Confuzzledom

Just a place for me to gather my thoughts


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Cocktails at KofferRaum

(Apologies in advance for the quality of some of the photos in this post… my camera appears to be failing on me, and now utterly refuses to focus on anything at all!)

As I mentioned in my last post, Friday was the 8-year anniversary of me moving to Karlsruhe! When Jan suggested going out for a drink that night, I don’t think he was intending it as a celebration of that fact, but I’ll take any excuse ;-) Most of our friends were busy or out of town, so it ended up being Jan, K and I. We decided to go to KofferRaum – a popular cocktail bar in town – and by some miracle we actually got in! I think this was our fourth try… every other time it was completely full, and we were either told “not tonight” or “maybe try again in an hour?”. This time we got lucky… with only three of us, we were able to squish into a little corner by the bar. We were positioned next to a little “window” (well, gap in the wall), where you could see through to behind the wall, so of course my first act was to take a photo of the alcohol next to us.

The Union Jack bottle contains Beefeater gin infused with saffron

The Union Jack bottle contains Beefeater gin infused with saffron

Fun fact: Kofferraum is German for the booto (trunk) of a car. It is made up of the two words Koffer, meaning suitcase, and Raum, meaning room or space. Jan told me the owner of the bar’s surname is Koffer, so there’s a bit of a play on words going on there. And there were suitcases standing at various points in the room, obviously ;-)

I don’t actually remember the names of any of the cocktails we had, but here’s a photo of Jan’s and my first ones. Mine is on the right… I remember it contained run and passionfruit juice, but that’s it. It tasted very nice though.

cocktails

I also had to take a photo of the top of my friend’s first drink because I’m a sucker for cutsey things and her apple slices had tiny hearts cut into them. All together now… “awww!”

How cute?

How cute?

Later, Jan decided he felt a bit peckish and ordered some food. At the other cocktail bar we like, the snacks include nachos… but nothing so common for KofferRaum ;-) He ordered some Italian sausage with parmesan, and this is what arrived:

KofferRaum

And very tasty it was, too!

The cocktails at KofferRaum are more expensive than at other places in Karlsruhe (between €8 and €11 euros each), but they are all made using the very best alcohol and things like fresh herbs (my second cocktail contained a large sprig of fresh sage), so you get what you pay for. The waiters also come around with free cucumber-infused tap water for all guests… usually unheard of in Germany!

If you’d like to go to KofferRaum on a weekend, I highly recommend turning up early otherwise you will not find a place to sit! (And it’s not the kind of place where you can just stand anywhere). You’ll find Hirschstraße 17 (south of Europaplatz) and they’re open from 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Be warned, the cocktails are all quite strong, but at that price you’ll probably be wanting to pace yourself anyway!


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A photo an hour: 16 August 2014

On Saturday, I took part in the August edition of A Photo an Hour with Jane at Is That You Darling? I am being cheeky and also including this in Amanda’s Day in the Life linkup for August.

9 a.m. I was actually awake at 8:30 (thanks construction workers!), but somehow I find it easier to take my photos on the hour(ish), so I waited til 9 to take my first one. A nice cup of tea to start the day!

Tea

10 a.m. Doing a bit of cross stitch! I’m working on something for my kitchen as part of my 35 before 35. Can you guess what it is yet?

cross stitch

11 a.m. I noticed it had stopped raining, so I decided to head into town while I had the chance! (I promise I didn’t go out smelly – I showered and brushed my teeth between the last photo and this one!)

sky

12 noon. Still in town. My dad paypalled me some money for my birthday, so I decided to pop in to Douglas and see if I could find a perfume I liked. (Is to paypal actually a verb? Never mind, it is now!) Am I the only one that would rather browse in peace than constantly be asked if I need help? After two shop assistants approached me, I decide to leave the shop and head elsewhere for my perfume… which turned out to be lucky because I found a special offer with a 30ml bottle of perfume and some shower gel for just €29.95. The perfume on its own would have been something like €45!

DSCN0491

1 p.m. Time to head home for lunch. Pictured is the Natural History Museum, which I passed on my way home. (Also, note the grey clouds returning… definitely time to head home!)

