Taking Flight higher like Dolphins

Dolphins taking a flight, shown in Tiergarten Nürnberg Dolphin Show in Germany

I love Dolphins, I think they´re the cutest animal.Watching a dolphin show is something that I really enjoyed, especially with my little one. Although I only began to appreciate Zoos only when I had a child, a a sight of group of Dolphins, Manatees and seals are always magical for kids. Wonder why it´s nice to watch them and their tricks–because it shows their intelligence being taught & trained.

My daughter says ” Mama, I love them because they have cool faces…and cool tails, nothing more.

I´m sure many people would opt to watch a Lion jumping into a ring of fire and applaud it, but me, I would rather choose a Dolphin show, together with sealions. Their movements, their graceful flipper moves, and yes, their adorable face.Looking at them, they can´t be physically looked unhappy. It´s like their smiles are built in, in their facial anatomy.

There´s really something about their face…and their eyes. I am sure if you look closely at their facial expression, you´ll probably understand what I mean. Watching them in small pools made me cringe in reality because I they don´t really belong there.Nowadays I really enjoy watching Bunnies running around in the park, I think they are really great out in the wild instead of being held in cages.

I really think they missed being in the ocean and swimming in the vast oceans beside the ships.In their normal habitat, they can swim for about 160km and dive very deep, but in an artificial pools and sanctuary, it ´s not just the same.

Imagine their Stress.

“Nobody should be allowed to have a baby until they have first been required to train a chicken.”

Dolphins are highly intelligent marine mammals, belonging to the family of tooth whales just like Orcas and Pilot Whales.My friend had the chance to swim with Dolphins and even ride them, I really envied her. That is one in my Bucket list so far. But I am afraid it could bite me–what if they get stressed when I touched them?

Watching them from a far really fascinates me.Come to think of it, they live quite long, more than 40 years so far. But when they are captive, they live twice less.No wonder they are one of the top animals faved by wildlife watchers.

But….reality bites, they are only motivated and trained because of one thing—the food.For animals, they care only for their prey- It´s their last chance to survive at least.

Flying higher like Dolphins

Who wouldn´t love their playful behaviour? their agility and their flying techniques. Crowds gather and give automatic applause when Dolphins take their flight and soar high—soaring out in the sky and making a vertical rise out of the water (spy-hop) and view their surroundings. It´s like watching how many people are clapping, cheering and yes–being in awe, seeing those children´s faces in shock and open-mouthed!

Am I there yet?

Aside from flipping through the air, they are born to be fast Sprinters.Bottlenose Dolphins are the one that are slow swimmers,around 2mph.They are carnivores,mainly eating fish and squid. They even have a technique to eat fish with the head first so the bones cannot hurt their throats..clever right? Just watch out closely in a Dolphin show, it´s how they do it!

Catchy, graceful tails

Dolphins use echolocation when hunting for preys. I was really surprised to know that given that they are smart animals, they are able to recognize themselves in the mirror. Meaning, they can see their own reflection!It´s funny to think that they can make half of their brain sleeping, and the other half functioning with one eye open, keeping eye on the group so they don´t get lost! Hahah

A trainer puts on a ring for a Dolphin Show in the Tiergarten Park in Nürnberg, Germany

“There´s no questions Dolphins are smarter than Humans as they play more…” -Albert Einstein

I´ve read that Dolphins and whales actually have a brains that is actually bigger in proportion to their sizes. You know what it means when they say you have a big brain–that means you are intelligent.No wonder….

“To get rid of depression, I swim with Dolphins…” -Patty Stanger

Writing this made me think of just how wonderful the job of a Dolphin Trainer. Does he get´s close and form a sort of connection with the Dolphins?or vice versa? It really takes commitment and hardwork since these animals have different personality. Just like taking care of a child, Dolphins need mental stimulation,physical exercise and care.

When it comes to taking their flight, they always made sure to make a grand entrance. No doubt why there´s even called a ” Dolphin-style gliding” in the field of Aerodynamics!

Bottomline, animals belong in the wild and no matter how high their flight is, it´s doesn´t meant that sky is the limit.I respect them more, knowing beyond what I know, this is not their world, but still, they manage and still soar high.

Have you ever seen a Dolphin show? what´s your thoughts about it?

