Ten things I’ll miss about Karlsruhe

I’m not including people on this list, because I think it goes without saying that I’ll miss my friends! Also, people can move so theoretically it would be possible for the people I like to also come to Basel ๐Ÿ˜‰ But even ignoring the people, I will miss some things about the place that’s been my home for the past eight and a half years!

  1. My “local” Irish pub… and of course the quiz. (My team came 3rd last week, by the way, which was a nice way to say goodbye).
  2. The trams. I know, it seems like an odd thing to miss, but they’re bright yellow and whenever I spied one from a train window I knew I was nearly home.
    S-Bahn
  3. The Schlosspark (castle grounds). I don’t even think I spent any time there last year with the weather in the summer being so bad, but it’s the perfect place to sit when the sun’s out. I hope we’ll find somewhere just as good in Basel.
  4. The red pandas, of course! I’ll miss seeing them hanging out in their trees on my way to and from work. (I will also miss living literally oppostie the zoo! We’re fairly close in Basel but it’s still a ten-minute walk. At the weekend, we took a last trip to Karlsruhe zoo, so look out for those photos on the blog once I can upload again – the ones in this post were all already uploaded for previous posts)

    I promise there's a red panda in that tree...
    I promise there’s a red panda in that tree…
  5. Soul bar, not just because of the very tasty cocktails, but also because the owners are so lovely. They greeted us like old friends every time we came in – even if it had been months since our last visit – and did an excellent job for my 30th birthday party.
  6. Sukie’s Cake Shop. I’ve only actually been there three times, but I will miss knowing I can go to a place where I can eat scones and clotted cream to my heart’s content and won’t get funny looks for asking for milk with my tea. Also, they sell cans of Dandelion & Burdock and Irn Bru!

    A strawberry scone from Sukie's
    A strawberry scone from Sukie’s
  7. Knowing my way around. Okay, this is something that I’m sure will come with time in Basel, but nothing could be quite as easy as Karlsruhe’s layout. All streets either lead to the castle or away from it (or, in the case of cross streets, parallel to it), so if you can’t see the castle turn around and walk the other way until you do! (Only applies for the twon centre, obviously)
  8. Hoepfner Burgfest. Beer, live music and good food. What’s not to love? And even if we do find a beer festival in Basel, the Karlsruhe one will win on price!

    Hoepfner beer at Burgfest 2014
    Hoepfner beer at Burgfest 2014
  9. The excellent connections. It sounds odd, but one of the things I love about Karlsruhe is how easy it is to get away from. By train, you can be in Paris, Munich or Lucerne in three hours, Zurich in two and a half, Frankfurt in just over an hour and Strasbourg or Heidelberg in roughly half an hour. There’s even a direct connection to Marseilles (although it admittedly takes 6 and a half hours) and a few years ago, Jan and I took a night train to Amsterdam, arriving at our final destination (Delft) refreshed and ready for the day.
  10. Our flat. It was the first place Jan and I ever lived together (unless you count the student residence, which I don’t!) and it really is a lovely flat. Of course, after two weeks of listening to the empty rooms echo I’m looking forward to living in a place with furniture again, and our new flat is also lovely, but this place will always hold a special place in my heart.
    Where my books used to live...
    Where my books used to live…

    With all that said, I am looking forward to being in Basel full time and find new places that I love just as much as my favourites in Karlsruhe. And the cheese… I’m definitely looking forward to the cheese!

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Friday letters

The weekend has (almost) arrived and with it the incredibly crappy weather. Not that it’s been particularly nice for most of the week, but at least the rain had seemed to be holding off… until today. I hope this isn’t the way it’s going to be now until winter sets in! After a mostly crappy summer, it would be nice to at least have a somewhat sunny autumn! Oh well, here are some letters.

Eye'm watching you...

Dear godson. Happy birthday for tomorrow. I can’t believe you’re already turning two! Time goes so fast.

Dear rain. If you think you’re going to prevent me from going to the wine festival tomorrow you’ve got another thing coming! I have a waterproof jacket, and there are tents. So there!

