A Day in the Life

Have you ever wondered what is it to be in someone else´s shoes? I tried to observed my stereotyped-Germans everyday and I got fascinated by them each time. Got a little bit creative, then decided to push a bit of fictional motivation to make them come alive in your imagination.

Welcome to Bavaria!

Last week we had our first snow for Winter, well actually it´s not even Winter yet!!I quickly looked out from the window and saw that a good amount of snow blanketed the garden. It looks cold, dire, obviously it´s expected for a typical German Winter. While bringing my daughter to school, the “Winterdienst” ( or the winter season road cleaner) suddenly came out, with it´s blinding lights and roaring vehicle. A truck which scrapes the snow like a spatula. Snowploughing, as they called it in English.They actually work in wonders, they are personally my lifesavers during winter.

Then it made me wonder how is it in a day of a Snow cleaner?

From scattering winter traction, up to shoveling snow from driveways,I wonder what can really make their day…?

The day went on and my thoughts are wandering and wondering what is it in a day of someone else´s .Let me share with you my fascinating encounters .

A Day in a Life of a Sausage Cook

I took the courage to photograph this lady in the 500-Year old Sausage Kitchen somewhere in Regensburg. I was so intrigued by her, wondering how many “Bratwurst” or sausage does she cook in her shift. Probably hundreds, or thousands, I really don´t know.Judging by the size of her grill plate, it might be more than 50+ sausages per batch. An average person might order 1 Brotchen (or bread) with 2 sausage inside,added with dollop of Sauerkraut and mustard.Bratwurst is probably the national street food here in South Germany so I am really wondering is she also eat sausage in her break, lunch or Abendbrot. My questions are left unanswered so I would probably dare to ask a cook once we visit this restaurant again.

If you asked me, the sausage tastes great; certainly a must-try if you head over to Regensburg.A plus, eat it while watching the boats go by and I am sure you can have a simple “gemütlich” time.

The lady cook in Sausage Kitchen

A Day in the Life of a Street Musician

I stumbled seeing this street musician in one of the bridge which connects the town proper to another part of the town.The sight is really not so idyllic as it seems to be but the nature views deserves a click in my camera. I haven´t heard him playing a music. He is busy taking a selfie or he is probably photographing the skies, birds or something unusual in the skies.I really dunno.Probably he wanted to document this day.Just like any performer, he must prepared his playlist for the day , his opening and finale songs must be his “hit”. He had two guitars , one electric and one acoustic so I am sure he can offer more variations.

I wonder if his family watches his performance as well ?

I knew some people can´t get enough of their headphones ,listening to music but playing music all day long is another thing. I am sure he has his own streaming site somewhere in the tube and fbook.It should be, nowadays it´s the way.

A Day in the Life of a FalconTrainer

Imagine, you can train a falcon.Well for me, potty training for training is already a struggle but this one is something else.

She is quite special. I admire her guts, stamina and choice of profession. I got the impression that whenever she mentions that she had probably made a couple of Ausbildung (or Training), or maybe even more! in her chosen Field then, she would definitely get her dream job, here in Germany or elsewhere, anywhere in the world as long as there are birds he can train.

But how does her day begin and ends? Does she herself have her own Falcon to train, or at least a parrot probably?Was she ever bitten by it or scratched by its claws.The thing is, how do you even train this certain type of bird?

A Day in the Life of the Street Performer

Ah this one is a bit fancy. All dolled up and made up, with a costume too.The street is his stage, and his audience is always a mixture of koleidoscope homo sapiens.Mothers with children in strollers are always welcome, and oldies as well. You can always find them in the busiest part of the town. Nobody wants to perform without an audience so the choice of location is very crucial.I call him Silver man.Obviously he loves music, and this colour which really stands out. Sometimes I find it actually ghostly. He has many tricks and children are always speechless after seeing him. Street magic they called it, well not really like David Copperfield or Criss Angel, but they are one of the theatrical performers we meet in a very normal daily street life. They don´t have tickets to be sold, or a seat to be reserved, only a spot where you can actually see them do their tricks.A good applause make them smile and energized. A display of his Porfolio doens´t even hurt so take a look and buy some of his postcards if you have a Euro to spare.

A Day in the Life of a Beerman

I just want to call him “Beerman“.One look at him and I know he is a master of the Beer.He probably had so much Beer tours from past years so he knows it all from Helles to Pils. He knows everything about this golden fluid.A good German draft beer is the pride of my town, typical for a Bavarian Town where the Beer Purity Law is founded.Personally, I think I have tasted the best beer here, eversince I came to Germany. Pre.Covid, we have 2 times in a year this thing called “Bierfests“, the big celebrations for beer almost the same as Oktoberfest. It´s the best days for him as well. Not so nowadays because of the virus but I bet even with 2G controls, he still have a good drink once in a while.

and lastly, these Girls.

A Day in the Life of the Old Town Mädels

Mädels is a german word for ladies.Everytime I had the chance to visit the weekend market, I see pretty ladies like them.Sitting so cozy, busy making life, and always vibrant as ever. They never stopped working, admiring where do they get their pool of creativity and stamina. Some sells whatever in their plate but these Mädels create something quite simple, but really beautiful. Krankz, or Wreaths, pretty litlle thing bouquets from dried flowers and many more.Some even get all the materials from their own garden!They are the first ladies I got acquainted since I came here and seeing them doing their thing in every season makes me wonder…how is it in a day of these Mädels?

