Friendly Friday : Electric

It’s Friday once again and I can’t almost smell the weekend. Here in Germany it’s Dirndl and Lederhosen time because Oktoberfest opens this weekend! Who’s coming?!

The mood for Friendly Friday Photo Challenge calls for Electric and here’s some photos I wanna share to interpret this mood.

Have you ever been “electrified” by cool Graffiti Artworks?

I am always fan of Art, in all forms. I love painting in different mediums but not tried Spray. I think this technique requires great talent, control and electric motivation.I find Graffiti artwork very moving. It has a silent message, a radical expression I must add. It requires a lot of attention because our senses are easy to deviate from its message. Some call it only a fuzzy mess, some says it’s vandalism.

Some says it’s an aggressive way of expression. What do you think?

But then, it can move you. It catches your attention and maybe, maybe out of the blue, it can be “electrifying”.

Do you like Graffiti Art?

But I am never fan of an piss-off electric attitude.

I piss the wall {East Side Gallery, Berlin, 2019}

And yes, sometimes, it pays to have an electric attitude.

I used to wear electric shoes in Kuwait to combat sandstorms!
(Desert area, Kuwait)

Happy Friday everyone!

Cruising through two rivers, from Kelheim to Weltenburg

Oh hello September and Servus from Bavaria!

Yesterday was the first day of school here in Bavaria, for most parents like me, it’s one of the times we anticipate. We can’t afford a vacation of more than 6 weeks so we’ve survived the “Urlaubzeit” (or summer break) by doing “small vacations“. Budget wise and travel-wise, it’s all our deal to keep the little one busy and for us to keep the day going keeping with our day jobs!

We’ve been to the Hops fields which get us up close and personal about the raw material of German beers, One of the most memorable thing we’ve done was cruising into two rivers in one day without breaking our budget!And yes, toddlers enjoy boat trips as well!

But first, what do you think of the view below?

Bavaria, you are beautiful!
One of the best kept hidden beauty in Bavaria– cruising in two rivers from Kelheim to Weltenburg and ogling the Danube Gorge.

Yes, we sailed by boat through this Gorge! On the heat of summer , we discovered another nature adventure, and yes, we didn’t need to travel so far. Just approx. 1 hour max. (55 kms) drive from Ingolstadt, we head towards to the tranquil city of Kelheim. Kelheim is another beautiful town here in Bavaria which is known for its Kings, Celtics and Dukes and the relaxing boat trips along rivers of Bavaria. Thank God for the Dutch husband that discover this excursion trip, if not for him, I wouldn’t be able to see the hidden beauty of the Danube Gorge! Kelheim is also famous for its natural attractions because of its nature reserves, adventure hiking trails, cycling adventures, and the city’s cultural heritage. It lies within the proximity of the Danube river and so close to the Naturpark Altmühltal. Together with my parents in law and my ever active 5 year old story teller, we got our Tickets and boarded our boat ( MS Ludwig the Kelheimer ), that’s going to sail us through two rivers — the Danube and the Altmühl!

We decided to take the ship and explore the Danube Gorges up to the Monastery of Weltenburg but the weather kept on bothering me. But then we stick to our plan and off we go. In the middle of the trip, we were greeted by fleets of heavy delusions of rain that we almost cringed and wanted to go back home! How on earth can we have a boat trip in this rain? But then we continue driving. Tell you frankly, this trip reminds me so much of the boat trip we made when we are in Regensburg where we made an excursion up to the Walhalla, or the German Parthenon!

For those of you who doesn’t know, Southern Germany is famous because, it is Bavaria, the only Bavaria, the beautiful region in southern Germany where Castles and dreams go together so good. Plus, we have King Ludwig. When he is on his rule, he kept himself busy building his dream castles. He is really a one of a kind.The king of sky- is- the limit , and has extraordinary imagination and lover of great architecture. In Bavaria, he built so many beautiful Castles, Halls and gigantic monumental structures that made Bavaria a tourist magnet as it is now.One thing, he likes to build either on a high hill, on top of a mountain. It’s always like we need to climb, hike, travel by boat or with a Bergbahn or just walk, in order to reach his memorable hideaways!

Schiffahrt Kelheim and Personen Schiffahrt im Donau & Altmühltal are some of the companies who runs the boat trips and departs from the dock of Kelheim on a close schedule, daily ( Summer schedule, from May to October).For the updated boat trip schedules, do check their detailed Fahrplan in their website. Their prices is pretty decent and affordable. For this Summer vacation, they even have discounts for students and if you’ve got a grade of 1, then you can even have a trip for Free! If you’re interested about this, you can check the full information Here. Our ship was pretty full. Aside from the normal group of tourists and elderly people, I noticed that in our ship that its full of cyclists with their bikes, mountaineers, and families with small children. It’s really an adventure trip for all ages! A trip to Kelheim offers cruising the Danube narrows , trekking , rock climbing, canoeing, paddle boat rides , swimming and exploring the nature reserves and cycling with a view until your Adrenalin drops! Your pets are even welcome on board!

The weather was a bit gloomy but still we have fantastic views from Kelheim and the Liberation Hall located on Michelsberg. It was built between 1842 and 1863 by order of King Ludwig I of Bavaria to commemorate the Wars of Liberation from Napoleon, above all the Battle of Nations in Leipzig.
The extraordinary mosaic of cliffs exposed to the summer heat, shady forests, tranquil abandoned river channels, and the cool stream of the River Danube provides habitats for numerous plants and animals. This place really deserves to be declared as one of the oldest nature reserves in Bavaria. Definitely a natural heritage of European significance.
The Danube Gorge –here the river is only 80m wide. but depending on the water level, it can reached up to 20m deep. It is the narrowest and deepest part of the Bavarian Danube.The flow velocity is at mean water level of about 2.5 m per second.