Naturkundemuseum

2 p.m. Wrapping gifts for a few children whose birthdays are coming up. This one is for a friends son and I also wrapped stuff for my little brother and for my godson (although his won’t be posted til I return from Taiwan).

gift

3 p.m.  Another tea? Don’t mind if I do! And back to my cross stitch while I drink it.

tea

4 p.m. I finally managed to post the last of my Vienna posts. Hurrah! Next up is all the travelling I did with my brother (I’m sooo behind!).

DSCN0495

5 p.m. Enough lounging around… time to make a start on tidying the kitchen! Here’s a photo of my hoover, plugged in and ready to go.

hoover

6 p.m. Dinner time! Ready-to-roast duck and boil-in-the bag potato dumplings. Also consumed but not pictured: peas and, of course, good old Bisto gravy!

food

7 p.m. Having made the (possibly insane?) decision to cross stitch all my Christmas cards this year, I got out all my cross stitch magazines and started going through them looking for ideas.

cross stitch magazine

8 p.m. What Saturday evening alone could be complete without a classic film? ;-)

Blues Brothers

10 p.m. (I missed 9 p.m.!). Still watching the film… nearly finished now!

Blues Brothers

11 p.m. Off to bed with the final book I need to finish for the summer reading challenge! I’m progressing through it… but verrrry slowly!

book

And that’s it. I turned the light out at 11:30 p.m. so I never made it as far as a midnight photo.

A Day in the Life: A Linkup by Break the Sky

 


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Café Pan, Karlsruhe

On the first day of my brother’s visit, we decided to go out for brunch. I had been to Café Pan, an organic café and creperie, once before and really enjoyed it, but had then promptly forgotten its existence until it was reviewed on Karlsresource. They are closed on Sundays, which limits the opportunities for me to visit, but being off work during the week meant I could actually go there. On my first visit, we sat outside in the courtyard, but as it was raining off and on the day my brother and I went, we decided to see what it looked like inside.

Inside Café Pan

Inside Café Pan

The menu mainly consists of numerous crepes, both sweet and savoury, but there are also cakes and a soup of the day. We, of course, opted for crepes. The savoury ones are made without egg and milk, so are suitable for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. Sweet ones are not vegan friendly, but on request they will make a sweet crepe using the vegan batter from the savoury crepes. Here’s the list of sweet crepes, photo courtesy of my brother:

cafe pan menuMy brother went for the Schokolade crepe, which was topped with Nutella. Meanwhile, I decided to start my day with something savoury and had a spinach crepe, consisting of spinach (obviously), tomato and cheese… I asked for it without the egg.

Spinach crepe

Spinach crepe

To drink, we both opted for coffee, although various freshly squeezed juices were available. Maybe I’ll try one of those next time. My brother and I both thoroughly enjoyed our crepes and I will definitely be going to this café again… hopefully it won’t take me several years this time!

 


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Monty Python Live (Mostly)

Last week, I was flicking through one of the free local “what’s on” magazines when I noticed a photo of the Pythons. I closer look revealed that the finale of the new show, “Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down, Five to Go” was being broadcast live at a local cinema, just down the road from where I live. I mentioed it to Jan and a couple of friends, and four of us decided to go. So 8 o’clock on Sunday, 20 July saw us sitting in the cinema, popcorn at the ready, watching the pre-show while waiting for the main event to start.

The show included both classic sketches (including the dead parrot and the Lumberjack Song) performed live, digital footage of original sketches starring Graham Chapman, and some new/updated bits. In the media, reviews were mixed. Some have said the older sketches were dated, but personally I didn’t see it like that. Some things just don’t age! Although I did think having the scenery match the old-style furnishings in the old recorded parts was an excellent idea. There were cameos by Mike Myers (terrible! Instead of adding to the sketch, he just started sucking up to the Pythons!) and Eddie Izzard (he did a much better job!). My favourite parts were the new additions to the Penis Song (a verse about how nice it is to “own your own vagina” and one about bottoms), the Galaxy Song (because “Pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere up in space, ’cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth” is my absolute favourite line in any Monty Python song) and the excellently choreographed dance for “Sit On My Face” (too funny!). Of course, it was faaaar from being politically correct, but I wasn’t expecting it to be! Personally, I thought the Pythons were just as funny as ever. Knowing that this would be their last performance made it that bit better, although also bitter sweet. All in all,  I’m very glad I happened to notice that this was being shown in Karlsruhe!


