looking forward to discover new nature on my next walk and hopefully I could take better photos by then!
After a long break, I am back ! Sorry for the long absence, but there has been so many things going on in my life and it’s always a struggle to find time to update my Blog. Nevertheless, I thought its great to share with you Guys some warm Spring -love , all the way from Bavaria!
I couldn’t agree no more, it’s so true in all sense. I have written in so many ways about my admiration for Tulips, Dandelions, and almost all exotic blooms. Flowers have their own language to For me, the warmest welcome for give unexplainable wonder, a stress reliever. I guess you can only relate with me if you are a plant-lover or you love flowers and yes….when its Spring!Here in Germany, it’s very obvious that Germans love flowers and when its Spring, they all go crazy working in their gardens!No matter how small their balcony , there’s always a way to hang a planter box full of Spring flowers.
Anyway, Every Spring, is a wonderful time to enjoy the bright, shiny, and golden blooms of Show Off Starlet Forsythia in our garden. The moment I see the early buds sprouting out from its stems, then I know, sunny days are coming.Yellow is such a happy color, don’t you agree? It symbolizes fresh beginnings, optimism, energy and of course, joy.
The flowers of Forsythia always exudes a grand sight.Our gloomy garden, out from the winter slumber suddenly brightens up when the yellow flowers blooms.Alongside with the bright Daffodils and Dandelions, it is always a lovely sight to enjoy.
Don’t you feel a surge of energy when you see yellow?
In our neighborhood, Forsythia is very common. Almost all gardens from where I lived have a yellow shrub or tree during the early days of Spring. That’s a sure sign for me that Forsythia is well-loved by Germans, maybe because they are also easy to propagate.
Plant lovers like me who look forward to early spring color absolutely love this plant. No doubt at all that Show Off Starlet Forsythia makes a great choice for an accent plant in mixed borders or foundation plantings.
Early spring brings a bright gold profusion of 4- petalled blooms from tip to stem. Butterflies absolutely love them. On the other hand, their beauty is short-lived, the blooms only lasts for at least 2 weeks just like the Cherry Blossoms.
Show Off Starlet Forsythia has a nice and tidy compact, upright habit. It matures to 2′-3′ with a spread of 3′-4′. It has dark green lance shaped leaves that turn bronze in Autumn.
Show Off Starlet Forsythia is air pollution tolerant, along with being deer resistant. It prefers a good, loose soil and is very adaptable. I think they are very easy to care for. Prune after flowering if needed, or if you want to boost its growth.If you wish to maintain a smaller plant, remove a few of the oldest stems at ground level. It may be trimmed back to the ground if desired.We had pruned ours last weekend to maintain it from being so bushy. Its stems can grow so long and can be leggy as well.
What about you, do you have any Spring flower favorite?
What is the color of Spring in your side of the world?
Sending you warm greetings from Bavaria and enjoy the wonderful colors of Spring!
The Cherry blossoms turning the Neues Schloss into a magical fairy tale land!
I don’t need to travel to Bonn, to the world-renownedHeerstraße street or to other scenic parts here in Europe to see the Cherry Blossom spectacle, because right here in my old little town in Bavaria, our streets are flooded as well with these gorgeous pink blossoms . It’s been a while now that these flowers are dazzling us everyday. I realized why people say that seeing these pink lovelies during early days of Spring is one of the things you should do before you die— it is simply gorgeous! I know I am not the only one who is crazy enough to snap photos of these flowers, and why not, they are irresistible to not capture. They are the popular photo motif at the moment. See feeds in Facebook and Instagram and you know what I mean. I do believe in seeing the beauty of the moment before it vanishes.
Well, remember the long dark, grey winter days where all the trees are bald, leafless, and barren, now Spring is bringing back everything to life! Just like the other wild spring flowers, Cherry blossoms brings such a happy spirit, lifting our souls to enjoy the outdoors and the sunshine once again. Isn’t it amazing how our moods changes, when we see a change in our surroundings?
Just like the charming yellow Daffodils, Cherry Blossoms are such an enigma to behold during Springtime! I found more about this flower when I did a bit of reading and now I understand that aside from touristic reasons, Japan’s Sakura is such a magnet for tourists.