This post is actually inspired by Lens-Artists Challenge #144 -Take Flight hosted by Tina. She has this wonderful theme for this week´s challenge. Check out her Post about the wild birds in Kiawah and be amazed!

Until then, Tschüss!

Ramadan-A day in the Life story from a Non Muslim

Fanous (meaning Light or Lamp in Arabic) is an important symbol during the holy month of Ramadan. These colorful lanterns gives Ramadan a symbolic mood.

I could write a novel about my Ramadan day to day experiences while living for a long time in the Middle East. But then, summing it up, I decided to write it like a day in the life of a Non Muslim surrounded with Islamic culture.Good thing I have taken lots of photos to remind me and yes, as I look back in it, I still think it was all wonderful experience.

I am grateful , I am really glad.

A lady in black Abaya in front of the Murals with Arabic calligraphy

I was born Catholic and growing up with Christianity doctrines made me feel odd when I was exposed to Muslim Culture and religion.Kuwait is a very conservative country and very traditional Islamic state.Islam is the predominant religion and Arabic is the preffered language. Though lifestyle is modern and yes very competitive, in Expat´s eyes, all of these are just temporary living arrangements.

But what ´s the first thing you think when you hear the word Ramadan? Ramadan is derived from the Arabic word Ramad, meaning “intense heat.” So like heat, Ramadan is a chance to burn away bad habits and carry positive ones throughout the year and beyond.

The month of Ramadan is beautiful, I see it as a solemn time of the year.It is a month of goodness and self-inspection.Inormally view my days as work-home statistics, but then during Ramadan, I felt kinda different.It´s not all about self-righteousness, but more of looking at yourself and deciding to do more good.I´ve got the feeling that during Ramadan, people around me just become conscious of others, they become kinder, and yes,more considerate.probably because this is the highlight month where most locals are serving others, donating help and to sum up--strive for repentance and be good.

A local vendor prapare for another busy morning day in the Souk. Dates (or tmar) is staple for Ramadan, and well known food preference in breaking the fast. It can be stuff with cream cheese or eaten as it is .Have read that the date fruit is mentioned 20 times in Quran therefore its closely related to Ramadan. It´s actually quite impossible without Dates during Ramadan.I love dates and I truly missed eating the good ones…

I know its Ramadan when I hear these greetings .”Ramadan Kareem“(or May Ramadan be generous to you) is a muslim greeting I have leaned from my colleagues at work and I think this is better than saying ” Sabah el Khair” ( or Good morning).Another form is also “Ramadan Mubarak” (Blessed Ramadan) and at the end of Ramadan, everyone greets with ” Eid Mubarak” ( Blessed Feast).But if you don´t speak any Arabic, you can just simply say “Salam“.

While I was running today, I saw a small leaflet attached to a tree stating well wishes for everyone for a safe Ramadan. I totally forgotten that this is the second year of the pandemic, and as well Ramadan for my Muslim friends.The holy weeks of Ramadan started last April 13 and will end on May 12 and yes, my Muslim friends are fasting!

Fasting for Muslim is not a way to lose weight, I am telling you, fasting and abstinence from sunrise to sunset is NO joke, it´s hard and not everyone understands it and thinks its ridiculous.

Living in Kuwait have exposed me to this culture though I am not a religious person nor an Atheist. But I do believe in one thing, ” faith without deeds is dead“. I grew up in a very conservative Catholic country so my background is quite a mixture of all the religious beliefs I have learned as a kid and growing up in a multicultural environment.Coming to Kuwait had opened my eyes even more to such beliefs and traditions.Above all, I love trying out new things and living as an expat taught me a lot about respecting my host country and its culture just like how I am embracing German culture now.

Anyway, for Muslims ( as I observed from my colleagues), it´s not really all about fasting.I really commend their discipline and perseverance.I see them still trying their best to do their job and not compromising. I never heard them complaining.After a while, I got used to their behaviour and avoid doing things that is not allowed during Ramadan. I am not forced to fast but we respect it and avoid recklessness, loud music, or eating in public. It´s against the law and you could be jailed if you violate it.We should also learn to respect prayer times. Afterall, everything is quite common sense and self-explanatory.

Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection and heightened devotion to prayer and repentance . I´m the only one at work that is not Muslim so everything was really new to me especially their bowing and reciting of Quran. In the office, it´s normal when the Quran is played.I find the whole thing ridiculous at first, but then through time I began to understand it all.They prayed numerous times during the day, starting at the break of dawn, but then during Ramadan, I observed that they do more. Most of my male colleagues take their yearly pilgrimage in Mecca and they really devote themselves to it. They saved money for it, and it´s a great achievement if they´ve done it.

At first I am quite excited when Ramadan starts because it means we need to work less.Many shops are closed during the day so people enjoy shopping until midnight and especially eating out in restaurants.Most restaurants have Iftar buffets and packages for companies, even Hotels offers the same.During this period, ( which practically lasts almost a month), our work schedule is shortened, and yes, we really have lesser output than the normal days. This means we need to do all the deadlines before Ramadan starts, and postpone all important meetings until Ramadan is over. Most inspections are preferably scheduled not on Ramadan, its quite normal. This also applies to all parts of the government since most of them worked only for 4,5 hours, maybe even less.Doing paperwork this time is hard because of timings.

There is an unseen sweetness in the stomach’s emptiness. We are lutes, no more, no less. If the soundbox is stuffed full of anything, no music,but if brain and belly are burning clean with fasting, every moment a new song comes out of the fire”. – Rumi

Through time, I have learned that true Fasting with intent is a privilege.I mean anyone can fast if they really want, but fasting without a meaning and purpose is just nonsense! It could even endanger your health.Abstinence is quite rigorous and requires a disciplined stamina.The period of 29 or 30 days—the dates change every year, following the lunar calendar of 13 months is pretty exhilarating.When your stomach is empty, your concentration might suffer and you barely can´t think.

Kuwaitis enjoy some leisure walks with Misbaha (Arabic: مسبحة mas’baha) in their hands. It has 99 pieces of beads corresponding to 99 names of God in Islam and 2 small beads separating every 33 beads.

The weather during this month is actually very warm, with average of 26 -38 degrees , humid & dust storms is frequent.After breaking their fasting, people usually went out to visit the Mosques, eat in restaurants for Iftar, meet friends , walk in the beach or just cool down inside the mall.

Busy Friday at the Souk (market)

I find it also worth mentioning that the Muslim´s tradition of breaking their fast is quite remarkable.It´s a holy ritual of gratitude and thanksgiving. ” Iftar“, the feast of breaking the fast after sunset marks a glorious victory every single day for every family. I have been invited in numerous Iftar, with close friends and their family and it is really amazing, not only the food but also the ambiance. Sharing a local Arabic home cooked meal is one thing that really bonds people and I give high thumbs for their elaborate food preparations. Arabic foods is really good and again, I kinda missed it all.I enjoy myself a platter of dates, nuts and their tea with cardamon and spices.

A local vendor selling the local ” Desert Truffles” which has become a delicacy in Kuwait.This is a traditional prized ingredients for Bedouins who loves to put these into their rice with meat dishes.Fresh Truffles are only available from November to April in Kuwait and the production highly depends on the precipitation.

As i said, ” Ramadan has the invincible power that brings people together” .Families, friends, colleagues sits together and share a meal, talking about the day´s about.It´s a time to focus on seeking forgiveness and being “kinder“. I was once in the Friday market and it´s about sunset so I really saw how normal people breaks their fast. They tedioulsy prepare their meal, pray together and they eat together. It´s very simple but really humbling to watch.One vendor laid out old newspapers on the ground and prepare the dishes elaborately. First the fruits, Laban or fermented drink juices, then some meat, vegetables and bread.I can see from their faces how grateful they are for this simple feast.Then they gather around , chatting and eat with their fingers.

Delicate detail of the walls of the Grand Mosque

In the arid, humid climate of Kuwait, it´s a tough challenge in the days of Ramadan. With scorching heat outside, you won´t even have the energy to go outside.The prayer times seemed like interruptions in our daily routines, but then it´s quite the opposite. My colleagues would get up and get their prayer mats and wait for others to gather around in the big hall patiently. They would do this every single day and watching them really amazes me.

There is no need to hurry, there is a time for everything under the sun.During Ramadan, time goes by slowly, but if you focus on your intent, you´ll realized that you have all the time that you need.

