March 2017 photos

I think April may end up being the fastest month of this year so far. Somehow it is more than half over already. How did that happen?! I’d better post my March photos before I blink and realise it’s June or something!

For those who don’t know, this is just a random post where I throw in all the photos I took during a particular month that don’t fit in anywhere else. Nothing particularly exciting, just an excuse to show off my photography “skills”.

Jan had a birthday, so I made cupcakes.

Once again, most of my photos were of birds.

Crows are very cool (although less so when they’re cawing on outside the window at 5 a.m.!).

I can never seem to resist taking photos of the birds on the balcony. *Sigh*. For those who have asked what a “lard ball” is, that would be the thing the birds below are standing on/eating. Also, notice the leaves on the tree (which was still pretty much bare in my February photos). It’s almost fully green now 🙂

I heard this next bird before I saw it:

Sadly the blackbird was not outside our window, but in a garden I walked past on my way home from town.

Our friend came to visit and we went to the animal park. I didn’t actually take many photos there, but I did grab one of the little red fox, all curled up in a ball. So cute… but so smelly!

fox

And that’s about it for March. Cupcakes and animals seem to have been the order of the month.

I have to say, the final photo is my favourite in this collection! How about you… any favourites here?

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January photos

Some bloggers write a weekly photo post sharing a photo for each day of the previous week. There’s no way I’m going to remember to take a photo every single day, but I do like the idea of sharing random photos that don’t fit into a whole blog post, so I’ve decided to just write a post at the end of each month where I can dump all the photos I took. Here’s January’s.

It snowed and actually settled enough to still be there at the weekend so I went for a walk and found this guy:

red-squirrel

I also tried to take photos of snowy Basel from on top of a hill, but didn’t do very well:

baselbasel-markthalle

A few days later it snowed again and someone came to visit our balcony:

robin

That was the best photo I managed to get before I was spotted…

I then went out for a walk during my lunch break and discovered it’s quite difficult to take good photos while the snow is actually in the process of falling!

Look how deep it was though:

dscn0151

Finally, after disappearing for a few weeks, birds started visiting our balcony again. Here’s one sitting in a tree, having just taken a seed from our feeder and flown away to a safe distance to eat it:

bird

And that’s about it for January. Snow and wildlife… that sums up my month pretty well, to be honest.

Throwback Thursday

While I was in England I actually managed to make some headway on clearing out my old bedroom at my dad’s and in the process I found some old photos, so I thought I would completely embarrass myself and share a few of them with you. Apologies if the quality isn’t the best, I had to take photos of photos again.

Little baby Bev
Little baby Bev

This is one of the very few photos of little me where I was actually (sort of) smiling. There’s writing on the back of it: “Hello there. Looks like mam’s bringing me food?”. Apparantly somebody (presumably my mother?) is trying to imply I was only happy when I was getting fed! Also, what the hell colour paint is that on the wall?! The army has a lot to answer for, I’m telling you! (They’re also responsible for the awful brown carpet… although the “lovely” sofa was entirely my parents’ doing. What can I say… it was the 80s!).

Me aged 2 and  a half with my baby sister
Me aged 2 and a half with my baby sister

It seems I wasn’t too impressed at having to hold my little sister! Not sure who I’m giving the evil eye to here… (Usually I don’t post photos of other people, but in this one my sister is a baby! I’d love to see someone pick her out of a lineup based on this!).

First time in snow (probably)
First time in snow (probably)

Check out my fabulous snowsuit! I actually remember it because my mum kept it til I was about 10, but I don’t remember ever wearing it. The photographic evidence says I did though.

There you are. I hope you enjoyed your glimpse into my babyhood. Maybe one day I’ll share more…

Travel Theme: Yellow

It’s been a while since I took part in one of Ailsa’s travel themes, so I thought it was about time I did another one. This time, the theme is yellow, so I thought I would start with some cheerful daffodils – one of my favourite flowers (along with poppies, but they’re not yellow).

daffodils

ObviouslyI had to get a lantern picture in somehow. 😉 This one was taken in Berlin.

