The Corona diaries – week 1

For how this whole mess started, see my previous post, In the time of Corona.

20 March 2020 (Friday): As expected, our state (Bavaria) declared an “Ausgangssperre” (curfew), to begin at midnight on Friday the 20th March. A curfew is a regulation that requires people to stay indoors. Apparently the officials went for these measures because a lot of people have been ignoring the advice to avoid others (practice social distancing), and have continued to hang out in groups. The wonderful spring weather we had this week didn’t help – after months of grey skies and cold, everyone ran outside immediately. We did the same, going for nature walks on both days of the weekend, but we avoided contact with others. However, some young people were even having “Corona parties”. Crazy. So, now we all have a curfew. We’re allowed to leave home to go to work (if necessary), shopping for essentials (food, medicine etc), to the doctor, to help someone out, for animal care, and also for sports/walks/fresh air (since this is good for health). However, you can only hang out together with those you live with and nobody else. Continue reading

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In the time of Corona

These are strange times.

I had planned other posts, but it feels impossible to continue with these and ignore the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, although I am compulsively reading about the coronavirus at the moment, I am also getting tired of hearing about it to the exclusion of everything else. The World Health Organization (WHO) actually recommends not checking the coronavirus news more than twice a day, to avoid stress and anxiety. So, expect posts about other things in the next weeks too. But for now, I’ll summarize our experience of the pandemic so far. Continue reading

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Franconian Kreuzberg and the ruins of Osterburg

In January, following our tradition of exploring the hills, we set off for our first hiking outing in  Lower Franconia, the region of Bavaria in which Würzburg is situated. A quick search on Komoot showed us that there are a lot of interesting hikes within about a 60-90 minutes radius of Würzburg. For our first trip, Kreuzberg got the nod because 1) it has a monastery with a brewery (Husband’s Choice) 2) it has the same name as a Berlin suburb and we were curious to see “the other Kreuzberg” and 3) it is the highest of the Rhön mountains (928m) in the Bavaria, and is known as “The Sacred Mountain of the Franconians”. Continue reading

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Würzburg: A rough start

In the middle of November, my husband and I moved from Berlin to Würzburg to start our new jobs. I’d be lying if I said everything went smoothly and we adjusted easily to our new home.

Once you’ve been living in a place for a while, it’s interesting to go back and remember how you felt when you first moved there. For this reason, I kept a record of our first month in Würzburg. In future I’ll go back to more travel-oriented blog posts. Continue reading

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Life Update

This year I haven’t written many blog posts. I suppose there are many reasons why blogs suddenly go quiet. In my case, it wasn’t for lack of things to write about. We went on several exciting trips that I haven’t yet managed to post about (India last year in December, Iceland in March, Mauritius in November) and locally, we went on a lot of weekend or day trips within Germany or over the Czech border. So why the radio silence?

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Biking from Berlin to Poland in 1 day

Last weekend was my first attempt to cycle 100km in one day. For cyclists with racing bikes this is no biggie, but it’s something I hadn’t attempted on my city/trekking bike before. I think I once got close to 100km, on the first day of a bike ride in the Alsace. That day was pretty gruelling as there were lots of hills. This weekend’s 100km went surprisingly smoothly, as it was mostly flat.

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Canoeing and thunderstorms on the Spree river: Hangelsberg to Erkner

One thing I didn’t know about Berlin before I moved here is that it is situated a region full of lakes and rivers. As a result, canoeing has become one of my favourite summer sports (doing bike rides is another one, in case you didn’t notice already!). Normally for canoeing weekends we head north to Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, as there are endless options of lakes and canals to row down there. However, this time we wanted to do a day trip, so we looked for something close to Berlin. A friend found a wonderful canoeing day trip route that was easily accessible on the regional train.

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The last stage of the Spree cycle trail (Spreeradweg)

Last year we spent 4 days in May cycling along the 415km Spree Cycle trail (Spreeradweg) from the source of the Spree river in a hilly area near the border of Czech Republic to Berlin. After 4 days, we finished somewhere near Tropical Island in Brandenburg and caught the train back to Berlin. This May we decided to go back to the cycle trail and do part of the section we’d missed, from Fürstenwalde to Köpenick (a suburb of Berlin).

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