Autumn walk 2017

Around this time last year, I went for a walk along a stream near where I live. A year before that I had walked along the same stream and taken photos of the gorgeous autumn colours. It was only afterwards that I realised the photos had been taken on the same day. This year I wanted to take photos on the same day again, but unfortunately I misremembered the date and thought the others had been taken on 31st October. Actually, it was the 30th. Oh well…one day out is basically the same, right?

The trees have been weird this year with some of them changing from green to yellow then brown and finally losing most of their leaves all within a single weekend (a few weeks ago) while others are still looking very green even now. Two years ago I’m sure all the trees were red and yellow and orange at this stage? Anyway, here are some photos of this year’s autumn walk.

Leaving the house immediately proved worth it when I saw this guy mere minutes into my walk:

squirrel

As you can see, it was an absolutely glorious day for a walk. Hard to believe it had been freezing cold and rainy just two days earlier!

And finally, here’s a comparison of this year with the autumns of the past two years:

From left to right, the end of October 2015, 2016 and 2017. Unfortunately the photos weren’t taken in the exact same place/direction, but they are very close together and you definitely get an idea of how different the colours have been at the exact same time of year! I actually think last year was even greener… this year’s photo looks more yellow, while 2015 had all the orange. Now let’s hope we’re still here at this time next year so I can see what the colours are doing then!

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Autumn days…

We woke up on Saturday to rain, which continued for the rest of the weekend and is forecast to carry on until at least next Monday so I thought I would upload some photos I took a few weeks ago to remind myself that autumn can be nice when it tries.

All the photos were taken between the 16th and 30th of October, and it was actually not that easy to find signs of autumn! The first time I went out, the trees were still mostly green, and by the end of October a lot of them had lost their leaves completely… it seems they changed directly from green to brown this year. To prove my point, can we please just consider the following two photos, which were taken precisely one year apart along the same stretch of path (although sadly not in the exact same spot so we can’t get a direct comparison)

Apparently Basel used up its best colours last year to welcome us to our new country. I shall have to make a point of going out on the same date next year to see what the trees are doing then.

Happy new week, readers. I hope Monday is less grey and miserable where you are!

A Photo An Hour: 17 October 2015

October’s installment of Jane and Louisa‘s Photo an Hour linkup was yesterday, and for the second month in a row I actually remembered to join in despite having nothing particularly exciting planned. Jan was out for the of the day at a practice session for a choir he’s performing a concert with at the end of October and I have no friends here so it was just me, myself and I. Here’s how my day went:

10 a.m. I’m up! To start the day, the obligatory cup of tea and some porridgey stuff I spotted and found intriguing.

11 a.m. I want to go out so I’m taking a shower (hey, that’s almost a line from a song! Not intentional, promise!).

12 noon. Finally made it out. Now it’s cold I have to dry my hair, so getting ready takes ages. Plus I had to go back for my phone so I would actually know when it was time for the next photo!

1 p.m. Leaving the shops (photo actually taken slightly after the hour because I was in Aldi at photo time and I was afraid of getting in trouble for taking photos – lots of staff were hovering around!).

2 p.m. Walking home (I need the exercise). This is actually a side street as it was a bit more interesting than the main road I was walking down.

3 p.m. Just finishing my rather late lunch. Scrambled eggs with courgette (my idea of a healthy meal), a slice of toast with chickpea spread on (not pictured because I’d already eaten it) and of course a cup of tea.

4 p.m. A spot of housework! Not the most exciting photo, but I was hoovering at the time so what else should I have done?

5 p.m. I found a recipe for “healthy” biscuits (cookies) and was determined to bake them. Just a few of the ingredients gathered here – I then had to make my own mixed spice because it doesn’t exist here apparently.

6 p.m. Lining the baking tray with my new permanent baking “parchment” (clearly it’s not parchment, but Teflon).

7 p.m. Jan came home and made us each a cup of tea. Check out the matching mugs!

8 p.m. Cooking tea. Chicken with bulgur and beans.

9 p.m. Jan put the rugby on, so here’s the Haka.

Beer10 p.m. Half time nearly over. Drinking beer.

