Making the most of the sunshine

Sunny days are so few and far between right now, that it pays to make the most of them when they arrive! After weeks of rain, cold and grey skies, the sun came out on Sunday, so I persuaded Jan to come out for an afternoon walk with me. A few signs of autumn are showing up now, but mostly we’re still at that in between stage where most of the trees are still green with only a few traces of yellow or orange. It was a lovely day for a walk though, and I actually managed to get some photos of Karlsruhe with blue skies (unlike all the ones in my Neighbourhoods around the world post…).

Konzerthaus (the concert hall)
Konzerthaus (the concert hall)
This tree in the Nymphengarten has decided to embrace the colours of autumn...
This tree in the Nymphengarten has decided to embrace the colours of autumn (unlike all the ones around it)…
A nice old building squished in between two less nice buildings on Kaiserstrasse, the main shopping street
A nice old building squished in between two less nice buildings on Kaiserstrasse, the main shopping street

It was Stadtfest on that day and also Verkaufsoffener Sonntag (a Sunday on which shops are open for business) so a lot of places were giving out balloons. This tree next to a tram stop was doing an excellent job at catching those that s,all children inevitably let go of…

Balloon tree
Balloon tree

I’ve posted a photo of this old entrance to a swim baths before (the modern entrance is round the corner, and much less impressive). That time there was snow on the ground and the trees were much more bare.

The Vierordtbad in Autumn
The Vierordtbad in Autumn

And finally, a photo taken by Jan…

Me and the Vierordtbad
Me and the Vierordtbad

He said he likes the way my hair looks with the sun shining on it.

Yesterday we woke up to rain again and the forecast seems to be indicating more precipitation for the rest of the week, so it’s a good job we got out in the sunshine while we had the chance!


Autumn days

I’ve been meaning to show you some of the photos I’ve taken recently, but somehow time has been getting away from me and other topics to post about kept cropping up, leaving my poor blog devoid of autumn colours (and now winter is approaching!).

Here are some of the photos I’ve taken over the past few months.
Home made beef and pumpkin stew. There’s nothing like it on a rainy autumn day!

An autumny tree in Mannheim.

The sun goes down so early these days.

I love how there’s just a little bit of red in amongst all the green.

Penguins at Karlsruhe zoo.

Beautiful leaves!

That’s all. I hope you like them.

Autumn in the air

Standing at the tram stop this morning, I was hit by a smell that I can only describe as “Autumn”. Unfortunately it didn’t last long, as after a few minutes the only other person at the stop lit up a cigarette and my nostrils were filled with smoke instead, but not before I managed to take a deep breath of that wonderful aumtumny fragrance. The sun was just barely up and it was still pretty cold outside, with that crisp clean feel to the air that makes smells (and sounds) spread for miles. And the scent of autumn was definitely in the air. It’s that slightly dusty smell of fallen leaves, mixed with the scent of conkers. I couldn’t see any conkers but I could certainly smell them! It’s the smell of nature, but not the nature smell you get in spring. Spring smells new and fresh and green (of course green has a smell!). The nature of autumn is more mature. This is nature that’s seen things. It’s mature nature (interesting that those two words don’t rhyme). Spring smells invigorating, summer is sweet and warm, but autumn has a musty, down-to-earth smell. I love the first few weeks of autumn weather, when the days are still warm (but the sun isn’t beaming down, doing its best to give me sunstroke) and the evenings are still light. This part of autumn never lasts for long though, so I’d better enjoy it while I can!

Autumn days

Autumn has definitely come to Karlsruhe. I can see the pretty coloured trees from my window (Red! Orange! Yellow!). It’s just a shame these pretty days never last very long. Right now the sun is shining, but I know that in another week, or possibly two if we’re lucky, most of the trees will have shed their leaves, it will have stopped being light when I leave work (darkness when I get up is already established) and the rain and wind and mist will have set in. For now though the sun is shining and I intend to enjoy it. Here are some of my favourite things about Autumn:

  • Pumpkins. Such a versatile vegetable and so delicious. I just wish it wasn’t so hard to chop!
  • Roast chesnuts. I may treat myself to some of those later today.
  • Those few weeks at the beginning when the weather’s still nice and it’s no longer as ridiculously hot as in summer when I just want to hide away with a large supply of ice.
  • Pretty trees
  • Conkers! I don’t collect them, but I love to see them lying there, all shiny and red

It’s also Stadtfest this weekend – that’s city festival to all you English speakers; something like a village fair but not in a village, obviously. There are stalls at Marktplatz and live music can be seen/heard in various places. We missed it last year because we were in England for my Grandparent’s golden wedding anmiversary the week it was on.  It’s also “verkaufsoffener Sonntag” this Sunday, i.e the one Sunday in the year when the shops are actually *gasp* allowed to open. There’s still a law here that says the usually can’t! Not that I particularly want to go shopping on Sunday, but it’s always nice to know that it’s possible to pop and buy some milk if you happen to run out. Usually the only places you can actually buy anything are the ridiculously overpriced petrol garages. Or, in my case, the shop at the train station, which is just as overpriced but at least open