A Photo an Hour: 17 February 2018

Saturday was February’s photo an hour date. I didn’t take part on Twitter because I was in France for most of the day and didn’t want to buy a data package, but I did take photos ready for uploading to a blog post. I had actually forgotten about it until Jan said “don’t forget to take a photo every hour”… at 20 past 11! By then I had missed just over two hours worth of photos! So I decided to wait 10 minutes and make it a photos at half past day, rather than on the hour. As a result, getting up and breakfast are missing and my “day” starts shortly after checking out of the hotel.

11:30 a.m. Just left our hotel in Dijon. The red phonebox (with no phone in it) is a meeting point for tour buses.

12:30 p.m. Rainy Dijon. We had just bought tickets from the Tourist Information office to climb the tower you see in this photo.

1:30 p.m. After a tea/coffee break, we’re back out walking in the rain.

2:30 p.m. Our tower tickets were for 2 p.m. At this stage we were at the bottom of the tower waiting for the guide to open the door and let us out.

3:30 p.m. At the museum of Fine Arts, formerly the Ducal Palace.

4:30 p.m. Another museum! This time The Museum of Burgundian Life.

5:30 p.m. All museumed out, we headed to a nearby bar.

6:30 p.m. Still at the bar. There were lots of these drawings on the wall.

7:30 p.m. After collecting the suitcase from the hotel, we picked up some food for the train journey home.

8:30 p.m. On the train reading Anna Karenina.

9:30 p.m. Back in Basel and on the train home – Dijon is only just under 1.5 hours away!

10:30 p.m. So happy to be all snuggly in my PJs!

That was the last photo I took – I did read for a little afterwards, but I was snuggled up with the lights out long before it would have been time to take the next photo.

As always, Photo an Hour was hosted by Louisa and Jane.
What did you get up to on Saturday?

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A Photo an Hour: 29 October 2016

Yesterday was photo an hour day again, hosted as usual by JaneJane and Louisa. Here’s what I got up to on the last Saturday of October:

10 a.m. Tea in a cup that talks about coffee. Such a rebel!

11 a.m. Trying to find the right cross stitch thread. What colour is “straw” anyway?

12 noon. Getting dressed.. my tights have pumpkins on them! ❀

1 p.m. Jan got up, so I put the kettle on again.

2 p.m. Back stitch time! How cute is that tree?

3 p.m. I was ready but Jan still needed to iron his shirt. If you look closely you can see me reflected in the iron.

4 p.m. Finally at the autumn fair!

5 p.m. Food at the fair. It’s little pasta “horns” with mince , covered in raclette cheese (it tasted nicer than it looks!)

6 p.m. Jan went off for his pre-concert rehearsal and I did a bit of shopping.

7 p.m. After dropping the shopping off at home, I was out again almost immediately. By 7 p.m. I was at the church, where the choir was still rehearsing.

No 8 p.m. photo since I didn’t want to whip my camera out in the middle of the concert, sooo…

9 p.m. Leaving the church after the concert. Sorry about the awful quality of the photo!

10 p.m. A friend invited us round for a beer after the concert since he lives close to the church (yes, I have a friend in Basel!!)

11 p.m. More beer, but now in a bar

12 midnight. Waiting for a tram home.

Back home, I drank some water, brushed my teeth and went to bed, all before the next hour came around. I couldn’t have taken another photo anyway… symmetry must be preserved 😉

How was your Saturday?

 

A photo an hour: 23 July 2016

On Saturday I once again took part in A Photo an Hour with Jane and Louisa. We didn’t have any particular plans for the day, but we ended up seeing a parade! Here’s my Saturday in pictures for you:

10 a.m. Breakfast! I thought I’d include something with my tea for once 😉

11 a.m. Trying to work out how the names should go on something I’m cross stitching.

12 noon. Cross stitch. Trying to ensure the photo isn’t too revealing…

1 p.m. Showered, time to get dressed. It’s so nice having all my clothes in one place!

2 p.m. We had to return our barbecue because it wasn’t working properly so while we were in the shop we decided to buy some extra bedding for the spare room (this is not the one we purchased!)

3 p.m. Back outside, there was a parade going on for the Basel Tattoo so we stayed to watch.

4 p.m. We followed one of the last groups to the end of the parade, where we grabbed a beer. I had to take its photo in front of the horse carriage, obviously 😉

5 p.m. After doing some grocery shopping we headed off to catch the bus. This is the Mittlere BrĂŒcke, which we had to cross to get to our bus stop.

6 p.m. Home! Time to do the dishes 😩

7 p.m. Making dinner.

8 p.m. Nearly finished eating. It was yummy, if I do say so myself.

9 p.m. Watching the animated BFG with a beer.

I apparently forgot to take a photo at 10 p.m., then I did take one at 11 p.m. but I won’t post it because symmetry is important! (It was of my toothbrush as I was on my way to bed, in case you’re interested).