Hanami is the Japanese tradition to admire the blossoming of flowers in spring, especially the delicate cherry blossoms. It dates back to the Heian period. The term, however, refer to the cherry blossoms (sakura), symbol of the Japanese culture. The true meaning of this tradition is not observing flowers blooming passively, but rather in living the journey of these beautiful flowers coming off the trees by the spring breeze. Cherry blossoms are not only symbols of rebirth and wealth, but also of the samurai’s qualities: loyalty, honesty and courage. Hanami is also an opportunity to meet friends, planning parties, picnics and karaoke sitting under the cherry blossoms trees. It is amazing admiring a rain-scented flowers, just like what the Dutch’s thing for Gezelligheid!
Did you know that Cherry blossoms are very sensitive flowers? The first flowers emerge slowly under the protection of the old branches. They do not like rain at all, and frosty night temperatures can easily harm the flowers as well. Since the weather here in Bavaria has been cooler than usual, we even had rains & hail today, I already see that some blossoms are down in the streets.
Picturesque pink magic …
Here in our neighborhood alone, rows of pink and white cherry blossom trees gives us a happy vibes whenever we walk and cycle.Fortunately the trees here are tall and have been pruned so high that no one can reach the blossoming cherry branches. Otherwise the precious trees would probably be looted by souvenir hunters, myself included! I was even tempted to cut a branch! At this safe height, the fluffy pink flowers swing in the warm spring breeze.
Remember that the cherry blossoms only lasts for a short time, around 10 days, so if you have the chance, make the most of them whilst you can!
What do you love about Spring in your area? Do you also love Cherry Blossoms as I do?
“Impressive work found in Ostermarkt where around 10,000 handpainted eggs adorn the King Ludwig fountain for this year’s Osterbrunnen. “
In our neighborhood alone,the sight of pink, white and eager cherry blossom trees (or Kirschbaum ) are now blossoming with beautiful pink and white flowers, signaling the spring days ahead. The sight of the white Spargels ( white Asparagus) in the wet market this morning assures me that beautiful days of Spring ( Frühling) here in Germany have indeed arrived! The past days the temperatures soars high,a good 10-15 degrees, sunny and bright, and I can’t believe that we can finally stroll outside without our bulky jackets. Weather is perfect, every where I see, I see growth of greens from the trees and yes, a time to celebrate Easter soon.
Here in Ingolstadt, Easter vibes is so alive and arrives right on the 1st day of April,in the Osterbrunnen festright along the Paradeplatz in the old town.The event started with a parade of music, opening speech from our city mayor, Christian Lösel, and the tapping of the beer keg or O’zapft is! If you want a free mug of beer, all you have to do is be there!
The Ostermarkt will run from 1st of April until 17th 2017 from 10.00 ~19.00 Uhr. Around the Paradeplatz, there are food stalls which serves the local delicacies, a Karussel (Carousel) for children, and quaint shops selling Easter goods.My daughter was too excited to see the carousel but always afraid to ride it!
Tell you frankly, Easter here in Germany is a big thing since aside from its religious significance, it also signal the arrival of Spring, the season of renewal. About 3 weeks ago, the shops were packed with all the decorations and different types of decorations for Easter such as eggs, Easter bunny ( Osternhase) and so much more. I have never seen such frenzy as these in the Philippines! There are Easter Chocolate eggs as big as a basketball! Today I got 6 pieces of Easter eggs given away during the opening ceremony and we are literally walking in a red-carpet cobbled streets of Ludwigstrasse. There are so many freebies along the street, I even had a glass of white wine! There are face painting for kids and there is such a happy ‘vibe”, even the Biergartens are in full swing once again! Ingolstadt is a small city and yet with so many festivals to celebrate, you can never get boring.
Since April 15, 2000, the first Ostermarkt was inaugurated by Mayor Hans Amler and was solemnized by Moritzpfarrer Leo Pöll and since then, this event has become one of the highlights of Spring.
