Thursday, November 1, 2018

Elzach in Pictures

We had some time before going on the brewery tour, enough time for lunch and a wander around the town of Elzach. It is a charming town, even more so than some others and I don't know why that is but it seemed so to me. 

Here are some pictures, thank you again Ryan. Plus here is a map he sent, speaks for itself, and very fitting.

Looks like a castle, just a rather grand house.
Quite the roof line, religious fresco on the green wall, also look below for the face, they have painted the trash cans here.
Main Street
Delightful flower shop
This fresco is etched into the wall

The Rathaus or town hall
That was our exploration of Elzach, as usual, there were many more photos than shown.

Cheers, Bev and Lexi Cat, next post will be from Sevilla!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Brewery tour in Elzach

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends!

We drove north to the town of Elzach to take a craft brewery tour with Dave Decker at Lowenbrauerei Elzach, owned by Johannes Dold.

This is a town none of us had been to before so we chose a traditional German restaurant and it was very good called Gasthaus Zur Krone. We wandered a bit, had a coffee before meeting up Dave at the brewery. Dave owns, with two partners, They network with five local breweries to bring fresh and innovative beers to their “garage” where they sell them, hold courses and tastings. Lowenbrauerei Elzach is one of the micro-breweries they work with.  

On with the tour. Met owner Johannes Dold and he told us some of the 160 years history, he is fifth generation in running it and the location was chosen to make use of tunnels into the mountain adjacent to keep the beer cool.

First they showed us a canning operation temporarily set up to test how that was going to work, or not, for the brewery, that was unusual to see, we just happened to be there on the day of trial. 

Then walked through the entire plant so see the various tanks, bottling apparatus, basically from start to finish of making beer.

Dave translated Johannes the entire time. Then, of course, there was the tasting, of a couple of the brews from the brewery and then one that was created by Decker but brewed by Löwenbrauerei Elzach. 

What is notable is that all the beer sold is done so by both parties in an approximate radius of 50 square kilometres. It is generally not available at the grocery stores. The brewery used to make home deliveries, I’ve never heard of that except for dairy products (showing my age here). 

Dave Decker Left, Johannes Dold Right
It was an eye opener for me and, you probably know, I do enjoy seeing and learning about production facilities or factories. Ryan and Angela said it was one of the best tours they’d been on, which is saying a lot with their hopsmash project.

Hops hanging from the ceiling in the shop.

That was our brewery tour. Cheers, Bev and Lexi who didn't come along...

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Visit to Mausa Vauban

Mausa Vauban, Musee D’Art Urbain et de Street Art or in English: Museum of urban street art in Vauban on the site scroll down below the prices to get the best description of the museum which is housed in a UNESCO site. Note: if you follow on facebook you will see all the photos Ryan posted.

First of all the venue is in part of the ramparts and tunnels of the Vauban citadel that  surrounds Neuf-Brisach which is a tourist attraction in itself. There were two long hallways with rooms off each of different sizes, holding different artists works on the walls and floors. There is room for the planned expansion with a number of empty rooms. Artists were not in residence while we were there but there had been one from Brazil there a day prior painting on a deadline which is why the venue was closed. It was opened only in July of this year and an amazing amount of work has been completed! 

Without further ado here are only a few of the pictures we all were taking.

Entry way with one of the proprietors
Vauban himself, he was the planner of the fortifications.
Gives you a glimpse of how large the museum is.
We all liked the colours
Cool dude chicken
Cool dude monkey
Black lighting used. This was a series of rooms all painted portraits.
This was a series of people completely blending into their environment. 
Reminded me of flamenco dancing
Image used on their brochure.
These were cutouts, looked like painted cardboard but stiffer, note the fellow in the middle causing the fleeing...
This gives you some perspective on the average size of the rooms
The exhibition was truly fascinating and in all honesty I likely would not have visited it myself, sure glad we did!

All for now, next up, a brewery tour. Cheers, Bev

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Wonderful visit with Ryan and Angela!

Three Amigos

Ryan and Angela, visited me in Freiburg! This post tells you what we did in the week. I will do separate posts on the art exhibition and the brewery tour. Ryan air dropped all his pictures to me and the excellence of both the exhibit and the brewery need their own posts for the pictures alone. 

Sorry it's that underline problem again...

They arrived Monday and stayed in an apartment, floor below mine, very handy. We spent the day catching up, that night their elderly dog Louis had a stroke, and passed away. Angela had been saying, even that day, she didn’t know how much longer he would be with them. R.I.P. Louis. 

Next day we went downtown to hang around the river at the Extrablat, then to Schlappen before they had a dinner engagement. Wednesday we went to Colmar, France for lunch on the canal at le Comptoir de Georges. We saw an otter swimming between the punt boats loaded with tourists. Here are a few pictures of the town.

