There´s a kind of Autumn Hush

A walk in my neighborhood

I took a walk with my daughter last weekend through our neighborhood.The weather was great, I mean, for us here, it´s bearable than rainy and grey-cloudy days. Golden October finally said goodbye and we are finally approaching Winter. We are not really looking forward to the cold but Mr. Frost finally came,few days ago , he had a short visit, leaving us with a notice that he´ll stay longer next time.

Autumn in Bavaria

We have a beautiful Autumn feel in our neighborhood. I´ve seen far better views in other regions but during this Pandemic, the new norm is simply keeping distance, only-must-do travel and almost in isolation. I am still grateful.I am still in positive mind state so I am not complaining. Nature have graciously reminded me that everything will be alright soon.

Nature walks are far by the best…

My daughter goes to school now. She is an active first 1st Grade pupil .Here they normally refer to them as ” Shulkind“. A week ago, we received a letter from the school principal that one girl from other class have tested Positive from Covid-19. The next day, a teacher from the after-class day care is also Positive and then the following day, another pupil from another class tested Positive.

Do you get my message? It´s like a domino-effect and I just can´t stay still.

Children in school are separated in groups so the affected groups went to Quarantine.I think any parent would feel the alarm, a heartache, a tiresome worry that this Pandemic had brought to all of us. I was talking to my husband that you will never feel the weight of the stressfull times that Corona brings not until you are in that situation where you feel the threat for the life of your loveones.My daughter wears her masks from 7.30 am to 3.30 in the afternoon until she walks out from the school when I picked her up. they learn, they study, play and do everything with a masks!

Imagine that….

There is indeed a kind of Hush feeling all over the world.

But the loud silence we are hearing when we are out in nature is quite different..It is calming and somewhat juvenating.Of course we needed that, lots of it!

I diverted my thoughts and focus on the beautiful scenery in front of us.The small river in front of us is like a life size mirror with all the reflections of the trees, foliages and blue skies…It was magical! I imagined that it would be a total winter wonderland if this area would freeze and we can skate over here.There are ducks all over the place and they keep on doing their sounds.We forgot to bring old bread to feed the ducks so we just call them.

Quaacckkk Quaacckkk shouted my little girl!

I think it did the trick because the ducks and swans swam freely to us and made their stunts.They are beautiful…some things can be quite so simple and yet so meaningful!

Battling the cold battle…

While we were walking, she told me that she is waiting for her friends to go to the nearby playground. I explained to her that maybe they come or maybe they don´t. She said she hopes that everything returns to normal soon. I heard her…I wished that too.

As expected, a walk with nature always change our mood.We were busy looking for autumn leaves and looking at water reflections. The crystal clear waters of the Danube river and the area near the Glacisbrücke is really awesome. I walked further near to the bank and snap this photo.

Some trees are already bald, stiff and looked dreary, but some trees hold their leaves tightly, refusing to let go.Against the sunshine they remind me of my Autumn paintings.There is a lot of golden ochre yellows and rusty oranges colors that I see.I am telling you, as a self taught artist, I still find it so difficult to replicate the beauty of nature in landscape paintings.

I spotted these beautiful fragile beauties. I don´t know its name but hey reminded me of Cotton candy. It´s not yet covered in Frost but anyway they looked lovely.

My head can fit in this hollow hole of the Tree!

Have you taken a walk lately? How was it?

Please wear your masks and I wish you all a great start of the week!

Tschüss!

Creative DIY : A Plantlover´s Adventkranz

My very first DIY Plantlover themed Adventkranz

Well finally, after 5 looonggg years, I finally embraced another old German tradition—der Adventkranz, or simply the Christmas Wreaths! I never bother to have one of those because I thought it´s just a waste of money.This time, I have made one for us this year, with a twist on a Plantlover´s theme since I loved candles, and of course, Plants and everything about Green nature.If you´re not from Germany, you might wonder what is it. If you live here, I am sure you will not miss this one out!

Let me share with you something about this wonderful, cozy and beautiful, another Christmas-sy tradition that Germans love!

My first DIY Adventkranz, a Plantlovers Pallete theme. With a pot of Succulent in the middle and bronze balls to complete the setting!

First, let me tell you a little something about Adventkranz or Christmas Wreath. I thought that “Wreaths” are something very American and only for decorative purposes.I was mistaken because I read that even from old Egyptian myths and traditions, wreaths made of flowers are widely used in Egypt. Same thing with wreaths made of olives, pine, and palm leaves are also widely used in ancient Greece, especially after winning in Olympic games.In Architecture, laurel wreaths are also widely used as ornamental motif as well as in furniture and textiles. I realized now that most wooden furnitures have this ornament!

On the other side, when it comes to “Weihnachten” or Christmas here in Germany, Wreaths or Adventkranz holds a different meaning. A Pastor named Johann Hinrich Wichern (1808-1881) thought of something for the children and teenagers without parents in an institution called ” Rauhes Haus“. To educate and teach them to wait for Christmas, he decorated an old cartwheel with 19 small red candles and 4 large white candles.Everyday during Advent, they lighted the small candles and every Sunday , they lighted the big ones. As time goes by, he started to decorate the wheel with green Fir.Branches of Juniper, firs and mistletoes are said to be symbol of unbroken power of life. In Philippines, we have the same tradition of putting a blessed ” Palaspas” , ( in accordance with Palm Sunday) a branch of a palm tree decorated with flowers hanged on doors to “protect” the household from “harm”.

