Have you ever seen the sun lately?

Snow -clad benches, winter is finally here!

We´ve all waited for snow….that real “snowy” kind of day.I tooked lots of photos of it from our daily winter walks . With us nowadays it´s considered a sin if we don´t get out and spend some time outdoors. Afterall, we need fresh air, lots of it, and of course we need movement—so we walk! Unfortunately, I only used my iPhone since I normally took walks with my daughter after our Homeschooling. She cant stand me taking and doing macros of every single nature I see .That was a compromise but then it all went well.

Last week we had a good amount of snow finally, but not that “Winter Wonderland” thing.This time we managed to feel grateful yes, Winter had finally arrived! I was already thinking how boring it would be if we wouldn´t have snow this year.It´s a refreshing sight to see whiteness in everything ,instead of dark, gloomy, bald, grey foliage and landscape.

Abandoned boat along the lake covered in snow

We took various routes, depending on the mood of the little Walker.The farthest she got so far was 8km, with short breaks, playing plus climbing trees and again playing with snow,plus eating it! She wanted to throw snowballs all the time and I just can´t get the hang of it.Snow fun is a must in winter, and yes, time to sledding!

Winter walks in the time of Pandemic

Here in Germany, we entered another “Lockdown” , which started last week.They made stricter rules, and more safety controls. Shops are opened but since Ingolstadt had more than 200+ Corona victims, we went under the 15km Radius rule.Travel is encouraged only if really urgent and necessary, and starting on Monday, we need to wear the PPF2 masks! I hurried up to the nearby Pharmacy and got ourselves some packs.These masks are not cheap, compared to community washable masks, they are expensive! One piece costs 5 Euros!

Our humble neighborhood was transformed into children´s little winter paradise.The moment it starts snowing, children runs outside and get excited.Too excited that they do rodeling and sledding even if the snow is quite thin!There is a nearby park from us where everyone flocked during Winter to slide in the slopes and rodeling.Some even do snowboarding and do all kinds of stuff. I guess we just felt lucky that we are surrounded with nature and simple adventure fun to do in Winter, especially during lockdown.

Winter and snow totally helped us ease the boredom and our exasperation of this pandemic.

Daily walks become a daily habit for everyone.
Frosty the Snowman is finally here

I guess if you haven´t experience Winter , then you won´t be able to understand why it brings such joy to kids…and adults.Despite the cold, fresh air is always a bonus! There´s something about snow and the landscape that is covered in white that really excites your inner self.I love the crisp sound of snow under my boots, the light flight of snowflakes in my face when I am running, and watching nature and trees covered with white foams of snow.It´s quite magical…

Family walks during Isolation and Pandemic

I tried running in snow and minus temps this year, and I find it really challenging and yet very rewarding. I have a lot of hesitation of doing this because I don´t like the cold but then I just push myself in doing it, and it was great.I have read that doing exercise in cold climates has actually some reaping benefits to health.But sometimes, a quiet walks in the woods is also very invigorating rather than an adrenalin pumping long run.With walking, I had all the chance to admire and look closely to my surroundings.

Ready for some rodeling and sledding

Since almost everything is closed in Germany, we don´t have really much choice but to spend some walking to exercise outside. I noticed that nowadays, my neighborhood becomes the walking capital, I guess it goes the same with other places.There is nothing else we can do..Everybody just walks!

Below are some photos of the lakes,parks and walks we´ve had.

We went through the lake and I was completely in awe of the lovely sight that surprised us. The lake was not yet frozen but the thin layer of snow that covers the water is quite amazing. The foliage were delicately dipped in snow and create such a magical winter nostalgia.Everything seemed to be so peaceful, quiet and serene. Out here in nature, we don´t have any place for worries.It´s like in another world where we forget about chores, virus, and catasthropes!

Our own Winter Wonderland

Nature is taking a break, in a very quiet, solemn retreat during Winter.

the view from the river Danube is one of my favorite spots, especially in Winter where everything looks like in another world.

I am sure everthing will soon be a history, and our lives will soon return to normal´ as well.But then I would always looked back to this chapter where nature becomes our refuge and snow memories are treasured dearly.Wathing the sun goes down in Winter was another beautiful memory…

When the sun eventually comes out and shines…we are grateful.