The bee-Hive or hollow stone–Here we saw that the lower part of the rocks are almost white, it shows the height of the “Flood of the Century”at Whitsuntide 1999.At that time, the water level was about 5 meters higher at mean water level.
The spectacular Rock formations in the Danube Gorge that evolved from Jurassic period.This nature reserved was declared since 1978 and one of the most beautiful Geotopes in Bavaria.
A beautiful baroque pit-stop !
On sight is the oldest Benedictine Abbey in Bavaria—the Monastery of Weltenburg which was founded in 620 A.D. The Abbey church was built between 1716 and 1751 by the Asam Brothers and its famous for its great Baroque decor!

The Weltenburg Barock Dunkel is a dark bottom fermented beer specialty is being served in Weltenburg for generations.Where else can you see a Brewery, restaurant, Biergarten in a Monastery in front of a benedictine church?— Only here in Weltenburg!.. and yes–Only in Germany!

Fascination for the Little Wanderer!
One of the best discoveries we had in Weltenburg and Danube Gorges was the “Wipfelsfurt” .This circular basin with a diameter of 150m was created about 15 million years ago when a meteorite hit the ground and formed a crater. Wipfelfurt is the shallowest part of the Danube between Ingolstadt and Regensburg.
Enjoying a late sunshine on board !
Tourists and visitors enjoy a beautiful backdrop of the Danube and the rock wall formations .
Besucherzentrum in Kloster Weltenburg
In the deciduous forests, which are near naturally cultivated, some fascinating birds can be found like the Woodpecker and Stock Dove. This museum is situated in front of the restaurant and in here visitors can learn more about the history of the Monastry, the Danube nature reserve and the construction of the Asam church.

It was quite an enjoyable smooth boat ride with only occasional showers and soft winds.Inside the boat is a restaurant which also serves different refreshments and dishes so you won’t really worry about being hungry on board. There is an audio guide Tour on run so we are informed on every significant details of the boat tour. Right on time, we made it to the Monastery of Weltenburg after 45 mins. and we hopped off from the ship to explore the oldest Benedictine Abbey in Bavaria. This monastery was built by the Asam Brothers who are famous with their Baroque masterpieces. I’ve seen quite some of their works in Asamkirche here in Ingolstadt and the Asam church in Munich. If you love Baroque, then you must really see this church

It’s almost lunchtime when we arrived in the monastery and just in time for us to grab some bite at the Weltenburger Wirthaus-Bladl. We are in Bavaria so even after a boat trip, we sit ourselves in front of the Asam church which is adjacent to the restaurant. What’s so special about this restaurant? It is actually the oldest brewery in a Monastery, and famous for its dark beer. Here you can enjoy the famous Kloster dunkel bier ( dark beer) and Bavarian traditional dishes such as the Weiss wurst (white sausage eaten with sweet mustard), Klosterwurst, Klosterkäse ( Cheese), and their Klosterkaffee.

Big discoveries for Little Wanderers!
Making a pose at the oldest Monastery Brewery in the World. The oldest Benedictine Abbey here in Bavaria was founded by the monks of St. Columbanus. It is situated near the entrance to the scenic Danube gorge, on the northern slopes of the Arzberg mountain, near the site of the ancient Celtic settlement of Artobriga. .
We leave nothing but footprints, but we took along giant bags of memories, wonderful photos, and worthwhile experience.

What kind of family adventure have you’ve done lately?

If you’re in the vicinity of Regensburg, you can combine this nature adventure trip with a boat trip along the Danube, and to its neighboring town of Riedenburg where you can see the largest Crystal group, or if you are in the mood to discover some amazing Art while drinking Beer, then you can head on to Abensberg to see the Kuchlbauers Kunsthaus . You can also check more on Here.

Thank you for following my Blog and until then, see you again in my next family adventure! Tschüss!

Roadtrip into Bavarian’s Hops fields (Hallertauer Hopfenhimmel)

The green gold in Bavaria : the Hops, along with malt, water and yeast make up the world famous Bavarian Beer

Unplanned and totally spontaneous, today we droved along the Hop (or Hopfen in Deutsch ) fields in the quiet hilly town of Wolnzach, Bavaria. Wolnzach is the heart of Hop producing Hallertau region ( or Upper Bavaria) and is also a known “seal district “( Siegelbezirk). One of the great thing about living in Ingolstadt is that it’s so easy to do a day trip or excursions, plus the notable cycling tours in the vicinity. Within half an hour drive, ( around 35 kms) we reached Wolnzach where the green lush fields came in sight. It’s pretty amazing just to see them up close and personal. Totally reminds me of the grape vineyards in Moselle! Hop fields on hills are normal landscape scenery here in Southern Germany , especially in the Hallertau region (Holledau) 50 km north from Munich. I’ve seen these fields many times along Autobahn and I wished that I could see them close-up, and today my wish came true.

Hops – ” A Green Flower “
When growing hops, a minimum of 120 frost-free days are necessary for flower production. It is the green flower of the female hops plant that is a key ingredient in beer, and these flowers are called cones. Each cone is an inch or two long with papery green scales, and when mature the cones produce a yellow powder called lupulin. It is the lupulin that give hops their flavor .