In the early 14th century, candles also holds a significant meanings. They symbolized for new and brighter times. The red candles also signifies the color of blood that Jesus Christ shed for humanity. Things got so modern, nowadays we even have LED candles that lights our houses all the year round without the fear of something get burned.Adventkranz are normally placed in a center table and during Adventzeit, they light the candle and enjoy quiet family times. So from Hamburg, this tradition goes to other parts of Germany and now, even to the world.

My DIY Creative Project : A Plantlover´s Palette Adventkranz

As soon as November approaches and nearing to Adventzeit, Germans have this tradition . I ignored it before but suddenly it caught my attention.Almost every shop that I visited have different design of Adventkranz.And yes, they can be very expensive and I thought that its quite a pity to light up the beautiful candles!

So I decided to made one for myself, another creative DIY Project i said to myself using some materials that I already have with me.Last Saturday I went to our local weekend market and I got a glimpse of natural elements and materials.I love visiting local markets because there are really nice finds there. Look at these Golden mistletoes! They are painted real mistletoes, it costs 5 Euros and the nature wreaths are ranging from 25 – 35 Euros! Yes, they can really be expensive. From shops, they can be more because of those shiny decorations.I thought I made a handmade Adventkranz for myself with recycled materials so I can save more money!

Take a look at this pink Eucalyptus leaves, they are very much in a trend nowadays!
Some of the materials that I have already on hand. An oldie but goodie gold platter, a plastic fir wreath that I´ve decorated yearly as a Door Wreath and a bunch of Green scentless candles.The candle holder I got from Depot.
The bunch of painted Mistletoes and red berries stems that I am going to used to adorn my vases and decor for my Adventkranz.

I experimented with different designs, using different decors and motifs.This one is with a heart-shaped Christmas balls and some Poinzsettia and rose with glitters. I thought it was nice, and looked very Christmassy!

I think it is a great idea to pair your Adventkranz with the motif you have with your Christmas tree or other decorations so it won´t overload your overall Christmas decorations. I don´t like too many decorations and colors especially if you have a small space. I find them messy so I try to minimized to tone down the shimmers and I stick to neutral colors.

Would you like some bright lights in your table Wreath?

Since I loved plants and I have many potted indoor plants, I thought it would be a nice idea to incorporate them in a simple plant-inspired Adventkranz like this photo below.Plants are great accent to anything! It looks even more raw, natural and simple.

White Christmas Adventkranz

With a simple large round candle, a gold owl deco piece, plus a cute succulent plant in one wooden tablet, then its all set. Isn´t it uncomplicated?

What do you think of this design?

Do it yourself Adventskranz or Christmas Wreath

All the deco pieces that I used are already something that I have so I didn´t buy new ones anymore. I love candles, especially the scented ones so that is also no problem. Even in summer I always light them, I just love the serene feeling I got when I see the burning lights

Minimalistic White Christmas Adventkranz

The Adventkranz symbolizes the anticipation for Christmas. With us here, once we lighted all the candles, it means that Christmas is on the door. It works well with children, it´s like a magic show, it is a great motivation to keep them looking forward to opening their Adventskalendars and yes, naturally, the gifts under the tree! Its like a countdown to Sylvester or New Year, only this time, maybe Christmas and New Year would be a little weird!

This year, Christmas markets are already cancelled and considering the part-Lockdown we are having, we are still not sure if we would be able to celebrate Christmas with families and friends because of social distancing rules.But then….we don´t lose hope.It will get better soon.

Germany´s Chocolate Santa

My Taste of a German Christmas

Christkindlmarkt in Germany

Winter Wonderland

How about you, do you something like Adventkranz?

Stay safe friends….Tchüss!

Watercolor Monday and more Galaxy Art Paintings

Hand at work, absorbed in a chaotic painting mess called Galaxy Art

The thing about watercolor is that it is so-minimalistic.I only need a bottle of water, my color set, my brush and yes, very important, a good, acid -free watercolor paper.Before I got hooked with Acrylics, I also worked a lot with Cray pastels, but my first love was really watercolors. In college, we used so much air spray paints and water -on-water techniques in renderings is my favourite part.Even until now, it still is…

Galaxy Art painting / JustbluedutchArt

With Galaxy art paintings, I can be easy. I love to be on freehand and not restricted. The watercolor techniques in here are effortlessly naive and uncomplicated process. Even a toddler can do magic with it. My daughter always watch when I am doing some and she is enamored by it.

The question is, are you willing to let go of your inhibitions and play with water and let the magic begins?

A sprinkle of imagination and creativity

The thought of Galaxy Art always made me interested. At first I could not get a good pallette that really sets my mood, but with few trials, I finally got a hold of it.

Here´s an example of a simple project: A dark sky with , stars and a Autumn, winter mood.Imagination is the key, you just need to imagine the magical skies in your dreams. I think its seldom that you really see them, unless they are snapsshots from NASA ! But that is what imagination and creativity is all about. Sky is the limit.

Into the Woods / Original Watercolor Art ( JustbluedutchArt)
Art Project , Kryptonite Skies

Using a very simple pallete of Utramarine blue, paynes Grey, a touch of ochre yellow, a dash of red & violet, Black and white then you can create a mood like this.