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Hoepfner Burgfest 2014

Every year over the Pentecost weekend, one of Karlsruhe’s local breweries has its beer festival. There are live bands, tasty things to eat, face painting and activities for children and, of course beer. Those of you who speak German and were paying attention will probably have noticed that little word “Burg” in the title… meaning castle. There is no actual castle involved, but Hoepfner’s building is made to look like one, earning it the name “Hoepfner Burg” – Hoepfner Castle… so naturally the annual event had to be the Burgfest, or castle festival. The Burgfest has been going since 1983, which makes it as old as me! (Actually a few months older since I was born after Pentecost). It starts on the Friday evening and runs until 8 p.m. on Pfingstmontag (Whit Monday). During that time various bands perform live both in the tent in the top courtyard and on the big stage down in the bottom courtyard. A lot of the bands are the same every year, but there are usually a couple of new ones.

This year, we decided to skip Friday and Saturday (I don’t think I’ve ever been to Burgfest on a Friday). There was a band called “Acoustic Rock Night” performing on Sunday afternoon that sounded interesting, so Jan, K and I took ourselves along for that. A friend of ours who was away from Karlsruhe the weekend of the festival had two beer tokens which he gave to Jan and I, so my first drink was a beer. I chose the Hoepfner Schwarz-Gold (Black-Gold), which is a dark beer. After that I switched to Weißweinschorle (white wine spritzer) and then had two glasses of Erdbeerbowle (strawberry punch). The band was good, but sadly the sound in the tent wasn’t brilliant so most of the time you couldn’t even hear the backing singers! Here are some photos from Sunday afternoon:

It was about 36°C that day and there was no breeze whatsoever so we were all boiling! I bought bottle of water that I drank about half of, using the other half to wet my face, neck and wrists for some momentary relief from the relentless heat! (I had actually brought a bottle of tap water along with me but I had to down that at the entrance. No drinks at all were allowed in!). Towards evening we decided to eat something and I felt like I was going to pass out while queuing for my food with all the ovens and grills blasting at me from behind the stalls. I’ve no idea how the people working there coped! After Acoustic Rock Night, another band came on… I think they were called the Moonlighters? They were okay, but we decided to move down to the bottom courtyard anyway as by that time another friend had turned up who wanted to see the band performing down there. Me and the Heat. K decided to leave at that point as it was still way too hot and she had a headache. Jan and I stayed for a few Me and the Heat songs, but left after having one more drink each. I’m not a huge fan of Me and the Heat, really. Technically (musically) they’re very good, but I don’t like most of the songs they do and they seem very uninterested in the audience somehow.

The next day, Monday, we headed down to see the final act of the Burgfest. The Sean Treacy Band is well known in Karlsruhe… If there’s a festival of any sort, they will almost always appear on the program! And they always close the Hoepfner Burgfest. This time, there was a surprise special guest performing alongside them. Fish, formerly of the band Marillion, was performing in a charity concert with them the following day and had popped along for a quick trial run before the main event. It was a great performance and a nice end to the long weekend.


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Friday Letters & Daily Diaries: 5–11 April 2014

Work-wise, this week has been just as full as the two before it, but somehow it’s still managed to go by quickly – probably because of all the deadlines! I’ve spent a lot of time worrying that I wasn’t going to get things finished when I was meant to, but somehow everything was ready by it’s due date. Go me! Anyway, have some letters and some more detail about my week. Apologies for the huge blocks of text without photos – I’m typing this from work, so I only have access to those that are already uploaded.postbox

Dear temperature. How am I supposed to know what to wear when it’s 7°C in the morning and 22°C by the time I leave work? Sort it out!

Dear large groups of women on trains. You have your reserved seats, so please just sit in them and let the rest of us pass, instead of standing next to your seats clucking away!

Dear Easter. This time next week, you will be here! (Well, Good Friday will be). I’m sooo looking forward to my four-day weekend.

Dear stomach. I’m not sure whether the doctor’s pills are working or you would have got better now anyway, but I must say I’m thoroughly enjoying actually being hungry again!

