Tag Archives: living in Germany

Middle Europe Weekly Small Pleasures #32 – Roses and burrs

If I haven’t been posting lately, it’s because not much has been happening. That said, nothing happening is probably a good thing, taking into account all the bad news lately worldwide.

I still want to write a post about our hiking trip to the Alps in May, but I have to sort out all of my photos first. Anyway, for now, I thought I’d have a quick catch up over a Weekly small pleasures post. Weekly small pleasures as you probably know by now, is Mani’s blog event where you try to remember the good things that happened during the week. This is an easy way to be grateful for what you have and to focus on the good. Continue reading

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Crunchies (a South African biscuit)

Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of many German foods and drinks: Lebkuchen (and all the other Christmas cookies), Stollen, marzipan, anything with Holunder (elderflower), Knödel (dumplings), rye bread, quark, Mohnkuchen (poppyseed cake), Bergkäse (a smokey cheese), Mandelhörnchen (an almond confectionary), and so on. But as an expat, sometimes you just feel like eating something from home. As a result, every now and then my mother gets emails asking for recipes for things we used to make, and my latest craving is for Crunchies, an oaty baked square that is great for a quick breakfast or in-between snack. I honestly didn’t realize it was a South African thing until I noticed you can’t find them anything else. The closest thing we ate to them outside of SA was in the UK, and it was also good, but not as crunchy and a bit sweeter.

Here is the recipe she sent: (complete with her notes) Continue reading

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Middle Europe Weekly Small Pleasures #31 – Spring things

It’s the little things that keep you going. Weekly small pleasures is Mani’s blog event where you share the things that made you happy during the week and I have to say that the last few weeks it has been very simple things which have made me happy:  the birds starting to sing again, the wind rustling the newly formed leaves on trees that were bare for months, the smell of rain, the spring flowers, the increased light hours. Continue reading

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Weekly small pleasures #24 – Holding onto summer

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Where did August go?

Well – we  were getting married! Most of August was consumed with wedding preparations. Organizing a wedding (not to mention the paperwork for the marriage) takes a lot more time than I would have expected.  We also snuck in a brief trip to the Canary islands, which I will definitely share some photos of at some point! My parents stayed with us in Berlin the week after the wedding, which made me think I should also share some photos of Berlin and Prague at some point.

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Anyway – now things are back to normal, and we have been lucky enough in Berlin to be having really hot September weather. September is often still sunny and nice, but this year we’ve even had really warm temperatures to go with it. This is a great pleasure, and I feel a bit sentimental about every sunny day knowing that the autumn temperatures will probably set in from this weekend (the forecasts for next week are 18-20 degrees Celsius). But, before they do, here were this Week’s Small Pleasures. Thanks to Mani at a New Life Wandering for hosting this blog event. It’s great that she and Thistles and Kiwis are regular posters! Continue reading

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May: Wild Flowers – Wild garlic in Rügen

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The theme for Jude’s garden challenge this month is wild flowers.

This month I want to see native wild flowers found in the hedgerows, woodlands, farmland, meadows, by the coast, up a mountain, on the heath and even in your own garden. Basically those plants that haven’t been planted, but occur naturally, although specifically planted wild flower meadows can be included. Wild flowers provide food for humans and wildlife and are usually hardy, resilient and well adapted to the climate and soils, and yes sadly often referred to as weeds.” Continue reading

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Middle Europe Weekly Small Pleasures #18 – Lilac and canola

 

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We are headed off on another adventure in few minutes, but before we go I wanted to do a Weekly Small Pleasures blog post. Weekly Small pleasures is Mani’s blog event where you highlight the little things that made you happy this week. For her post and other people’s, head here. Here are mine:

It’s May.
What’s not to love about May in Berlin: it’s a month full of public holidays. 1 May is Worker’s day, but this year it was a Sunday and they didn’t give the Monday off, so we lost out on that one. Then there is “Himmelfahrt” (Ascension Thursday – date varies by year) and also “Pfingsten” (Pentecost – date varies by year), which seem to always fall in May too. So last Thursday instead of sitting in the office I was kayaking in Neu Venedig (New Venice), and this weekend is a long weekend and we’re headed off for a bike tour in the Alsace wine region of France! This promises to be quite an adventure (possibly an uncomfortable one, since we’re taking two night trains and sleeping on tatami mats in a Yurt one night, with a dry toilet and cold shower, oh the horror) – but I guess that’s what the wine is for. Unfortunately being away means this year we’ll miss the Carnival of Cultures.