Stay safe and healthy everyone….Tschüss!

Why do you love watching Sunrises and Sunsets?

Shadowcast and David and Goliath fighting in Regensburg

Spaziergang , the German way of walking

Dinosaurs are out on the loose in Dinopark Altmühltal, Bavaria

Say Hello to one of thes giant of the Jurassic period, the mighty plant eating- Diplodocus

Happy New Year everyone! I know it´s Winter over here, but we are already dreaming of Summer.We are dreaming of sunshine, tulip fields, strawberries, funparks ,hiking in the mountains, and getting lost in some European cities.

Yesterday while eating luch we are discussing, or rather dreaming, and (hoping!!) that we can fill our suitcases again and able to travel.Travel without health worries, because that is super important.But for now, we can travel back through time and dream away….to Jurassic period!

Have you ever dreamed of walking through the woods with giant dinosaurs in the view ?Those giant claw, magnanimous size, razor sharp teeth, and yes, the presence itself is quite overwhelming.With dinosaurs, we all know that the bigger..the better, the more realistic it is!

Well that is the experience we´ve had while walking and exploring through the Dinopark in Altmühltal.

Real life size Giant Diplodocus dinosaur and unbelievable huge !We couldn´t barely hug its legs!

Gigantic Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex are just a few of the “friends” we met in this beautiful nature park.We were quite amazed of how funtional and cleverly designed it was , considering that we visited this place during Corona pandemic times.This is definitely one of the best open air Dinosaur Museum here in Bavaria.

Did you know that Brachiosaurus only eat plants ?They are one of the Plant eating dinosaurs, so do you think they are friendly?
It is so hard to get them all in one photo because this one is really a long and huge Brachiosaurus , so even the tail is humungous!

My daughter is crazy about Dinosaurs, she knows each dinosaurs with all their crazy names by heart.From the year they were discovered, and from each era , from Jura, Kreide and Trias. Hard to tell, but I really don´t know how and where her fascination started.We have watched couple of Jurassic films and we haven´t even finished it all becaused she got scared of all the screaming and bloody T-Rex manhunt. I guess children loved dinosaurs , adored them and gasped at their powerful statues ,bewildered, and thinking that they were heroes and lovable, or something like the best friend one could ever had, just like in the movie films “The good Dinosaur“, “Dinosaurs“, and” the Land before time“.

And myself only knows “Barney“, the purple dinosaur!

There is something about these claws and freaking sharp teeths! Finally a Dino fan meets T-REX

When she watched Peppa pig, she just loved how George adore his Dinosaur.We have tons of Dinosaur books and she always loved to read about them and yes, I think that´s how she got so hooked with it. So imagine her delight when she saw this giant disnosaurs in the park.She could even put them beside her when she sleep and no, I can never win with her Dinosaur Quizzes…She knows it all!

My daughter thinks that this is Alosaurus

The park itself is HUGE,We haven´t had the energy or the time to even explored it all.There were lots of fun playing activities to be found inside it,of course considering that we need to distance ourselves from the crowds as much as possible.There´s of course a Museum, play areas for big and little children, outdoor recreational spots, picnic areas, restaurants, Fossil exploration areas, shop, and much more.All these fun filled areas are with Dinosaurs views, and that´s what we find so engaging.I was really glad we visited this place, because not only the child with us is entertained, we as parents as well. We can´t complain any further, lots of fresh air, lots of greens, and children will never get bored because they have always something to see and explore!

Therizinosaurus looks like a big bird with absolutely unique elbows and long claws which is 1 meter long!
Spinosaurus we spotted near the playground

And about the Museum, here´s what it looks inside…

We paid 19,50 Euros each for adult fees and children are 9,5 Euros. This includes all access to everything inside the park.We are allowed to bring snacks and drinks so we never really worried about getting hungry.The beergarden were spacious, large enough for Dino-groups.I saw families even brought picknick bags and they just hang out there in the grass, enjoying full sunshiny day.TheParking lot is also admirable and the location of the park is easily accessible from Autobahn.