How was your Saturday? Did you do anything interesting, or just relax (a perfectly legitimate activity for a weekend!)?

35 before 35: The KVV beer tour

A Karlsruhe S-Bahn
A Karlsruhe S-Bahn

Let’s rewind a few weeks to a time before I moved to Switzerland. I knew that I would have to complete item 35 on my 35 before 35 list before leaving Karlsruhe because it’s not that easy to do a beer tour using the Karlsruhe transport network when you don’t actually live there! Obviously we could have come back for a visit, but it seemed easier to do it while I was still around to plan things out properly. And so, on 11 April 2015, a group of us set out to drink a beer in several brewpubs that could be reached using the KVV transport network. The idea was to buy a 24 our ticket (or in my case use my Bahncard 100 one last time before it ran out) and visit as many places as we could in one day. The final selection of venues ended up being AndreasbrĂ€u in Leopoldshafen, Alter Bahnhof in Malsch, Wallhall in Bruchsal, Brauhaus Löwenhof in Bretten and finally good old VogelbrĂ€u in Karlsruhe. We could also have done one more (KĂŒhler Krug, also in Karlsruhe), but we liked the beer at Wallhall so much that we decided to stay for an extra one and also for something to eat. Here are some impressions from the individual places.

AndreasbrÀu, Leopoldshafen

We left Karlsruhe at just after 12 and took an S1 to Leopoldshafen, so clearly our first stop had to include lunch. I had Schnitzel, because I’m boring 😉 At AndreasbrĂ€u, everybody chose to drink a Red Dragon, which was delicious. I’m a little sad that it took my until my last month in Karlsruhe to discover AndreasbrĂ€u because I liked it a lot.

Alter Bahnhof, Malsch

To get to our next stop, we travelled all the way through Karlsruhe, changing at the train station onto an S-Bahn towards Rastatt. Here, I originally chose a MĂ€rzen to drink, but it tasted sour and I actually thought it might be off. The waitress tried it and said it was supposed to be like that, so I decided it probably just wasn’t my kind of beer and switched to a Helles. I wasn’t charged for the original beer, which was nice, but I wasn’t too keen on the atmosphere at this place – it was a bit “local pub-ish”, if you know what I mean – and I probably wouldn’t go back. I did like the wall decorations though! As the name might suggest (Alter Bahnhof means Old Train Station), the brewpub is inside the old train station building and the walls had been painted with a waiting for a train theme.

Wallhall, Bruchsal

Stop number 3 was in Bruchsal. We had to take the S-Bahn back through Karlsruhe train station, but this time we went straight through without changing. For my first beer I chose a Schwarzbier, which was very tasty with a coffee-ish note. After trying each other’s beers, everybody decided we wanted to stay here for a second drink so we could all drink the one we hadn’t had the first time round. My second beer was Hopfenperle, which was also delicious. It was getting towards tea time by this stage so we decided to eat again. This time, I chose veal with Semmelknödel (bread dumplings). Very tasty! I can highly recommend Wallhall if you’re ever in Bruchsal. It’s also a hotel, although I couldn’t tell you whether their rooms are as good as their food and drink.

Brauhaus Löwenhof, Bretten

Once we were done in Bruchsal, we headed to Bretten. We took the S9, which none of us had ever taken before and which went on an interesting route through small villages that we’d never heard of. We even spied a castle through the window at one stage! Our destination was Brauhaus Löwenhof. The beer there wasn’t my favourite of the day, but it was pretty good. Most of the photos I took there feature people and are therefore not blog suitable, but here are a few:

VogelbrÀu, Karlsruhe

Our final stop was at VogelbrĂ€u back in Karlsruhe. There’s not really much I can say about this place. I’ve been here many times and the beer is good. In my opinion, it’s tied with KĂŒhler Krug for best beer brewed within Karlsruhe city. At VogelbrĂ€u, I ate a garlic pannini. Not because I was still hungry, I just love them there. They’re definitely not for the faint-hearted though! When they say garlic, they really mean it! By the way, VogelbrĂ€u has three pubs – in Karlsruhe, Durlach and Ettlingen – and if you visit all three on one day you get a free (small) beer at the third stop. By the time we reached VogelbrĂ€u, we were all running out of steam a bit, so I only have 2 photos for you there:

All in all, it was a fun day out and I enjoyed discovering new places and tasty beers. An excellent item for my 35 before 35 list and a highly recommended day out in Karlsruhe. All you need is a map of the transport network, a 24 hour ticket and plenty of time! I recommend looking up tram times in advance and having a couple of alternatives in case you miss one or just decide to stay a bit longer at a place you like a lot. I planned in roughly an hour at each place with extra time at AndreasbrÀu so we could eat lunch.