Something to ponder about for today, feeling great after a 10km run, a bit of destressing and still going on, after all, life is still beautiful, with its Koleidoscope and wonderful dramas.

Have you ever met such stereotype-Germans? How was the encounter?

Tschuss, until next time!

One of -a kind Timbered Houses in Bernkastel-Kues

Close-up details of the Half-Timbered houses in Bernkastel-Kues

Few meters beside our apartment is an on going construction of a family house. I don´t know exactly but it looks like 4 single houses, with 3 floors. Considering the standard aprtments here in Ingolstadt, this House would be big enough for a family of 4, even with 3 children, probably a 4- bedroom house, including a underground parking and it has enough space for a garden as well.

Look´s great and yes…expensive.

German houses over here in our area are quite modern.The thing is, all the roller shutters seems so cold and univiting. In the outskirts and in the old town, I´ve seen quite many typical Bavarian houses, with intricate tower like-facades .I´ve once took a tour and explored all the historical towers and unique architecture in our neighbourhood and I´ve learned a lot.But personally, nothing beats the allure of the half-timbered Houses I have seen in the old town of Bernkastel Kues when we explored the Mosel area.

Just like a normal wanderer, I am always on the look of fine details, color and character so the unique woodwork of these houses really caught my attention.

We visited Bernkastel-Kues after we see the famous Burg Eltz, a medieval Castle nestled in the midst of the forest. This little town is in between the Moselle and vineyards where we also have a lovely hike through the grape vine yards. The beautiful River Moselle flows lovingly to this town, giving it more charm. Narrow, densely built-up lanes lead to the market square, which is surrounded by magnificent timber frame buildings. The pointed roofs here are striking. Because of the lack of space, the houses were built to be as tall as possible.

Lovely charming old town of Bernkastel-Kues

Main attraction in this little town is the wonderful timber-framework of the houses, buidings and almost everything.Pharmacies, bakeries, restaurants, cafes and even their City hall has the same flair.Combined with wall carvings and paintings, the town is full of artistic flair, color, and beauty. See, I am still hangóvered by the rainbow island of Burano and the rustic feel of the houses in Venice along the canals—but the timbered -houses are also cannot be underrated.

I can´t help but to stare, and looked-up at all times. Even while we´re eating, the background of Timbered houses is so fascinating. I felt like I´m another world. Added with old fashioned lantern posts and German engravings, it´s really typical German Old Town.The color, almost rustic red, deep maroon shade against a while plaster is so alluring to the eyes.Sitting in a Cafe, drinking coffee and having a piece of a freshly baked cake seemed almost a luxury!

So what´s exactly a half-timbered House?

Half-timbered structures have a wood-saving skeleton with self-supporting timber and curtain walls made of clay or brick. This building method is extremely ecological, environmentally sustainable and aesthetic

On it´s exterior, you can easily see its detailed woodwork.Cylindrical logs were cut in half, so one log could be used for two (or more) posts. The shaved side was traditionally on the exterior and everyone knew it to be half the timber.I guess normal people would not even bother to dive why the´ve built something like that.It´s all that meet the eyes. No wonder it´s one of the attraction magnet of this area.

But if you visit Germany, I am sure you will see some of them depending on your location. It was actually one of the first sights that I´ve digged in when I moved here. I find it so unique, especially since I am Asian and this type of housing is not normal from where I came from.

In Germany, there are approximately 2 Million timbered houses, still standing up until now.There is even a whole town in Quedlinburg with more than 1,300 timbered houses that´s why it was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage. Imagine that, I think it would be lovely to take a walk in this town!

Spitzhäuschen or Peak House in Bernkastel-Kues

I love modern architecture as well but what´s not to love about traditional woodwork on lovely houses like this?

How about you, have you ever seen a half-timbered House?

Until then, Tschüss!

Glow of the Dawn and OrangeAutumn skies

I took a morning walk and feeling excited and cold, I know it´s just gonna be a great day. I don´t know, my body clock is just set on waking up early, I can´t stay in bed longer than 6 o´clock! There´s something about watching the breaking of Dawn that hooked me. The stillness of the empty streets, the bright street lights, the blinks and changing colors of the traffic signs, the soft wind, and of course, the changing colors of the skies.

The fact that I´m standing alone in the street really makes me feel so small and on the bright side, unbothered. Well at least I have the best views…

My neighbourhood is surprisingly quiet around this time.I love the autumn feels in my neighbourhood. Only few cyclists busied themselves in the streets, probably going on some early errands. It´s Autumn break so schools are closed, furthermore, the children are probably still snoring in their beds. I recognized the same old man, walking his dog, actually two dogs, with lights attached on their necks. I find it funny though.When I run, I often bump into him because he also frequented the paths along the river.

Then there´s this lady, walking with sticks. She´s really sporty and fit, I love her attitude because she´s also an early-riser. She probably doesn´t need to go to work anymore and just enjoy her time.

It only takes a few minutes to admire this beauty and it´s gone. If you´re slow then it will be gone in seconds, and skies turned once again into gray.I am glad I took a snap of it, engraving it in my memory and added to my archives. I wished I could watched pricely sunrises like this, if I have the luxury of time and not bothered by daily routines and chores. Still reflecting on this, I stumbled upon the photo calandar that my friend had gave me.it has a nice verse on it about autumn, sorry it´s written in German but I´ll try to translate. I find it really meaningful and would like to share with you.

