Friday, July 21, 2017

We are now in Paris

Here's the picture of the free wheeling lawn mower, previous post, liked the gate also or wouldn't have bothered showing it.
I wondered why my hair stylist in Rieselfeld looked familiar, her name is Angelika, went to her again and realized she looks like Pauline Collins, who played Shirley Valentine! Quite a resemblance really. She also has a great sense of humour.

Dawna and Erwin were in town getting ready to move into the flat. We had lunch with them and then went to the flat for the usual champers and chat. They’ve been to the South of France and had driven over 5000 kilometres visiting their favourite cities and towns. They both really love the countryside in that area and so get around as much as possible to see it. 

We’re now in Paris, left Freiburg 06:52, early! Taxi came, we got escorted to the fast train and 3.5 hours later we’re in Paris. It worked out fine, almost easier really. Countryside is rolling hills, pastures, saw fields of canola, yellow, and a field of sunflowers, both are grown to be pressed into oil. I saw Charolais, read white cattle herds, and it’s still really green, especially pretty between Dijon (yes the mustard city) and Paris.

Second Taxi driver was nice too, traffic terrible, he said by this time of year when Parisians go on holiday it’s usually lighter, but not yet. We went past Museo D’orsey, Notre Dame Cathedral, a building that has a gold coloured dome housing many things but what I remember is the Military Museum. I told him we were on the Right Bank last year, he said there is always a question of which Bank is better. Air conditioning to Bruce worked well, many of these roller taxis are only air-conditioned in the front and being vans, windows don’t open often. 

Neil, the fellow who cleans for Joan our host, was here to greet us and show me household things. He calls me mam Beverley so I’ll have to ask what country he comes from, maybe born Parisian but he calls Joan Mam Mrs Kroenig, I’ll ask. So we basically dropped our bags, did a shop close by and then found a cafe to have a bite of lunch at Le General Beuret. Food and drink are more expensive here, hadn’t remembered that.

Look closely, this is a vegetable duck! Well done I think, posted outside a grocery store, natch.
Now the elevator is broken, one of two so we’re not stuck, but what is it with us and faulty elevators? Anyway the flat is fine, smallish but fine. She has a complete garden on the patio that stretches from the dining room to the bedroom. Really done a nice job on it for a small space.

Went out again for a bite of dinner, I had contacted Joan about the elevator and she recommended cafe Les Ecrivains (means the Writers) so we went and it was great! 

We’re both feeling a bit train lagged, is there such a thing? Not likely due to the journey, just the ungodly hour it left with us on it, early night for us both.

Mini-rant to hosts of Airbnb - things that are rarely provided so I’m not targeting any one host here and some may be due to cultural differences.

Clean cloths for both bathroom and kitchen
Paper towel
Hangers for clothing
Garbage bags
Ice cube trays
Not, everyone who’s stayed there before's, left over shampoo/conditioner
Give us a drawer, preferably two for things like pants and underwear that don’t hang
Give us a proper drying rack when you have a clothes washing machine and at least a couple of soaps to start, so one can get the brand name preferred for the washer.

That’s about it and pretty minor in life but niggling anyway. We shop for the above things and I had a brilliant idea (I know bragging but I’m going with it.) There are no drawers for clothing here, and that’s common with these apartments see above, so I bought a large hard plastic grocery bag, put all our underwear in it and hung it in the closet. This apartment is fine, but when we moved in yesterday we were both quite frustrated I think. Mini-rant over. 

Joan loves woven baskets, they are everywhere, really nice ones, different sizes for different things. It is quite similar to Linda’s apartment in Brussels in that she as an eclectic mix of decor from all over Europe including some antiques. 

On the dining table, the tandoori oven cover holds napkins, great use!
Wall decoration is just as eclectic, large posters of bull fight advertisements from Sevilla and Bilboa, family photos, advertisements several years old, lots of mirrors, it really is a mix but also works here. 

Poster from the 1959 movie Some Like it Hot with Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon
It is small but comfortable. The difference is this place has everything crammed into a space that is less than half Linda’s is. Joan teaches music to children. 