This pandemic have given me more time to pay attention to my Art. It´s a very good way to do some self nourishment, deep mindful activity like doing a creative teraphy. Although it is never easy to start because of daily routines and chaos, but still, having time to create an Artwork is one of my priority.I dodn´t care how long will I ever finished it, its better than doing nothing. With watercolor, drying and (waiting!) is the one who kills your time. Normally, I do multiple batches of background washes, and while waiting for them to dry, I can start with fine details or work on another piece. I just really love to multitask!

It is slowly coming to an end…
I don´t like couching, but I love that my artworks do the couches more!
Up close and personal with Galaxy Art

I received many compliments and inquiries about Galaxy Art pieces that I made. I guess it´s not just me who love the touch of imaginary skies and playful pallete!

Christmass simple greeting cards I made out of watercolor Galaxy art paintings
Handmade Christmas and Grüßekarten

I have so many left over materials and I do various tiny projects with them.The best thing about doing watercolor galaxy art project is that you are really free, and that is how Art should be.It should have no boundaries and no restrictions!…well at least no social distancing! Another good thing is that, let your Art draw you closer to people. I have been using my artwork to connect and stay close to people, at least in my circle. It is a great tool to navigate from self-love to doing something beneficial as well.

Nowadays, I let go of my worries freely, I throw them freely in the skies and just do what I can do, at least give my best.My Art has been a great help to get a grip of my sanity and I still wonder how would I live without it.

Night skies and some mellow rainshowers

Are you still thinking of doing something different in your free time? Why not try painting a Galaxy Artwork?

Hope all of you are staying well, safe and healthy! Tschüss!

Mushroom Passion in Autumn

Passion in Autumn, Hunting for Mushrooms in Bavaria

Did you know that another Autumn highlights that many Germans loved to do in Autumn is Mushroom picking,hunting ( also known as Foraging)!

Autumn or Herbst is the perfect time to look for Mushrooms (in German it´s called Pilz).Mushroom is at its peak growth from September up to November, just before when it starts to frost, and the temperatures drop around 10 to 15 degrees. Mushrooms needs a combination of air, moist and light and the overnight air to become misty and moist.This season is the time of the year where you can see them in abundance! They just sprout everywhere! I haven´t really had this experience before, not until I lived here in Germany. I guess I just goes along with the fad. I know for sure that many Germans loved to enjoy themselves going into wilderness, soaking the Golden October, going for long walks and “Spaziergang” in Autumn, at the same time looking, ( some picks!) for Mushrooms!

I said to myself that I would try to look for mushrooms this year.Now I finally did it. Whenever I take a walk nowadays and do my routine running, I saw beautiful foliage , colorful nature, and it´s more like I am walking in a yellow arcades full of yellow, orange burnt brown leaves.The Foliage as well are bursting with colors of red and golden rust.

Crazy over Mushrooms!

Also, do you love to eat Mushroom?

Did you know that Germans love and adore Mushrooms? All year round, edible mushrooms are available in supermarkets.I´ve read that an average German eats at least 2.9kgs of Pilz ( Mushroom) per year more than any other countries in Europe! Come to think of it, last Sunday, I just devoured a giant Schnitzel with Champignonrahmsauce ( Mushroom sauce) and it was really delicious!

Sorry but I don´t know their names in particular order so I cannot educate you about their species. I just took notice of their size and key features. I noticed that in our area in Southern Germany, we don´t have much of the other varieties or the colorful ones. I guess they grow in other region. But then I found some interesting ones and I took a photo to make a journal of them, of course to share here in my Blog!

Mushroom Passion in Autumn season

I love to use fresh edible mushrooms when I cooked Pasta or as an an added ingredients in gravy sauces with meat. I love to sautee it together with vegetables because the flavour is really good and it is simply delicious.I never have tried eating a wild mushroom because I heard they can be poisonous.Rule of the thumb is that it´s better to really be careful handling them and leave it to experts. If you don´t know it, then it´s better to stay away from it.I found a very informative site about mushroom but it´s in German. I saw that some of the mushroom that I saw from my leisure walks are listed in this site, and it seems that 2021´s year´s Mushroom is the Grünling or Green compact Greenling.

I found the information stated in this site very useful since deaths caused by mushroom poisoning is really scary and tragic.

Autumn weather means more rain, moisture, and damp weather which paves way to their growth.Many days it is very foggy over here in Southern Bavaria so I think it adds more to the moist weather. I even see sometime a tiny mushroom in my indoor plants!They are like tiny creatures who pops up beneath the fallen leaves and trees.It is such a delight to see them in different sizes and shapes.

Generally speaking, colorful mushrooms are very toxic.They are nice and cute to look at but it´s better to take precautions handling them to avoid intoxication. Make sure not to touch them with your bare hands or for little children to play with.Never let your child pick it with bare hands if you are not really sure if its ok to touch.Remember that these Fungi are scary if its toxic.If you are in an area with lots of growing mushrooms and you wanna gather them, then it´s better to gather up some knowledge about what to do and what to get.

Autumn won´t be complete without Mushrooms
A Tiny mushroom buried in the bed of fallen leaves
This is literally a Mushroom Cloud!

Some are actually hard to spot since they are almost buried with the rest of the fallen leaves, but the cream, white caps are quite easy to see.