" Das Leben ist für mich wie die Jahreszeiten.
Der Frühling ist unsere Kindheit.
Der Sommer kommt, wenn wir beginnen,
nach unseren Traümen zu greifen.
Der Herbst steht für diese besondere Zeit,
wenn wir ein wenig kürzer treten, innehalten,
entspannen und unser bischeriges Leben überdenken."
- Die Weisheit deines Herzens

It´s a perfect time to take a minute and pause. It doesn´t need to be long, as long as it´s meaningful.It says life is like the seasons. Spring is our childhood. When summer comes when we start to reach our dreams.Autumn stands when we start to take a slower pace in life, relax, and reflect on our bizaare life. It all comes out from the wisdom of our heart.

After my moment of reflection, I hopped again on my bike and cycled over the bridge where I had a glimpse of the colorful autumn foliage reflected on Danube river. What a morning.Now I hurried to go to bakery to get some fresh bread , knowing that the reality of life awaits for me.

How was your morning so far?

Ever wondered why Orange color is so distracting? or why I find peace in hikingin the Mountains?

Until then,Tschüss!

Life in Germany :Süßes oder Saures?

The mighty Pumpkin

Living in Germany for more than 5 years introduced me to the Pumpkin. Yes, this giant, round veggie, orange, sometimes, bloody orange, sometimes yellow and spotted, comes also in crazy shapes is the star of Autumn here.It is the main highlight in October, especially in Halloween.Without it, Süßes oder Saures is not complete!

German words “Süßes oder Saures? ” became like a new culture for us. It means ” Sweet or Sour? “ , a little tricky though cuz normally, I grew up with the concept of Halloween where dressing up, and wearing costumes makes it enough to have a spooky feel. But here in Germany, it is something else.Since I have a kid, we have learned to embrace this special tradition that my fellow neighbours here in Bavaria are doing.Children dressed themselves in their costumes, with make up or masked-on, carrying a basket and knocking on doors, asking for candies or sweets., but then, they also loved the sour ones!

Many Kindergartens host a Halloween Party for kids during this time, just before the Herbstferien (Autumn break) begins. Specially Halloween spooky baked goodies are prepared for the feast, and some with games and everything.

With us here in Bavaria, it is very common and most children loved doing it. If your child is not doing it then he/she might be left out.My daughter´s first costume when we moved here was a Pumpkin.I think every baby looks adorable with a pumkin costume!

Der Kürbis, or the Pumpkin is a masculine in Gender in German grammar

But then, October won´t end without the sight of the Pumpkin. Picking up your Pumpkin is one of the exciting thing to do as a family. It´s size, shape and built is really important. We have tried getting it directly from a farm, supermarket, or a Vegetable Shop ( Gemüse Hof) where they also have different varieties!And then the fun begins…

We love eating “Kürbis” as well. I baked Pumpkin pies, and made pots of Kurbis suppe (Pumpkin soup) and shared to our neighbours. It is such a warm food during the grey, gloomy autumn days here.

I remember carving our first Pumpkin with a normal knife. After looking up in Internet for few inspirations, I finally got a hold of it. Around our neighborhood, every porch, balcony, and entrance hall is decorated with a pumpkin or two.Our city is quite international and I am glad that we are living in such an open neighbouhood. I have read that in some parts of Germany, people are not so open about giving sweets to children ( especially now, probably because of the Pandemic!) and opening their doors to strangers. Some even chose to close their windows and lights for not to be disturbed!

Our Jack o-Lantern

Last night, we finally displayed our Pumpkin in the front porch with it´s lights and everything. We are happy for the result, my daughter loves it and carried it with delight! My daughter had a Halloween party with 5 other kids from our neighbours where all of them dressed up , ate a Halloween feast, and then made rounds in the streets asking for sweets or sour candies…we even offer to give cucumber pickles to prank them!

After the Pandemic, and long Corona restrictions, people over here are striving to live a normal life once again. Last night, I have seen so many families with their little children doing this and all smiles as they knocked on doors! Children are screaming with delights and not bothered by the cold, walking with torches and just singinging happily!

Here´s a part of the song text that they sing while knocking on people´s doors..

Wir sind die Gespenster,und klopfen an die Fenster.Wir klingeln an der Türen, dass all Angst verspüren!Habt ihr etwas zum knabbern? Dann woll´n wir weiter flattern! ”

This Post is inspired by Jude´s Life in Colour : Orange

Do you celebrate Halloween? How was it?

Until then, Tschüss!

Guten Appetit, the flavours of Bavaria

Warning spoilers:

This is not a Foodie Blog. I am not a Foodie but I do love a good, warm meal. This post is all about what I have been tasting around while living here in the southern part of Germany, Bayern, or locally known as Bavaria. Sometimes I think that Bavaria is another land, because it is so much different from different parts of Germany, in many aspects.

Anyway,from an expat view, here´s what you can expect to taste if you happen to visit Bavaria, either for business or pleasure. Of course, food comes along always from many different reasons. From navigating and exploring all the nature wonders, lakes and German castles and palaces—people would eventually take a break, and sit together to enjoy a meal. What is a typical Bavarian meal?

In German, we call Food as “Essen“. We say ” Mahlzeit, or “ Guten Appetit ” before eating, it means like “enjoy your meal” or simply enjoy eating .Germans eat normally 3 meals a day, plus there´s something in between small meals like Brotzeit, ( Bread) and ” Kaffee und Kuchen” -or Coffee and Cake.