Bowsprit (had to ask Bruce what it is called)

Titanic - really?
Received an email from Augustina asking how the journey was, she’s so thoughtful and sends God’ blessings to us. If you know us at all you know we are not religious people but somehow when she says that it is very comforting somehow to me anyway. 

Second full day here, there is a wet/dry clothes cleaner right across the street so we took some shirts to him. Expensive though, so I did buy a clothes dryer rack.

We wander further to find indoor markets! They are chock-o-block full of fresh everything, cheese, meat, fish, vegetable, fruit, Lebanese food, Japanese food, florists, bakeries (of course) there is even a Monoprix grocery store. I’ve been buying packaged salads from the Carrefour, no more! Although they are better than others I’ve had. There is so much selection available so close and fresher. 

Had lunch at Cafe Chastel, a local’s wine and coffee bar, had the best omelette ever! Passed one of the few cheese shops and Bruce wanted Stilton so we got him some at Androuet. Passed by Laurent Vincent Boucherie Lecourbe, a butchery on Rue Lecourbe and got three slices of cooked beef that looks wonderful but was really pricey, we’d better enjoy that as a treat and it is. This section of town in the 15th district we discovered is like going to Granville Island in Vancouver. It will be difficult to choose what to buy and of course greedy me wants a bit of everything! As you’ve heard many times before, we were in foodie heaven today, even if mostly by eye rather than stomach.

Went back down to the shops again, wandered in a few, stopped at the Monoprix, large grocery chain. “Ate” at Au Roi Du Cafe, The King of the Cafe, nothing kingly about it really. My onion soup was cool, and when it was returned it, it had turned to mush under either the broiler or heaven forbid a microwave. Oh, and the waiter asked Bruce if he wanted the bill, that has never happened before in Europe, they wait until you ask for it letting you sit there as long as you want. I picked up some Lebanese food for take out.

That's our first few days in Paris, look for sequels. 

Cheers, Bx2 and Lexi Cat

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Mostly about Food! Yummy Food!

We went downtown to get the sleeves shortened on Bruce’s leather coat, back to the store he bought it from. The shop caters to tourists and locals too, they sell lederhosen and dirndls, the dirndls sell for between 70 and 100 Euros, didn't look at the price for lederhosen.

Found this little fellow outside the shop.

This is a water fountain, sun was at the wrong angle to get a better picture of it but the lions on top are great.
Stop at the Eis Cafe for an iced tea with lemon sherbet in it, yummy. The Munster markt has a number of large tents in it for the annual wine festival happening this week.

We used our air conditioner a few times, works well, should do because we get it serviced once a year. It’s a bit of a fiddle though, have to open up the winter garden door which requires a key at the bottom and a long rod with a whirly thing at the top, putting it back in place when turning off is not pleasant, hot and seems to take forever to line up the gismos.

English speaking day, I had a few errands to do so left early in the morning to avoid the heat. Went to the tobacco store for an update on our transit passes, Frank there speaks English, on to the Apoteka for meds, they speak English, Doctor, receptionist, fellow at the Edeka wants to move to Canada. All excellent English really, wow! 

We made southern fried chicken, I've never had it before and it was a treat! Bruce chose a spicy recipe with lots of herbs, cut the chicken into strips, mixed with herbs and buttermilk we made by adding 1/2 a lemon to regular milk, marinade for six hours, then drench the strips in herbed flour and fry. Not sure that’s how they did it in Driving Miss Daisy, but it worked for us. Tasty morsels that I dare say are fit to serve to company! A successful experiment, I would add a bit more spice, but good. 

Back to the Kaiserstuhl with Christoph for lunch at Gasthaus Bären, I order trout and it comes complete with head and tail, yikes!, immediately get rid of those so it isn’t staring at me. Tasty though, we’ve moved on from spargel season to pfifferling (mushrooms) season. Christoph said it was a rather insincere way now, for what it was originally intended, using up the mountains of produce they have in the season, not really relevant to today, but tradition. This Gasthaus is third generation run and the cooks, waiters all look alike. Grandma still works in the kitchen at 91 years old, still dying her hair, they are portly people. Good, simple, German food, cooked well on offer here. Seems to be a hiker’s stop, many people with walking poles stopped by.