Berlin lantern

I spotted this hot air balloon hovering over Karlsruhe a few years ago, and I just had to take a photo. Smile, everyone! (Coincidentally, the building it’s next to looks pretty yellow as well!)

balloon

Finally, a photo I’m particularly proud of… a night shot of Salzburg. I love the yellow (and red and blue and green) reflections of the lights in the water!

Salzburg by night

You only have today to get your entries in for the yellow theme – a new travel theme will be up tomorrow (Friday). But you should check out Ailsa’s yellow post anyway, if only for her seriously amazing photo of a goldfinch. And, of course, stop by her blog tomorrow to find out what the next travel theme is.

Under a moonlit sky…

I took both of these photos yesterday. One in the morning before I left for work and one in the evening, after I exited the train station and saw how beautiful the sky was. The one advantage of such short days is that I am reminded of how beautiful the moon can be…

Morning moonlight

Evening moon

I’m no photographer, but I think they came out pretty well 🙂

Neighbourhoods Around the World – Karlsruhe

Show me your neighbourhood around the world

A slightly different blog post today. I’m taking part in a series hosted by Annabelle over at The Piri-Piri Lexicon – Show me your neighbourhood around the world. The idea of this series is to take a little tour of other people’s neighbourhoods around the world through the lense of their camera. Every two days between now and the end of November, a different blogger will showcase their own nighbourhood and town. You can see who else is taking part and where else the tour is taking us by clicking on the link I included earlier. But for now, let’s have a look at Karlsruhe. I live in the Südstadt (literally “south city”) district.

First of all, I should tell you the rules:
– All photos must be of the town/neighbourhood you live in or are well acquainted with.
– All must have been taken by you.
– Please publish a maximum of 12 photos.
– 6 photos that MUST be included:

  1. a playground / play area
  2. a local mode of transport
  3. a typical house/building
  4. a street nearby
  5. a school, nursery or other education facility
  6. a market, supermarket or other shopping outlet

– (Up to) 6 other photos are up to you. Think typical and local.

I’ll start with my six mandatory photos. Most of them were taken in the rain purely because the last time it wasn’t raining, or at least cloudy, in Karlsruhe, I was at work in another city and therefore unable to take photos!

A playground:

This is one of three small play areas that are all in a row on the so-called “Grünstreifen” (green strip).

Play area

One advantage of taking photos of playgrounds in the rain is that you don’t have to worry about disturbing any children! Also, I’m pretty sure those little red elephants are mandatory for all German play areas… they’re everywhere 😉

A local mode of transport:

S-Bahn

The bright yellow trams and S-Bahns are a familiar sight in Karlsruhe. Trams are the smaller ones that serve the city and its suburbs, while the larger S-Bahns are capable of travelling on both tram tracks and the proper Deutsche Bahn train tracks and can thus travel to further away places, like Baden Baden or Germersheim.

A typical house/building:

There are probably single-family houses somewhere on the outskirts of Karlsruhe (like Waldstadt maybe?) but if, like me, you live in a fairly central part of town, you will definitely be housed in a flat (apartment).

Building

I chose the above building for my photo on the advice of Jan, who tells me that particular pattern of bricks is typical for the area. Lots of flats are located in buildings that have something else on the ground floor – in this case, it’s a bar.

A street nearby:

I didn’t want to post a photo of my own street on here (I have photos of myself… I’d prefer not to have them associated with an address, however vague) but here’s one in my neighbourhood. This is pretty typical for the part of Karlsruhe I live in:

Karlsruhe street

A school, nursery or other education facility:

Not being a parent or having particularly close contact with anyone who has children of school age, I have no idea about any of the schools in Karlsruhe. I know of three schools within 2-3 streets of where I live, and I chose to take a photo of this one purely because the building it’s in looks nice:

Karlsruhe school

Here’s another photo, from a different angle:

Karlsruhe school 2

Looking at the signs outside, I gathered that this building houses a Grundschule (primary school) and Realschule (secondary school for pupils who are seen as not too bright and therefore not expected to go on to study. The other secondary school forms are Gymnasium, which prepares the most intelligent kids for university, and Hauptschule for those children who are considered suiltable for only the most menial of tasks, such as collecting rubbish or factory work. Some areas also have Gesamtschulen, i.e. comprehensives, which are supposed to be for everyone, but in reality parents of the most intelligent children still send them to Gymansium, leaving the Gesamtschulen full of pupils who would otherwise have gone to Realschule or Hauptschule).