The Hallertau region is the largest Hop- producing region in the world and they exist since 736!It’s no surprise why we have Oktoberfest and twice a year Beer festivals. There is no single occasion here that is not celebrated without Beer! Mind you, the beer culture here is so strong and has rooted itself as a cultural legacy. This is one of the first thing I embraced from the time we moved here. Did you know that aside from the home of Audi HQ, Ingolstadt is the birthplace of the Beer Purity Law. Now, seeing these endless Hops fields made me realize how on earth we were blessed to lived in a region were these “green golds” grew. I am not a drinker or beer enthusiast, but through time, I appreciate the value of this valued beverage like a noble Bavarian.

Where there is Hops, there is Beer!

Adventure of the Day : Grabbing a bunch of Hop flowers !
Hop is actually a flower, called Strobiles from the plant Humulus Lupulus.

Here in Germany, we only need Hops, malt, yeast and water to brew Beer.This is what the Reinheitsgebot 1516 ( Beer Purity Law ) is all about. I already mentioned many times in my Blog that beer here is considered as “Food”and not an alcoholic drink. Our trip was just in time for harvest, the Hops that we’ve seen are almost all ready for harvest!

We made a stop in the Deutsches Hopfenmuseum Wolnzach and learned more about Hops from its botanical background up to its main role in Beer brewery. Imagine, around 14,220 hectares (35,120 acres) of hops are grown in this region and harvested in mid-August. Being around with these gigantic vines is a great experience. The smell and fragrant of Hops is really something you need to experience personally. In Germany, the total hops-growing area amounts to 19,000 hectares and makes up a third of global production

Creative art from Hops : A wreath made of Hop flowers!
In the Museum where we visited ( Deutsches Hopfenmuseum Wolnzach) it costs 15 Euros !

One of the coolest thing you can find there is the Hop picking machine, where it is the biggest and most expensive agricultural machine of all times. The museum’s own “Iron Picker” was refurbished and is now ready again for special demonstrations. When we arrived, a group of American tourists also came. They were cycling and they were are all excited to know more about Hops and making photos! One says “the smell of Hops is really strange!” My daughter said it smells like pee! I also find it strong , no wonder it was once quoted as “wicked and pernicious weed“!

Mind you, cycling along the Hop yards is actually another adventure that I wished to do myself!

Did you know that Hops plant cannot be harvested on their first year after being planted? But after its initial phase, they can produce for the next 70 years! This is really a plant for decades! Another crazy fact that I’ve learned is that Hops flowers should only be female flower to be allowed to be brewed.

Because pollinated seeds are undesirable for brewing beer, only female plants are grown in hop fields, thus preventing pollination .But how would you know if the flower is female or male?!

Creative decorative wreath made of Hops
A worthwhile visit in the Hopfenmuseum in Wolnzach , Bavaria

If you’re looking for a different kind of adventure for families and all ages and you’re in the vicinity of Upper Bavaria, a visit to the Hop fields should be on your list. What’s best, you can end your road trip with a Prost!

Do you have a Bier Wanderlust? If you have more time to kill, check out my post about the artist Hundertwasser and the unique Kunsthaus in Abensberg and Kuchlbauer’s Bierwelt where you can also learn about Beer brewing in a magnificent Artistic backdrop!

Until then, Tschüss!

Beauty carved in centuries: Partnach Gorge (Partnachklamm) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Have you ever been into a Gorge ? ( or Klamm in Deutsch)

I’ve been spelunking 2,500 feet underground inside the caves in the Philippines and hiking through waterfalls but I have no idea what is a Gorge! I had to google it first when I was looking for something to see in GaPa. Personally, this is my very first encounter with this unique nature wonder . Luckily, this summer we were able to see the flaming mountains in Mittenwald and explored around again the Zugspitze area in GaPa or also known as Garmisch-Partenkirchen . GaPa is another beautiful Bavarian city that is well-known magnet for Ski enthusiasts and winter sports because of the Zugspitze (the highest peak in Germany 2,962 m). It’s only approx. 2.5 hours drive from Ingolstadt, Bavaria thru A9 and A95 and only an hour trip if you’ll be coming from Munich!

You know you are in Garmisch-Partenkirchen when you see these girls

Our summer this year were mostly into nature, mostly wandering in beautiful valleys and playing tourists! We grabbed the opportunity to do short trips because its Sommerferien here in South Germany ( Bavaria), my daughter had almost 3 weeks vacation ! Me and my husband divided our vacation days to stay with her while the Kindergarten is closed and in between the weeks, we both had vacation days from work. We’ve been trekking mountains, admiring glaciers and exploring the giant Alpine water reservoirs with my Little traveller , cruised into historical rivers and visited the oldest Monastery , following torquoise -blue lakes, soaking into the mighty waterfalls, and not but not the least–hiked through glorious Gorges- the Partnachklamm!

Visiting this gorge should be on your bucket list if you’re around Munich or southern Germany. The 5 Euros entrance fee is totally worth it. I’ll share with you some pictures I’ve took from our hike but I think photos don’t do justice when you see it personally. Now I understand why it is being visited by roughly 200,000 people every year!

Carved beauty through centuries : A glorious 702 meters beauty hidden in the hollows of the Reintal Valley and Zugspitze

First I did my research because I cannot really write about things I don’t know. So if you’re willing to learn something from Geography, here it is.

What is a GORGE exactly?