I really had a great time doing this and I´m sure I´ll be doing this every fall.I think this is also another reason to go out more into the woods and just enjoy the simple pleasures in life.Autumn is actually a beautiful season to reflect and meditate.

How about some more quiet readings ?

Blue and White Mushroom Towers in Kuwait

My Nature Walks in Autumn

Glacisbrücke in Autumn

Stay safe everyone. Wear your masks please! Tschüss!

Little Women Mosaic Watercolor Artworks

Little Women original watercolor Artworks / JustbluedutchArt 2020

Finally it´s Autumn…!

Lately I have been admiring the works of Alexej von Jawlensky, and I must say that He, among others as well, is the inspiration behind these latest paintings that I did.If you are an art nitwit like me, you must have realized that there are so manyyy talented Russian painters ,with extraordinary mind and brilliant art philosophies!Alexej von Jawlensky is part of the Blue Rider group, and later the Blaue Vier (the Blue Four) and is part of the New Munich´s Artists Association.Part of his life was also spent here in Germany.

In my free times, I love to read about the Gallery of the Masters of Art, especially the Classic Modern Art from 19th to 20th Century. I still cannot forget how moved I was when I saw the ” Nightwatch” by Rembrandt which is by far one of my favourites from the Baroque Dutch Golden Age era. And now, since I am also into Abstract painting, I decided to play more with colors and textures. I love it, I think I finally found the forte that I ´ve always wanted to do with my abstract pieces.As a self-taught artist, I love to widen my craft by learning more about the Art masters.I think there´s no harm in doing that, after all, there is no “must” in Art, cuz it´s free.

My favourites from Alexej´von Jawlensky´s paintings were the “Spanierin,1913 “ and the other piece of his painting of a lady in red holding a bunch of red flowers called ” Die Pfingstrosen” as shown below beside the portrait I have made. I love to paint women´s portraits combined with elements of nature and a bit of playful imaginary mosaic patterns.Big eyes, colorful burnt orange skins, proud noses and lots of bold accentures makes it all unforgettable!

Close up details of Little Women, original Watercolor Art painting /JustbluedutchArt

Alexej von Jawlensky´s works are full of wonderful sense of colours, just like his colleague, Wassily Kandinsky, also one of my favourites, Their masterpieces were colorful, vibrant and lush and at one point in time, evolving. I find it very fascinating that He also, loves to paint women´s faces in particular. Red is a very dominating color and the expressions in his paintings are gripping in my imagination. I love this type of style that moves me to think.

Little Women / JustbluedutchArt 2020

I began painting Women´s portraits I think last 2 years ago. I love the fact that women are great art subjects and it can convey so many different emotions and characters. Unfortunately, I cannot do any male portrait!

Here´s another piece which I highlighted a woman´s face and I remember looking at her eyes as if I was seeing a different character which reminded me of earlier years of my life.

Woman and a Child , Original watercolor Art /JustbluedutchArt 2020
Woman and a Child with Alexej von Jawlensky´s “Die Pfingstrosen”
Art sessions in the time of Pandemic

Hard times let me escape from reality and dream of colorful world of Art. I guess my Art reflects of my dreams, emotions and experiences.I love different tints of colors, I seldom paint black and white or mono chrome tones.For me, colors play a huge part in delivering the emotions behind the painting, just like the lyrics which feed the poetry in audience´s ears.

Little Women original Aquarelle Artwork /JustbluedutchArt
Bring back Summer , Original Watercolor Art / JustbluedutchArt 2020

I would love to gather all these women in the future and bind them in a book. That would be a great refuge for me in the old days. Sometimes I dream that I have met all these women in my life and they have been part of me.It is like they are all in me and they all came alive in my canvas.But right now, I am still bent on creating more portraits of women with characters.I would still love to play with different kinds of forms and shapes and blend them in the background, just like depicting the life they live in. Many times, I think my art let me realized that contradictions are great push-overs to magnify your boundaries and edge of reasoning. When someone asks me to describe my art, I just let them view it as they please. I cannot dictate it´s meaning because my work has a deep magnitude for me. Maybe for others, it´s different, or maybe none at all.

Woman and a Child/JustbluedutchArt 2020

Color is the keyboard, the eyes the harmonies, the soul is the Piano with many strings. The Artist is the hand that plays, touchig one key or another,to cause vibrations in the soul.”- Wassily Kandinsky

Hallo Oktober and weekend with Graffiti Street art

Small things in small places can do great impacts in this world. (East Side Gallery-Berlin)

Hallo October. For me, you were an unwelcomed guest.Not many really looks forward to your arrival, including me. Well,they called it “Autumn feels” , Golden October and honey golden sunrays. Many out there are eagerly wants to hug their giant pumpkins, slipping into their cozy sweaters and turned on their heatings. Sweater weather.

I am not exactly looking forward to the cold, you know.

An unwelcome piece of imagination. I could call it ” CoronaArt”. By the way, here in Germany, we call this “Das Bombing“.Since visiting Berlin twice and learning more about history, I realized that Berlin is a city of mundane ,bold walls. With the infamous “Berlin Wall ” ( 1961-1989), from which they turned into an artist´s paradise.I have been there and I have seen some works of the Artists and they are really phenomenal.

Street Art depicting the recent crisis, “Corona” Pandemic
Don´t mess up with King Kong

Maybe King Kong was so disturbed with so many climate- change issues and needs a place to smoke and vent out his anger.He had an unwelcome encounter with humanity but he can be a menace when it comes to being depicted as an art subject. But Art did him justice.

