Wordless Wednesday

“Kinder Malen sich Selbst ” Exhibition in Schloss Blutenberg, Münich

One of the best thing that happened to us during Corona Lockdown was that my daughter´s painting was selected to be inluded in the Exhibit for ” Kinder Malen sich Selbst” ( Children, paint yourselves!) exhibition in Münich. I am a proud parent of a 5 year old kid that is inclined to arts at a young age as this! I am wondering what am I doing when I was 5 years old?She is really an epitome´ of an international expat kid–born in Kuwait, of Dutch & Asian origins, and raised in Germany and now, she just had her own drawing escapade!

From March, right at the beginning of the Corona virus global outbreak, the Library began to asks children around the world to participate to draw themselves what they feel about Corona.At first it was a virtual collection of drawings of children how do they feel during the tough times of Corona Pandemic then they began to collect the drawings as well.These are gorgeous collection of children´s talent, thoughts, visions, and feelings which travelled from different countries to Germany. This exhibit was arranged by the International Youth Library ( Internationale Jugendbibliothek, IJB ) in the Herrenhaus Foyer of Schloss Blutenberg.

Of course I am the most excited for everything! Like an overreacting stage mother, we were all ecstatic to see finally the Exhibit. We are still in Summer break so decided to go to Munich to see it.For my daughter who was only 5 years old when she did the drawing, I think the whole experience was also great.To think that she almost tore away the drawing and I was able to save it. She was so happy to know that her drawing was selected among many others, and it is now displayed there up until September 9,2020. With Corona restrictions, the exhibitions follows strict hygienic controls, with masks and reduction of visitors inside the halls.

Because of Corona, children cannot go out and play outside. She wanted to play football so she draw a portrait saying she wants to play Football, but then scared of the threats of the Corona Virus.

From the beginning, Ms. Weber , who was the one coordinating with me of the drawing submission was very kind and helpful. I was even glad that finally I can write an email in English and not in German !Aside from the helpful assistance in the exhibition, we were ushered to see the amazing Libray archives which really took our breath away. The underground cellar beneath the castle courtyard is the place of extensive collection of books from different times, era, period, languages and countries. It is really an international place.No wonder most of the staff are speaking different languages! From the reception in the entrance of the castle, I heard someone speaking in Hindi, and many guests came from Asia, including Japan and Korea. Even the featured children´s stories were of Japanese origins!It is really a great feeling to belong to such a friendly multi-cultural community like this here in Germany. It was nice to see Asian mothers for a change. 🙂

The Library have accumulated a total of 650,000 children & adult books from different times and periods from 240 languages and covering 4 centuries! I think this is the biggest & extensive Library I ahve ever been to. There are so many different ” Mark Twain´s ” books in different versions and languages in one single shelf that I have ever seen in my whole life. I don´t even know where to start.Also, the Library possesed 30,000 volumes of Scholarly Literature and about 130 current subscriptions to specialized literary journals. If you love Literature and children´s books—this is the best place to be!

We were told that the Internationale Jugendbibliothek in Münich is the biggest International Library for Youth and children´s literature in the world! It´s setting is like a fairytale castle—the Schloss Blutenberg.

These 2 paintings draws my attention, one from Iran and one from the Philippines. I am sure these children would love to see their artwork personally as well if given the chance considering the travel restrictions due to Corona. I have read that the Library also grants scholarships to Foreign scholars with the objective of supporting research in the areas of international children and youth´s literature, illustration and promoting scientific exchange and international cooperation.

Aside from the Exhibition, the castle itself and its courtyard is beautiful. Founded in 1949 by a German Journalist, Author and Translator Jella Lepman, this Library has a vision to build bridges for children with books and open windows to the world.

Surrounded with lush greens, lake, and the flowing river makes the castle an idyllic setting.There are different Summer programs , Open Air concerts in the castle´s courtyards and a nice quaint Restaurant with a view of the lake. There was even a wedding in the time of our visit.