A gorge is a narrow steep valley formed millions dinosaur years ago and usually a powerful river flows and cut through the rocks and forms deep incisions. They’re like gaps in between mountain rocks! A walk inside a Gorge will leave you speechless and you will really cramped your neck looking up high and ogling through the narrow slits and limestone rocks! If you look closely at the rock textures, you would be amazed from the amount of beautiful changes it went through to be in its state now. They even found numerous fossils on the rocks so imagine the living things that thrived all through those centuries in this place. But just imagine the amount of water that gushed through these rocks!

View from the parking area of the Olympic Ski Stadium in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Partnachklamm is the most famous Gorge in Bavaria. It lies in the Reintal Valley in GaPa and strategically located near the Olympic Ski Stadium in Garmisch-Partenkirchen . This stadium is quite famous for Winter Olympics 1936 and this is where they held the Winter Olympics long time ago (yes, during the Nazi regime ) ! You can even see where Hitler stood to watch the games. The gorge is 702 metres long and, in places, over 80 metres deep. It was designated a natural monument in 1912.

I need to mention it here because this is actually the place where we managed to park. Going to the Partnachklamm from the Ski Stadium is reachable only by walking ( ON FOOT!) around 2 km for half an hour doable hiking. We actually enjoyed the scenery going to the Gorge, it was quite peaceful, and the sound of the waters is really relaxing. If you feel lazy or challenged, then you can also take the horse -drawn carriage for 5 Euros per person. We took this option on our way back to the car because it was raining and it would be a challenge for my parents-in-law to walk again and my daughter is already whining because she is tired.

It’s really a beautiful experience for all of us. So imagine my wonder when I’ve seen these massive walls of rocks with the massive thundering sound of water gush. It was deafening, intimidating, and overwhelmingly beautiful. I am appalled that beautiful things are always hidden and you really need to exert an effort to find them.

One thing, the water’s color is crazy beautiful! For almost an hour, all I can hear is its thundering gush. The showers and foaming vapors in rage and the color changes from clear to icy bluish then greenish and torquoise are really unforgettable! I have read that when rocks weathered down through times, the minerals from the rocks are dissolved and small pieces are released into the water causing color changes. Iron, manganese, and calcium carbonate from limestone rocks can cause the water to change colors.It is a long natural metamorphosis. I have observed this as well when we were in Kaprun in the Hochgebirgsstauseen and watching the Salzsach river in Salzburg.

Experiencing the Partnachklamm with my 5 year old is also very special as she is so bewildered by the stones and walking in darkness. The trail going to the Gorge is safe for all ages, properly marked and with guide railings. The only thing that I regret was I wore the wrong shoes! My poor white shoes was a total fail! I was not prepared with the right shoes but at least I have a waterproof jacket on because we were drenched by the showers and water splashes.

If you’re around GaPa, make sure you pass by to Partnachklamm and be amazed by this natural setting. Another adventure is to experience it in Winter where the frozen water formations is something different. Seeing the icy stalactites is also something on my list.It is a great family excursion to combine with other activities you can enjoy around the Zugspitze region. If you’re ambitious and in good shape, you can continue on for another eight or nine hours to the glacier near the top of the Zugspitze!

If you are interested on doing a hike through the Gorge, you can check it in Here for more details on opening times and prices. Other interesting places to combine with this activity can be found Here.

Now I can’t forget how I celebrated my birthday this year.What a threat indeed. Partnachklamm, you are beautiful!

How about you, what family adventures you’ve been doing lately?

Interested to explore all the Gorges in Bavaria? Check out this informative article Here, also what do you think of this piece of Art?

Thank you for dropping by, and see you next time in my next Expat adventure! Tschüss!

Sunflower fields, summer is not yet over!

Random shots I took from the beautiful sunflower fields last Saturday.

Nothing really beats more than more Flower power which reminds me so much of the Golden Rapeseeds , Fields of Gold , Summer fragile beauties, Dandelions secrets and the Showoff Starlet Forsythia .

But in the end, I would always love to go back to the most beautiful Spring garden in the World!

Anyway, summer is not yet over ,right?

Have a lovely week!

The Flaming mountains, dirty shoes and edelweiss flowers

Waking up in a room with a view like this.

As Goethe quoted “A picture book come alive “ is the the best way I can describe this little town in the Bavarian Alps. I had no idea what is this place all about and I was totally clueless. All I know is that we’re going somewhere near Garmisch-Partenkirchen . While on the road,the element of suprise was there for sure and as the days went by, I am just glad that we visited this place. We spent 4 days in Mittenwald and Garmisch-Partenkirchen area and there are bunch of things that really stayed in my memory.

Someone asked me “Why do you always go to the mountains?” I thought, why not?

For me, mountains are so special as beaches are gems in my life, they have such magic to them that nothing substitute. I think ,nature absorbs boredom and everything. It’s another world up there. I wrote here in my Blog how many times nature provides solitude and peace for me personally. I always love a great adventure but somehow I am always guilty that I am scared of heights and altitude. It really takes time to get used to all the deadly curves in the high Alpine roads and the crazy mountain culture. Maybe it is the fact that mountains are can be so dangerous or maybe it is because they make me feel so small, both figuratively and physically speaking.

I was even bewildered seeing myself that finally now I have proper mountain shoes! This is really what expat life does to me.

Tired feet and dirty mountain shoes

I felt that even if I don’t normally climb the mountains so to speak, the mountains really has a way to call you, its like wanderlust.

