Monday, April 27, 2015

Very Different Types of Spring Fair

I woke up one morning to see this. They hot air balloon a lot around here but usually not this close! It came down in a field next to the Mundenhof and I watched it deflate. I'd forgotten how big they are on the ground, forgotten because I once had a fantastic ride in one!

We went to the Stadtgartnerei Fruhlingsfestes - SpringFest, close to the Mundenhof. It's a three day event, they provide a bus service for. 

Bus stop, decidedly different one than usual.

The show was different this year than the other two years we’ve been. There are more vendors, more food, many from the Munsterplatz. We even bought cheese cake! Bruce got talking to a fellow selling it and decided to. The fellow said they make 4000 cheesecakes a day! Started out as a small business in the Kaiserstuhl and grew from there. They’d make 100, sell out, make 200 sell out, well you get the picture. There is always a line up at their stall at the Munsterplatz.

KaseKucken - cheesecake - yummy!

Another successful foodie story of a company like The Holy Taco Shack who were on TV on a show called "Restaurant Startup" recently, German version of course.

Entry to the Garden Show

This entry to the event is telling people that they sell cords and cords of wood through the garden, they are bundled in different size lots for sale.

We found Stephan, our gardener friend who sold us the citrus trees. Went to look at them with wanting to have them delivered soon. Found the orange but the lemon we couldn’t find. He promised that if they’d lost it, it would be replaced at no charge but they do not seem too organized in storage of owner’s trees. The trees are amongst ones for sale, they do have tags on them with owner’s names but really I think they should be separate. Next year we’ll put a gnome or something in the pot to easily identify ours, well not a gnome, since I’m not a fan, but perhaps a ribbon.

We also bought dried mixed herbs which tasted divine when mixed with water and oil, or cream cheese. Think of Dr. Watkin’s products, that very large franchise that individuals sell from. These products are made in much smaller batches so I would think the ingredients would be fresher and are more tasty.

Ivan sent us pictures of Feria, Sevilla's spring fair, which happened last week.

Written about here "The A-Z of Feria" and some good pictures of it at "A day at the fair". 

We may go next year. There are public tents but to have a hosted experience you need to be invited by a company or family. Ivan’s parents have had a tent for many years. Each tent has a kitchen, many are catered by local restaurants. I won't write any more about it since you can read the links and we haven't experienced it yet.

Back in Freiburg, I opened the carton to find this! Guess they want to indicate the eggs are fresh.


We walked through these fallen pink blossoms that were everywhere on the street, I chose to take the picture of the tree instead.

Three special men I know have had Birthdays this week, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Amazing, one day after another, and you know who you are, so again, Happy Birthday to You!

Cheers, Bx2 and Lexi Cat

Monday, April 13, 2015

Babes in the Woods

"Babe on the Woods" Lexi Cat
We went back to the Mundenhof, which seems to be what we do on Sundays. There is always something new to see.

Two monkeys were doing “battle” on a log across a stream. You could almost hear them yelling “this is MY log, NO it’s mine!” They were swatting each other with their front paws, trying to dislodge each other, finally one ceded and they both walked off. They were too far away for a picture, even with the zoom, I tried.

Baby goats this time, they are delicate, beautiful little creatures. 

There were a couple of fellows in bunny suits handing out pamphlets.  

He didn't seem to mind how silly he looked, somebody's got to do it...
The park was crowded with many children being a sunny Sunday. Bruce gets a lot of stares at his large bike, don’t know if people do it out of curiosity or wondering where to get one, perhaps both. Children stare I think because it looks like a fun big trike. It came in handy for me this trip and we found a new way to ride, sitting side by side.

Beautiful horns!
We lunched with Christoph and it was good to see him. He’s spent the last month driving approximately 6000 kms around France to set up two tours, the first of which will start this next week. They are in two formats, one is a bus tour around Burgundy. The second is day trips from Bonn to other cities and sites. His French is fluent so he was welcomed as a tour guide and “wined and dined”. He has written commentary for each and sussed out (found) hotels, castles, champagne tours, churches. Hope it goes well for him.

The Easter bunny came! Everyone in the building had Lindt chocolate bunnies dropped at their doorsteps. Very nice surprise. We also got little gifties from our partners also very nice. 

Bruce needed an over the counter drug on a Sunday, so we tramed to the train station knowing there would be an apoteka (pharmacy) open there. Certainly it isn’t the shopping destination Zurich is, but has any basic you would really want. I file that under "good to know".

Went to a Turkish restaurant, they have an automatic door opening so at the entrance had hung heavy brocade curtains to keep out the chill, beautiful! It’s a lovely place with murals on the walls, warm ambiance and of course, good food.

Sunsets here are wonderfully colourful! Antonio, our tile maker would swoon I think since he loves sunsets.

Finally warming up here, very pleasant today, last week was rainy, hailing and cold.

Why is it that so many news articles are headlined “# of things”. Do the writers think that if they put a number on the article people will read it more than not? If there is a number does this appeal to short attention spans? Are writers assuming most readers have short attention spans, and or, not the brain power to handle more? It's just one of the few questions I ponder about. Yes, I am retired...