Detail on the eaves of the house next door.
Back to Landerer winery for another tasting and buying more wine. The daughter served us this time until a large group came in. She has a great sense of humour and a bubbly personality. Sometimes they give us a bit large tastings and there are no spit buckets, we used a flowering plant to pour the extra into this time. That plant will likely do extra well on it’s wine offerings. They always give Christoph a free bottle of wine, this time we got one too. Bought two bottles of sparkling wine this trip, which have a very delicate flavour, doubt we’ll mix this with orange juice. 

We made Italian sausage, then into gravy and onto home made biscuits. Started with freshly minced pork, many spices, frozen until it could be cut easier. Bruce made the gravy which was milk and more spice, I made the biscuits and had to take the recipe off the internet since I couldn’t remember my mother’s but it came very, very close. Good, very filling and rich though, would serve smaller portions and a salad along side. 

I took that lovely orange/melon coloured tunic into the seamstress to get it altered, it’s too tight and she made suggestions. She has a very different way of dress but it works for her and found out she speaks English which she has been reluctant to do before. Making moderations to this tunic will either work or not but I cannot wear it as is so we’ll see. I think, Natalie is her name, is a creative person due to her creative dress so hoping she makes it into a garment I can wear. They have a limited supply of fabric there so limited choice. Update, it looks great!

We also made chili con queso, a dish Bruce used to make a lot. It contains onion, tomato, peppers (hot and sweet varieties), basil, celery and cheese, all boiled up together to produce yumminess. 

Dawna and Erwin came by Freiburg as a resting spot between the flight from Ottawa to Frankfurt, before going to the south of France. They rent a small house owned by a friend in a small village close to Nimes. Lovely visit as always! 

Saw these in a shop window, looks like they are having a grand time!
We started with our representative at the train ticket office but she had difficulty contacting the boarding help with the ramp in France so she’ll get back to us early next week.

Out with Christoph on Saturday and he gets the convertible this time, weather not conducive to have the top down unfortunately, windy going and raining as we came back, he admitted that there were fewer cars left, this was probably the last choice available. We went to Staufen as we have many times but tried a different restaurant this time called Fauststube Löwen. Food was considerably better than the place we have gone to before a few times, not that theirs is bad, this was just much better. 

This is a hotel that Faust was supposed to have done his alchemist experiments and died in. Faust is a legend of a person who sold his soul to the devil and there are many legends and stories about this “person”. Christoph knows of plays that have been done of him, there was a romance, and it seems there are two parts to the play, first one contains the romance and second rarely gets performed because of boredom, look it up if you are interested (or not) but I won’t go further on it.

The Saturday market was on and bustling, rain held off for our lunch and the market closed up almost immediately after, good timing! There were a couple of weddings also with parties drinking champagne in the square. The Rathaus or town hall is where people get married legally in Germany. In Heidelberg, us and others, would sit in the square on a Saturday afternoon and watch the wedding parties go by. Something uplifting about seeing that if you don’t go down the other cynical road of wondering how long the marriage will last…

Driving south of Freiburg is mainly small villages, viewed first by their church spires and through hectares of corn, wheat and on the hillsides, vines, it’s pretty in a different way than the Kaiserstuhl.  

Walking around the neighbourhood on Sunday again we see different things every time. 

Wet web, looks like lace!
Walked the laneways and you get a bit of look into how people live better than the main roads, but not peering into windows! 

Working fountain if you pump a lot.
Miniature John Deere digger, smaller version of what my Dad used.
Everyone loves flowers but Germans seem to take that to a higher degree with their potted plants on a windowsill or in the back yard. 

Parking places for cars are in what I would call sheds, open to the sides and no doors.


Don't know what this plant is, pretty though.
We also saw a roaming free standing lawnmower, same principle as the Rumba vacuum cleaner. It just moseyed around the lawn cutting it. That's a real time saver, took a picture but I'm at the picture limit for this post.

