Look Up, Look Down – Karlsruhe

Today’s look up, look down entry was inspired by Alex at Ifs, Ands & Butts who recently posted some gorgeous autumn photos taken from the top of Karlsruhe’s castle… which reminded me that I’ve been up there as well. The following photos were taken in June 2010, when I decided to be a tourist in my own (adopted) town because I had a friend visiting.

Karlsruhe from above

Those who still live in Karlsruhe or have been to visit recently will notice that the area in front of the castle on the above photo looks quite different now…
Also, you can almost see where I live in that shot. Not that I’m telling you where I live though 😉
Here’s one taken from further round the tower, looking down on the castle itself:

Karlsruhe Schloss

And here’s the Schlosspark from above. It’s practically empty because it was a week day morning, so everyone was at work, school or university (or in the case of some students quite possibly sleeping!)

Karlsruhe Schlosspark

To see how other people have interpreted the theme and join in yourself, check out Travel With Intent’s blog post.

To see the same views in autumn, check out Alex’s blog post. Her photos are also much better than mine! (These ones were taken with my old digital camera which was quite frankly crap!)

Hello autumn!

Fallen leaves in the Schlosspark
Fallen leaves in the Schlosspark

Today is the official first day of autumn and the sun is actually shining, so when Jan went out to vote I decided to join him for a walk. I had my camera along with me so I was able to capture the first signs of autumn just for you guys.

Still mostly green... but slowly starting to change
Still mostly green… but slowly starting to change

Once Jan had voted (as a non-German national, I’m only allowed to vote in local elections), we headed towards the Schlosspark to continue our walk. I was wearing my denim jacket, but it was so warm that I ended up taking it off and carrying it! Here are some photos of the first day of autumn in Karlsruhe’s Sclosspark.

Bierbörse Karlsruhe

Bierbörse

On the weekend just gone, the Bierbörse came to Karlsruhe. Bier, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, means beer and Börse usually refers to the stock exchange but in this case means something more like market. Basically, it’s a beer festival… but you can erase all thoughts of Oktoberfest style happenings from your head now. There are no Mass glasses here, no tents and the beers are not served by well-endowed ladies in Dirndls. Instead, Bierbörse is more of a celebration of international beers, featuring more than 400 beers from around the world.

This stand was selling English beers
This stand was selling English beers

Some beers are only available in bottles, while others are on tap and can be purchased either in full size glasses or in a special trial-sized glass – the proBIERglas, as the signs proclaimed (probieren means to try, so a probierglas would be a trial or sample glass… and how could they possibly miss the opportunity for a play on words with Bier?). For the full-sized glasses, you pay a deposit (known as Pfand), which you get back when you return the glass. The small glasses are yours to keep (whether you want to or not!). This year, I was clever and remembered to bring some of the many sample glasses we’ve still got at home with me.

ProBIERglas
ProBIERglas

The Bierböse used to take place on a small patch of grass beside the castle, but it’s grown since then and is now held behind the castle in the Schlossgarten proper. Nice and central and in pretty surroundings. What more could you want?

The tower of the castle
The tower of the castle

A lot of the stands are literally just wooden structures with awnings over the top, but there are some more imaginative ones – like a windmill and a pirate ship (the ship photo is actually from the 2012 Bierbörse, but it was in the exact some position this year).

Bierbörse 4

Bierbörse 2012

This year, I tried a German cherry beer by a brewer that I no longer remember, a chocolate beer (Young’s Double Chocolate Stout), which was disappointing, a strawberry wheat beer by the Belgian brewery Floris (makers of Delirium Tremens for any beer experts out there!) and another Belgian beer, this time a raspberry one by Grimmbergen. And I tried a few sips of Jan’s beers as well, including an Austrian beer which he got so I could keep the glass (he remembered that I liked the glass when we had a beer by the same brewery in Berlin this year).

The Bierbörse has taken place in 14 cities so far this year, with one more to go (Osterode am Harz – if you’re in that area, get yourselves along) and will be back again next year, starting with a visit to HĂŒckeswagen in Nordrhein-Westfalen (about 40 km from Cologne) from 2–4 May 2014.

And next weekend I’m off to a wine festival! You’ll be able to read all about that here in roughly a week’s time.

Pickernicking

The birthday picnic worked a lot better than expected. The sun was shining when I woke up this morning, and by the time we headed to the Schlosspark it was about 23 degrees. There ended up being 10 of us. Everyone brought a little something along – cake mainly, but my friend Lisa brought a salad. And anyway, since when has lots of cake been a bad thing? I made cheese scones, which I had to mix my own self-raising flour for. Can you believe Germany, with its reputation for efficiency and order, hasn’t discovered the joys of self-raising flour yet? They turned out ok though, and ended up being a real hit – Kat has now asked me to send her the recipe for them! So I shall have to translate my copy into German later…

We managed to get rid of most of the food. Including a huge bowl of fruit salad that I was convinced would be enough to feed an entire army. Mind you, Chris ate three huge bowls of the stuff by himself. It’s amazing how much food men can shovel into themselves! I would literally explode if I even tried to keep up.

It’s 5 past 9 now and I’m feeling rather sleepy. An afternoon of sunshine and non-stop eating will do that to a girl. Jan’s gone to install some software at the French centre where he works occasionally, sorting out there computer programmes. Hopefully he won’t be long and we can have a nice relaxing evening together. The perfect end to a lovely pickernicky day.