Beer is unanimously enjoyed while eating traditional Bavarian dishes in restaurant or in Beer gardens.

Major meals during the day are ” Frühstuck“, (Breakfast), Mittagessen ( or Lunch) and Abendessen or (Dinner, also called as Abendbrot).Here in Bavaria, there´s also a famous delicacy for breakfast. It´s the Weißwürst with Breze, a white sausage eaten with freshly baked Pretzel and with sweet mustard. It´s being served only until 11 o´clock and can be eaten in weekend food stalls or in restaurants. Others enjoyed it with Beer as well.I have never tried it myself since I am not really a big fan of sausages.

Germans are bread lovers . They do eat LOTs of Bread.

They dont mind too much carbs.They adore their hard crusted buns, croissants, and dark loafs or Dinkel.

Eating bread almost every day was really a shock to me. I am used to eat rice 3x a day before, but coming here, my taste buds were altered. At first I find their buns so hard, sturdy and I can even throw it like a stone. I grew up having soft breads and toasts so I can´t believed it that now, I got used to eating bread as well for lunch or dinner. There are so many different kinds of bread here, almost more than a thousand varieties!

I try other kinds once in a while when I´m in the bakery to discover new flavors. In every kilometer is a nearby Bakery (or Bäckerei) which sells different kinds of rolls, dark breads with lots of seeds, and even gluten -frei ones and they are open everyday as early as 7 o´clock up to 6 o´clock in the evening.

If you´re in Bavaria, you will definitely see a lot of Beer garden culture. People loved to meet in here, with friends and family, special occasions, watch football or just leisurely idle away on Silent sundays. Yesterday I was in a Beergarden and there´s a special dish from Yugoslavia. We tried the “Pola-Pola” which made of meat in skewers,Cevapcici, fresh salads and rice with sauce. It totally delicious!

Below is a typical huge platter here in Bavaria. For bigger groups and families, they prefer a big servings consisting of sliced hams, bacon ( or Schinken), breads, slices of fresh salads, tomatoes, radishes and fruits cuts like melons. This is very tasty and I specially loved the spreads and Ementaler cheese.

Of course, Bavarian dish is not complete without Sausages. Just like Breads, there are thousands variants of Sausages. I am not so fond of eating them. Only some occasional Bratwürst when we do BBQ´s and the curry wurst that my daughter love.So when you come to Bavaria or anywhere in Germany, you will definitely see some Sausages in the menu. To fully experience Bavarian food, you´ve gotta try eating Wursts at least!

A 800+ old sausage tradition in Nürnberg

Other famous Bavarian dishes are Schnitzel, Gulasch, a pork or beef stew with dark sauce ,Rouladen (rolled meat) Knödel or a ball made up of some kind of noodle and their Spätzle. Bavarian food is commonly paired with potatoes, (fried or cooked), and side dishes of Sauerkraut and fresh Salad mixes.

Schnitzel, a mainstay in Bavarian menus

I was introduced to Spätzle and we loved it. Our favourite local restaurant to go is the Weißbrauhaus zum Herrenbrau and they really served delicious dishes. Spätzle taste like noodles or pasta, only that the form is smaller and either it is fried or cooked with mushrooms and onions,we loved them both.

Bavarians loved to enjoy sitting in restaurants and eating out. Over here, there are lots of restaurants and some Asian restaurants as well, but not really arabic ones.Young people loved to snack on Döner Kebabs and sausages with a bun.

My plate is full !

Most of Bavarian sweet desserts are made of traditional cakes and pastries. A local version of Kaisersmarrn is always a good choice served with apple sauce, vanilla ice cream or berries.Over here, we love trying their different fruit cakes ( or Blechkuchen) and Apfel strudel with vanilla ice cream.German desserts is also notorious for using many heavy creams and mascarpone with their Bayerische creme top with pistashios and fruit slices.

I noticed that Germans ( or rather Bavarians) loved their cakes to have almonds and always fruity and not so much icing. Some other variants are Mohnkuchen ( Poppy seeds) cakes, Quarkbällchen, Schwartzwald Torte ( Black Forest ), Marmor Kuchen and many types of Pudding.I find their version of cheesecake made with sour cream also better than oversweetened ones.

The undisputed taste of Kaisersmarrn

Aside from frequenting to sit in Cafés and restaurants to enjoy Coffe and Cake, people around here also loved baking at home. Honestly,I have learned to baked many goodies since I came here. In Supermarkets, you can find different kinds of baking inspirations to make your own dessert or something for birthdays.I have learned the value of homemade cakes .This is so different from the culture that I´ve grown up where everything about cakes and pastries can easily be bought in store.

Then there´s this thing we called “Abendbrot”. When we don´t have a big appetite for dinner, we opt to eat soup and bread, or simply bread slices with some fresh cheese, ham or bacon slices, or with tomatoes. It is a light meal at night.

A piece of Abendbrot
Life of a third culture Kid growing up with German Breads

One thing worth of mentioning is all about customer service in Germany.They don´t have it. I have the impression that service is quite dull and very cold. They are not the ones who would greet you gladly and cater to you in the most approriate way. They are very direct and I guess, it´s just the way they are. Most restaurants accepts payments by card ( esp. during Corona times ) or less contact, but then in many areas, paying with cash is always preffered.

I have discovered new dishes since I came here and I eventually have learned to cooked them. I must say that I have finally got a taste of German Culture, both gastronomically, and culturally.I haven´t actually tried any unique street food here since street food vendors are not so common here.