And now for the week that was…

The weekend. As I mentioned in last week’s Friday letters, I wanted a fairly relaxing weekend after the stress of the week before, so on Saturday I actually slept in til 11 a.m! I then had a cup of tea and did some cross stitch before jumping in the shower and then heading out to do some shopping – I purposely decided not to watch the Newcastle United match and I’m very glad I didn’! When I came home, Jan and I made tea together (pumpkin and pasta) then watched an episode of Farscape before heading to bed, where we read aloud to each other from Terry Pratchett’s Snuff.
There was an Easter market going on in Karlsruhe at the weekend, so on Sunday we decided to go and have a look at it. As it turned out, there wasn’t much there… mostly food stands. It claimed to be an “Easter and Gastronomy Market”, but most of the stalls were just from local cafés or the sausage/langos/crepe vans that are at every single event in Karlsruhe ever. However, it was also a verkaufsoffener Sonntag (a Sunday on which the shops are open – towns are only allowed to do this about twice a year!), so we headed to T.K. Maxx because Jan had never been. I managed to get a wooden letter holder thingy, so it worked out pretty well. Instead of going straight home, we stopped off at Bratar for yummy burgers – at this point my stomach was actually feeling fine! Then, back at home, I made practice Easter nests just to make sure I still remembered how (I’ll be making more this weekend for my colleagues). I ate precisely one Easter nest, but by bedtime my stomach felt uncomfortably full and bloated, although not sore. Gah!

Monday. I woke up feeling okay, but by the time I arrived at work my stomach was blown up like a balloon (I honestly looked pregnant!) and I had no appetite. It was 11 o’clock by the time the bloating went down and I could actually eat my yoghurt. By 1:30 p.m., I was slightly hungry but afraid to eat what I’d brought with me (it was curry), so lunch ended up being three rice crackers. I also had a sensation of acid in my throat all afternoon, which wasn’t fun! I had promised Jan toad in the hole for tea, and by the time it was cooked I’d managed to get rid of the acid and feld quite hungry. I only managed a small portion though. Apart from cooking, all I did on Monday night was watch an episode of E.R and wash the dishes.

Tuesday.  The acid reflux and bloating were back when I woke up, so I decided it was time for a trip to the doctor.  I informed my colleagues that I would be working from home and called the docs for an appointment (Jan wouldn’t do it for me and I still have no idea what the receptionist actually wrote in the appointments book – I highly doibt it had anything to do with my actual name though!). I managed to get an appointment for 3:30, so I worked til just before 3 then headed out. The doctor’s verdict was hyperacidity of the stomach, probably caused by stress. So he gave me some stomach drops and some tablets to stop my stomach from producting as much acid then sent me on my way, telling me to eat light foods for a few days and come back in 14 days if I wasn’t feeling better. After picking up my prescription, I headed home to carry on working for a while. It was my grandpa’s 80th birthday on Tuesday, so in the evening I phoned by dad while he was at the hospital so I could talk to my grandpa. His voice was very weak, but I could just about hear him say “Thank you for calling” and “Love you”. Wishing him a happy birthday was bittersweet – he always said he would live to be 80, and now he’s achieved it. That night was pub quiz, in which my team came second. YAY!

Wednesday. I went into work on Wednesday, armed with my medicine. This week was our intern’s last week with us and we were having pizza for his leaving meal on Wednesday. I didn’t think pizza counted as 2light food”, so I ordered Pizzabrötchen instead – little bread rolls made from the same dough as the pizza. The ones I chose had spinach and a small amount of goat’s cheese on, and were apparantly plain enough for my stomach – at least it didn’t protest. I had wanted to get an early night on Wednesday, but I ended up coming home, watching E.R then getting back on the computer and working til 20 past 8 before finally getting round to cooking tea. We ate fishfingers with croquettes and frozen peas because it was quick, easy and at least fairly plain.

Thursday. I woke up feeling incredibly hungry and had to buy a couple of muesli bars for breakfast on the way to work – usually breakfast is a yoghurt, but I’m avoiding those til I’m sure my stomach has settled down. The morning was pretty stressful with deadlines galore, but by 3 p.m. I’d finished everything I had to do and was able to move on to a translation that I technically wouldn’t have needed to start til next week. I worked precisely 8 hours for the first time in ages, then went home to sort out the living room ready for Jan’s choir coming over to practice (they’re a double quartet  – so 8 people when everyone’s there, which they never are at my place because they only come to us when the person whose flat they normally practice at is away). I then quickly made us a meal of gnocchi with creamed spinach. Once the choir arrived, I retreated to the spare room where I worked on some cross stitch – it’s an Easter card so I really need to get it finished ready to send off! I also uploaded some photos ready to use in a blog post about Colmar. The choir finally left at just before 11 and, after taking my medicine, I basically went straight to bed.