A take away cup with 3rd Dinosaurs design, a staple for having a quick break under the trees in the outdoor picnic area inside the Dinopark.

Another fun part of this Dinopark is the Fossil area where kids and adulhts have the chance to see, find and explore their own Fossils, with tools and everything! My kid is totally into this and could never stop hammering out from rocks looking for Ammonites! Now that is one way to let go of their energy!We even got freebies when we check-out since we mentioned that it´s her birthday!

Let the whole family enjoy looking and finding fossils and dig the sands!

Since we are observing Hygienic restrictions, I am perfectly impressed as well how the park observed these rules.There are plenty of clean bathrooms, outdoor sinks with sopas and disinfectant for children and families to frequently wash their hands.Mask is required when entering the shops, museums, and Restaurants.Only when wandering through the open air dinosaur park that wearing masks is not required.

The Birthday girl digging and looking for fossils!

I am really excited where would be our next family destination this year…

Meanwhile, while we are still on Holiday break, we stay at home and dream away our worries, hopefully this year would be a better one!

Crazy over Legoland in Günzburg

Adventure park Nature climbing in Beilngries

Cycling through the Danube Trail Adventure

Exploring the Donau Gorges

The taste of Biergarten Culture in Germany

Falling in love with the Romantic Roads in Bavaria

Until then, stay safe and Tschüss!

Last day of Magic, Tschüss 2020

Year end reflections and slowly saying Tschüss to 2020

For the past months, the ony highlight in my days were my runs, and long nature walks. I am already happy when I am out from the house and did my usual rounds.These are the only things that helped me ( a lot!) to survived each day.I am not complaining, but then it is just the plain truth since there´s nowhere else to go.At least we have this luxury, in some places you either don´t have nature, or you are not allowed to get out, at least without restrictions.At the end of the day, I scroll down in my phone for my photo gallery, looking for scenic nature views I have seen, wondering if I have caught a nice one. I am sure the nice ones landed in this Blog, if not in social media, or sent to encourage a friend.

You see, nowadays, my destinations are quite limited to errands.Short trips to random supermarkets and Drogerie become a norm.Here in Germany, we call a shop for Toiletries and stuff Drogerie, die Drogerie, a place to get toothpaste, bio products, vitamins and other stuff.Well I can get them as well from Supermarkets, but as I said, a little side trip to the shop already makes our day.They are one of the few chosen shops allowed to stay open against the 2nd Lockdown here which will probably lasts until the 10, January. Aside from Bakeries, Pharmacies, Tankstelle ( or Gas Stations), we spend lots of outdoors in small forests, sometimes to parks, and more and morrrreeee walking. We´ve got to use our hiking shoes anyway…

In few hours, this year ends with silence and I guess most of us wants it to end, or we are still in denial that it happened? Hard to believed it, but yes, it´s all coming to an end. It will be a silent goodbye to 2020, more like a long overdue wish.No party celebrations, no fireworks, we could at least settle with few sparklers and a sip of wine, and of course, a bite into one of those Berliners—a beloved, tasty German tradition during New Year.Berliners are also known as Krapfen, or doughnuts.Most of them are stuffed with sweet marmalade inside. I usually prefer the one without, I find it too sweet.Sometimes I really missed some Crispy creme glazed doughnuts or even simple Silvanas. Too bad they don´t exist here in our place.

The last day of magic this year

Talking about supertitious traditions in New Year, back home , we always make sure that we have several round fruits in the table on New Years. Putting some apples, oranges, melons, pears, grapes and more in a round plate is seen in most household. They say it is a sign of good luck, as well as hanging some grapes in the door.We also wear something with dots, or polka dots.Doesn´nt matter even if its your underwear or so…as long as you´re wearing something with dots then you are bound to attract good fortune.