Have you ever tasted German or Bavarian dishes? How was your experience?

How to say Hello in Bavaria

Is the grass really greener in Bavaria?

Prost, how I learned to drink Beer in Germany

Germany, more than Dirndls and Lederhosen

Until then on my next expat adventure! Tschüss!

Under Construction

The vacant lot beside where we lived is now under construction. That means….

Everyday there´s something going on. All except Sundays. We have loud commotions and noises under our noses and lots of scrambling like someone is being murdered. There are huge trailers,Lorries,delivery vans, cranes, endless trips of ready mixed concrete trucks.

My daily sights include the flying ” Mobi” or the porta toilets for the workers, and in the street across us, a container is settled for the worker´s quarters. There is always human and motor traffic. When the land was being cleared, I have seen the biggest damp truck I have ever seen, and I was really amazed how fast it did the job done.Within 3 days, the empty field was scraped and a big hole was dug.

It´s not always an enjoyable to watch and to live with the noises is really maddening. But then, nothing we can do.

We live with it and hoping that it will be finished. Soon.

On the other hand, when I cycled to work, I am rewarded with these beautiful sunrises.The skies are colorful and the construction serves as the sun´s background to show it´s amazing dawn.So far, this is one of the perks of waking up at 5.30 am and starting the day early.

Throwing back to the lovely sunrises and sunsets and more chasing the fog in Summer while I am memerized looking down on pretty Manholes.

Though in some point, these pretty purple magenta sunrises reminds me of Jude , who challenges us to look out for the color Purple in everyday life. Do head on to her ” Life in Colour “ page if you wanna see some serious adventures in full colors.

Until then, and by the way, here in Bavaria, we say “Servus” instead of Hello! Tschüss.

Tschüss Kindergarten, Hallo Schultüte!

Tchüss Kindergarten, Hallo Schultüte!

Today is the first day of School here in Bavaria, the southern part of Germany and my daughter finally said Tschüss (Goodbye) to Kindergaten and said “Hallo to her Schultüte”…Sie ist endlich ein Schulkind, finally now that she turned 6, she is finally starting School…

As a parent, this whole new experience is bringing us mixed emotions. Schools are finally reopening—with masks, Abstand ( or distance of min. 1.5 Meters) and strict hygienic concepts and many more other restrictions. For the first time , this is all happening, children are finally back to school, as we also all gone back to work, right on the verge of Corona virus chaos.On the other hand, we are proud parents that our child is having her new milestone, new challenge and definitely making big leaps of growth.But then for the same scary virus, part of me always have this fear and a bag full of worries. Fear of the unknown, because we all know that as long as the virus is still out there, we can never feel safe enough.

But then for most of us, especially in the eyes of the little children…life must go on…

Starting school in Germany with a big “Schultüte” or School cone

As an Expat mama, I am sharing this special post because here in Germany, I have seen something else. Something unique, something worthy of sharing . Something that I have never seen in my homeland or in any parts of Europe. Here, children starts school with a “Schultüte” or simply a School cone! This is totally German, and every single child here who enters the first grade in school must bring one on his/her first day of school. That is why this day is so special and celebrated !

What is a ” Schultüte” ?

Schultüte is actually a “Zuckertüte” or sweetbag ,or rather cone. A paper cone full of sweet surprises, like a big fat Christmas socks that is stuff with gifts! I have read that Shultüte is an old German tradition way back since 1810. First stories about Schultüte starts in Jena, Leipzig and Dresden so mainly on the Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia areas in Germany.But then nowadays, this nationwide tradition is widely celebrated by all children whoare about to start school in Germany.

The school normally starts on the 1st week of September, right after a long Summer break. On the first day, you will notice that the streets is filled with children (along with their parents) carrying this huge cone and their trendy Schulranzen (Backpacks). That is really a lovely sight to watch. Most of the time, parents are as excited as their kids!

Why German Schulranzen is Unique?

The Backpack and the School cone (Schultüte)

Here in Germany, Backpacks or Schulranzen says it all. I never imagined that Backpacks were that important here.I remember when I was young, many children does not need to have new things for school, but here…forget it, Schulranzen is very important, let alone expensive! Every child needs to have a decent Schulranzen. It´s like their weapon for their next battle.

But it looks to bulky and heavy…and how can they carry it while riding their bikes? “

Schulranzen is an important matter for every first grade children here in Germany.The backpack must be for functional use, compact, stable ,and will not hurt their backs ! ( Very important!) It is an important factor when buying one is that papers don´t get bent, and snacks dont get squished! Think about German mentality and perfection in every single thing. To give you an idea what children needs on their first grade, take a look at the photos below. This will give you an idea what you need to prepare aside from the Schultüte on the first day of school! This is the list that we´ve got from the School and bought!

With this, you might have an idea that starting school means you will spend probably hundreds and hundreds of Euros, all for a good start.My daughter chose her own design for her Schultüte, which happened to match her Schulranzen.

For me persoally ,the start of school in Germany is quite special. Yesterday we had a simple mass in the church for the first graders to be blessed, and today, they are rewarded with their own Schültute.They have the whole day to enjoy it. Schultüte is filled with many things that brings every 6 year old child loves. Normally it is filled with things that they can use at school like pencils, small stickers, notebooks, or stickers and so much more.It can be filled with small toys, sweets and many other “wished items”. The list are endless.