I went to bed just before 11 and decided not to stay up for the extra ten minutes and take a photo because I was convinced I had an even number. I was wrong. Symmetry ruined, grrr!

Family… can’t live with them, can’t murder them in their sleep!

So, it seems my Grandma is in hospital with pneumonia. How did I find this out? Facebook! And not in a personal message to me either… I discovered it from my sister’s status. Thanks for letting me know family! The last time I checked, moving abroad didn’t magically make her no longer my grandma…
I admit I’m not the best at keeping in touch (I wonder where I get that from?!) but you would have thought for something important somebody might have found a few minutes to send me a quick text message! Welcome to life as a member of my family people. This, by the way, is about 90% of the reason I’m still on Facebook (the other 10% being I’m nosy and like to see what people are up to…). When I lived in Austria I didn’t have Facebook. In the time I was there, the only person who phoned or e-mailed me on a semi-regular basis was my dad. I heard from my mum maybe twice (in 10 months!) and my sister not at all. No postcards, no text messages and not one single e-mail… Families. Can’t live with them, can’t murder them in their sleep!

(To be fair to my sister, I should add that after I commented on her status, she did message me to let me know what had happened… apparantly she had assumed my mum would have told me.)

On an entirely unrelated note, I had to go to the train station yesterday to buy some baking ingredients. I wanted to make chocolate brownies and had forgotten to buy chocolate! Yes, I am that bright at times… The shop in the train station is one of the very few places where you can actually buy things on a Sunday (the other option is petrol stations), so that was where I had to go. It had been raining and I liked how shiny the autumn leaves looked (those that hadn’t been trodden to mush already, anyway) so I took some photos along the way. Enjoy!

Marburg

Woooah, I’m halfway there-eeere…

This is number 15 in my series of 30 German towns before 30!

The River Lahn
The River Lahn in Marburg

I went to Marburg with Jan in October 2007 to visit his sister, who was studying there at the time. She was studying Art History, which already tells you something about the differences between Karlsruhe and Marburg. I’m not even sure you can study something as frivolous as art here! Karlsruhe is all about computer science and mechanical engineering!

Capital of the Federal state of Hessen from 1485 – 1500, and again between, 1567 and 1605, these days Marburg is best known for its university, which is the oldest Protestant-founded university in the world.

One of the must-see buildings in Marburg is the castle, so of course that was one of the first places we went.

At the castle
At the castle

Like all the best castles, the Marburg one is located on a hill, meaning we were able to get some excellent views of the city. The fact that it was a beautiful autumn day also helped, of course.

Marburg, viewed from the castle
Marburg, viewed from the castle

After checking out the castle, we took a walk through Marburg to the other side of the valley, where there is a tower (the Kaiser Wilhelm tower). On our way through town, we walked down some beautiful streets, such as this one:

Marburg

To get to the tower, we first had to walk up a hill through some woodland. It was a bit like being in Narnia (after the banishing of the White Witch and all her snow, obviously).

Marburg woods

Emerging from the woods, we finally found ourselves at the tower. It’s 36m high, which meant a lot of steps to climb, but the view from the top was definitely worth the effort.

The top of the tower
The top of the tower
View from the tower
View from the tower

We picked exactly the right part of autumn for our trip – while the days were still warm and the leaves hadn’t left the trees yet, but were still at that beautiful reddy-orangey stage.

Autumn trees

The next day we had breakfast at one of Marburg’s most alternative cafes – Cafe am Grün. It’s quite a studenty place – with prices to match – and the coffee literally comes in a bowl! I couldn’t actually finish mine before it went cold. We sat inside, but it does have a back garden, which is right on the River Lahn. I can imagine it would be a beautiful place to sit and enjoy a coffee or a meal in summer.

We also went to the New Botanic Gardens, which are outside of town. It seems I didn’tactually  take any photos there (at least I can’t find any). Most of the flowers were of the summer variety so there wasn’t much to see. I’m sure it would have been amazing in summer though!

Unfortunately, I had to leave later that day as I had work the next morning. Jan stayed on for a couple of days and probably managed to see a bit more than I did, but what I did manage to take in was definitely worth the trip!

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 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