Dear red pandas. You never fail to make me smile, no matter how tired I am or how heavily it’s raining. You rock!

Dear certain customer. Please stop with all the express jobs! I’m tired of interrupting whatever I’m currently doing because you’ve sent something that needs to be worked on right this second. I mean, we did sign up for this and it’s okay occasionally, but the last two weeks have been extreme. Give me time to breathe occasionally.

Dear coffee seller on the train. Is it really necessary to advertise your wares quite so loudly? Some of us are actually trying to get in a few extra minutes sleep on the morning commute and being startled by you yelling practically in our ears is not fun!

Wow, lots of complaining this time! I blame lack of sleep. I’ll try to be more cheerful next Friday ๐Ÿ˜‰ In the meantime, have a great wekend everyone!

Friday letters & some links

Friday is upon us again! I’m actually in Konstanz right now… yesterday was the last one in a series of Thursday public holiday in my part of Germany, so I decided to use some overtime and treat myself to a four-day weekend. I didn’t want to waste my extra day off sitting at home, so I persuaded Jan to take a break from his thesis for a couple of days and come down to Konstanz with me. I wish every day could be a three-day working week followed by a four-day weekend ๐Ÿ˜‰

Friday letters

Dear man on my train. There is seriously no need to stink that badly of BO at 8 a.m. on a Monday. It’s not even that hot at that time in the morning (yet). What are you going to do when proper summer arrives? For the sake of your fellow commuters, please invest in some deodorant!

Dear red pandas. You are definitely my favourite part of the my journey to work โค

Dear bookcases. I know you’re way too full already, but I’m afraid you’re going to have to prepare yourself for another onslaught of books. Amazon was just too tempting this week…

Dear May. Where did you go? It doesn’t seem possible that tomorrow is your last day!

And now for some interesting links I’ve come across recently:

  • A friend posted this article on Facebook and I’ve been sharing it everywhere! Some excellent points (and terrifying) points about rape culture, nerds and the “I’m a nice guy so I deserve sex” myth.
  • Ever wanted to speak Icelandic? Find some basic phrases at Unlocking Kiki. (Also, check out the rest of her blog. Her photos make me want to be in Iceland RIGHT NOW!).
  • It’s been ten years since the final episode of Friends aired in Great Britain (What? How is that possible?). Here’s a BBC article with things you may not have known about the series.
  • I came across this list of 18 German Castles that put Disney to Shame while looking for something else, and now I want to visit them all!

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

A day in my life: Monday, 26 May 2014

This is a post for the May 2014 Day in the Life linkup with Manda from Break the Sky. I meant to do it for Friday, but I completely forgot to record my day so you’re getting a Monday in my life instead. Also,ย  I’m not including many photos this time because there’s only so many times I can show you my shower ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Plus, I am running out of photo space on the blog and I’m still undecided about paying actual money for the upgrade…)

6 a.m. The alarm goes off. As usual, I hit snooze a couple of times, finally dragging myself out of bed and towards the shower at 10 past.

7:20 a.m. I’m showered, dressed and my work bag is packed… time to go! On the way past the zoo, I look out for the red pandas and spy one of them (there are two, but it’s rare to actually see both of them at the same time). YAY… that’s my morning made ๐Ÿ™‚
The panda was curled up in the tree when I first went past, but as I was walking away I turned back and saw him (I’ve decided it’s a he) climbing around in the tree, so I grabbed another photo. If you click on the pictures, you might just be able to spot him (I hope).

8 a.m. I get off the train and head outside for the tram to work. Once I’ve arrived in the office, I eat my breakfast (a yoghurt) while waiting for the computer to start up, then it’s work time. I’ve received lots of jobs back from proofreaders, so my morning consists mainly of entering corrections for my translations.

12:00 Lunch time! I have a microwave meal (oh the shame! I promise I don’t always eat instant crap for lunch…). On the way to the kitchen, I notice that my colleague who was on holiday in Ireland brought back Chocolate Digestives for everyone and I can’t resist taking one for dessert.