Since she adores Lego and Ninjago, we´ve had plenty of ideas what to put in her Schultüte!

The thing is, what I love about it is that it really creates that element of excitement and surprise to children.You can really see their eyes get wide full of excitement! My daughter cannot even wait to unpack it all! I think this is very important on their first day in school, a good start is always better than pressure. Instead of directly going to lessons, the children can still enjoy a relaxed first day of school, and of course, enjoying their hard earned sweet threats from their Schultüte.

Here in Germany, months before the school starts, many shops already sells different kinds of Schultüte. You can also make and decorate your own, just like we did. Many schultüte can also be ordered online especially now because of Corona Virus.For us, I just ordered the materials and we did it together with my daughter.

Personalized Schultüte is far by the best!It is far memorable…

Today I have seen that this event is really celebrated by the whole family.Not only parents are present in school but I saw Grandparents and other relatives who were there to celebrate with their child.It is indeed a big thing here.

Starting elementary school in Germany leaves me quite an impression.This is totally non -existent way back in our times where we started Grade 1.I must say that here, it looks like a birthday, or a big family reunion since parents invest so much on this special day. Most parents even take this day as a day off to be with their child on their first day in school.My daughter already spent 3 years in the Kindergarten alone, but then I know, starting school is a big adjustment to her.

Maybe that is why Schultüte signals a new phase–a new life full of surprises!

A Day to remember

This day is really a day to remember.In other parts of the world, people are starting school virtually, and online learning is the solution, a safer way to learn. But here in Germany, we are moving slowly to make things normal, but with strict caution, especially to not stop children from getting into school, the real way.Many children I see posed on their first day wearing a headset and in front of a computer, well, I am not against it. In the end, we all want the best for our children…

Nature Adventure Kletterpark -Beilngries

One of a kind climbing experience in the forest

Last Sunday we went to the Adventure Kletterpark ( Climbing Obstacle Course) in Beilngries,in the vicinity of Altmühltal.It´s half an hour drive away from Ingolstadt and located in between the lush forest and nature also near to the Dinopark which we visited last Tuesday. Here we celebrate again the 6th birthday of my daughter ,together with her friends from Kindergarten .It came out really a great surprise and fun- filled day for all of us and here´s why;

Thrilled kids and parents climbing together in the Beginner´s Yellow Parcours

My daughter is super active and love many fun activities and climbing is definitely her thing. She has no adrenalin limits and no fear of heights at all.She really knows what she wants and climbing with her friends is one of the things she wished for her birthday.They happened to share same Birthday so I think it was a great idea to have one group activity , playdate and fun day all in one!

Because of Corona restrictions, we haven´t made a party for her, a simple cake at home and we headed to see Giant Dinosaurs in Dinopark, then on the weekend we let her enjoy her time with friends. We avoid big crowds, closed spaces and contacts, that is why outdoors in nature is our top choice. This Kletterpark in Beilngries is great because of its location and offers varied fun activities for all ages . From 6 years of age, they allowed children to climb with assistance of an adult. For security reasons, they only allow people weighing up to 120 kgs max.Even I myself haven´t experienced this in my life, its actually my first time doing Obstacle course nature climbing and it was really cool, plus the Flying fox and everything!

The very efficient security system CouDuo , the reason why you can never fall!

The climbing park offers different Obstacle course for every age and levels of difficulty. Our group consists of 7 children and 6 adults so we stick to the beginner course for a start.The park itself is away from the city and its like a hideaway where we experience nature´s healing and invigorated.The trails are made of steel ropes and cables connected from tree to tree! Everywhere I looked, I see green and more greens so definitely climbing under the cool shade of the trees is a win -win situation. I sweat a lot because of the challenges and obstacles but then its really all worth it!This exercise is really necessary!

Nature climbing adventure Park in Beilngries, Altmühltal, Bavaria

Getting lost in the shades of giant trees and forests where man commune with nature and enjoy adrenalin packed activity. I thought it would be an easy task but then I was mistaken! I almost wanted to quit and go back!

We can do this!

We already booked online because its a Birthday party package but then we still need to wait for our turn for the Orientation and Safety instructions.We brought along our helmets and hygienic handgloves as well. It was 30+ degrees when we visited so it was pretty warm, but under the trees is cool. The orientation is about 30 minutes , we gathered wearing masks and we are instructed how to do our special safety equipments such as full harness, helmets, & CouDuo system. the guides were very helpful and professional and the instructions were clear and easy to follow!

In the briefing, we are informed of its 100% safety guarantee, thanks to the CouDuo Pro System.With this system, the freedom of movement is completely retained during climbing. You don´t really need to worry about falling because you are tighly secured to the rope. This is because of the highest safety standard according to DIN EN 15567 and the easy operation of the system. The accidental unhooking of the carabiner is impossible!You can´t really beat a German technology where they make everything efficient and trustworthy!

The kids are doing the sample CouDuo harness system. The guide is checking that all of us know how it works and operates.

I think it really needs time to get acquainted and familiar with it.The rest is nothing, your greatest abstacle is finding your balance and conquer your fear of heights!

Nature climbing is a great family bonding activity!

This briefing is really essential and you are not allowed to climb unless you participated in this security briefing. This is done every half an hour and 2,5 hours before the park closes. If you don´t have helmets and gloves with you, you can also rent but we preffered to bring our own to avoid contact.

Tying to have a grip of myself in between screaming and dealing with balance and of course, the essential carabiner!