He can calm down now for sure.

Very timely, today marks the 30th Anniversary of German Unification. Its a holiday here today but falls unfortunately on Saturday. Normally this day is widely celebrated but then because of Corona, no such Burgerfests are held this year.If your´re not from Germany and have no idea what is this date signifies then let me tell you something about it.

The German Unification Day ( Tag der Deutschen Einheit) which happens to be celebrated today, 3rd of October 1990 is a very important day in the history of Germany. Since 1945,this is the day where Germany finally becomes one again, a unified as a single nation. The East Germany (German Democratic Republic) and West Germany ( Federal Republic of Germany) were reconciled and united. Along with the Berlin Wall or called as well as the ” Wall of Shame” by Willy Brandt because it is defying the feedom of movement.The Fall of the Berlin Wall paved way to the Tag der Deutschen Einheit or the German Unification Day.

So what happened to these walls after the collapse?

They started the demolition from June 1990 and completed until November 1991. The remaining walls became the canvas of many Spray Artists, Mural artists and became a Graffiti haven.The East Walls had been sprayed with Paint Aerosols, the birth of the East Side Gallery. So basically, spray paintings are a big thing here. It is always scandalous, always drawing attention seeking, provocatively revolutionary. Since then, the birth of free Art is here.

If you visit Berlin, then you will know what I am talking about.Maybe that´s the reason why its called the Graffiti capital in Europe.Maybe they are right, I truly believe so too.

Ingolstadt is the home of the fictional character by Mary Shelley ´s ” Frankenstein”

I am not surprised when I saw this particular mural either. This is Frankenstein and Ingolstadt is his home. This giant character is born here, a native Bavarian.Mary Shelley wrote her novel here in Ingolstadt and used this place as a base ground for her ludicrously successful horrific monster to shock the world. I dig in to her story and I even went to the Deutsches Medizinhistorisches Museum here in Ingolstadt and learned more about the fascinating world of Frankenstein. I couldn´t agree no more, He as well deserves a wall here.

I think Germany is by far tolerant when it comes to Graffiti Art, but then what about Graffiti vandalism?Within almost 5 years of living here, I have seen so many Graffiti vandalism that marks the whole town .The thing is, it stays up until now. Nobody wants to remove or repaint it, I don´t really know actually. I hope it doesn´t make me a bad Blogger that I don´t dig into details but I am not writing this to question their legitimacy.What I am trying to say is that Graffiti art in many forms are seen as open here compared to other countries.

Street art in Ingolstadt

This gave me an idea to take a photo of all Graffiti Art and tagging that I see around in my neighborhood. It would be interesting to see how many are they actually. I have learned that the municipality even assigned legal spaces for spray artists to show off their talents, and avoid the tendency to do it illegally.This is what freedom really means.

You can display your creativity and display your art without violating the rules, with this, it is really possible. How cool it is that Ingolstadt even integrated this as a part of the city plan to beautify the cityscape!

Caption the controversial issues through Street Art

Of course, this one too, seems so relevant and important just like the Corona Virus Pandemic, right?

Of course, it all matters.

If you lived nearby and wanted to take a stroll and take a peek of the legal areas to spray, or you just have enough time to kill and admire the Street artworks, then you can find more detailed information Here.

If you are an inspiring Artist and wants to promote your Art and become a Professional, you are welcome to participate and join workshops through the Stadtjugendring Ingolstadt. They are offerring more than Graffiti Art, they have so many fun activites for all ages and I have heard that they even have Ferienbetreuung ( or child care in School holidays and breaks) so that is really cool!

One of the fascinating project they did recently is painting all Electric boxes all over the town. This project is called ” Stromkastomize“. This is a project as well in cooperation with the Municipality. I am sure I have seen these Boxes but I think I haven´t paid enough attention to them! I really need to see them up close!

Here are some of their cool artworks!

In the end, I must add that street Graffiti art is purely up to the viewer to conceive its worth. I totally agree with Budgettraveller´s of these praise worthy Artists and their eminent Projects which graced the streets in Germany.

What do you think of Graffiti street artworks? are they Fame or shame?

Until then, stay safe and healthy everyone! Tschüss.

Graffiti Project Stadtjugendring

La Grande Schmierage / The Grand Hall of Fame

Shadows in Berlin

I want to ride my bike , my Life in two wheels

Life in Germany with a Bicycle

Ask any expat who moved to Germany and they will say the same thing…riding your bike in Germany is pretty normal, it is a culture, a way of life, and the most ideal way to move from A to B.

My bike is one of my precious possesion when I came here. I ride my bike almost everyday, in all season. It became my partner in adventure, and my ever-present help!

Even before Corona pandemic, people here in Germany love riding their bikes to work, school, grocery shopping and to their Sonntags Ruhetag rendez-vous!

Once you moved here, definitely the question of getting your won bike will come to your mind.Just like what they´ve said, do what the Germans do and you´ll be okay.

It´s been decades since I ride my bike before I came here. My husband is Dutch so definitely he came from a country where bikes is more than the Dutch population so it never came to a surprise to me anymore.The first country in Europe that I explored was the Netherlands and seeing its capital, Amsterdam, with its beautiful canals…and bikes was quite a shock to me. I have never seen such number…( and styles!) of bikes in my entire life!