Well that's all for now, Cheers, Bx2 and Lexi Cat



Saturday, July 1, 2017

Happy 150th Birthday Canada!!!!!!!

Our lapel pins worn proudly today!
I hope you are able to celebrate Canada Day in some fashion. There are so many events across the country, it will be easy enough to choose one.

Dawna and Erwin were here for a couple of days as a rest stop on their way to southern France. Erwin said he expected to see Canadian flags in the flat and that we should have the neighbourhood here for a party! Good idea, didn't think of it ourselves. 

Cheers! Bev, Bruce and Lexi Cat


Monday, June 19, 2017

Happy Father's Day!!!!!!!! for our Canadian Friends!!!!!!!!

Sorry men, a day late but meant all the same!


Florist shop



We made bruschetta and it was grand! Better than we’ve eaten in restaurants. Why? I don’t know, Bruce trolls recipes, I troll blogs, each to our “taste”. 

Our interview with Ali has caught the attention of a fellow who is a screenwriter currently in Paris, Ontario who has a friend and co-worker in Freiburg named Adrienne. So when he is here we will meet, but we will also meet this friend and Sunday was hot and humid, two tram rides to get close to her house so we’ve re-arranged a meeting for early this week. These are relatively famous people in their fields and I am, honestly a bit intimidated, but also know they are just people who have gained success which I admire in anyone.

Side note, the only other celebrity I’ve run into, almost physically, around a corner, but not actually met, is Sly Stallone at UBC Golf Club, I recognized him and kept going, he is not a tall person, almost looked at each other in the eye. (P.S. I didn’t regularly hang out there, it’s a ritzy place, not my style but beautiful, went with a charity group I volunteered for.)

I met Adrienne, at her flat, she is a very accomplished person, player and teacher of violin, was an opera singer, so voice, and French, probably a lot more. We lunched on her outdoor patio, a tasty lentil dish, fresh tomato, cucumber and potatoes. She’s vegan, she didn’t care for meat as a teenager and living in war torn Amsterdam they could not get it often anyway. She was Vegan before the term was invented, due to both poverty and lack of wanting to eat anything with a face. She has never had a drivers licence, as she came of age to get one, her mother expected she would want one and she said “cars are stinky, no”.

She brought out an atlas for me to show her where we lived in Canada and we looked at the places she has lived and travelled to.

Bruce will enjoy her company as much as I did, and perhaps with Bruce’s better knowledge of classical music she will enjoy him more too. We will have to meet elsewhere though because he will not be able to do the exterior stairs (I lost count after about forty!) I am glad and thankful Ali did the interview which introduced us to Jeffrey and Adrienne, it is great to meet new people!

Black Forest and oops, view of the sign to the Ladies
View of Schwarzwald, www.haus-maria-lindenberg.de

Christoph drove us into the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) to Sankt (Saint) Peter and Jägerhaus (means game warden;s house) Gasthof and Restaurant. We’d been a couple of years ago in the rain so it was great to go on a sunny day. Food is very good, I had the maultaschen which I describe as large square tortellini done in a broth see no. 6 on this site https://www.thelocal.de/20170614/german-food-meals-cuisine-best-list

Then we toured a bit further to get almost 360 degree views of the Black Forest. Today is Corpus Christi so there had been a procession through town. The street was lined with yellow/white flags and there were shrines to Christ with baskets of flowers around statues of him. 

Fountain, see the flags behind, they came in all sizes
Christoph and I entered the church to hear people chanting their Hail Mary’s and singing. No pictures, didn’t want to disturb the process. 

What a beautiful spot!


Went to Zoo Burkart on Saturday, saw the bunnies as usual, but one cage was marked with the symbol for males, knowing what bunnies do, guess they keep them separate. Didn’t think about that before and had never noticed the sign.

Went to Extrablat restaurant by the river, the river is really the only reason we go. Clientele are mostly university students and we are the oldest ones there, makes me feel like an old fogey. 