Friday. And that brings us to today. So far, I have worked a bit on next week’s translation and entered the corrections from proofreaders for two jobs due today. Now I’m on my lunch break and as soon as I’ve posted this, I’ll be reading the news before getting back to work. It’s looking like I should be able to leave on time today, so I’ll be out of here by 5 p.m. Then tonight I’m off to watch my quiz master’s band perform – the first time I’ve seen them this year (although we saw him play solo on St. Patrick’s Day). As for the weekend, other than making Easter nests for mine and Jan’s colleagues, I have no real plans as yet…

And that’s what I’ve been up to. Why not join in with Kate’s link up on Diaries of an Essex Girl and tell us all about your week. Just click the button below…
Daily Diaries with Diaries of an Essex Girl


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Gutenbergplatz Weekly Market, Karlsruhe

tea stallThe market on Gutenbergplatz is Karlsruhe’s oldest weekly market… and, according to all the people who told me to go there, also the nicest. It’s probably the largest, too, along with the one on Stephansplatz, which it alternates days with. I’ve been meaning to go ever since I first heard about it two years ago, but until now I’d never made it. Everybody I spoke to recommended getting there early and, let’s face it, I’m far too lazy to get up early on a Saturday, especially since Gutenbergplatz isn’t exactly around the corner from where I live! But the Take 12 Trips challenge gave me just the kick up the backside I needed to actually drag myself out of bed and head on over there.

According to the Karlsruhe city website (view it here, in German only), the Wochenmarkt Gutenbergplatz ( Weekly Market on Gutenberg Square) takes place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. Both Tuesday and Thursday are out for me – I’m already on my way to work by that time – and there was absolutely no was I was going to be anywhere near Gutenbergplatz that early on a Saturday, but I did manage to get myself there for 5 to 10, which is still pretty early – especially considering I walked there, which took me half an hour! Yep… I definitely think this can be counted as a trip. I even took a couple of photos for you on the way there, almost like a real tourist ;-).

As well as the usual fruit & vegetable and flower stalls, this market has stands with spices, fresh herbs, tea, cheese and various international specialities – I saw a stand selling Asian goods, a van with Italian goods (lots of parmesan!) and a stall selling “südländische Spezialitäten” – literally Mediterranean specialities, but what I saw there mainly looked Turkish and Greek. And, being Germany, there of course had to be bread! I spotted two vans selling various different kinds, both with huge queues in front of them. Here are a few photos. I apologise for the terrible quality of some… in such situations, I’m always paranoid that the stall owner might tell me off for taking photos of their wares instead of buying them!

The square itself is actually really pretty as well, although it’s difficult to notice it. Here’s a photo that might give you some idea of how nice the old buildings are:

Gutenbergplatz

The trees also look much nicer when they’re in bloom or completely covered in leaves. There are two fountains on the North side of square – the Krautkopfbrunnen and the Pelikanbrunnen – but neither has been switched on yet. It went cold again last week though, so they’re probably waiting to be sure that the spring is going to stay!
And now for tourist information part…

What: Weekly market
Where: Gutenbergplatz, between Gutenbergstraße and Nelkenstraße, Karlsruhe Weststadt
When: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays starting at 7 a.m.
Nearest tram stop: Yorckstraße or Sophienstraße (more lines serve Yorckstraße)

The market is quite nice and certainly offers more choice than my own local market (which I think has about 6 stalls!). I wouldn’t say it’s something all visitors to Karlsruhe must see, but if you’re into markets and stuck for something to do on a Saturday give it a go! It’s a produce market though, so don’t expect to find clothes, books or anything of that sort! Saturday is probably the best day to go to that particular market as may of the stalls aren’t there on Tuesdays/Thursdays. Alternatively, if you’re around on a Friday, check out the market on Stephansplatz instead. It has many of the same stalls that go to Gutenbergplatz on a Saturday and is much more central (I believe Stephansplatz is considered to be “Innenstadtwest”, with the actual “centre” of town being the castle).

Do you like to get up early and go to the market? Or do you prefer sleeping in on a Saturday, like I normally do? Let me know in the comments.

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