Take for example this Dutch Bakfiets.It´s an infamous Dutch legend. In the Netherlands, people use this so they can transport their babies, groceries, furniture, and even their pets altogether in one time in this sleek carriage, all in two wheels.

Amazingly clever right?!

So do as we are doing here in Germany.Cycling system has become smart, intelligent and the most efficient mode of movement.

Here in Germany, well at least here in Bavaria, I have spotted quite few of wooden Bakfiets in the streets ( or maybe they are also Dutch!), because here, we have a modern one. Bakfiets resembles our sassy Anhängers, or a carrier made of aluminunum, with a water resistant covering panels that is attached to bicyles.Trust me, almost 90% ( or maybe more…) of families here have this in their household.This is the perfect way to tag along your kids and toddlers ( from age 1-5) in almost everywhere you go. We used the Anhänger to go to Kindergartens, playgrounds, shopping, Doctor´s visits, and almost anywhere! We put our stuff in the baggage area and off we go!

Riding a bicyle like Germans do is really something to ponder.Watch a Mama with a Kindersitz in front or back with their child always make me smile and leave me breathless.One time, I even spotted a pregnant woman cycling, with her bump in two wheels! I remember my early days here when my child is still small enough to ride at the back of my bike. It´s such a special bond that we shared. Our first Cycling Tour was so memorable as well!

Nature and Bike always go hand in hand together

If you lived here,you will be amazed by German technology when it comes to cycling.Although everyone owns a car, still, many opt to ride their bikes everyday. Children learnd to ride their bike at a very young age, it´s a skill they need to master even while they are still in Kindergarten.Come to think of it, I learned to ride a bike I think when I was 12 or 13! Most children go to school by bike or by their Roller.One thing, cycling here has been made safe and accessible even for the little children.When you see children learning to ride their bikes for the first time in the streets, you will immediately smile.

It is indeed a beloved culture.

From reflective lights to side bags and different Anhänger types and cool Helmets, they got it all. Not forgetting their expensive E-Bikes,most older people ride their bikes as a beloved form of exercise and exploring the surrounding nature.

Early morning Yoga in the nearby Lake

Every weekend, it is very normal to see people in their bikes, cycling, touring, and sweating.They move from one place to another peacefully, safely, and graciously with their bikes. I asked a friend, where are you going in this time of the year, she´s all amde up, clad in Dirndl and heels, and yes, she´s off to a wedding, in her bike!

Bikes parked along the canals and Bridges became quite a European statement.

Most German cities and town have enough Cycling lanes so pedestrians, cyclists and drivers are seapated in their own traffic.But remember, don´t mess with cyclists because you will hear something that you might not wanted to hear.Cycling is a serious business here.You need to stay on your lane and respect others, that´s how it goes.

My Life with a two wheels

During Corona Pandemic, public transport became the last resort of transportation. Nowadays, if you are taking a bus or a train, then you need to wear a mask so most people prefer riding their bikes for free movement and avoiding contact.But guess what, sales of bikes during Pandemic soars!

Basically, If you asked me, you can survived in Germany without a car. But it totally depends on your location and where you lived.If your work is nearby to where you live, approx. within 5 km range then its doable, regardless of the season.If schools and Kindergarten is just around the next street , then I think a bicycle is a good investment.Travelling, shopping, and out of- town trips are different issues because of distance and weather concern.

But then here , there´s a saying that goes;

There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing”!

Bikes, Bicycles, and more Bikes

Germans have the right clothing gear for every season. I find it funny that that in most local shops, they have different clothing trend for every activity, in a given season. So from cycling protective gears, jackets and everything, they have solution for it.they even have covering for your shoes so it can´t be wet when it drizzles.I have seen it with my own eyes and I believe that here in Germany, what matters is you´ve got to do things as efficiently as you can. Most of the towns are car´free so looking for parking is quite always a hassle. If you can get through the city in your bike then it´s much better! Within 15km distance range, most Germans opt to use their Bikes to travel.Cycling has become a global trend and it continuous to be the number 1 choice of mobility here in Germany.

Transporting my kid in a Kindersitz

Living in Germany have opened my eyes for many things. Life in two wheels has became a great lifestyle for me personally, so I beleive that it can work with you as well. Consider this, you can explore your town so well with a bicycle, plus, you have the time in your hands.Daily exercise with your bike and real time sweating out in Summer days is absolutely priceless!When riding my bike, I always have a reason to take a quick break and sit under the tree and just watch life as it goes by.

Here in Germany, there are many Bicycle Flöhmarkts ( Flea market) who sells Bicycles in reduced prices. There are also many models to choose from to suit your preferences.Local shops like Decathlon, Radhaus, Willner Fahrradzentrum,Dropbar Bikes and Coffee and others offers many special offers if you decide to get your very first bike !

Remember, cycling here is not a routinary mode of commuting. Once you get hooked to it, you might explore more your options of travelling by going on Cycling Tours, which we have so much!It is good for your personal fitness and environment friendly so what´s not to love about it?

So when was the last time you ride your bike?

Glacisbrücke , the bridge over troubled waters

Glacisbrücke in Ingolstadt taken during Fall

TGIF and here´s another entry for my” Wandertags” journal. Autumn has begun here in Germany and today is another dreary rainy day.Long before I got hooked into running, I love leisure walks, I still do.I love wasting my time by strenuous walking,soul- searching for something unique in nature, and yes, mind-destressing,temporarily shutting off and just relaxing.