” Es ist nie zu spät, das Gesicht zur Sonne zu heben, Das darf man nie vergessen…”

( It is never too late to raise your face to the sun…you must never forget that…)

Here´s the last sunset that we´ve watch today in Silvester, the day before New Year here in Germany. My neighborhood becomes alive when the weather is good,minus side but sunny, it´s two days in a row now that we have amazing weather which means perfect day to take long walks.So we did that, and most people here did as well.The streets are full of families, runners, walkers, cyclists,passer-bys, and yes, children.Everone is out to enjoy some fresh air, for us, it´s the only thing that we looked forward before staying in to wait for the New Year.

One fine Silvester walk in 2020

I suddenly remember that my mother always told us to put some coins in our pockets and scatter coins in the floor. It should be that our pockets should have some money before the year changes.I really dont know if it works, I just kind of go through with the flow.Also, I never ever imagined that in my life, watching and feeding ducks could be such a therapeutic activity during lockdown.It was really beautiful watching the ducks and doves fight for food, for survival, in a cold winter morning.They both want the same thing,again,nature does its magic.

Just like most of us fighting to stay fit and healthy everyday, trying not to be sick this year was the constant battle we have fought all throughout the year.I think we have managed to surpass big hurdles and moving on and now, we are finally saying Goodbye to this year.It´s just right time to say Tschüss to 2020 now.

I don´t make New Year´s Resolutions but I am keen on making goals, little goals that I believe could make a big difference in my life as I grow older.I think my fellow friend nailed it with her snappy careful moves, wanting 21 Things to look forward in 2021.This made me eager for fresh starts and joyful beginnings.It never hurts to add excitement for every fresh start,don´t you think as well?

It really doens´t matter, a new book to read, a new hobby to start, or even a new painting, or old painting to finish….maybe a new language or sport to learn for next year…I guess its all in the attitude.

People that I´ve met here in my Blog are precious gems that made this journey worthwhile.People who took their time to read and leave their comments, people who were with me through months of no activity and hibernation but then the moment that I write again, they were still there,with a warm welcome.

I am grateful for the nostalgic, joyful family stories from the Rabbitpatch, the soulful,simple yet carefree living with one beautiful soul in snowmeltssomewhere,or travel more like the humble spirit of travelling in two wheels into theaters and Operas, or just enjoying more pretty skies and landscapes!

Those are the moments of the last day of Magic for year 2020…I would be lucky if I see the skies lit and fireworks glam the skies…Happy New Year everyone!

Take care and see you all in 2021…:-)

Shadowcast and David fighting Goliath in the streets of Regensburg

Shadow captured in my street walk in Regensburg
David and Goliath wall mural in Regensburg, Bavaria

Two of the unforgettable scenic spot I´ve seen in Regensburg was these photos above.The shadow cast of birds on a tiny tower is quite perplexed, yet eye catching.I can´t recall anymore where excatly I have seen this or the location but then for me it is one of my favourite photo.Maybe I was just lucky that the sun perfectly cast its shadow on the birds to create this scenic shot. I tend to create a lucrative imagination out of simple things, or maybe I just thought of it as a creative spot.

One thing, the Goliath House turned out to be a surprise.We were walking on a narrow alley and then this giant mural of David and Goliath fighting each other came right in front of us, reminding us that not all tourist spots needs a grand entrance, this one particularly is amazing. Did I mentioned that it was also a World Heritage Site in Regensburg, impressive right?!Along with the House Heuport, it is the largest mansion house in this place.

Luckily this time I was not looking for the beauty of Manholes, rather, my attention was quite diverted to this work of art.

This building was build around 1260, and the painting was done by Melchoir Bocksberger in 1573.I suddenly remember our Religion lessons about the story of David and Goliath.Now who would have thought that this painting could be written in history.

Exploring the streets of Regensburg in Bavaria

Regensburg is breally a place of unique and rich traditions. Just like their exotic Wurstkuchl, a 870 year old historic sausage Kitchen!

Another beautiful post about Regensburg I found is here.If you want to know more why this place is a UNESCO World Heritage site, then you might kill time reading these Post below ;

Discovering the Streets of Regensburg

Guten Appetit, White Sausage for Breakfast

Until then, please wear your masks ! Tschüss!

Tschüss 2nd Christmas Day, Servus Mr. Sunday Frost!