Beautiful small villages and towns with ornate walls are tucked in at the foot of the Alps

As a parent of an active toddler, we visited many playgrounds that are way up in the mountains and I really find that super exciting. The views pays it all plus the children really have unforgettable experience as well as eating in restaurants with the panoramic views of Glaciers and mountains covered with snow! I have this feeling that all my problems in my life dissolve when I am around them or that life slows down a bit . All that I can tell you is that after spending time surrounded by them, my views about everyday routines were changed. For me, its priceless just to drink my cup of coffee surrounded by these gigantic peaks. It’s pure luxury for me because I don’t have them everyday.

A charming find from the valleys

The mountain views we have from our balcony everyday and the richly ornamented houses especially in Mittenwald’s inner city (or Obermarkt) are really worth the effort. I really wonder if the people living there know how lucky they are.

View of the mountains from our balcony, not a bad birthday threat, right?

In Mittenwald, we rented an apartment with a direct view of the mountains (Karwendel) in our balcony. I think its definitely better than a penthouse view! It’s like having a giant wallpaper changing non- stop. I can’t forget how it looks in any time of the day. At one time covered with clouds, on a rainy day, dawn and dusk and one time with the full moon hovering over it! In the surrounding countryside, the scenery of the Wetterstein and Karwendel peaks constantly changes and one lovely afternoon, it looks like flaming and turns to burning orange! The feeling can be surreal that I can watch it nonstop.

Whenever I see these mountain peaks it directs me to a goal.I wanted to see and explore more but I always wondered how it is to be on top. I can still remember the time we are sitting on a cold winter day on New Year’s day in Fulpmes in Schlick 2000 where we have the snow capped mountain views for hours while I watched my daughter playing with all the skis. It’s becoming a habit now that we celebrate special occasions with mountain views! This summer, my five- year old daughter had her first walking stick when we trek up to view the Krimml Waterfalls where we reached up to 1,390 m (Bergerblick Platform) and wandering and playing through the Mooserboden at 1,200 meters. I think we are getting used to these altitudes more often. What is even fascinating is that mountains nowadays are not intimidating because of the high technology lifts that brings you up in minutes!

The mountains are calling and I must go…
Watching the clouds dissapear from the peaks is magical, like a time relapse!
The elusive mountain flower –the Edelweiss ( Leontopodium nivale)

It’s a surreal feeling when I finally got to see the Edelweiss flowers which are totally highly treasured and valued. The Edelweiss flower symbolizes the Alps and prefers rocky limestone places of about 1,800–3,000 metres (5,900–9,800 ft) altitude. Now I understand why its called the cliffhanger’s flower!

Don’t look at the whole mountain take it one piece at a time…This is something you will come to understand. You will learn to never give up; to know that the reward will be worth the work it takes .
Mountains that teach me to value the small luxuries in life. It taught me how to treasure a great jacket to protect me from cold winds and chill.
I’m sure, every mountain that I see now in my life taught me a lesson.

At the end of the day, its only the good things that we cherish that matters. Flaming mountains, dirty mountain shoes, loaded backpacks, 200+ photos in my camera and empty water bottles meant only one thing : FUN.

Until next time , Tchüss and Have a happy week!

All shiny and pretty in Kristallmuseum Riedenburg

A mountain of crystals in Riedenburg’s Kristallmuseum

Recently the little wanderer is into stones. She loves to collect stones, especially the shiny ones , or something with texture. We have a handful of collected stones at home and she is into crystals and gems nowadays that we want to feed her curiosity. She even have a name for them all. She said she dreamed of having stones from volcano! How are we going to have that! I think she got so fascinated as well by the sedimentary rocks we’ve seen in Stauseen in Austria and now, everywhere we go, we pick up a stone, in short; we are stone collectors!

Today, at around 8:30 a.m, the little wanderer is wide awake and wants to play outside so after everyone got refreshed and showered, we packed our cameras, backpacks and off we go on the road again.We had a great time last night in Metallica’s concert in Munich ( which she really entertained the crowd nearby to where we sits!) and today we want to do something relaxing, quiet, and not so stressful. Destination as decided by the Dutchman, so off we go to Riedenburg and visit the Kristallmuseum, which houses the biggest crystal groups and stone gems collection by far here in the region of Bavaria.

Watching the fountain at the entrance of the Kristallmuseum after trying to calm her after a tantrum.
Beautiful artwork in the walls which I am trying to decode the meaning…bringing my imagination to the fullest!
Gigantic multi facet stone, could be a nice home artdeco as well. But it would be hard to transport this one…

Riedenburg is around 40 kms away from Ingolstadt and we drove there for approximately 40 minutes because this time we took another road away from the Autobahn. The road was hilly and full of curvy edges overlooking the hills and green forests. The scenery and landscape around the countryside is so calm and we almost have the road to ourselves.One of the perks is a stop in the Sunflower fields which I really love. For me, summer is not complete without sunflowers!

A stop to the yellow fields of Sunflowers !!!

I haven’t finished writing my blog post about Kelheim where we took an adventure cruising along the Weltenburg narrows . In there, we took a boat and ogling through the Gorges and through the oldest Monastery of Weltenburg Abbey and what a surprise, we saw once again one of the ship gliding in the Altmühltal while we were there in Riedenburg. The museum is located along the banks of the Altmühltal river and the boats going to Kelheim on a boat tour.

These crystals are huge!

The Kristallmuseum is a private gallery museum situated in Bergkristallstrasse in Riedenburg. We arrived around lunchtime so the Restaurant Fasslwirtschaft is already packed with guests, visitors, bikers, cyclists and families with kids eagerly enjoying the relaxing saturday afternoon. There is a playground which immediately catches the attention of my daughter , a mini-gold area for the whole family, and the Kristall museum !This restaurant serves traditional Bayerish food and the ambiance is really good!