12:30 p.m. Lunch over, back to work. Now I actually have some new texts to translating. Doing those and finding proofreaders for them takes up the entire afternoon and the time goes fairly quickly.

5:10 p.m. Home time! After a bried conversation with a colleage about Bookcrossing (she’s just joined), I head off back to the train station.

6:30 p.m. My normal train was massively delayed and I had to take a regional, but now I’m finally home… half an hour later than usual! I’m so tired that I could quite happily go straight to be, but instead I force myself to do some situps and crunches โ€“ I recently discovered that a favourite skirt has become way too tight since last summer, which has given me the last bit of motivation I need to lose the final 2 kilograms I was aiming for (but apparantly not the willpower to resist chocolate Digestives…)

7:10 p.m. A text from Jan saying he’ll be working late and not to bother cooking for him. I decide that this is the perfect excuse not to eat at all and instead use some of the bread I bought on Saturday. It’s ciabatta with walnuts and it’s YUM! I have it with some cheese.

I decide to follow my bread and cheese with a Rose Lassi I have in the fridge. I don’t know why, but I love the taste of roses!

8:30 p.m. I decide to treat myself to an early night and head off to bed with a cup of fruity tea and a book. I’m currently reading book 3 in the His Dark Materials series (among other things!). After about an hour, I put the book down, have a quick nose on Facebook then decide to listen to an episode of Welcome to Night Vale before going to sleep.

10 p.m. Time to switch off the light, ready for another 6 a.m. start in the morning…

The May 2014 Day in the Life linkup is still open if anyone else would like to join ๐Ÿ™‚

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

 

Friday Letters

It’s Friday again… finally! Despite my day off on Wednesday this week has been ridiculously long and busy! Hence why I’ve been sort of absent in the blogging world. Again! Never mind, here are some Friday letters for you.

Friday letters

Dear weather. I can’t believe you’re turning bad just in time for the weekend again. It’s like you’re doing it on purpose…

Dear work. Apparantly you weren’t listening when I asked if you could maybe get a little less crazy. Four-day working weeks should not be this exhausting!

Dear red pandas. Seeing you on my way to the train station in the morning always makes me smile. โ™ฅ

Dear boyfriend. Tomorrow will be our last day together for a week. Please don’t go leaving any bits of you in Turkey this time ๐Ÿ˜‰

Dear everything peanut. I plan to take advantage of my boyfriend’s absence next week and eat you in abundance. You have been warned!

Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend.

A Sunday stroll

The sun actually came out today and I felt the need to get some fresh air, so I decided to go out for a walk.
First, I headed towards the train station. On the way there I spotted some daffodils dancing in the breeze.

daffodil

I walked along the front of the zoo, stopping to see whether I could spy the red pandas. On the photo below, you can see a red ball of fur curled up in the tree. The other panda was in a higher tree further along. Most of him was hidden behind a branch though, so I didn’t take a photo.

red panda

After calling in at the train station to see whether they still had my cross stitch magazine (they didn’t – I knew I should have bought all three last week!), I headed towards Beiertheimer Allee (a street leading towards the part of Karlsruhe called Beiertheim… although I actually walked down it away from Beiertheim). In the middle of the street, there’s a large area of green with paths leading through it and a play area part way down. When the sun comes out, the green area (it’s not a park or garden, really) is incredibly popular with parents pushing buggies, joggers and dogwalkers. I spotted more signs of spring in the grass.

flowers

Continuing my walk, I passed the Karlsruhe minigolf course… still closed for its winter break until 1st April.

mini golf

The play area that you can just about see beside the minigolf is actually inside the Stadtgarten bit of the zoo.
Leaving the minigolf course, I turned a corner and came to Festplatz, a square that houses the buildings belonging to the Karlsruhe Kongresszentrum (congress centre), where many conferences and trade fairs are held. The one pictured below is the Stadthalle (City Hall… not to confused with the Rathaus, which confusingly also means Town Hall or City Hall…).

Crossing over Festplatz, I made my way back to the Sรผdstadt and home for lunch after a lovely walk in the Spring sunshine. If only we could have weather like this every weekend!