A little Frostbite will complete this photo though! , Germany 2020

Today was cold, I felt cold when I went outside. I easily get cold feet so I am not a big fan of Winter. Ugly gardens, bare trees, big bulky jackets and freezing hands. We all miss that good kind of snow, the kind of a white winter wonderland snowy landscapes but I guess here in the Southern part of Germany is not that all white now…it´s grey but cold. Actually we already drooling and have plans on sledding and rolling down the hill once we have enough snowdays but then…. nothing!

We dreamt of that white Christmas, but we had only rains, wind and more rainshowers.

Still I am out for my daily nature walks and runs. See,I´ve learned to dressed up for the weather.I actually own now several types of Jackets, just for me to survive the seasons here.Weihnachten is gone, the 1st and the 2nd said Tscüss already, but there´s always way too much food during Christmas, most especially on Christmas day. Toomany Chocolate Santa Claus as well!

Here in Germany, we have 2 days of Christmas,imagine that. I really don´t know why one day is not enough, it´s just the way it goes here. The weeks before Christmas is already loaded with lots of Christmas cookies and Glühwein (mulled wine), then comes the Raclettes and grilling, and Fondues, and endless snacking….so we got to move!

Frosted Fall flower in the Park nearby

Anyway, after the 2nd day of Christmas comes Mr. Frost. But again, it was not the same as last year. I noticed in my Archives that I had more photos of last year´s Frosty days but then today was just a teaser. Well at least it makes the dead flowers and leaves look attractive.

I am still thankful of every sunrise view from my Kitchen window

So everyday, I decided to always have my morning run and take long leisure walks. You know those walks to help you calm down, destress, and just think of nothing. I also take a walk to help my body with all the digestion that needs to be done . Yes, there should always a reason to eat a slice of homebaked cake. Here in Germany, we always have the Coffee/Tea plus Cake time ( Kaffee und Kuchen) even if it´s Christmas, we´ve got to have a slice of cake.

As I am walking to the new track, ( I said it was new because the asphalt was new and the road looks well), I was really feeling well and relaxed. Normally in Winter I only do 5 km rounds but I decided to run further.The sun was out and it shines its golden rays on barren fields, casting shadows on thin wimpy tree branches, and setting a downcast mood somehow.

I actually find the views simply breathtaking.

I discovered new running tracks, this time with views. I am so glad that detours lead to great discoveries. I am already looking forward to running more in this new paths in Spring and Summer. I was completely alone, with only the chirping of birds that can be heard. The path was muddy and the earth smell like mud.When all the leaves of the trees are gone, you can see more of the area.Some areas that I never imagined that existed is now in full views like the hidden bridges, small pathways to the woods, and the treehouses.

The bird nests on top of the trees made me smile. I was reminded of the day where we took a walk in the misty and foggy afternoon just to feed the ducks.We brought stale breads with us and just enjoyed the crazy and chaotic sound of glutton ducks and birds all fighting to have the bread we threw into the lake.For us, that was simple pleasure.

I always watch the migratory birds in our area during winter. There can be quite of them and it´s really refreshing to see them once in a while. Looking at the swarm of birds flocking on top of stones in the middle of the Danube river gives me chuckle. Are they isolated too?!

I was in awe particularly when I spotted these birds, all hanging out together in a cold Sunday morning.They flew in batches above my head and the sound they made is outstanding. Who would have imagined that simple bird watching can be therapeautic, beautiful and yes, reassuring.

Reasurring me that there are still lots of beauty outside even if at one glance it´s ugly.I quickly snapped few photos before my fingers turned completely frozen.

Fallen leaves, but not actually forgotten.

Officially, winter had just begun here in Germany. Today , the 27th of December was actually memorable to us here. Happened today is the first local resident from Ingolstadt received the Corona Vaccine, a radical start of vaccination, a sign of hope from our struggle to stop Corona from continuously spreading.

It is not grand but the beauty of Frost is quite fascinating.

I guess I also found a new Miracle marvel, a walk into nature and inhaling fresh air is definitely invigorating.My Sunday is blessed and I hope yours too!

Walking on a Frozen lake

My Neighborhood covered in Snow

My Old Town In Winter

Unforgettable Winter Sightseeing

No Ordinary Year

Until then, Bis bald, schönen Abend.

tschüss.