A good amount of fresh greens served in the Fasslwirtschaft Restaurant! Guten Apetit!

We first seated ourselves in one of their traditional barrel huts (or Fässern in German) and ordered lunch. The prices were decent and the food was excellent! We played some minigolf and then explored the Crystal museum.

In the Kristallmuseum, I saw a great collection of crystals , gems, precious stones, and so many pretty shiny things that I have never seen in my whole life. I love beautiful stones and handcrafted jewelry and here I’ve got to see and admire. Here you can see the Turmalin Collection from Madagascar with over 600 pieces in varieties. If you are fond of Horoscope, then this place have a special treat for your own Zodiac sign where you can press a button and the ceiling ( or the Sternhimmel) will illuminate for your preferred sign.The artistic side reminds me of the House of Mirrors I’ve seen in Kuwait.

The city of Crystals
Torquise beauty – Some fine creations you can buy in the Kristallmuseum souvenir shop

What’s so special also in this place is that they have the replica of the biggest Diamond and more than 300 gemstones and their stories. The 7.8 tons, 3 x 2 meters Crystal group is something that would really catch your attention. It was discovered in Arkansas, USA in 1981. It’s big, shiny, gigantic and really a complete wonder. The Scholz Family brought them to Riedenburg and built the foundation of the Kristallmuseum and since then, Riendenburg became their home. Nowadays, it is one of the top tourist attraction in this town.

A small part of the family of crystals!

I was asking myself how did this crystal grew this big? Now I need to do my research and feed my curiosity.

Anyway, if you are looking something family friendly destination around Ingolstadt and can be done in a halfday out of town, then this place is really something you can check out. It is open from March to middle October from 10 o’clock but they have a Ruhetag (closed) on Mondays! If you’d like to visit them on Winter, you can find the details in their Website Here.

What is your favorite gem stone?

Do you want to have an insight what is it inside the giant Swarovski headquarters or just be amazed of the creation of 800,000+ crystal clouds in Krystallwelten in Wattens!

How about you, have you discovered something interesting lately?

Until then and Tchüss!

Hiking through the Krimml Waterfalls in Salzburg

Krimml Waterfalls in Oberkrimml, Salzburg

“The principle of all things is water, 
as water is everything and to water everything returns”

Feel the power of water moves you!

Everyone expect something different whenever they go to a foreign place. Something unique, something extraordinary, out of the beaten path, or rather the one that is famous for. Others only found it unexpected, came out from getting lost and came out from the spot. For the adventure, thrill seeking individuals, their Adrenalin drives them to search for beautiful places. Most of them are away from the city, hidden paradises, and sparkling oases in the midst of forests and wilderness. Some looks for the greatest, tallest, or somewhat record-breaking. For us, we go in the mountains!

Getting up close and personal with the Krimml Waterfalls
Nature tripping plus getting healthy activity is always in!

Visit a Waterfall, and get healthy!

I find it really interesting that visiting a waterfall can actually do some good to your health. I have read it from the brochures and it really made me curious. My daughter is sensitive and have allergies. Her skin is very sensitive and she have some bronchial problems ( that is why I never liked Winter and cold!). Upon knowing this, I was excited to find out more about this facts, but also, I know, it takes energy to hike up!

 Walking through a vast, luscious green forests of Hohe Tauern National park and being active is really good. I thought for a minute that we are always surrounded by mountains, they are everywhere. The high peaks can be overwhelming! But have you ever wondered why the air smells so fresh near to waterfalls ? Here’s a food for thought :

Waterfalls spells NATURE. It’s like a giant humidifier. Everything about nature tells us about organic matter. Water and its power can be a spell binding topic but one thing about it, is that waterfalls has NEGATIVE IONS, a.k.a anions, which are negatively charged atoms, abundant in the fresh air close to moving water.In Krimml waterfalls, you will be actually bathing in water sprays. You’ll get drenched in minutes if you are not dressed up properly. I experienced it myself.

Studies shown that the benefits of fresh air and its abundance of negative ions are numerous includes reducing free radicals, revitalizes cell metabolism, enhances immune functioning, helps to purify the blood, balances the autonomic nervous system, promoting deep sleep + healthy digestion, promotes biochemical reactions that increases the levels of serotonin, alleviates depression and stress ( of course its FUN to hike through the waterfalls!) and lastly, it boost daytime energy! In short, a hike through the waterfalls is pure fun, healthy and adventure!So definitely, this activity is IN for us! Now its time to enjoy the fun part!

We are all ready and geared up for a hike through the waterfalls! My little wanderer had her very first own walking stick!

For me, my choices of activities were changed because our travels nowadays include a child, so everything should be kid-friendly. Our destinations are more family friendly and at least all the options for all the family members to enjoy. Looking for a playground to play and have a quick bite and break is almost our everyday itinerary. At one point, I was asking myself why would we want to go and hike up more than 4kms with a 5 year old to see this waterfalls?

What’s so special with it?

Well, I have seen many waterfalls in Philippines but I wanted to share with you why this experience is quite extraordinary.

The sound of the water is so powerful!

Be warned: you will be wet, drenched, but these showers will just fuel your adrenalin because you can never take your eyes off from the waterfalls again. You’ll just end up looking ans drooling over its beauty.

Nature teach us so many lessons in life. If we let it stays as it is, we can enjoy its pristine power .