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Drastic increase in temperatures.

It feels like not long ago I was wearing boots, a jacket, scarf and gloves, and now I’m in a T-shirt and need to carry sunglasses. This is how rapidly the temperatures can increase in Berlin! But I’m not complaining, I much prefer warm weather. Plus, I’m pretty sure my vitamin D levels must have been super low after the long grey season and now is a chance to soak up some sun and make some more! I feel more energetic already.

The trees have flowers.

I haven’t got over the novelty of flowers on all the trees yet. Yes, the little pieces of flowers blowing in the wind get into your eyes when you’re on the cycling lane – but everything is so beautiful!

Continue reading

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Middle Europe Weekly Small Pleasures #17 – Berlin and Brandenburg

Welcome to this week’s Weekly Small Pleasures, Mani’s blog event where you take note of the little things during the week that bring you happiness. After spending the whole week working inside a biosafety level 3 facility, the weekend was a good chance to get some sun and some time outdoors. We had great weather in Berlin this weekend, and spent Saturday walking around the city of Berlin and Sunday cycling in the surrounding countryside of Brandenburg.

Our first stop on Saturday morning was the Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg, an indoor market where you can enjoy different foods such as English pies, Italian cheeses, German cakes, Spanish tapas as well as craft beers, coffee and ice-cream. a good coffee is always a pleasure. After that we took a long walk around Berlin. My favourite part was the pretty and charming area around the Nikolaiviertel. After a brief stop at home we headed off again to check out the blossoms at Bornholmer Strasse and continued walking by the railway tracks right up until Pankow.

On Sunday we went for a bike ride on the Panoramaweg, as it is Baumblütenfest time. We enjoyed cycling in the countryside through villages, orchards and countryside and trying the fruit wines along the way.

Other pleasures of the week were the fact that it’s getting light later now, the temperatures shot up, ending the cold spell of the week before, and we are having blue skies more regularly.

Check out A new life wandering blog to see what other people enjoyed this week.

Wishing everyone a good week ahead!

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A visit to 3 beaches on the German Baltic coast

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What’s one thing that doesn’t come to mind when planning a summer holiday to Germany? Beaches! But in fact the north of Germany has the lovely Baltic coastline, called Ostsee by the Germans, and you’d be missing out if you didn’t go there. My first experience of the Ostsee was on the lovely isle of Rügen, north of Berlin; home to seaside towns, countryside, beautiful beech forests and white chalk cliffs. Next I visited the Darss peninsula, where the waves were wilder. Last summer we went to Boltenhagen, a lovely seaside spot with long beaches and great cycling routes. And more recently, last week, we spent some time after a work trip to the north around the lighthouse at Bülk Strand near Kiel, and at Haffkrug Strand and Timmersdorferstrand towards Lubeck. It’s still a bit early for swimming, but it’s always good to see the sea! We”ll be back in summer!

Bülk Strand

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IMG_20160423_135238_1 The waters were amazingly clear, and standing on piers we could even see jellyfish swimming below in the water. Continue reading

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Middle Europe Weekly Small Pleasures #15 – Emerging from winter

It’s been a while since I participated in Mani’s Weekly Small Pleasures blog event, I guess to be honest this year has been dominated by work so far and January/Feburary in Berlin are pretty grey and not so much goes on in Berlin. Not only that, but often it was hard to squeeze in time to blog, so when I had time I updated mostly on special trips I’d taken, for example to the Harz mountains for cross country skiing or to a meeting in Switzerland. Anyway, in the beginning of this year my small pleasures mostly included making it to the weekend, getting to catch up on an hour of sleep or so and having a nice meal at a restaurant now and then, as well as some visits to the farm in Czech where we catch up with the family and pets. Maybe I’ll do a Janurary/Feburary update some time, but for now here were this week’s small pleasures: Continue reading

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