Right in the middle of Paradeplatz in front of theNeues Schloss stands the decorated fountain, with the monument of the mighty King Ludwig of Bavaria. During the first festival, around 3,000 ( three thousand) painted easter eggs in white and blue colors ( Grösster weiss/blauer Osterbrunnen Bayerns) adorns the fountain, but each year they are increasing in number. The whole fountain is filled with spring flowers and Easter decorations arranged in a steel crown like specially made by trainees of Audi AG.Now, around 10, 000 hand painted Easter eggs are on display for everyone to see. Such a lovely sight and a heritage that Ingolstädter are all proud of.
To decorate the fountain, it requires 500 hours to do the creative work of painting the eggs and arranging the steel crown and finally set up the fountain.Looking at all the eggs, it is intricately painted and crafted.Imagine 10,000 pieces!
What an impressive work and creativity!
Have you ever seen a fountain decorated with thousands of Easter eggs? How is Easter celebrated in your area?
A week ago, we tossed our heavy winter jackets and opt for our light jackets and surprisingly, we managed to enjoy outdoors sans our gloves and bonnets but only when the sun is out. Last weekend, my daughter was back in the saddle and enjoyed cycling once again. After the Karneval season, it seems like the temperatures started to creep high, at least now it’s not negative and no more Glatteis. We’ve had one to two days in a row of lovely sunny days, but often times it’s still grey and cloudy. The sharp winds brought chills and rains visits us occasionally and you know how it feels when it’s cold and raining at the same time–It sucks! Weather can be so unpredictable as ever! The snow has finally melted and the frozen lakes were back to its current again. Despite the obvious signs of spring, winter is still all over here in Germany, especially here in Bavaria.
Although the true arrival of spring in the northern hemisphere does not happen until the spring equinox on March 20, there are signs of the end of winter and the arrival of warmer weather. If you’ve been out, I am sure you wouldn’t miss it.
And yes, our winter gears needs to stay a bit longer more…
These ‘Pussy willows‘ are all over the place and they are sold everywhere. The best ones are in the weekend markets. They are perfect home decoration for the coming Easter celebrations. Every Bavarian household makes an ‘Osternbaum‘made of twigs from ‘Palmkätzchen‘ with plastic Easter eggs hanging on them. I saw these wild bulbs on our way to the park last sunday and I couldn’t resist but to take a close up shot!
These lavender lovelies gives such a happy vibes to the brownish almost barren gardens.
And look what I’ve met the other day, a gorgeous snowdrop among bunches of dried leaves in the garden! I am looking forward to find a field of these little beauties. It is so refreshing to see them after the long cold winter days and their color totally remind me of the Winter wonderland in Austria !
So many wildflowers are sprouting and starting to bloom. The lilac Crocuses are little wonders, small as they can be. But for the bees, they are the source of inspiration for the coming warmer days.The other day, I saw my daughter playing with a ladybird (Marienkäfer) in the garden and a wasp is hovering over her.
Wilkommen wasps! (or Bees ) your season will soon be here!
If taking a hike in the middle of the woods is your thing just like me, you will be rewarded with an amazing orchestra of the singing birds. A sure sign that feathered animals are coming back and start to nest once again. Bird houses are a common sight as well, even from the porches and balconies of apartments. Also, Wildlife watching is one of the prettiest sights I have seen nowadays. It’s my first time to see real black swans here, crazily fighting over the breads we tossed, they are prettier than from the ones I saw in movies or internet. Wild birds are in frenzy manic chirping, perhaps they rejoice since they can easily find food nowadays .
Daylight saving time (DST) will soon be back (March 26) and Huuuuurrayyyyy that the sun is up until 6pm now.Here in Germany, when its bright and sunny like the photo I took last Saturday, everyone is out, walking, cycling, running and exploring like crazy! Germans go out in herds! I see people in scarf and eating ice cream and I have the same cravings as well.
Do you know how Germans look forward and getting ready for Spring?
They are up early, clad in boots and gardening gloves with a rake, cleaning up their gardens and mowing their precious lawns, and on Saturdays, they all rush to Dehner to grab new planters and seedlings! Yes, it’s true, my neighbor just did this.
With all these early signs of Spring, who wouldn’t be excited?
I can’t wait for my first German winter to be over and to start shedding all these winter clothing in layers one by one. Unfortunately, most trees are still bare and leaf-less, beer gardens are still not in sight and yes, Brrr, it is still cold outside!
What about you, what’s your favorite sign for Spring?