We enjoyed the story telling stations, the other exhibitions like the Internationale Wimmelbücher, ” Die Ganze Welt auf einer Seite” ( also collected from different parts of the world!) and the Illustrations of letter Postal envelopes “ Oh wie Bezaubernd Schön !” by the amazing Binette Schroeder. There was huge collection of her illustrated books, objects, mementos,and children toys that are really captivating! My daughter found a little door, I never thought of it as a cabinet! Then she asked me ” Mama, can I open the little door?” .I never thought there was something in there but then to our surprise, there it was…the jewel of the palace, the Binette Schroeder-Kabinett!” There was a little world inside there that captures every child´s heart.

Absorbed in this small, yet wonderful world of Binette Schroeder-Kabinett.
Thank you International Youth Library!!

It was a wonderful experience and I am so glad that my kid loves to read and appreciates reading at a young age. It was really a great experience and we will be back for sure to Schloss Blutenberg. I did not expect that during Corona times, we will discover another world of love for reading and children´s literature.

As an expat Mama here in Germany, I certainly commend that we have the opportunity for great Libraries and children´s learning mediums!

Isolation. Children, paint yourselves! (Self-portrait of children in Corona Times)

I want to play Football outside and not in the garden! This is my daughter´s entry for this drawing exhibition hosted by the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany.

I am sure I am not alone in this dilemma.We don´t know yet until when will this all be over, but as long as it is not yet safe outside, children needs to stay at home.Here in Germany, the lockdown measures were relaxed, some shops are allowed to open, wearing mask is enforced, and some schools will open soon next week.But daycares and Kindergarten remains closed. I know personally that staying at home, confined and can´t visit playgrounds and play areas can be tough and is never easy, it is messy, chaotic,sometimes out of control and dramatic. But our times together these days become so meaningful, I guess there´s so much difference when we all take things slowly.

How does she feel about the isolation?
She said her inspiration for her Portrait is that she wanted to play Football and run in the field freely .She wanted to go back again to the Kindergarten and see her friends.

For those who are staying at home with kids during this Pandemic, what have you´ve been doing with your kids lately?

I love to paint and it´s one of my favourite things to do during this lockdown.I think I can paint the whole day and every single day. I just love to create something creative, whether it is with watercolors or Acrylics. Nowadays, I spent more time with my daughter painting, drawing and creating something. I created a journal of my daughter´s drawings so she can have an album of what she created.We even paint stones and joined the creative art here in our neighborhood.Here are some of her doodles and

Another interesting Art exhibition which we are joining is the Isolation, Children Paint yourselves! launched by the International Youth Library Foundation in Munich,Germany .This is an online exhibition of submitted images of children which depics their mood and how they are feeling against this terrible, dire times of Pandemic. I have talked to my daughter many times about Corona virus, especially when we are on the push of frequent hand washing and social distancing. It is very interesting to find and learn from little children about their feelings about isolation and being in restriction .Sometimes they cannot express themselves verbally, but with visuals, we can learn so much more.

The moment that I showed to her that her drawing was in the Gallery, she was thrilled and so happy. She is only 5 years old!

Paint anywhere, everywhere!

I really find this online exhibition super cool and my daughter is proud of what she have done.It´s amazing to see different entries already from different countries submitted and available in their online portal for public viewing wherever you are. I heard that they have received over 800 drawings from 42 different countries! Some portraits with paintings listed are from Mexico,South Korea,Venezuela,Sweden,Great Britain, Japan, France, Iran, Slovenia,Germany, and even the hard hit countries like USA, Italy and Spain! I think seeing another children´s artwork is also a great tool for encouraging the potential of your child to be creative since they can see it as a relatable issue and not just something to kill boredom. Difficult images of people who are sick and death toll are not easily digested in small children´s mind so we, as parents needs to guide them and be careful of the information we feed them. In this way, let them express themselves through their imagination through their hands, the explosion of colored pencils, paints, crayons and doodles.