Other places we considered visiting but didn’t for reasons of time and more difficult tram/bus connections were: Brauhaus 4.0 in Knielingen, LindenbrĂ€u in Waldbronn, Brauerei Franz in Rastatt, Hopfenschlingel in Rastatt, Badisches Brauhaus in Karlsruhe and KĂŒhler Krug in Karlsruhe. Five isn’t bad for one day though! We met up at just after 12 noon and left VogelbrĂ€u at midnight, so the tour took pretty much exactly 12 hours.

More from Zurich

I tried to write this post a few days ago but WordPress lost it and I couldn’t be bothered to type it all out again…

1 January was our final day in Zurich. We started 2015 by sleeping til 1.30 p.m., then eventually managed to drag ourselves out of the hotel and to the main train station, where we found a cafe for breakfast. I had a hazelnut-filled croissant (which are called Gipfeli in Swiss German!) and a far-too-sweet cinnamon latte. Then it was time for some more walking. We took a different parallel street to Bahnhofstrasse, one we’d never been down before, and eventually came to Zurich’s “other” river – the Sihl. Apparently it flows below the Hauptbahnhof (main station) and parts of the station are actually below the river! The things you learn from Wikipedia… Once we got away from the town centre, the path was slippy but it looked pretty with the river alongside and the tree branches hanging over it.

After we’d walked for a while, Jan consulted the map on his phone then decided we needed to turn left if we were eventually going to end up back in town. He then proceeded to make me go up this set of steps:

 

Narnia eat your heart out!

I didn’t so much walk up them as haul myself up, clinging to the handrail for dear life the whole time! What looks like pretty snow had been trodden on so often that it was actually more like ice. Very, very slippy ice! At the top, we found a park area set on a hillside. All the local kids were out playing with their bobsleighs. I wish we could have borrowed one… it would have been slightly easy than walking/slipping down the frozen path!

After leaving that park and walking down some random streets, we entered another park where we found more people sledding and another snowman. From there, we also had a view of the lake.

Finally, after walking for what seemed like days, we reached the lake. By this time it was dark and we were cold and hungry, but we still stopped to take a few photos of the lake. By which I mean Jan stole my camera and took pictures after witnessing me failing to get any good ones. Hmph!

After all the walking we’d done, Jan decided he wanted a hearty meal of the type served by a brew-house. The first Bierhalle we tried was closed (for future reference, lots of places in Zurich seem to close on New Year’s Day), so we headed to a place called Restaurant Johanniter. Jan chose a dark beer that was delicious! Unfortunately it was on special and the card only said “Schwarzbier” so we don’t know what it was to look out for in future. I went for the Appenzeller Quöllfrisch, which was also tasty. To eat I had vension “geschnetzeltes” – geschnetzeltes is a word for strips of meat cut in a certain way. Jan had the traditional ZĂŒrcher Geschnetzeltes, which I’m not keen on because it comes in a sauce with mushrooms. I then treated myself to some apple strudel for dessert (no picture of that because I was too busy stuffing my face 😉 )

Once we’d eaten, we headed back to the hotel to pack and relax for a while. And that was the end of our trip to Zurich. A lovely city, if fairly small. I’m sure we’ll be back… Basel to Zurich is only a little over an hour by train, which makes it pretty perfect for a day trip with visitors.

Vienna: Day two

Most of our second day in Vienna was spent at Dialog im Dunkeln, which I’ve already posted about, but I would now like to reiterate that it’s a really cool experience and you should give it a try if there’s one near you. (Also, we are now planning to visit the one in Frankfurt while my brother is here). Before we headed over there, we stopped at the station to buy train tickets for a day trip to Bratislava the next day. Once we’d done that, it turned out we still had some time left before our tour was due to start, so we popped into a church. I don’t remember the name of it…

We also had time to stop for a coffee, which I just had to take a photo of because art!! Having a pretty picture on your coffe may be an everyday occurrence for some, but it’s not something you see much of in Karlsruhe so I still get very excited about it.

Vienna

Once we’d done Dialog im Dunkeln, we decided to head to the Natural History Museum, stopping on the way for lunch. We ended up stopping at a cafe where we both had Mango Lassis to drink and ate the Indian Dal (spicy lentil soup).

Vienna

After walking for aaaages, we reached the Natural History Museum only to discover it was closed! We later found out that a lot of places had closed for the afternoon, although at that point we didn’t know why. The cute elephant outside the museum kind of made the wasted walk worth it:

Vienna

Next, we decided to try going to the butterfly house. On the way, we randomly discovered another exhibition, so we had a look at that. It was something to do with cables as art and featured a lot of extension plugs and wires, plus a weird video. I didn’t really get it…
By the time we reached the butterfly house, it was 5:30 p.m… 45 minutes after closing time. *Sigh* Since it seemed like museums were a lost cause, we decided to find somewhere to sit and watch the football instead, seeing as it was the day of England’s last match in the World Cup! (Yeah… we suck and didn’t make it past the group stage.) We found an Irish pub, where I drank Stiegl, a Salzburg beer.