Walking and photograpy is a bad habit of mine actually. Whenever I go out, I try to capture something, more like leaving imprints in my digital archives. I think I have photographed same landmarks in different seasons,making it really special. Take for example this Bridge.For others, it is just a normal bridge, for me, not so…

Glacisbrücke is a suspended steel bridge located here in Ingolstadt. It actually connects the west and east banks , with the River Danube ( Donau) in-between. This is one of my favourite place to take a walk, run and admire the city views. Here I can see the New Castle, and watch the beautiful foliage during Fall. I shoot here different beautiful sunrises & sunsets, Foggy mornings, and yes, frosty ice cold winters.During Winter, the in between section of the bridge is closed for safety reasons, but we can still walk through on both sides, giving us the pleasure to speed our itinerary without bothering about the traffic.Last year, the area surrounding this bridge gave me such an spectacular Reflective`views .That was truly unforgettable!

Looking from the bottom of the bridge is also quite impressive.Just look at the rays of lights, caught in the midst of fog.

Glacisbrücke im Herbst

This bridge actually connects and separates pedestrian from the main traffic. The road beside it is a bottleneck especially on rush hours and working days. Cyclists and pedestrians like me can enjoy a peaceful ride while the other side is full of cars.

Photo above shows the bridge photographed during Fall last year. I love this mood very much. It is a golden morning, with an intense glow of golden amber. Solitude, peace and tranquility are modest elements that makes this place looks so picturesque.This photo is also very memorable to me.I took it from previous Autumn and it was our entry to our first local Photography contest here in my town. The contest was actually sponsored by our bank,Volksbank Raiffeisenbank Bayern Mitte for their 2020 Fotowettbewerb and also will be featured in their 2021 Kalendar.

The Glacisbrücke photographed in Springtime
Beautiful flowers adorn the banks of the bridge during Spring to Summer

I brought my daughter here to practive her biking skills.As you can see, this Bridge can be challenging, especially for little limbs.A favourite spot as well for cyclist and mothers walking their little children, this bridge is impressive. My daughter loves to watch the waters of the Danube on a calm day and during summer, we watched people swimming as well.

Many times in a year, I watched though this bridge in solemn mood , thinking how nice it is that we have bridges like this.I run through one foggy morning and I realized that the waters ( from many days of rain!) almost reaches the trees along the river and the sound of gushing water is totally deafening.There is a dam over the end of the river near Baggersee and it is also another sight not to miss!

It made me realized that I have seen this place in every season which quite make it speacial…

Thank God that this bridge is not yet filled with Love locks….

Crazy over Lego in Legoland Deutschland

Legoland Deutschland resort Park in Günzburg, Germany

One of the highlights of our Summer break this year in the midst of Corona Pandemic is our visit in Legoland Resort Park in Günzburg.It was a looonggg wish by my daughter, she often asked that after she turned 6 years old, she wants to see her beloved Ninjago friends in Legoland.

But because of Corona virus, this trip was postponed many times….

But then, Endlich… FINALLY!

Wearing her Lloyd Ninja mask while we hike through the Pöllatschlucht going to Neuschwanstein Castle

We visited the Legoland Discovery Center in Berlin and for her, it is not enough. She even wants to go to Legoland HQ in Billund! She needed to see a much bigger park and that is why we decided to give it a go. As a gift and before she goes to school, I know she deserved to be here. As a child, she has been a great fan and addicted to playing Lego.She has her Papa´s old Lego blocks and toys so I guess this is really special to her.She has been fanatic as early as 2 years old,playing Duplos, and now more on the complicated ones, like Ninjago and all the Ninjas. She knows every character by heart and all the episodes of the series and film. She is no-princess type of girl and only want Legos, trading cards and ninjago things as gift,nothing, nothing else.

She doesn´t want to wear a skirt, dress or any girly things—but give her Lego t-shirt and costume as she will be so happy!

Driving to Günzburg was easy for us.It took us 1,5 hours from Ingolstadt and we were in time for the 10 a.m opening of the park. I knew and anticipated that it would be packed with children ( and crowds!) since it is still “Sommerferien” here in Germany. Most of Germans stayed in the country ( at least from whom I knew…) during this summer, doing staycation and out of town trips, just like we did.

I have asked few of my friends who went here as well how did it go so I am confident that it is safe to visit the park.And I was not indeed dissapointed….

My daughter had a blast! and so are we..:-)

Greens and beautiful landscape inside the Legoland Resort in Günzburg

Visiting Legoland is only possible if you book your tickets ahead of your visit.It follows a very strict Corona restrictions so there are no tickets sold in the entrance. We booked our tickets ahead including parking fee so we are all settled. A great tip, there are many vouchers in the LegoBrochures and Discount offers from Mcdonalds, so make sure to take notice of those to get available discount in your visit to this park.It was quite a pleasure that we got those since entrance fees can be helfty, especially if you go with big groups! There are also available packages including Hotel such as Legoland Feriendorf, and varied Hotels and accomodation within the vicinity so if you want to stay longer exploring the Park, then it could be a great option as well.I knew friends who stayed there for 2 days just for the children to enjoy all rides and taking their time to explore everything!