Let them be absorbed with ART.

The founder of the International Youth Library, Jella Lepman, had already asked for such self-portraits since 1952 and showed them in an exhibition. By that time, it´s still very difficult to create a digital or online exhibition. Nowadays, it´s all handy and accessible for all, even most museums opened their exhibitions online for others to view while staying at home.If you are interested and want to create something different and has a global impact, start painting, start contributing, and start it now!

If your child is 3 to 13 years of age and wants to participate, you can send your child´s portrait or drawing as a scanned copy (with first name, age and country) to direktion @ ijb. de. The online gallery exhibition can be seen in here.

#StayatHome #wirBleibenzuHause

More artworks and creative Crafts we do while we stay at home during this Pandemic crisis.

Here she is when she finally visits the Exhibition in Münich where her own drawing was chosen!

View of some of the children´s drawing from different countries in the Exhibition Center in Schloss Blutenberg, in Munich.
Feeling proud of my daughter´s first ever artwork in display !

The exhibition “Kids, draw themselves” ( Malen sich Selbst) is displayed in the International Youth Library in Schloss Blutenberg, from July 15th up to 9th of September 2020, located in Foyer im Herrenhaus and is free entrance fee. The Library is open from Monday to Friday, 10 am to 4 Pm and on weekends from 12 pm to 5pm.

Feel free to share this to your friends!

To all parents out there who are taking care of their kids at home, I salute you. You are doing great and you deserved to have a big hug and pat on the back!

Stay safe and see you again next time!

Frauenkirche –the Church with the Devil’s footprint | Der Teufelstritt

München city model displayed beside the Frauenkirche with notable distinction of the Frauenkirche church to be the highest built structure in the city. | Munich 2016

I have written about the short trip we had in Munich and one of the fascinating things I have learned is that its top emblem and symbol of Bavarian capital – The Frauenkirche ( Cathedral of Our Lady ) has a legend worth telling. I love legends! So good to know even if it’s so unbelievable and has a bit of fantasy.Have you heard about the Devil’s footprint or locally known as Der Teufelstritt?

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Der Teufelstritt or the Devil’s footprint in Frauenkirche | Munich

Seeing the Frauenkirche didn’t brought much appeal to me the day that we’ve seen it. First, because of the ongoing reconstruction, the scaffoldings and the covering of the Tower really dampen our mood upon seeing it.Second, as we entered, it was already packed with tourists on a bright Sunny Saturday. It’s a beautiful church, no doubt about it, with so much history & important facets, but the design & interior is almost similar to the Liebfrauenmünster in Ingolstadt that I had visited sans the intricate ceiling designs. Even the organ loft was almost the same.  But I wanted to share about the Devil’s footprint found just in the entrance of this massive church.

There’s A Right (Presumably !) footprint in a floor tile inside the Frauenkirche and { No, it doesn’t resemble a dinosaur foot or Godzilla } which is said to be the Teufelstritt, or Devil’s footprint. There are several legends of differing details surrounding the footprint, but the basic story goes like this. In 1468, architect Jorg von Halsbach made a deal with the Devil ;  the Devil would provide funds for the cathedral as long as it remained a celebration of darkness. No windows were allowed to be seen in the building .

View of the Altar Interior of the Frauenkirche | Munich

Upon completion of the building, the Devil entered the church to survey the results.From a vantage point in the vestibule, not a single window could be seen, even though the nave was flooded with light. The Devil was satisfied with the result, but as he stepped further into the church, he realized he had been fooled. Von Halsbach had designed the nave with columns that blocked the side windows from view, and a large central alter piece covered the stained glass windows at the far end of the church. In a fit of fury, the Devil stamped his foot on the ground, leaving an imprint in the floor. He then left the church and transformed himself into a great wind spirit, which rushes around the church towers to this day.

Something to ponder right? This is why I love visiting churches, what about you?

Do you believe this ?

Have you ever been in Frauenkirche and seen this ? How’s your experience?