One of the highlights of our short trip was visiting this place. We drove early to the picturesque little town of Oberkrimmler in Salzburg from the region of Pinzgau in Austria to avoid big crowds. It’s still summer vacation for us here in Germany so everyone is in vacation so we expect that there will be more tourists in this region. The drive to the foot of the waterfalls was quite short, about half an 25 mins from where we stayed in Kaprun. There we need to get to the Wasserwelten Krimml ( or Krimml Worlds of Water ) and parked in P4 level to get entry tickets to go up and hike through the waterfalls. We went on a sunny, fine day and we were already parked and settled at around 9:30 am. We’ve got the combi- ticket where at the end of the hike, we can be able to explore the Wasserwelten Krimml as well.My daughter was immediately overjoyed when she saw the climbing net in front of the ticket center.

Steinbock

The Krimml Waterfalls – biggest in Europe

Unparalled the biggest in Europe, with a height of 380 meters from the waterfalls’s drop, and 5.6m3 of water per second plummets into the valley on three stages. The waterfalls is situated perfectly with the vast greens and the National Park Hohe Tauern as our backdrop. You can even see the waterfalls from a far and it really looks like a giant pack of milk poured consistently in between rocks and greens. This waterfalls attracts 400,000 visitors per year and considered to be one of the top attractions in Salzburg in Austria. But the most interesting fact that I’ve discovered is that visiting a waterfall like this range has tremendous impact on your health. It is actually a healthy destination! Aside from the amount of trail and hike that you will do, you will definitely sweat and experience something not so ordinary.

Our little Mountain Hiker

If you visit the Wasserwelten Center, you will learn much of this waterfalls. The Krimml Ache is the source of the Krimml Waterfalls. It begins at the end of the Krimml Ache Valley and first gently flows through approx. 20 km of level Alpine ground, then becomes a thunderous glacial stream at the entrance to the valley before plunging down in the mighty stages of the Krimml Waterfalls.

Some nice little flowers I’ve spotted in the mountains

The catchment area of the Krimml Ache is 100.7 km2, approx. 12% of which is glaciated. The Krimml Ache is thus a typical glacial stream with an intensely changing water flow. Hence, for example, 30-40 times the February volumes flows in the months of June and July. As the meltwater takes 9-12 hours from the glacier snout to the waterfalls (=18 km), the daily maximum outflow is from 9 pm to midnight.

The Waterfall Trail

The trail itself going up to the peak is 4.15 km, with difference in altitude of 431 meters. It is quite a climb up to the peak but the great thing about this journey is that we have a shaded path. It is so exciting for all of us. This is actually my first waterfall experience here in Europe and my daughter got her first Trekking stick with an Edelweiss engraving. This trip is really for all ages and very good for families. I have seen families with small babies, on a body carrier, with strollers, and elderly peoples. I find it even funny to see everyone walking with a stick.In many stages of the climb, there are viewing points where you can actually feel the power of the water, hear its thunderous sound and feel its power. I cannot describe what I feel when I am so close with the waterfalls. I was also wondering if my camera will be okay because I was totally wet from the water sprays. On the first stage, there are big boulders of rocks and a good pair of shoes is really needed. We reach the lowest waterfall on foot in 10-15 minutes. From there the serpentine Waterfall Trail leads up to the uppermost waterfall (approx. 1.15 hours on foot) and further to the Krimml Ache Valley. It was quite a busy day and the crowds were staring to get thick.

View of the valley from above

For the different levels and stages, you can read more from Here. From the first stage, we were already overwhelmed by the sound of the waterfalls. Wet, drenched, excited and curious were the mixture of ourselves when we finally get up close and personal with the Krimml waterfalls!

I think I have takens hundreds of Photos from this waterfalls. But I found a great collection of “My Waterfalls“which is a collection of different images captured by visitors who have gone to see this place. It is great to see different perspectives of water power. It is really magical and quite an experience. Every nature escapade leads us to basic roots of happiness. I highly recommend this destination to enjoy with your families and kids. My daughter took her own photos and marvel at nature, collecting rocks, watching the waterfalls at different viewpoints and hike by herself. Okay there are many times as well that she complained of being tired and whine, but the key is to keep her motivated to reach the goal.For parents, don’t worry, there are various play areas where your child can enjoy playing and you also deserve for a short break.

More little flowers we spotted up during our hike

Enjoying a panoramic Lunch at Bergerblick

We made it up to the Bergerblick Platform at 1,390 m which also happened to have a very nice panoramic restaurant /Hut on top. It was just in time to have lunch and feel refreshed from hiking. Up there was numerous souvenir shops, restaurant and bathrooms.It was quite an achievement to have hike like this with a five year old. As I saw the faces of other parents in the restaurant, I can totally relate to how they feel. But it was also lot of fun!

More peaks to go !

Visiting the Wasserwelten Krimml

Additional plus points of this place was the Wasserwelten Krimml. It is a discovery center right at the side of the parking areas for visitors to learn more of the waterfalls. The best thing is that it is interactive. It has numerous water playing areas! Everything about water and its numerous forms and diversions. They have an outdoor play areas, all about water and the whole family can enjoy.I actually had a hard time controlling my toddler in this place because she wants to explore everything!

Almost at the top!

There is also the Waterfall centre  with underwater adventure world Aquaszenarium, is a view terrace with waterfall view, gastronomy, WasserWunderBar and shops with numerous souvenirs and delicacies from the region of Pinzgau. I got here some Murmeltier and Edelweiss soaps locally made.They also have a restaurant and clean bathrooms .