Muslims do the Salah (prayer) and goes to the Masjid together if they can. There are plenty of masjid and prayer halls in Kuwait, even inside malls they have it.In the Grand mosque, they have these racks of slippers to wear after they removed their shoes and washed their feet. The “Fajr“(Sehar) at dawn, the early morning prayer is the start of their spiritual journey during Ramadan.My friend who converted into Muslim since her husband is Muslim would wake up an hour early and gather her children to get some “ Suhoor” to have something to eat .It´s a family ritual so they can have something to last as they go through their day.

They wash their feet and faces, and stand by each other. The color of your skin doesn´t matter. Your title, education, job or what car you drive.Once you´re inside the Masjid ( Mosque) , everybody is equal, everyone is bowing their heads and pray the same prayer, everyone looks up to one Allah.For a non -muslim like me,the sound of the prayer time is heard everywhere and it becomes a natural signal for me to take a moment as well and yes, take some time to meditate.

The next prayer time will be around noon, called “Dhur “(afternoon),so this is the time that I see them praying at work.Afterwards they continue reading the Quran or just meditate or so.Next Prayer time will be on late afternoon called “Asr“which I think is really difficult. By this time, I saw them that they are mostly worn out with fatigue and their energy level is low.For women, they busied themselves preparing for Iftar and wait until “Maghrib”, (after sunset) . After Maghrib, the family gathers around to eat Iftar. The last prayer time is “Isha” (night) .

At the end of Ramadan comes the big celebration of Eid el- Fitr. But this important date depends highly on moon sightings. I remember asking my colleagues how do they know when is Eid, and they told me that it depends on the appearance of the new moon so they usually wait until night to confirm it.

It´s bigger than Christmas I think. It´s a special day filled with celebrations among friends and families and people really take time off or go on family outings. Kids are showered with presents and some give or donate money to the poor.It´s very common as well that everyone dressed up extra on this day. This festive moment reminds me of children waiting to open their gifts left by Santa Claus on Christmas Day or Sinterklaas in the Netherlands.

Did you know that it´s common in the Gulf countries during end of Ramadan to pardon prisoners?

Everyone is just happy , and greeting each other ” Eid Mubarak” ! Most families exchange visits with each other and eating is non-stop. The food is really flooding. Women gets special Henna tatoos on their hands and yes, spends the rest of the day shopping with kids. Most of the shops, especially in Kuwait offers big sales .There is something special about Ramadan evenings, maybe because I just love seeing the lovely lights.

Lovely colorful lights at night
Quran

Because of the pandemic and corona restrictions, I guess it´s a complete Ramadan experience for my muslim friends, but then in solitude of lockdown, would even be more meaningful.

” Ordinary men hate solitude. But the master makes use of it, embracing his aloneness, realizing he is one with the whole universe.” –Lao Tzu

Have you ever tried fasting? What do you love to do in solitude?

Ramadan Kareem and stay safe.

Until then, tschüss!

Medieval Beer Fountain ( Bierbrunnen)

Waiting in line at the Beer Fountain (Bierbrunnen)

Let´s talk about Beer for a while and let me take you again to another fascinating, unique hidden gem in my old town, Ingolstadt. Germans take pride of their Beer, especially the Bavarians. One of the pride of the locals here in my town is the Georgianum Beer Fountain or what we also called in German “Bierbrunnen“.We have lots of Beer gardens but then this fountain is really special.

Well, yes, Beer is an important part of Bavarian tradition, especially here where the Beer Purity Law or Reinheitsgebot from 1516 begun. For locals here, Beer is an integral part of the daily life and people regarded it not as an alcoholic drink, rather a “staple food” or Lebensmittel.With this Purity law, it goes by the rule that only 3 key ingedients should be present in brewing beer.These are Water, Barley and Hops.

With this Beer Fountain, it looks rather more than a faucet per se, but then before it was really regarded as a sacred fountain where fresh water is dispersed and people quench their thirst here on hot summer days.This place was an old school then turned into Catholic Seminary and were later bought by the local Brewery Herrnbräu.On the Jubilee year anniversary special, a golden liquid started to flow giving this little nook a special charm for the locals and visitors.Of course, only the finest beer of 16 years of age flows in this fountain.