Beautiful building now home to a Euro store, disappointment...
Then to Neuf-Brisach, France, to a street art exhibition that was closed. So we went back on Thursday after going to Zum Lamm in the Kaiserstuhl for lunch, always good there and they've updated the bathrooms where you will see one of these depending on which room you need to use.
Photo in the women's bathroom
Photo in the men's bathroom
I have seen this artist's work in other places, as post cards and in a hotel. Here is his website scroll down to Facing Tradition for the entire series. I think they are beautiful!

We toured the amazing exhibition in the ramparts of the old walls and tunnels at Neuf-Brisach, covered in separate post.

Friday we drove to the pretty town of Elzach for a craft brewery tour at Löwenbrauerei Elzach, also covered in separate post.

Saturday was sort of catch up day so we lunched here. 

Sunday was lunch at Chada Thai = yummy! We were very lucky to sit under a large umbrella there, it was windy and the horse chestnut trees were pelting us with nuts, here's what they look like As you can imagine, they hurt when they hit!

Monday they left to go back to Sevilla. Great times! Thanks so much for coming to visit Ryan and Angela!!!

Cheers, Bev and Lexi Cat

Monday, September 10, 2018

Herdern Neighbourhood and Lessons Learned

My apologies about the formatting of the last post, missing my editor, efforts to clean it up failed, as it has again... I just viewed older posts which did not have underlining on them and now do. An issue to be resolved obviously but I'd rather get this post out, imperfect as it is. I ask for your patience with Thanks.

Lessons or bureaucracy learned about death of a common-law spouse in Germany. First of all I am not considered a spouse in Germany, the country does not recognize any relationship other than marriage (same sex is okay if married) or an actual birth relation. That has made me a non-entity in filing the paperwork needed for the death certificate. To explain, when we first bought in Germany we had to register with the City and on that form we had to say what marital status we were. There was no box for common-law so Bruce said he was divorced (can’t remember but I likely did too so this will be a problem if I die, lawyer to be engaged here). The City needs his marriage license and divorce decree (not certificate which is only valid for 31 days after the divorce) before issuing the international death certificate. Erwin contacted Bruce’s ex-wife and she has come through for us/me in getting these documents. Here’s the rub, I don’t know how I could have done this alone, I didn’t even know the ex-wife’s surname, she went back to her maiden name. Erwin found her on Facebook. So to shorten this tale of reality, listen up! If you are an ex-pat in a common-law relationship you’d better get your affairs in order! Questions I have, is it the same in Spain? Joint bank accounts and a will naming me as his sole inheritor don’t count. That one check box on the City document caused much hassle, who knew the repercussions of it? 

Living in a different neighbourhood has helped me heal. Who says you can't travel in the same city, especially living in a different area of it. The deal with the shared apartment we have in Rieselfeld is that D & E get the summers, we’ve always left for wonderful experiences in Paris and Vienna and others. This year I need to stay in Freiburg to finish up Bruce’s affairs so Erwin found me a place in Herdern. The apartment is crazy expensive but the neighbourhood is a lovely mix of old buildings and new, all well kept up. 

A bit like the "painted ladies" in San Francisco

Love the door detail.

Lots of mature trees for shade on the sidewalks, needed this summer. A bonus is that I’ve found better services here for pedicures and hair cuts. The flat has a lovely patio on both sides. 

Other end of the patio, Lu, landlord joked that I wouldn't be charged more if the plants died, but I have enjoyed looking after them really.

Tall ceilings so when it was so hot, the building didn’t get too much so, as I controlled the blinds. Right now, a plant is taking over the back balcony at an alarming rate and I have no tools to control it, ach! Attack of the plants! 

Speaking of plants, there is a Botanical Garden a few blocks from this flat, I visited this week. It was very pleasing in layout, all plants were labeled and there were small ponds scattered throughout. 

Many glass buildings as greenhouses but I didn’t go in, too nice a day! 
A lady was photographing something in the pond so I went up too, to find this little greenie. 

Massive trees lined the many pathways. In short it was a delight! 
Unique sculpture

I exited a different way from entering and walked through more of the neighbourhood, almost getting lost, but my internal compass helped me get back. I will miss living in this neighbourhood, I have enjoyed wandering it and seeing the diverse architecture. 

All for now, Cheers Bev and Lexi Cat

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Life with and without Bruce

Lexi is needing more cuddles these days and demands them. When we first met her at the SPCA she climbed onto Bruce’s shoulder and claimed him hers, as he did back. He has always been more affectionate with her having had about 20 cats before. So we’re both purring along as best we can.

Hot, hot, hot here, sapping my energy, 32 - 36 Celsius for the last three weeks. Know Sevilla is almost 10 degrees hotter so glad I’m not there right now, but plan to go late fall, early winter.

Thank you for your condolences, I am feeling guilty for not writing back sooner but have to live with the range of emotions I have been feeling and writing has been difficult. 

What I most appreciated and enjoyed while living with Bruce who I called Whit for 14 years.

 - We had a wonderful life together realizing both our dreams of travelling. We did a lot of travelling prior to my writing the blog (and living with Lexi), Australia, New Zealand, Cook Islands, Hawaii, western Europe… 

- We had a strange, even to us, connection of frequently voicing the same thing, simultaneously, without prior talk about it, very much in tune that way.