After we had the briefing, we get into climbing! We grouped ourselves to assists the kids and then we were lost in adventure. While waiting, the kids also enjoyed twirling and sliding in the playground . Bringing food and beverages is allowed in the park but you need to take care of your own things. So for us, we always made sure that one of us is watching our backpacks and cooler while the others are climbing. After we had eaten, we returned our stuff in the car and go back again to climbing.

Father and daughter having fun together!
Happy Birthday nature climbing Girl!
While waiting for our turn for the security briefing.

The adventures of nature climbing with kids!

This activity really challenges me with fitness and I would absolutely love to do it again. I find the whole adventure very safe and a half day is actually not enough. I find the entrance fees quite pricey but the park itself is really great. There is an ample ( some shaded) parking areas located at the bottom of the park, a clean bathrooms with disinfections and toilets and a separate outdoor areas to book your special events like Children birthday parties or others. Climbing to the top may be a challenge for old people but then you should consider this before booking your activity.

All smiles while suspended above the trees!

The entire climbing area and the climbing equipment are regularly checked by specially trained staff. In addition, a main inspection of the adventure park takes place once a year. A detailed test is done by a certified external company.

Fun fun and more fun!
Unforgettable climbing adventure!
Little Monkeys

This summer for us is quite special despite the Corona scare and restrictions. Fear of the virus can´t stop us from having safe fun under the sun as long as we observe more precautions about contact and more washing of the hands. I hope that the future still holds a safe and secure place for our kids without the scare of the virus.

I guess we just make the most of the opportunity of having these days with warm rays and sunshine!

Until then and stay safe ! Tschüss…

Field of Figures in Hessental

Rock Sculptures as memorial for war and violence victims in Figurenfeld in Hessental ~ Eichstätt

May 21 is a special day for Germans because it is Father´s Day (or Vatertag) and also a public holiday commemorating Ascention Day or Christi Himmelfahrt. We have long weekend ahead and the perfect weather gave us again the chance to explore nature and do our routinary Wanderung and spaziergänge. During Corona times, we got used to go to the “greens” instead of wandering in the city. The control measures are more relaxed now here in Germany and since schools and playground were opened,it´s human nature that more and more people go outside, but still with restrictions. That is why we always choose secluded places like this.This time we decided to drive over the hilly landscapes of Hessental in the direction of Eichstätt. We get on early as usual to avoid the crowds and make most of the beautiful weather.


I have never been to Eichstätt so I don´t have any idea what this town offers.Throughout the trip I noticed once again the ample amount of bikers. There are so many motorcycle riders in these area same as in Riedenburg. Probably because of the nice winding road through this vicinity. I have heard that its a Universitätstadt, meaning a home to one prestigious Catholic University here in Bayern. The drive going to Hessental is actually quite smooth, no traffic and the hilly fields amuse us along the way. The Hessental lies in a gentle hollow on the slopes between Eichstätt and Landershofen in Bayern. Finally, we reached the Figurenfeld in time and great thing to know that there is an ample place to park. We saw a small pathwalk that leads us to a vast hilly field, and without any orientation, we just follow the sign of the first Sculpture that we saw and thats it. Just like what my daughter says ; just go with the flow and start an adventure! And so we did..

The first Sculpture in the Figurenfeld in Hessental

The place is really spacious, with every shades of green that you can imagine. It´s ideal to have picnics, and just a quiet walk during these times. If you love hiking, this path between Eichstätt and Landershofen is a great start to explore the beautiful nature in the surrounding areas of Altmühltal. The artist and sculpturer Alois Wünsche-Mitterecker, is a native from Eichstätt, created a captivating memorial against war and violence. I found these solid sculptures really worthwhile to visit and see because it depics the ugly truth of war.For many, it is the ugly version of Art and yet can be emotionally moving. I have watched so many movies about Holocaust and for a moment I´ve perceived one of the figures as a scary visualization of a Holocaust prisoners. There is so much tragedy, sadness and grief, and yet, it is also a depiction of the extent of evil of humanity can do.

I am fond of sculptures and I love researching about them. When I visit any new place, I always look for extraordinary sculptures or any piece of art that represent that place . I have learned that every great art or a statue tells a story. From the unforgettable Holocaust memorial in Berlin to the Trains to death, Trains to Life , the Figurenfeld is no exception.

In this large field, there are 78 larger-than-life sculptures that are unrecognizable from a far. I thought for a minute that they are dinosaur bones, or fossils since this place is the barren Jura landscape. Most of them looks like they crouch, rear up and crawl and on struggling state. Individual figures first point the way into the hollow, where the figures come together to form a bizarrely frozen battlefield. This makes me wonder how this place looks like in Winter. I have read that the Artist, Alois Wunsch-Mitterecker worked on these figures made of Portland cement, granite and basalt grains for over 20 years. He himself never saw the completion of the work, he died before it was finished.The figures were erected according to his plans only after his death (December 1975) in the years 1976-1979. Come to think that the field is still unfinished.

Figurenfeld in Hessental

I guess the artist wanted to create a “Monumentum perpetuum”, a memorial to eternity, a warning of war, in which there are no winners and vanquished and he succesfully achieved that through this. The erection of the figures lasted from 1958 until the artist’s death in 1975.