Munich : More than just a Beer and Sausage capital!

Munich’s new town hall facade {Rathaus} |Marienplatz

So we had our  trip to Munich last Saturday.It’s the first city we explored ever since we’ve moved to Germany. I am writing this post to document our adventures in this  attractive urban gem while taking Little Miss Natalie on another escapade just a day after she had her 2 yrs old shots! She’s such a jetsetter!

You see, there’s so much difference in the way we’ve traveled before compared now  that we had a child. From the things we need to bring,(Goodbye to 1 handbag!) to timings of the trains and trying to fit into her nap times and at same time looking into kid friendly sights.I’m telling you, it’s no joke having an overtired,cranky and whining toddler along in a trip.The thing is now, we don’t felt like a tourist  anymore which is very unlikely than last year when we visited the Mosel Valley & Trier. It’s like we have all the time in the world to go from A to B without the rush. My daughter has been such a great travel buddy and If I could sum up this trip in 3 these words, It is :  Green , Relaxed, and  Fun!

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Alter Botanischer Garten |Munich


We wanted to enjoy the city as much as possible as well as letting our Little Miss N enjoys her time as well.For parents, you know what this means—Play yards, playground and more play times! Munich has a lot to offer for all ages. I was even more surprised by the amount of tourists I saw in Munich, but I understand why.It’s packed and why not, It’s a beautiful city.

Grüss aus München


So How did we do it with a toddler tagging along with us?

Do : Make time for Playtime and more Play times. More outdoors and wide spaces, =  Fun!


Munich is a Green cosmopolitan, with  Kid-Friendly Parks and Gardens

Just a 5- minute walk away from the  Central station we immediately went to a Park, It was a nice one, & of course  with playground for kids. The  Alter Botanischer Garten’s playground is clean, with plenty of space to run around and has plenty of rides, slides, swings and the whole park is dreamy for parents too.It has plenty of benches and greens. I noticed that even their Rockers are made of wood and they have a giant water pump with spacious sand play pit. This park has a beautiful fountain and well-kept.There are more fountains to enjoy as we walked further along the city gate- Karlstor and Stachus  {or  Karlsplatz} . The architecture of the  Rondell buildings around it was impressive. There were already 3 buses lined up full of tourists in front of the Justizpalast  so we’re glad  that we are there early.

Richard Strauss fountain | Munich

Marvel into the city’s rich Heritage and beautiful Architecture

Anyone visiting Munich could never missed the interesting  fountains along Kreuzviertel ‘s Brunnenbuberl and the Richard Strauss Fountain.Don’t miss the intricate details. It’s so nice just to sit and enjoy the sun while watching the waters splashing and gushing. I had a hard time keeping my daughter away from these fountains because she loved it.

Brunnenbuberl Fountain | Munich

Do you want to have a real  taste of Bavaria?

Do : Climb the  306 steps of St Peter’s Church does not cost a cent and is well worth it for the views of the city from the top.

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Sitting wild boar  | Hunting & Fishing Museum in Munich

Indulge in the sacred Churches dated from 1180’s.

Then you will be pleased that Munich is more than just Oktoberfest and sausages.Believe it or not but with a very active toddler that we keep chasing around, we managed to visit  ( and was Amazed!)  4 iconic churches within 3 hours or so. We never regretted it because it was all worth to see. You need to see it by your own eyes why St. Michael’s church (Michaelskirche) , which is the largest Renaissance church north of the Alps is one notable piece of architecture. From outside ,the facade is very impressive and the interior altar is even more stunning.

View of the altar and magnificent ceiling of St.Michael’s church | Munich


Then we went to St. Peter’s church (Peterskirche), the oldest inner city church built during the Romanesque period. Just in time that there is an ongoing mass inside so we went inside to listen and lighted some candles. The mass is in German so its quite an experience for me. Outside,the line for the tower of St. Peter is very long since its full of tourists so we skip to climb it but we would love to do it some other time.