Coming out of the Edeka grocery store and a baby blue and white coloured convertible Mustang drove a bit down the sidewalk! What? It had lace on the antenna and door handles and looked like it came off the factory floor it was that immaculate. With my jaw hanging open, I asked the fellow how old, 50 years old and from Florida. Coming into our driveway and I see a Range Rover with Florida plates on it. Deduction, someone from Florida is getting married. Oh my, that Mustang was gorgeous, looked like this! www.cloud9classics.com/1967-ford-mustang-convertible-28500/


http://bevbrucelexi.blogspot.de/2017/05/day-tripping.html Sunday, repeat of this post to Chada Thai, such good food and service and pleasant to sit out under the horse chestnut trees, umbrellas too this time, no need for a tapa. Then up the mountain for the views of Freiburg.

Freiburg's Munster
This is not the best picture of it, taken from inside the restaurant, there were people sitting at tables with the best view and I wasn't about to ask them to move. Christoph heard they will be finishing the tower off later this year! It's been a very long project because each piece has been restored rather than replaced with new stone.

All for now, Cheers, Bx2 and Lexi Cat





Wednesday, June 7, 2017

More Day Tripping and an Interview


We felt honoured to be interviewed by a professional blogger! We met Ali and Andy when they lived here in Freiburg and have kept in touch via email mostly, here's the link http://www.aliadventures.com/2017/06/non-traditional-interviews-retiring-europe/

Unlikely coincidence happened the other day, I bought a bottle of beer, which I do maybe twice a year, not often, then I read on social media Ryan and Angela were at the brewery just hours before! The saying from Casablanca applies of all the beer joints …, "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine”, well, loosely.

Augustina, comes to clean for us, she’s taking her Masters degree in Economics and Politics so this is very much temporary work for her. Her mother is from Tanzania, I think she was born there, should write more about this when I get more info from her… We’ve been adopted! She said she feels disrespectful by calling us by our first names due to her culture and wants to call us Mum and Papa, so we’re Mum Beverley and Papa Bruce. We are both reading about Tanzania, because I’m curious and know next to nothing about African countries. The elder people are highly respected, age equals more knowledge to them. For me it’s a great opportunity to learn about another culture quite foreign to a Canadian or European one. 

Bruce’s birthday and loose plans fly out the window because he had a sleep in, well it is his birthday and he can do whatever he wants! The Indian food place in our neighbourhood is closed for the month of June, wah, wah! It’s sister restaurant downtown will be open though so we’ll go there to get our fix. 

Augustina made a card for Papa Bruce giving him many blessings from the Lord. He felt truly touched and it was kind of her to write it. 

We go downtown to Konvikstrasse, an old neighbourhood in Freiburg with wisteria vines crossing the top of the street, old thick vines that are beautiful when blooming. We stopped in at Culinary Zoller which is owned by Gunter and his wife Adelheid who Bruce met a couple of years ago. She has ALS and her health has deteriorated some according to Gunter, but she’s still getting around with modifications to help her. Next day we ran into her on the street. She is clearly weaker than last year but is soldiering on, more in a bit...

Also stopped at Craftbeer Lodge, a store that sells dozens of different craft beers, interested for Ryan and Angela’s project www.craftbeer-lodge.com It is not a brew house that I know of but a place for those to sell from.

Then we went for our Indian food fix to find the two fellows that usually work in Rieselfeld to be working downtown. We went to pay for our meal and had very little cash, had to use up almost pennies to pay the bill, they don’t take debit or credit cards. We also had stopped in a cheese shop for well, cheese, smoked dill salmon and a bottle of wine, she didn’t take cards either. We made it anyway, home with much lighter wallets. A word on that, cash is preferred over cards, in both Germany and Spain, in the regions we inhabit. Merchant fees for cards can be quite high and they would have to boost their prices to cover that expense so they just don’t in the smaller establishments. That’s all good but, in general, a person needs to carry more cash here than in Canada.

Out with Christoph and we eat at Zum Ochsen, they have a lovely, covered patio area to sit in. 




Bird house in rafters


Liked what I assume to be painted milk jugs and the metal plane.

Afterward we toured a wee bit through Markgräferland wine area which is directly across the valley to the Kaiserstuhl. Markgräflerland is mainly Protestant and Kaiserstuhl is mainly Catholic due to past rulers. Christoph gave us a bit of history about both areas that used to be one volcano but split into the valley between eons ago. 