A market, supermarket or other shopping outlet:

I wasn’t sure about the policies on taking photos inside supermarkets, so I took the following very surreptitously using the camera on my phone, hence the terrible quality!

The above photos were taken at Scheck-In Center, one of the larger supermarkets in Karlsruhe. It’s actually pretty close to where I live, but I rarely go there because the way it’s located in relation to my flat means it’s so much more convenient for me to go into town. But the other day I arrived at the train station to find that the next tram going anywhere useful would take me to Scheck-In, so off I went. Apart from selling all the usual goods you need for everyday life, Scheck-In Center is one of the places to go for anything you can’t find at “normal” supermarkets – such as vanilla extract or Cheddar cheese.

And now for some additional photos to hopefully give you an idea of what life is like in Karlsruhe.

Karlsruhe Hauptbahnhof

Unless you come by car, the above “Hauptbahnhof” (main train station) is the first thing you will see in Karlsruhe. And if you’e a commuter, like me, you’ll feel like you spend half your life there! The original train station was further North (for those who know Karlsruhe, it was on Kriegstraße, between Ettlinger Tor and Mendelsohnplatz), but in 1902, the Baden parliament decided to build a new one to make room for the expanding city. Construction began on the current Hauptbahnhof in 1910 and it opened in the night between 22 and 23 October 1931, meaning it will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in just over a week’s time!

Notice all the bikes in the picture as well. I could have used a picture of a bike for my local mode of transport… people in Karlsruhe loooooove to cycle!

As soon as the sun comes out even a little bit, the grounds of Karlsruhe’s castle are the place to be! Everyone and anyone can be found there – people walking their dogs, teenage girls sun bathing, students drinking beer, people playing with frisbees, joggers, parents running around after children….

A rather wet Schlosspark
A rather wet Schlosspark

The only people around when I took the above photo were either walking their dogs or just passing through on their way to somewhere else – although I did spot one dedicated jogger! You certainly wouldn’t catch me jogging in such weather (although I apparantly have no problem going out in the rain for the sake of my blog… I suppose it’s a matter of opinion who is more crazy).

It might be raining, but I still need my walk!
It might be raining, but I still need my walk!

Karlsruhe pyramid

The pyramid on Marktplatz (Market Square) is one of Karlsruhe’s main landmarks. I bet there are very few residents who have never uttered or written the phrase “I’ll meet you at the pyramid”…

Nymphengarten Karlsruhe

For a city of 297,488 (in 2011, according to Wikipedia), Karlsruhe is pretty green. There are trees, flowers and small parks all over the place. The picture above was taken in the Nymphengarten, a small green space behind the Naturkundemuseum (Natural History Museum).

That’s thirteen photos, which is technically one too many (I thought I’d compensate for the terrible quality of the supermarket photos by including two images!), so it’s time for me to stop now. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out the rest of the series? The next stop on the world tour is Japan. Links to previous entries and a schedule for the rest of the series can be found on The Piri-Piri Lexicon.

Look Up, Look Down – Deutsches Eck

Today is a holiday here, for German Reunification Day, and what better day to honour that than by using some very German photos for today’s Look Up, Lood Down entry. The following photos were taken in Koblenz at the Deutsches Eck (German corner). Both photos have featured on the blog before, in my post about our trip to Koblenz, but I’m sure I’ll be forgiven for reusing them 😉

Photo one was taken from the top of the Kaiser Wilhelm monument, looking down on the Deutsches Eck… the point where the Rhein and Mosel rivers meet.

Deutsches Eck, viewed from the Kaiser Wilhelm monument
Deutsches Eck, viewed from the Kaiser Wilhelm monument

And photo two is the opposite view… a picture taken looking up at the Kaiser Wilhelm monument from the Deutsches Eck:

Kaiser Wilhelm I
Kaiser Wilhelm I

Do you have a photo that would be just perfect for the theme of look up, look down? Check out Travel With Intent’s blog post to see other people’s interpretations and join in with the challenge!