- We did not get married because Bruce felt that if we did he wouldn’t woo me any more, he wanted to keep our romance and appreciation for each other fresh.

- He loved me deeply, as I did him, more so than either one of us had experienced in previous relationships.

- Living together was companionable, we talked, or didn’t, we were so very at ease with each other. We went out every day to experience something new or explore or just sit in a cafe to see people and dogs.

- We balanced each other well, his imaginative, scientific and analytical brain to my practical and business like one.

To be fair, and he would agree, what was not as easy about living with him.

  • He couldn't or wouldn't dance, I love to dance.
  • He has always been a night person, as a professor stayed up into the early hours of morning to write his publications to further his epic career. I have always been an early morning person raised on a farm so especially in the later time together this became a bit more difficult.
  • He sleep walked, won’t go into detail, but did cause some funny and embarrassing, sometimes almost dangerous, situations we found ourselves in.
  • Bruce relied on someone to clean after him, he just didn’t think about it. He told me when first living on his own he couldn’t figure out why his bathroom smelled funky, well he hadn’t washed the towels for a while. He was a messy smoker, and didn’t clean his computer, (Rocio would for him with a tsk, tsk). He took it in for service one time and the horrified fellow said why would you use this as a coffee table? 
He was truly so very ill the last two and a half weeks of his life, but was able to have a coherent conversation with Dawna and Erwin one afternoon, which we all appreciated. He died rather quickly really, which we are glad of for him especially, due to the prognosis of no recovery of mind or body. When I see a butterfly I think of Bruce being free of his body.

So one facet of life is over for me and where will I go next? Still thinking on that but for now will stay in Freiburg until we (with D & E’s valuable help) get the death documents filed and will probated. I am looking to a new chapter in life, with sadness and anticipation at the same time. I am grateful that I have lived on my own for 10 years prior to meeting Bruce so I have coping skills, I know I have to wash the towels regularly… 

That's all for now, Best, Bev and Lexi Cat

Sunday, June 17, 2018

This and That

We don't know what kind of tree this is but it's pretty.

Bruce and I took a walk/roll into our local park and found a nice shady area for us to sit about in. While the hustle and bustle of our little village is often entertainment, this suited the moment and the place where we happened to be that day. Butterflies and birds danced over the trees and children came and went. 
The area in the middle is a pond in spring.
One even had a miniature tractor and trailer, I asked if I could take a picture, thinking of my father and his tractors with Father’s Day today, but the young lad said no, okay then. In fact I think they may have been stealing plants from the park, or were ready to, spade and wheelbarrow also evident.

Bruce is taking a protein shake right now, we get it from the Apoteka (drugstore) here in the village. The ladies there all speak some English, some better than others, but I can usually get what I need across to them. One lady in particular has been extremely nice, I ordered in a few more bottles of the chocolate shake and it didn’t come in due to the holiday I suspect. She was apologetic and said it would be in later in the day. Then she said it could be arranged to have it delivered to the house, I said yes please. She brought it herself! How kind. I gave her a thank you card which she insisted wasn't necessary.

“Pretty bird”, I swear that is what the common crows here say, they have orange beaks so are pretty in a way and they are the ones that visit Lexi.

Sunday I’d hoped and we had partially planned to meet with Frank, Ina and dog Rosalie but they had plans to visit his parents instead. Christoph called and said he had a very successful tour week, treated himself to breakfast in Rieselfeld, don’t know why, but called to meet up. Short lunch, he had another appointment but good to get out and see him, I think he understands that I appreciate his friendship. We’ve always been able to talk frankly about our lives, especially since I sit in the front seat with him, he can vent to me. He does love talking to Bruce about more intelligent matters, philosophy and history.
Very blurry picture, okay, I was nervous...
Big what I assume is a locust, a grasshopper? or some big green insect on our wall and I’m trying to think of how to get rid of it, don’t want to kill it. Two reasons for that, big mess and it is a truly beautiful creature, just doesn't belong in the flat! Finally figure out a method, we have two jugs, plastic, so I trap it between the two and send it to the balcony. Getting rid of spiders I’ve used a spatula and glass to trap but this insect was too big for that method, That required two hands, no hand to get the door open… so there you go, one beautiful insect restored to nature.

Saturday I went into the church shop of our local church, while that might not mean anything to you, it’s not open hours that I’m normally shopping, run by volunteers is my guess. Anyway they have a real eclectic mix of things in there, many hand made from different countries. I liked the shop and it’s variety but didn’t buy anything.
This went flying by the other day. Europa Park is like Europe's version of Disneyworld.
Pepe got in contact via WhatsApp video, he’s going to our AGM at the condo in Sevilla and checked all is okay inside. Great to see the man again!  

I‘ve been cutting the lavender we have on our patios to bring inside, why not, it has a lovely smell and we have plenty of it.
Bees love it!

Happy Father's Day to you and yours!
Cheers, Bev, Bruce and Lexi Cat