Both lands have white and red limestone and granite, with the limestone being porous and granite not, we wondered how that worked out, he’ll look it up and tell us next time.

Monday, Whitmonday or Pentecost Day and we go downtown for breakfast for me, forgot to buy eggs on Saturday. I order eggs benedict with smoked salmon, which would have been a treat, instead it was yuck! The salmon didn’t look right, the hollandaise sauce was from a package, yuck! Presentation was good but that doesn’t help when I could only eat a quarter of it. Waiter came by to ask what was wrong and I just said it was okay but not to my taste. He did a good thing and didn’t charge us for it. Oh well sometimes, most of the time we are lucky, but sometimes not.

Another coincidence, maple here is called ahorn. It was referenced for pancakes on the breakfast menu at the place above paragraph. We didn’t know what that meant, looking it up, it means maple. Then meeting Adelheid and Gunter he couldn’t remember the English name for it and we were able to tell him. 

Adelheid has trouble speaking now so her voice has very little volume especially hard for Bruce to hear. Gunter and I pretty much carried the conversation, his English is good, so is Adelheid’s but she said she understands more than she can speak. Gunter gets more practice in their store with the tourists that come in. He attends a culinary trade show twice a year in Stuttgart, smallish show, but high quality vendors that he gets quite a bit of business from. Adelheid mentioned the metzgerai or butcher in Rieselfeld has great salami made with truffles and covered on parmesan cheese, I think we’ll be trying a bit of that! They know Italy quite well, he carries a lot of Italian products in the store and she lived in Florence for years taking art lessons. Interesting people, interesting visit with them.


Making full use of the chair.
All for now, Cheers, Bx2 and Lexi Cat


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Mundenhof our Local Animal Farm


You expected animals, right? This is inside the roof of the Chinese pagoda at the Mundenhof, I love the colours!
Monday we went to the Mundenhof, you know we like it there. Packed up sandwiches and drinks because being Monday and early in the day we weren’t sure the concession stands would be open, and Bruce doesn’t much like the food they serve anyway. Had our meal under trees that were shedding leaves, once again, a tapa would have been handy. I rode down and back beside Bruce on Pepe Le Pew, what I’ve named his big bike. Very nice going early on a hot day, the pathway there is shaded then. Animals were quite active being morning, usually we go early afternoon and they are sleepy by then. We also usually go on Sundays and it's crowded, today there were groups of school children but fewer families with grumpy kids, much better for us!

I don't think I've ever seen a peacock sitting before...
This little monkey did this trick several times and would stagger around a bit until it came off. Why?
They are running from the maintenance crew, or just for fun.
Baby goats, always have to get a picture of them.
All for now, Cheers, Bx2 and Lexi Cat


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Day Tripping

Later on Mother’s Day we were hit with a rather major thunder, lightning, wind, hail and rain storm, all at once, the Gods really threw a whammy to us! Lasted for only about a half hour but furious. I saw poor people were racing their bicycles home getting soaked in the process. What a mess on the patio, all the dirt from everywhere got blown up against the window sills, cleaning to be done.

We made borscht soup yesterday, with the amount of vegetable required for it, it means lots of slicing (with a mandolin) and dicing (with knife). Carrot, parsnip, beets, celery, leeks, onion, beef and chicken broth as a base, good way to get Bruce to eat vegetables. Kitchen was a mess but we have a dishwasher, that isn’t me at a sink, so cleaned up fairly well, except chasing bits of vegetable that fell off the counter. 

Saw two dogs playing together out the bathroom window, they were at it for a long time. One Dachshund and a mixed breed dog who was white, long haired and had a brown patch on one ear and a brown ring around his tail. I can tell you this detail because I watched them exuberantly chasing each other, biting each other on the mouth and generally having a jolly good time playing together. Tried for a picture, too far away even with zoom, but one owner took lots of pictures or perhaps videos of them. To see the happiness and energy was really great! The dachshund actually tried to ride the white dog's back like a horse, he/she laid over to be more available to the smaller dog, well I won’t go on but it was a good laugh to watch.