Having a toddler along with us didn’t stopped us from going further to view the interior of the famous Cathedral of our Lady (Frauenkirche), or locally also known as “Münchner Dom” which is the city’s most famous  emblem. Frauenkirche is also named  Der Teufelstritt. Have you heard about the old tale of the Devil’s footprint at the porch of this church? It still can be seen as of today and one of its attractions. I wasn’t particularly impressed by the interior of this church, for me there is no ‘Wow’ effect-like I’ve had with the ‘Asamskirche’.Maybe because I have seen a better one, I must say that even the Organ loft  of the Liebefrauenkirche in Ingolstadt is as magnificent as what the Frauenkirche has.

Close-up detail of the ceiling in Asam’s church |Munich

For a breather we hop on to see the busy ‘Viktualienmarkt’.You can see so much of Bavarian food stalls which sells everything from yummy breads & rolls, hot sausages and cold cuts,cheese, wine, exotic spices, souvenirs, and so on. You will find Bavarian Schweinshax’n (pork knuckle) and Speck (smoked Black Forest ham) and local cheeses on the open-air stalls. We saw families just lounging on the pavement having a quick bite and enjoying the summer sun.

Marienplatz | Munich

Around 11 am we managed to reached “Marienplatz” ( St. Mary’s square )  which is the heart of Munich. It was busy…and beautiful.The square is far much better than in pictures I’ve seen in internet. The new Town Hall is the center of attention as usual. We looked forward to seeing the  Carillon or the ‘Glockenspiel’ which has a distinct musical of dancing statues . The Schäfferltanz or Cooper’s dance, is originally performed in 1517 at the Marienplatz to commemorate the end of the plague.

Marienplatz and Glockenspiel | Munich

Being in this square is quite an experience. You’ll see lots of tourists flocked to admire the beautiful architecture of the facade of the both New and Old Town Halls. Visible from the square is the ‘Mariensäule’–the large column of St. Mary  at the center of the square that was erected in 1638 to celebrate the end of the Swedish invasion. The statue is topped by a gilded statue of Virgin Mary which was sculpted earlier, in 1590 by Hubert Gerhard.


Do: Get there in time for the Glockenspiel dance make  an infamous selfie in front of the new Townhall . Goodluck in finding a good angle.

Learning from a tainted piece of History in the Olympic Park


We had a pit stop to get some things that fancy us while sightseeing then we hop on to U3 to get us to Olympic Park. We booked the tickets for the Sea Life online and opt for an afternoon visit ( its cheaper!) .I was impressed by this huge park. Not only that its beautifully designed along side with the BMW HQ but the fact that it  one of the city’s prime sports for relaxation, sports, dining and entertainment.Think of it as New York’s Central Park — with better buildings.The ‘tent-like’ structures seen above from the Olympic Tower is one of the best views I have ever had in my life from a Tower. The weather was so nice that we even see the Bavarian Alps!

Do : Get into the  Tower. The best views are up there! Don’t miss out the best Rock Museum right up there before the open air lounge of the Tower.

Sea Life | Olympic Park in Munich

My daughter loved the Sea Life, and so do we. The marine life inside is quite impressive and the whole experience is quite unforgettable for us. You can actually touch the mollusks, shells and other sea creatures. Once we had enough, she had the chance to chase the ducks outside,lounging beside the lake. The whole park is perfect for families, picnics on a sunny day or just learning something new like Zorb waterball maybe? or You can even stop for a dip in the pool where Mark Spitz won a then-record seven medals or jump off the high dive.Half day is not enough to explore this place.

Do : Climb the hill and have a magnificent view of the Olympic Park. It’s tough going but its worth it.Besides, its Free!

In the end,we called it a day. There’s still so much things to see but my daughter is already tired and sleepy and its time to get back.

Tell me, does Munich appeal to you?

Where was the last City you’ve visited? or your summer vacation perhaps? I would love to hear your story in the comments below.