It´s no Ordinary year

The photo we entered for this year´s Photo Contest finally made it into 2021´s Calendar

This year is not only all about the tons of masks we bought and wore, or the excessive disinfecting of everything we´ve touched and our hands turning into a resemblance of chicken skin. Aside from all this hygienic crazy mantra that becomes a new norm now, I realized that this year was actually a no ordinary for me, personally.

This year also is the year for the first time that I joined a photography competition here in our local town, hosted by one of our local Bank, the Volksbank Raiffeisenbank Bayern Mitte.I actually mostly forget its name because you know, its long and its kind of twisting my tongue. Well, that´s what German does to me.Anyway, turned out that loved our photo and included it for next year´s Calendar called “ Die schönsten Motive Fotowettbewerbs 2020″.

I was thrilled and excited.I was not expecting that my photo could be chosen considering that there were so many nice landscape photos who were chosen in the whole region.We just got lucky, I guess. We received a prize and donated half of it to another organization.It was a great experience and I think it made our year a certain mark, to remember, to be thankful for the beauty of nature who seemed to be the only one unaffected by depressing situations around us.

The photo that I took is titled “Glacisbrücke im Herbst” ,or the Glacis Bridge in Fall. I love this photo particularly since it caught the mystic beauty of Fall in my neighborhood, plus this bridge is quite fascinating as well since its one of the landmark near to where I lived.

Whenever I crosses this bridge, I am being reminded of this recognition.Who could have thought….?

The “Mushroom” Water Towers of Kuwait

When I was still living in Kuwait, I took pictures of most of the places where I visited. It´s pretty normal since I am an Expat working there and yes, the culture is different and there are so many things that is new to me.My iPhone Gallery was filled with snapshots, candid selfies and landscape portraits which I even used most of the time in my Blog articles.Using these Photos rekindled my memories of being in there and appreciating the unique beauty that Kuwait has, like for example this “Mushroom ” Water Towers .

At first glance you wouldn´t even imagined that it´s a modern water supply system, but then it was.The shape, the color, the size, everything about this symbolic reinforced concrete system is unique.Maybe to local Kuwaitis it´s just a normal water towers but definitely not for me. I am still amazed and perplexed of its function and design.Clever design from VBB , A Swedish engineering company, with Sune Lindström as its chief Architect.No wonder it won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, cycle 1980.

Mr. Antoon Kuhlmann from Hortus Nijmegen in the Netherlands along with Dominique Clement sent an email to me informing me if they can use my photo as a research material to be used in their upcoming manuscript about Mushrooms.What a brilliant idea!

This book really expains what special role Mushrooms played in Arts, Culture and yes, in Nature.I was totally honored to be a part of this book, to think even that Kuwait´s Water Towers was used as an example how Architects used mushroom as a concept for building a modern water system.

Just in time before Christmas I got a copy of this Book and couldn´t feel more proud than ever.It is cleverly done !Unfortunately, it´s only in Dutch language.

This post is not a promotion of the book mentioned above. I just felt grateful that one of my post and photo was used to compile all the amazing information supplied by this book.The Dutch Autors did a wonderful job in coming up to this phenomenal piece. If you are reading up until this part and interested to buy a copy, you can find the link Here.

Thought this year was only staying at home, social distancing and wearing masks…not for us actually.It was a no ordinary year because of this Online Art Project by the International Youth Library in Munich ( International Jugendbibliotehek München) called ” Kinder, malen sich Selbst” or the I-solation, Children ,draw yourselves, an online Exhibition initiative organized by this Library . The exhibition was joined by 800 participating children all over the world!

And my little daughter joined herself into this exhibition and by Spring of 2020, her drawing was submitted to the Library.By around June, we were invited to visit the Exhibition and had a Tour in their Library and see the beautiful grounds of Blutenburg Castle. It was her first, at the age of 5.