Out with Christoph to a favourite Thai restaurant (Chada Thai) which has us driving through some really pretty neighbourhoods, with old classy buildings and the rhodo’s are out in full so a nice colourful drive. For lunch we were able to sit outside this time, just needed a tapa to cover our drinks and food due to horse chestnut blooms falling, not a bad thing really. Food and service are good and it is truly Thai food, not a facsimile of it. Then we went up the mountain in town to Dattler cafe for a coffee and ice cream for Christoph, he does like ice cream.

I got a haircut by a woman with a sense of humour, no English but we understood each other. While I was there Bruce was waiting and he bought me a beautiful bouquet of roses! What a lovely surprise! They are, as you see in the photo very colourful. 


So I did what my florist friend Jenn taught me to do and cut the stems under warm water, stripped the bottom foliage off and into the vase.

Pepe has ordered our blinds for the four window/doors in the flat in Sevilla. He visited the factory and saw them weaving or sewing the blinds, these are artisan works but because the material they use, a natural fibre called Esparto aren’t expensive, they are reasonable in price. Again, I like buying from a small organization that takes pride in their work. Pepe saw that at the factory and he liked the shop owner (Luis) and listened to his recommendations. The blinds are needed to keep the sun from the doors which we had fixed this year and want to maintain. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esparto Many people have gone with wood slat blinds and I’m sure they work also but because our flat is very traditional we wanted to keep, well, with tradition and this type of blind is. Another complete difference between the flat here in Freiburg and the one in Sevilla, here the blinds are operated with a remote control, and are metal. 

Out into the countryside with Christoph on Ascension day we went to a restaurant on the Rhine, www.klaesles-gastronomie.de popular spot for biking people to stop off at, in fact we’ve seen our neighbours there before. These people are not biking to work, they are taking the lanes etc, and doing kilometres of trails so wearing biking gear more suitable to sweat reduction read spandex. 

Food was decent, view fantastic and then we crossed the border to France to Neuf Breisach for coffee to a small cafe where Christoph knows the owner fairly well. 




We’ve been there a couple of times before, always good. Neuf Breisach is an armoury town, anyway, small French village on the border. Honestly I went into a tail spin about ordering coffee and couldn’t remember the French for coffee with milk, had cafe con leche (spanish), had caffe mit milch (german) until Bruce said cafe au lait, right, haha that’s it.

Border flags

We had a popcorn and movie night. We haven’t found popping corn either here or in Sevilla, they do have the microwave version but we had both read it’s not good for you, although that was dinner many nights when I was single. He sourced real popping corn from a website last fall and it’s been waiting for us, nice change!

Saturday we meet with Christoph and go to Gasthaus Blume in Opfingen, the one we tried with Angela and Ryan, we got there early enough to get a table outside, and it did fill up rapidly. The difference with this place is they serve German tapas! We ordered three, waitress said they are small, we thought what Germans think is small isn’t always to us. We did order two more though, tasty, unusual parings of meat and vegetable, nicely presented and cost about double what a Spanish tapa would, but justifiably so I think. They only do the tapas on weekends and while everyone around us didn’t have them, I think they are onto something. We’ve had a meal there before and Christoph said it was one of the best schnitzels he’d had, that is saying something! 


From there we went to Landener, winery which we visit every year and I’ve written about before. This year they, and everyone else, got hit hard with a late frost and lost about 30% of certain crops. Luckily the year prior had been a good one which provided them with some buffer, but that’s a lot to lose! Just get started tasting and Christoph tried to book the car for longer and it didn’t work. So we had to leave in a rush, but not before snatching up three boxes of wine (6 to a box). We will likely go back this year, as said before I really like this family and the wine they produce. I like to take time there, not so much for the tasting, although I want to do that too, they make subtly different wines every year. I like to just soak up the atmosphere of the workings of a well run family business, they have a shady spot outside to sit and we see the locals working the fields in their many different sized tractors. Guess I still have a bit of farming in my heart.

All for now, Cheers, Bx2 and Lexi Cat