I saw some children climbing and playing along the figures and it made me wonder how do parents explains to their children the meanings of the figures. I have read in the signs that it is prohibited to climb on it because there has been many damages already on some of the statues.My daughter loved dinosaurs so she thinks that they are dinosaurs, or rather looked like them. But them if you play a closer look, every figure is never the same. Every single one is really different and unique in its own shape.

Walking through the field is quite manageable but I think for elderly people, there are paths that are quite steep and would be challenging. The whole place is green, wild nature and full of overgrown heather grass, hedges and juniper bushes, which is full of hollows and hills, which contributes to the impression of a battlefield. I think that it can be scary at night because of lack of lighting but i think it is actually safe.But anyway, how would you appreciate the figures in the dark?

We explored the whole field in approximately an hour and then we decided to explore the rest of the inner city of Eichstätt.If you happened to be in the nearby vicinity, I highly recommend to check out this place. More information of other fascinating things to see and explore can be found here.

Have you done any walk lately?

See you next time in our next Spaziergang! Stay safe everyone.

Surviving lockdown :Corona balcony party

Party during Corona? Are you crazy?!!

That is the exact words from my friend whom I sent a couple of photos of what my neighborhood looks like at night. She said it´s unbelievably absurd…and yes crazy, but then it is quite cool!

Oh yes, we have lights, plenty of amazing bright lights!

It started last week, a few days before Easter. The music from upstairs starts to play and it was a little bit louder than the usual range. First they played some soft rock songs then they start to play Queen songs. I got excited because yes…I am a big fan of Queen!!

When they play “Don’t stop me now” and then “Bohemian Rhapsody“…I know exactly what my daughter will do. Immediately, she ran up to me and said ” Mama, it´s Queen, one of your favorurite songs, Mama, let´s listen!, let´s go out!They are having a party, let us join them !!!

…and so it begun…

We live in a family house with three apartments built together creating a roundabout of balconies. We live on the Erdgeschoss ( main floor) so we see all the balconies from other apartments. We are blessed to have an ample place to lounge in the garden; a terrace and a place for my daughter to ran around and play. It has been a great help during the lockdown since we can`t visit playgrounds. Once I saw the ropes connecting to each balconies with tiny bags on each of them I knew exactly what is going on. It´s like ” Repunzel, let down your hair!!!”, a modern connection made possible by the Corona lockdown. But how could you have a party with social distancing ? No problem, we can still say “ Prost! ” ( or cheers) even we are on a distance. My neighbour from upstairs always give a warm surprise to my daughter and she adores them and we love them as well. Of course not because of their gifts ( but sometimes she really does…) but they are totally sweet, kind and very symphathetic, very genuine neighbours and we are blessed enough to have open minded people around us. They would let down a tiny basket with chocolates, toys and many more. As with my other neighbours, I personally don´t know each of them, I really don´t have any clue. Before, only a quick Hi and Hello in the garage to some of them or bumping into each other along the pathway is our only connection, not more than that. Not until the Corona balcony party that I´ve seen some of their faces and knew them a little bit more. The moment my daughter is out in the garden, she starts to call them and chatted with them, as if she knew them for a long time. It is unbelievably so easy for kids to win friends!

But how do we do it? Distance is really not a problem, it makes things even more exciting. We are not heavy drinkers and I think I am already too old for partying :-). We are happy when we enjoy a beer during Spring festivals and a glass of wine on some nights but definitely we love music and hearing them when children are already tucked up in bed. The brilliant idea of connecting a rope to each balcony to send things like drinks, snacks or a simple baked goodies in lieu of social distancing paved way to new friendships and connections, especially during dire times of lockdown. We´re not allowed to get together so this makes things possible.We stayed in each balconies and terraces, separated by hedges and thin fences. Mind you, here in Germany, especially here in Bavaria, they value their personally privacy so much. And there´s of course the ” Rühetag Sonntag or the Quiet Sunday. You need to think twice before playing loud music and partying especially surrounded with some strict neighbours and traditional Bavarians. I think respect to others is self explanatory so no harm done.

For a change of hearing daily all these awful dreadful Corona virus death toll and news worldwide, we opt to recline in our chairs and enjoy a drink even for a couple of hours!

We created a Whatsapp group in order to communicate with each other effectively.We have a DJ who control the playlist and we can request songs that we love to hear. Each one put on some colorful lights in the balcony ! I realized that we cannot do this during Christmas season and enjoy bright lights because it would be too cold to sit down outside.One of my beautiful neighbour even played the guitar and sing for us. Now everyone of us knows this song about Dinosaur! Actually, it´s just like one of those Grill parties that we normally do during warm long summer days, where its still very bright even at 9 PM. The difference now is that we stayed in our balconies and don´t personally mingle. This situation made me realized that it is also essential to have a healthy relationship with your neighbours regardless of the situation. By now we should accept that this will be forever written in our history so why noht make the good out of it, after all, we are still alive. What I appreciate from my neighbours is that we checked up on each other , considering that we have couple of old people that would probably needing help in case anyone got sick. If anybody is not in the mood for loud music or chilling out in their balconies, they can just simply not join in and we make sure that we play tolerable volume of music and definitely not on Sundays!

We don´t know yet until when will this crisis last, so why not think outside of the box…? whatever it is, either a simple drink or just a quick break from your normal hysteria, or watching the sun goes down while listening to your favorite music, it doesn´t matter, it´s your inner peace, safety and sanity counts!

What do you think about this idea?

How is your neighbourhood coping up with the lockdown?

Until next time my friends, take care and stay safe!