Beer Fountain or Bierbrunnen

Last 2016, we had a local celebration of the Jubilee Year of the 1516 Beer Purity Law.It celebrates 500 golden years of the Reinheitsgebot and to commemorate this event, the Beer Fountain was made.The event was actually very festive. Starting with the programme, parade, and musicals, the whole town is really very noisy and full of people.Recalling the times before Corona, we have yearly celebration for this.People dressed up in medieval costumes and made an reenactment of the old times where people gather around the fountain to have their drink. I think it was really cool and I am so lucky to have seen this. My daughter was really thrilled when she saw Knights, and people clad in vests, funky shoes, hats and yes, swords!

Mural Bronze made by Alexandra Fromm

This bronze Mural was designed by the artist and painter Alexandra Fromm from Neuburg an der Donau.Along with the 500 year anniversary celebration, the state of Bavaria also released a limited post stamp, and coins from silver and gold. I managed to go home with a Beer mug (Bierkrug) and the golden coins so that makes me happy!

My husband and few of our friends attended the Beer tour which caters the history of the different kinds of Beer and their brewing process. Of course participants were able to taste all of those beer so practically, this day is really a celebration of Beer! With all of these beers, from dark to light coloured ones, I always go to my favourite—the Pils!

Pils is invented by the world class Master Brewer from Bavaria, Josef Groll from Vilshofen.

Declaration of the Beer Purity Law with the Little visitor

The Beer Festival, together with the whole celebration was attended by so many people and there were beer stalls where people have the chance to know the Beer history. It was decorated with stalls, weapons, tents and a stage where the law was read and declared by the Duke.

I was totally shocked to found out that world record of 1.3 seconds is what only takes for an American man named Steven Petrosino to drink a whole maß of Beer! That is a big gulp of 1 liter of Beer! This record is still unbreakable…

I am not a heavy Beer drinker but when I came to Germany, I began to appreciate their beloved Beer drinking culture. Sitting in Beer gardens is a normal habit, it is super cozy and the whole family can totally enjoy it. Writing this post made me missed those times.Because of Corona, Beer gardens are closed .People dressed up especially on weekends, wearing Lederhosen and Dirndls, even the children are clad in Bavarian Tracht as well. Most Beer gardens has a corner for children to play so it´s really an ideal place for weekends.

And last thing, here in Bavaria, we say instead of ” Cheers” , “ Prost” !

Do you like Beer? or are you more of the Wine type?

If you´re interested for more Beer related stories, I have written quite a few of them ,feel free to read them if you have more time to kill.

The green Gold of Bavaria, the Hops

Beer Gardens and Beer drinking tradition of Bavaria

1516 Reinheitsgebot -Beer Purity Law in Ingolstadt

Until then, Danke und Tschüss!

Dutch Delft Blue inspired Spring Garden

Delft Blue inspired Spring Garden in the Netherlands

It´s full of Spring-feels now here in Germany, particularly here in Bavaria. Despite the “cold spell” and rains that we´re having right now, it didn´t stop me from getting myself busy gardening and rambling about our own “Fruhlingsfreude” .We have a little garden and this makes me feel excited . I can see more colors now , the Tulips and Daffodils are blooming and yes, it feels good to feel some sun again.

Speaking of garden inspiration, I kinda remembered this Delft Blue inspired Spring Garden I spotted inside the Keukenhof gardens in the Netherlands two years ago. Its white and blue inspired so I immediately fell in love with it. I think the idea was very original and of course, very-Dutch!

This Delft Blue inspired garden is full of colorful spring blooms and yes–a bit of Delft pottery, and images.On top of the list was these large crockpot-foliage with lots of crispy white Daffodils and Blue grape Hyacinths surrounded with draping Efeu (Common Ivy).What makes it so unique is that it is decorated with broken Delft Blue pottery.What a genius way of salvaging those precious pottery! I am calling it the Delft Blue giant Bouquet! This is the centerpiece in the garden and it sure made a statement!