But as I wrote before, this year was actually a legendary year for all of us.Came December and we are still under stressed because of Corona infections, in Isolation and wearing Masks in School.Christmas Markets are cancelled and we entered a second Lockdown on Dec 16. Another melodramatic feeling of isolation creeps us, but then home is where we felt the most safe, well I guess, for everybody´s sake it´s the ony way out.

Nothing more to expect, we can´t change the tides.But then, we managed to have a meaningful Christmas season at home, without the frantic craze and glittering lights.

Here in Germany, children and adults are crazy about Adventskalendar. It´s literally a calendar, a coundown from the start of Advent to Christmas Eve.So this time, our local town hosted a drawing competition for children for the Adventskalendar with Winter moments as a theme. Once again, my daughter had her entry and yes, her drawing was chosen to be in the 15th day of Adventskalendar. On that day,she met the Christkind to receive her prize but of course, with a mask and distance!

Little clever Artist being proud of her Artwork.

I guess a Not Ordinary year means that we stopped expecting, and more of appreciating and giving.4 days to go til this year ends and I just want to document it here in my Blog what a meaningful year it was as well.There´s nothing much to tell of what we did, but we did the best of what we can do…

I think we´ll do this again next year if there´s another chance again!

Did you have a no Ordinary moment this year?

Alles gute und Tschüss!

Plätzchen and more Christmas Cookies!

There´s always a place for Plätzchen, the more the merrier.

First I made an Adventkranz this year, and now we´ve back to baking for the third time around some Christmas delicious goodies called— Plätzchen, or simply classic German cookies. Germans loved them and so do I!

You see, I have been totally integrated into German culture , so when it comes to celebrating Advent and Christmas holidays, Germans have a way to doing it very merry and yes–brighly delicious. The scent of raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, spekulatius, and dried oranges really fills up the air! Here´s the thing, though this year is quite disaster filled,and because of you know already, Corona lockdown and everything, but then, we decided to skip the stress. We took lots of nature walks, wear our masks , send christmas packages to family and just let the amazing smell of home-baked christmas cookies filled our home.We light our candles , decorate our Christmas tree, make handmade christmas cards, as simple as these things, we managed to have the holiday spirit.

Over us here, just like the traditional Germans, we love baking Christmas cookies. We rushed to supermarkets the moment we see many “Angebot” or sale for bakings stuff, forms, and decorating mix, for me, I stocked up on Flour , weird, right?!

Look at these small but super “Lecker” cookies with almonds, walnuts, pistachios, coconut flakes and Marzipan! I totally fell in love with marzipan and I stuff everything with it. It makes my cookies stay moist, decadent and yummy in every bite!

Actually, the one thing that makes Plätzchen so special because it is actually made with labor of love.Of course it´s laborious—no joke! I mean if you really spend too much time making the perfect forms and making it Instagram-worthy photogenic, then I am sure that´s another thing! The simplier, the better!

Not everyone loves baking, so making these cookies really is a no´nonsense at all. they are super easy to make, the ingredients can be found in any supermarkets, and let me tell you, it is really a big thing here in Germany.

A whole round of delicious Weihnachtsbäkerei or Christmas Bakery

I love rummaging through Konditorei or Pastry shops, and bakeries that are filled with these traditional German cookies .They are filled with mouth-watering cookies.They even sell it as early before Advent together with Glühweins, and Lebkuchen.This year in Germany where we didn´t have Christmas markets,so I guess people stayed at home and really devoted many times doing self care , of course, another reason to bake cookies every now and then!

It´s very normal for families to bake together with their little kids.It´s messy but that´s what really makes it more meaningful.The crazier, the The more the merrier, so the variations depends on how much you wanna make, it doesn´t matter. Sharing it with friends and families is also a great tradition that I eventually pick-up.

See, I have been busy!

Kids are on break for the Christmas holidays so one way to keep them occupied aside from stuffing their bellies with these little threats is to let them help how to make it.Make sense, right? Every year, I try to let my daughter see how it goes and let her help with the kneading, shaping and making decorations. As soon as I rushed it into the oven, she just keep on asking me what time will it come out.