Just as short note this time. Cheers, Bev, Bruce and Lexi Cat

Friday, April 3, 2015

Hasta Luego Sevilla, Hallo Freiburg

Hasta Luego, see you later, Sevilla and lovely friends we have there!

Orange blossom buds
Happy Easter to you all! Good Friday and we've finally got a sunny day - yippee!

Painted and unpainted Easter eggs
About our last couple of days in Sevilla. 

Ivan took us to lunch at Yebra, one of his favourite restaurants. The wait was long but food worth it. Including an extremely large plate of beef which surprisingly we finished. Vegetarians - skip this photo.


Good-bye lunch with our friends Ivan, Pepe, Ryan and Angela and it was fun but a little sad. 

Ivan is happy to have his motorcycle repaired and useable.

Planes, trains and automobiles again folks. Fly day Sevilla to Zurich with stop over in Mallorca. Left the flat at 14:00 and arrived at 23:30 at the hotel, long day. Special taxi for Bruce’s chair arrived on time. 

Bruce getting wheelchairs helps us both, he carries Lexi on his lap and the backpacks go on the back of the chair so no heavy lifting and no problems finding our destination gate I just follow the wheelchair attendant, no bread crumbs required.

A word about the Barcelona to Stuttgart flight that went down into the French Alps, same day we flew on same type of aircraft. So sorry for those families. Friends in Canada wrote to make sure we were okay, friends from Sevilla immediately checked our talked about schedule and concluded we were okay, thank you!

Zurich Airport hotel, Radisson is modern and room quite large, well equiped in all ways. It’s expensive but wouldn’t want to be shuttling off to another that late in the evening, by that time of 23:30 we’re all tired and just want to settle as soon as possible. As it was, good walk, ride to get to it and the handicap guide lead us there, kind of him.

Trained from Zurich to Freiburg. Bought the tickets the same morning and amazingly they were able to get us wheelchair assistance (usually required 24 hours advance notice). One stop, Zurich Airport to Zurich main train station, longish stop in Basel but didn’t have to get off. Freiburg and we see the twin towers of the church on the other side of the bridge, we’re home.

Unfortunately for me this time, didn’t fill me with awe and gladness it has other times. Guess I was tired and my heart still in Sevilla, gray skies also. Cab to the hotel where they have made room for us even when fully booked. We’ve stayed in this family run hotel for three years now off and on and they know us.

Big welcome from the owner and she’d purchased a ramp for Bruce’s wheelchair. Bruce drove from the train station and arrived safe and sound to go up the ramp. They put a cute sign on the door to warn the cleaners not to come in due to Lexi and give us a fruit bowl and cookies as a welcome gift. She helped me up with the luggage, Bruce hadn’t arrived yet, and I said “we’re home!” which she liked to hear I think. I really wanted to show appreciation for her and staff’s efforts.

They do a good breakfast there which we enjoy, then off to the Munster Market for Bruce to get his favourite South African dried apricots, he doesn’t like the Turkish ones usually available everywhere else. A visit with Helen, the olive wood dealer, originally from England, I like to say hi to her and have a chat.

Our partners picked us up in their rented olive green roomy jeep and we’re off to a hardware store to get odds and sods for Bruce’s bike. On to lunch to find a couple of places closed but found a favourite open in Staufen and had a wonderful meal. I had trout again which is so very well done in Germany and so fresh.

Then we went to our flat for the ritual of glass of champagne to celebrate seeing each other again and the changeover of hands from them to us, this time. It’s a nice way to welcome the other party home. We caught up on the building and area news and start the process of informing each other of what’s been done, maintenance issues and generally enjoying each other’s company again. They leave on Saturday so we move into the flat then.

Note on occupancy, we found it easiest to have the occupying couple stay in the flat until they leave (means not moving twice) and the incoming couple stay in a hotel, it works well for all.

Then went to a typical German hotel and restaurant for lunch. Food good, local men playing cards at a table and having a beer. Walked through a bit of the high end with clothing designer shops, beautiful spring like colours! In fact all the shops now have spring and summer wear in them, same worldwide I think, guess more noticeable on a dull day. 

Unpacking, dealing with four months of mail, laundry, finding things we haven’t used for months. That is all what happens when we return to our lovely flat in Freiburg. We miss our friends in Sevilla and the good weather, but Ivan said, you get to experience two spring times! This is good, the trees are blooming and daffodils line the highways so pretty. Just a bit colder than we are used to but another good thing – it will warm up soon.

First time in a very long one we stayed in all day, well, trips to the storage locker in the basement do not count. We both puttered and got a lot done so it was worthwhile but not exciting. Bruce cooked a steak with home made pepper sauce and we had salad with it. The meal was as good or better than we’d get in a restaurant. It was a nice change, the whole day in fact. I don’t want to stay indoors every day, get out at minimum for a walk but being tired, being Sunday, it was lovely. 

Good Friday and a sunny day Mundenhof here we come! Spring time means babes of many breeds.

Oinker lunch time!
Going past the camel enclosure I said, there are more camels in there than usual. Coming back this is what we saw.

Not an every day sight!
Happy Easter one and all! Cheers, Bev, Bruce and Lexi Cat