Delft Blue inspired Spring garden in the Netherlands

Here in Germany, we have a traditional saying that “Scherben bringt Glück” or Broken Pieces bring Luck. I suddenly remember this when I saw this.This old saying applies for newlyweds where they bring old pottery, porcellain and ceramic pieces, old toilet bowls to smash and crack into pieces. They believe that the noise will drive away demons and bad spirits and protect the marriage. Glass in particular is forbidden to throw since glasses symbolize luck that cannot be destroyed or a Mirror, since a broken mirrow symbolizes seven years of bad luck.

Now this made me thought about the House of Mirrors I visited where a lady named Lydia decorated her whole House with broken Glass & Mirror shingles to cover up the mess made up by termites.Seemed like cultural beliefs are clashing.

Anyway, at least these beautiful blue and white Pottery were salvaged from being disposed. They made quite a nice mosaic that serves as a flower bed here.

Delft Blue inspired spring garden in the Netherlands.

I would definitely go for this inspiration. Blue and white are both very calming colors and it fits perfectly to us here just like our White and blue Bavarian Easter Eggs.

Delft Blue inspired Spring Garden in the Netherlands

I have a few blue and white pots and ceramics which I got from our frequent visits in the Netherlands and now I appreciate it even more looking at this Flower bed with different Delft portraits of the famous scenic spots like the Kinderdyk, Windmills and the Dutch Gable Houses .This made me put Delft to put into our places to visit once traveling is okay again.I can´t wait to visit this place soon!

And what to do with old Delft Blue plates?

In the pond they put together all these plates , creating an artistic Lotus plates.This garden looks even more and more fascinating.

Delft Blue inspired Spring Garden in the Netherlands

Of course it won´t be complete without the famous “Dutch couple kissing”!

Delft Blue inspired Spring garden in the Netherlands

To complete the Dutch theme, of course the traditional wooden clogs is reusable as well as pots.

What do you think of Ceramic inspired Spring Garden?

Do you also believe that broken pieces bring Luck?

Until then, Happy Spring and Tchüss!

All for the love of Turquoise Cannons

The Face of a War Cannon

Let me take you to another fascinating nook in my neighborhood.This place is special because it´s where 17 Torqouise war cannons are displayed. They can be found in the front yard of the Bayerische Armee Museum.Museums are still closed up to now over here so we can only visit the grounds.The Bavarian Army Museum is beside the Neues Schloss or the New Castle.

The castle grounds is in spring mood. Cherry blossoms are blooming and the view is quite picturesque. The grounds are filled with yellow and white Narzissen and surrounded with birds chirping about .Picturesque enough that it deserves a photo.

View of the New Castle in Springtime, Cherry Blossoms and bird-chirping weather

My daughter is a history buff at the age of 6. She loves to read World History, and everything about important events in the history in Germany and of the world, including wars and other significant events. Believe me, if you asked her about famous presidents of the USA; she will elaborate it to you. I am embarassed when she asked me when was Abraham Lincoln born and why he died.

Who was the first elected, the youngest, the oldest and of course, how and why did they died.I wished I have her memory…I really do.

Normally when we walks, she talked a lot. She just can´t stop talking.She loves to stop for a while and read signages, especially writings about famous person, buildings and places. Even the roman numerals she wanted to decipher. Then we came across the billboard near the castle where it says ” Formen des Krieges” ( Forms of War) and then she asked if we can take a look at the grounds because she wanted to check if the cannons are still complete. She knows how to count, actually she´s very good in it so she can never missed it.

So we began another explorations of the Turquoise Cannons. Her favourite color is Turquoise so I promised to her that I called them Turquoise War Cannons.

Then I wonder why the cannons have faces of Lions,not really like a beast but somehow one looks more like a dog, wailing and waiting to be fed.With heraldic Lion´s head, it´s no wonder. They symbolized the power and strength of this animal. It´s also used in many sculptures around here as well in the Bavarian flag.

Actually this is one of the first places I´ve visited since we´ve moved here and I am always fascinated with it.From all of the relics of war that I usually see in Museum, especially war canons and weapons, they looked dull, black as granite, and cold.

Why would you even engrave something so intricate when you would only load large iron balls in it and shoot to destroy enemies?

I mean, cannons are weapons of war and used for defense and attack. It´s a weapon to kill, not to display some kind of art.

But I think these ones are used for decorative purposes only.