As we were leaving the pub, we found out the reason for various things closing early… Putin was in town and there were various demonstrations/protests going on because of it. Here’s one that we saw for LBGT rights (I know there is sometimes a Q in there, too, but the sign we saw only had the four letters):

Vienna

We were both hungry by this time (even more so after watching people eating burgers and nachos at the Irish pub), so we went looking for something to eat. Jan found a brew-pub called Salm BrĂ€u that had good reviews on TripAdvisor, but mostly from tourists. It turned out to be an okay place, but not somewhere I would recommend. The food was nice but forgettable, and my beer mostly tasted of yeast. Jan had a dark beer, which I tried but can’t even remember what I thought of. Never mind, have a photo of our beers anyway:

Vienna

By the time we’d eaten, it was pretty late, so we decided to head back to the hotel. On the way, we passed some kind of monument/memorial with cyrillic writing on it that had been cordoned off earlier in the day. Jan was curious, so we went to have a look at it. It didn’t take me long to get bored with his attempts to interpret the cyrillic, so I turned my attention to the fountain opposite that was all lit up.

I also took a photo of it in green, but I think two photos of the smae fountain is enough for a blog post 😉
After I went back to Jan, a Russian couple came up to us and helped with the translation of the cyrillic so we could finally get on our way! 😉 I wanted to get some sleep as we had an early planned the next day…
And that was Tuesday. Coming up next: A day in Bratislava, Slovakia.

*I am counting Vienna (and Bratislava) as my June trip for the Take 12 Trips challenge*

Things I will never be able to do as well as the Germans

I actually thought of this post a while ago, but I was out and about with no possibility to write anything down, so I forgot. But I was reminded of it again last night in Aldi, while trying to pay and pack away my shopping at the same time. This time I had the sense to switch the computer on and get typing as soon as I get home, and this morning I felt inspired enough to complete the post. And thus, I present to you, Things that I will never be able to do as well as the Germans…

Pack my shopping away at the speed of light

I’m almost sure this ability is genetic… or at least drummed in to small German children before they can even walk. All Germans seem to have an in-built capability to lay all their groceries on the band in exactly the way it needs to be packed, run to the other end and pack everything away in their back pack/environmentally friendly canvas bag neatly and safely while the shop assistant is practically throwing the stuff at them and then have the money waiting in their hand before the cashier even has the chance to ask for it. Meanwhile, there’s me quickly shoving everything into my carrier bag (which I’ve just purchased because I forgot to bring one with me again) any old way, not caring how squished my bread gets, then having to stop half way through to fumble with my purse while the shop assistant glares impatiently, one hand out waiting to take my money. On the occasions that I’m doing a big shop and take a trolley, I’m even too slow at throwing my shopping in there… leading to the assistant picking up random bits of my shopping and putting them in the trolley for me so they have room to scan the rest. Unless I’m only buying about 2 items, every shopping trip ends up in a panicked rush! What’s your secret, Germans?

Open a beer bottle with absolutely anything

Admittedly this one might only be reserved for male Germans – I haven’t seen many women doing it. But give a German guy a beer, tell him you have no opener and he will use any means at his disposal to get into the bottle. In fact, some people insist on doing it their way even if there is a proper opening available! A lighter, another (closed) beer bottle, a fork… each of these works perfectly if a German is looking to get his beer open. And if no other implement is available, the edge of a table or even the crate the beer came in will do. I, on the other hand, sometimes have trouble opening my beer with a proper bottle opener…

This is as good as my scarf wrapping skills are ever going to get...
This is as good as my scarf tying skills are ever going to get…

Wrap a scarf so it looks good

Given a decent amount of time and a mirror, I will eventually manage to wrap a scarf around my neck in a way that looks half decent. German women need neither time nor mirrors. I’ve seen Germans stand up after a long night of drinkinh, pick up the scarf that they took off because it was so hot indoors, casually drape it around their neck, and BAM…. perfect first time! This is another ability that I suspect is genetic…

Drink a Maß of beer

That’s one litre, for those of you who don’t know. And believe me, one litre is a lot of beer. A Maß glass isn’t exactly small! Pathetic little British me needs two hands to even lift one. Unlike the famous Oktoberfest waitresses, who deliver up to eight of these things to a table at a time, four in each hand. I can never manage to get all the way to the bottom of my Maß of beer before it gets warm either! Germans can though… including the females. I think I’ll stick with my pathetic little half litre glasses and leave the big ones to the natives…

And there you have it: Four things that I don’t think I’ll learn to do as well as the Germans however long I live here.
Got any more? Feel free to add them in the comments. And if there’s something you think the natives of another country can do better than anyone else I’d love to hear about it!