Don´t forget, this park is so huge…so make sure to dress up depends on the weather, mostly comfortable clothes and shoes. bringing extra clothes for change is also a good idea since some rides involves water and I am sure that you will sweat a lot!

Speaking of Corona control measures, don´t worry. This park has great control measures and I am really impressed by it. Of course you need to wear masks and practice distance of 1,5meters and everything, but the great thing is that they have disinfection station in every play station. Yes, every station is strictly controlled and monitored.Before and after riding the rides or getting into the play areas, visitors are asked to disinfect.You need to wear masks at all areas, even going to restrooms.

Even if it was a day full of visitors, I find it comfortable enough to roam around since most of the times, we are outside. The park is surrounded with shady trees, enough benches and tables to rest and sit for a quick break and most of all—people are disciplined.

With the entrance tickets, you are allowed to ride and explore everthing. So if you really want to try the all, you need to come here early to avoid long lines. Some rides are age restricted and should be accompanied with either 1 parent or adult.

Everwhere we go we see Lego. Built Lego miniatures and play areas are really amazing! As a parent, I find it really awesome that my daughter can enjoy such beautiful things as a child. I am sure that in the end, it will create great memories to her…

There are many highlights of our visit and we ride everything that she fancied.Our favourites so far is the Lego Ninjago World, where we had a close up encounter with the Masters of Spinjitzu and some Ninja tricks. The ride was so awesome that I ended up enjoying it as well.There´s the Lloyd´s Spinjitzu Spinner, Coles Climbing Wall, a playarea for small children, and of course, a Ninja Kitchen!

Fun fact : I have read that even adults play with Lego and it can do miracles on your stress management. My husband always play Lego with my daughter.He grew up with Lego as well and He is basically transferring all his skills and techniques to my daughter. My daughter can now build a big set by herself and its no surprise to me why.

Here in Germany ( prior to Pandemic), Lego is an important piece of Toy and learning tool for toddlers and kids. It is very famous so almost all children recognize it. I only find a place great if it has a small playarea in the corner or a place where children can have time for themselves. In the Doctor´s offices, Libraries, and even public shopping areas, Lego corner is normal.

I am sure that Lego helped my daughter with her motor skills, creativity and problem solving skills, which are all very crucial factors to a developing brains! No doubt, she spends times building and building and everyday, she surprises us with her wonderful, sometimes “weird” fantasy, and whimsical thoughts about Lego. If you asked me, it´s better to be engrossed with Lego, than getting addicted to tablets and videos!

In every ride station, you need to wear your masks while waiting for your turn. We tried the ride where children are taught to ride a small car and earn a Driver´s License.I saw that the operator really disinfects all cars, including seatbelts one by one before another batch of kids takes it again.They are really doing well in taking care of their guests and making sure to avoid contaminations.

This one is a thrilling experience !

Important note is that the atractions are going to close 1Hour before the park closes which is around 7pm. In some days they are closing early so its better to check in the official Legoland website to make sure of your time of visit.If you want to enjoy everything, start from the backside of the park, normally those rides are not so full in the morning since most people flocked near the entrance areas.If you have little children, there is a free “Kinder-finder-Armbänder” so you don´t need to worry that your child will be completely lost if they got away from you.It is very safe inside the park and especially nowdays with Corona, people are more cautious.

What I have learned through the Pandemic is to take care of your family. We may be restricted to travel because of the virus but there are various reasons and ways to enjoy family time.In Legoland, I have families of different nationalities, having fun together with their children, behaving like a child, maybe reliving past childhood experiences as well.

I grew up not having this luxury. As I scan the views before me, I felt just grateful that my child can experience such as these and grow up a happy, healthy and active child. Probably, in most European countries, Lego is 80% part of every child´s fantasy .It becomes a treasured memory for them…

Restaurants and Cafe´s are spread all over the park so no worries about getting hungry.There are plenty of tables and picnic areas where you can eat in peace with your family without the crowds.We enjoyed having lunch with a view of the rides and we really had a great time.

Plenty of playareas and climbing station for kids as well. They have a big payground as well , when children wants to have a break from Lego rides then they can ” rest” here as well. For Mamas & Papas, this is also a perfect place to sit, check their phones and have a drink!

My favourite ride so far was the Pirate ship and Spinjitzu Spinner. Here in the Pirate boat ride, we ride our boats and we spray waters on others. The park was so beautifully designed and even adults enjoyed it so well!

We booked a hotel in the nearby town from Günzburg since we still have to continue or Romantic road trip to Füssen that is why we did not stress on driving back early. But around 4p.m, my daughter is already tired and wanted to check out the lego shop and told us that she had enough of rides.The line for the shop took as about half an hour to enter the store as well. You might consider to set aside an hour here if you plan to do your shopping before departing since most people do their shopping on the time they depart as well.

For me personally, you can enjoy the park the whole day, but not really exhausting yourself and your child. If you came all the way from far places then I am sure, it is worthy to spend couple of days in this place just to make the most of your trip.

Time flies so fast…not a small baby anymore!
Hang over from Lego ?

After seeing giant Dinosaurs in Dinopark, and nature climbing in Beilngries, this girl is totally , and still very in love with her Lego Ninjago friends!

How was your summer vacation in the midst of Pandemic so far?

If you plan on visiting Legoland, then these important and vital Info might help you plan your trip!

Stay safe everyone..until next time, Tschüss!