After cooling down the cookies, the fun part begins…

A special variant of “Vanillekipfelrl”, with marzipan filling and chocolate drizzles!
A cup of tea on a cold Winter afternoon is always a great way to bond and de-stress

Since we are in Lockdown and observing Social distancing, we have lots of time spent indoors nowadays.I think its becoming the new norm nowadays. Our homes becomes so treasured and it´s the safest place for all of us.

So aside from homeschooling, we try to spend quality family times. I packed some of the cookies in small bags and give it away for Christmas to our neighbors and close friends and they were simply delighted. It was the same thing when I´ve got to receive the same thing as well. It´s like a boomerang, the moment you give, you receive.

Our Christmas Tree this year

It´s Christmas Eve, so I wanted to wished you all a meaningful Christmas. I wished that everyone stay grateful, healthy and joyful.We are almost at the end of 2020, and this turbulent year will soon end.

Have a happy holidays with your circle of loved ones! Fröhe Weihnachten, and Tschüss!

Hallo Servus,Wintereinbruch!

First snow this year here in Ingolstadt

Forecast says that today it will snow. I didn´t believe it at first but then as I opened up the windows this morning, a blanket of snow greeted me.The first snow for this year had arrived.

Early as expected, finally, winter is here….!

Ain´t no sunshine for the Roses, only cold , frigid snowflakes!

I took a walk in my free time today and watch as my neighborhood transforms into a white wonderland. The snow is thin, but since it was snowing for more hours than expected, my neighborhood is all white, dreamy, and looks even more cold-dreary.

I am wearing now my winter jacket and gloves, plus the ever-trusted scarf. I felt warm and my heart is glad that instead of running, I could take a much anticipated leisure walk.From the last 5 years that I am living here, we normally have the first snow in the middle of December, and heavy snowfall around January. Recently,the temperature drops at minus 6 but a day before, Mr. Frost had a quick visit first.

First snow in Ingolstadt, Bavaria

I walked through Luitpoldpark but noticed so many footprints on the snow path. Seemed like I am not the first-walkers. The sky is mellow white, the snowfall is falling gently in my face and it´s still tolerable. I remember cycling through the snow in the early morning and it felt like spikes in my skin. The trees are covered with white flakes seemed somehow welcoming the new guests.

A glimpse of the Neues Schloss from the banks of the Danube river where I watched Rabbits running around as well.

Watching the river flowing so calm is very soothing. Nature is a great healer.There were many people taking a walk and just exploring , curious and nature-wondering. I guess its better to stay outdoors in the cold rather than sitting indoors with a mask. For me, without a mask is better, I can breathe freely. Nature walks in Winter has become my yearly habit since I came here, especially when its the first snow.

To tell you honestly, it´s only on the first day of snow that I enjoy it. The coming snow days are not-so appealing to me anymore. I love Winter, but really, I hate being cold. For me, to love Winter is only a privilege.

White berries covered in white snow, nature´s pure artwork
A signal of Hope, longing to stay alive

Some leaves are still hanging on to tree branches, unable to give up. Seems like they would like to continue struggling through the cold to belong to their roots. Fallen leaves are already buried on the ground, their existence were now a memory. The last day of Magic of Autumn is finally gone and the only color that stays outside is white…and lots of greys.

Have a seat…?

These lounging wooden chairs will now take a break. They will probably resume with their purpose in Spring, or maybe little later, when the weather is already tolerable.

White snow Lollipops

The great thing about Winter nature photography is that nature itself is already a great subject.No enhancing needed. Sometimes a simple late Autumn blooms is transformed into a magical spectacle like this weed covered with snow. I did this as well in our staycations in Austria and there´s really some beauty that came out from snow and coldness.

Cold frozen rose buds but never forgotten…

I only used my iPhone with these Photos but then I am glad how it turned out to be.I didn´t bother to bring my camera since it´s bulky.

A walk into the trees

I guess we are lucky over here in the South that we´ve got to experience snow as early as December. Sure thing, the snow will melt by tomorrow and everything will return to reality, surrounding nature being ugly and dry again. The remaining mud on the streets are clearly not appreciated.

To love Winter is a privilege.

It´s December, our final month for this year, and what a year it has already been.I hope everyone stay safe and warm through this Winter.

Tschüss!