In the time of Pandemic, the castle grounds is so quiet and empty. No people around except us. But then I still asking myself why would they made such cannons with Lions faces, and engraved them so intricately with animals, flowers and even faces of Kings (Kaizer) .I´ve seen quite a number of cannons in Kuwait when we visited the Failaka Island, the bottleneck of Gulf war and other museums in there, but nothing compares to these war cannons.

Friedrich von Gottes Gnaden ( Wilhelm IV von Preußen)

Good thing they are in Turquoise shade. If they would be in dull bronze color then they would be so boring.

Memories of war

Looking at these canons made me realize that war before is definitely ugly and bloody. A pair of these cannons are named “Scherer and Schererin ” weighs more than 9 tons! They are not to be joked upon. Imagine how large and expansive the War Defense Arsenal in those times.

My little girl fascinated with war canons in the Fortress Castle of Salzburg
Why war cannons are in best locations for optimum target.

Thank God war is over…and hope that cannons remains for touristic purposes only.

It´s a rainy, gray Monday over here, hoping on your side it´s sunnier.Tschüss!

Life in Colour / Pretty in Pink

Pink Coneflowers for sure can make your heart skip a beat

My wanderings are made better when I wear something pink as I go in my journey to find the Stumbling stones ( Stolpersteine) and Looking Down on Manholes Project.

Life can be grey sometimes, but whenever I see Pink, it´s a reason to smile.With pink blooms in Spring and summertime, who can´t resist to admire them…?

There is a so-called Pink truck in Kuwait which I spotted parked in front of Freej Swalieh, Salmiya
Purple Hibiscus are normal here, but in the Tropics, it´s always prettier in Pink

After all, Pink is the sweet side of red.

This post is inspired by HeyJude´s Life in Colour ; Pink.

Playing with a View in Wildpark Ferleiten, Austria

I would always prefer a playground like this, with a view and lush green nature

Yes, I am a parent as well so sometimes, I´ll post about children and parenthood .Playgrounds are a big thing here in Germany.So grateful that we lived in a city where child-friendly spaces are limitless and abundant. But sometimes, as we explore other places, we got lucky as well!

I think playgrounds grows with your child and it´s a vital place for any childhood.Around 500 meters away from where we lived we find a new rows of Kindergarten and Krippe ( Daycare center for small children) and they are building another playground.One small talk over breakfast made me realized that way back in Kuwait, there is a fast food center for every 1 kilometer radius.Name it, a Shawarma, Döner-Kebab stall, Mcdonalds, Pizza Hut, Burger King and not to mention those Arabic Bakalas where they sell local snacks and drinks.

Compared here, there is a playground or Spielplatz every 1 kilometer radius!

Looking for playground is always on our top to do list whenever we are out. I must say that here in Germany, it feel like I am commiting a big sin if I don´t take out my child into a playground. Regardless of the weather, we should head out.There was a time when playgrounds were banned and restricted due to Covid, it´s terrible. Thankfully, we are able to enjoy outdoors now at least.

Going to a playground is an automatic navigator, and in the end, a powerful stress reliever , just like I kknew that it would be a nice day if I had a run in the morning. For parents like me, you know exactly what I mean. Part of our daily walks in time of pandemic is a pit stop in a playground and it would surely make everyone smile.

When we visited Austria the last time, we find this amazing place, Wildpark Ferleiten , a wild park with a petting zoo, a very large playground, trampolines, Go Karts, water play areas and a lot more. Of course there´s a restaurant and a Biergarten as well. It´s located just at the foot base of the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse .

Photos are not enough but my daughter had a blast here, so did we. The weather was perfect and it was not too crowded when we came. Back in those days, no Covid yet so I guess we are worry-free. Made me think if I would be able to feel the same after Covid lockdowns and travel restrictions…

Testing the waters…
Adventure, fun and a bunch of wild children
The joy of exploring new places, balance and sense of independence
Nationalpark Hohetauern and the world of Fishes.Here it houses an interactive Museum about Water, living things in it and many forms. It was a very enjoyable experience and fun to learn.

There´s a part of this park that has a direct view of a cascading waterfalls in the middle of a lush forest. It looks so peaceful and yet, the only sound you hear are the screaming joy of children. The petting zoo was properly layed out and following the trail is actually exciting even for adults.

From time to time, I am reminded that here I first saw a real Edelweiß, the national flower of Austria.

Edelweiß-Leontopolium Nivale
Hochgebirgstauseen Kaprun
Krimmler Waterfalls

“It is a happy talent, to know how to play…” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

What could be a dream playground for you?

Until then, Tschüss!

A dreamy tipsy walk in the Vineyards

Panoramic views in the vineyards in Mosel Valley

I´ve seen it all often in movies and it still reminds me of romantic settings. Acres of Vineyards, beautiful, serene landscape, lush valley and quaint neighborhood, sunkissed grapes, people hold hand in hand and walking through the 8 ft wooden stakes grape vines, and savouring one of the best joys of life.

Nature and wine goes hand in hand, as always.

Panoramic views in the Mosel Valley

These views are glued into my mind, ever, especially the beautiy of the Mosel River flowing gracefully. I always loved to reminisce fond memories. This one in particular was when we visited the vineyards in the Mosel Valley. We explored Trier and Bernkastel-Kues as well. I loved walking through the long, colorful and narrow streets lined with quaint timbered houses.But walking through the vineyards is another experience.

This one in particular was in the area of OzannMonzel where we drived up to the ruins of a castle and we took a walk through the acres and acres vineyards. I was totally in loved of the sight of grapes, bunches of them. We visited around August, late summer time so they are still in course of ripening up before they are ready for harvest in Fall.Everywhere I see says “Weingut” or Winery.

Germany has best of both worlds, having best beers and also world renowned types of Wines. As I walked into the supermarket, I see that you can already have a good white dry wine for 5 Euros! While in other countries, wines can be brutally expensive and only people with money buy them and reserved for special occasions. Over here, you can never go wrong if you visited another household nd carry a good bottle of wine.

Growing on the rich Devonian soil which stores sunlight and minerals.

Visiting Mosel won´t be complete without wine tasting and glimpse of a Winery.We actually stayed in a Ferienwohnung ( Vacation house) which is being run by a family with winery business.At the moment we arrived, we ´ve got to taste their own selection of Riesling wines that I particularly loved. Personally, I am not a drinker, only on occasions. But I love a good glass of white wine.

When it comes to wines, the ones in the Mosel area are the ” Riesling specialists”! given its location, most vineyards are on a very steep locations.Today half of the vineyards are on steep and terraced sites with a slope of over 30 degrees, some planted at an astounding 70-degree gradient. Given this location, nearly all grapes have to be picked by hand. That includes tying each vine to its own eight-foot wooden stake, and carrying up the slate soil that has washed down with the winter rains. Very labour-intensive and a true sign of dedication to cultivating unique wines

Panoramic views of the Mosel River

Besides Riesling, other grape varieties were cultivated here.Today about 5,000 vintners cultivate roughly 9,000 hectares of vineyards, making the Mosel the 5th largest of Germany´s 13 wine producing areas.

I am grateful enough that besides a beautiful travel destination, culinary and winery offers it´s best in this region.Of course, wine tasting is excellent and you should never miss it!

Rivaner (Müller-Thurgau) is the second most important grape variety that is being cultivated here and Elbling, an old grape variety on the Upper Mosel, may have been cultivated here for 2,000 years. Fresh, fruity and uncomplicated dry and sparkling wines are made from it.

Grapes, Grapes and more grapes everywhere!

Grapes grow almost everywhere!

I have never seen an area without a climbing grape plant, even near the church and cemeteries there are grapes, really incredible!The old town was so quiet and we don´t mind it because we never liked crowds either.After a walk in the vineyards we´ve got to visit some nearby sights in Bernkastel Kues and the beautiful Burg Eltz castle.

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Walking through the vineyards made me laugh because I remember the movie ” Wine Country” directed by Amy Poehler.It was a comedy film with Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch and Maya Rudolph.It´s a hilarious film narrating stories about these women and their friendship and of course their sugar- coated lives which were about to be revealed during their get together  group trip. There were lots and lots of crazy funny scenes but there were also stunning views of the vineyards of Napa Valley. 

Hopefully we can visit once again soon once Corona is gone….

Yes, sometimes in life, all you need is a good glass of wine, friends and a good time!

Do you have a particular taste in Wine?

Prost…and Tschüss.