I find it interesting to check out the Haus des Wassers, or ( House of Water) which has various exhibition with exciting experiments, information on the Hohe Tauern Health initiative, WasserKino interactive cinema and Swarovski telescope for an accurate view of the Krimml Waterfalls. Going through the Aquapark outdoor area is free from the combi tickets and I am sure that you can spend here roughly an hour if you want to kill some more time.

Up close and personal with the powerful waters of Krimml Waterfalls

If you wanted to make memories with your children and love ones, i think this is a perfect place to visit.If you’re visiting near the areas of the Hohe Tauern, then this place is a must to visit. It takes time to go up, it might be a challenge but the view on top is really worth it.In the end, the higher you get up, the better the view!

Enjoying the view together!

Read more about the Krimml Waterfalls and be amazed of this wonderful jewel tucked in a well preserved forests!

Have you’ve ever been to a waterfalls? How are you guys spent your summer?

After visiting this waterfalls, then we are so ready to visit the famous Alpine Reservoirs in Kaprun! Stay tuned for more of our family friendly adventures, because summer is still not over!

Until then and Tchüss!

Summer fragile beauties in Germany

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need..”
{Marcus Tullius Cicero}

Goodbye Spring and Hello Summer!

My old little town here in Ingolstadt in southern Bavaria has a beautiful bed of mixed summer perennials or wild blooms spread all over the town. Germany is indeed a beautiful country but these little country details made me feel at home even more. I lived 5 minutes away from a lush walking forest and 10 minutes from Klenzepark. I think it’s such a new experience for me to see great nature instead of a bunch of cars parked outside or pile of garbage. Also cycling everyday made me appreciate my neighborhood and notice this details about flowering plants.Here, parks and gathering areas are normally decorated with real plants, not plastic.Aside from the fact that most Germans love gardening and plants, they are also crazy about buying cut flowers and bouquets! Everyday, most shops have fresh cut flowers and they are on a decent price. I am totally impressed that here, the outdoor landscape changes in every season and that they are taken cared of by the city gardeners. There are even wild spaces that is full of bright flowers that really looks amazing. I was even thinking how do they plant different varieties that the outcome is raw, and authentically beautiful.

For almost three years of living here, I’ve got already the trend when it comes to plants and flowers for every season. Summer perennials, or blooms are a reminder of the bright golden days ahead full of warm sunshine and colors. Flowers like Poppy, cornflowers, pansies,peonies, roses, zinias, and petunias etc. are blooming like crazy. They are so lovely to look at. I’ve always wanted to stop and gaze upon them. At home I know that summer is at my doorstep when my lavenders are in full swing. The proud stems full of blue violet flowers gives a fresher, brighter look in our place, its an enigma.

I was too busy for the past days that I haven’t had the chance to write about my own garden update and my first ever raised-garden ( or Hochbeet). I was even more thankful that my little “Roses corner“in our garden are now in full bloom to think that Spring is not even officially over! If you live in Germany, I think you know that Germans start to raid the shops for gardening stuff even before Spring arrives. Every balcony, patio, garden and every tiny window is transformed into a botanical garden. Germans love gardening, plants and yes–flowers! This is one of the reason why I am into plant propagation and planting my own herbs, flowering plants and cultivating my indoor pot garden. Through time, I have learned which plants to cultivate, which plant survives the frost and cold winter days and so on.When it comes to flowering plants, my crew is limited because most of them doesn’t survive the cold and I don’t have enough space to place them. I was thrilled this year that my Chrysanthemum survived winter last year and now continuously growing.

Are you also excited for Summer as I do?

I am thrilled when I looked up the weather forecast for the coming days and saw that warm days are coming, finaaaallly! The other day, I even went to work without a jacket! To tell you frankly, Summer has a brand new meaning for me here. Finally people sit outside and tan under the sun and having a drink for hours! Aside from so many constructions going on in the streets, people are cycling like crazy! What I mean is that here in South Germany, Beer culture is a real thing and is part of our daily grind, so sitting in Beer gardens is just as important as going to work. I am Asian and the hot weather was also so real , it’s a daily struggle to battle with humidity. I knew how it is to live in a “hot”city like Kuwait where temperatures reaches up to 48 degrees and the so called “spring and winter days flies so fast” and we don’t have summer blooms to admire, only palm trees! But here in Germany, summer signals for something else. Summer here for me means vacation, shorts, grilling and BBQ, sandals, garden, my plants are alive and blooming flowers!

So let me share with you my private gallery of my favorite summer fragile beauties.One of my pastime is to photograph nature, just like going to my favorite nearby lake. I’ve always said that you can never go wrong with nature. It’s one of my favorite subject. Last week during my free day, we went out to our local park and I’ve took some photos from Labyrinth garden and the Rose garden. I was just in awe of the simple beauties of the colorful blooms that looks so eager to welcome the warm sunny days . I called them fragile beauties because their beauty can be so dainty and fleeting like wonderful Tulips, too much heat and they also wither, and to think that summer days seems to be so short, they go so fast.

These bright violets flowers for the weary heart but do you know how the mystery behind the Cornflower?
I cannot simply stop staring at them. It might look violet or dark blue under the sun.
This one is a total eye-catcher with its fluffy petals and sunshine yellow pistils.
The wall of Roses
A walk to remember in the rose garden where history is written in the walls and the crawling roses are the storytellers.
They are warm reminder that good things comes to those who wait.

What about you, what do you love about summer personally? What is your favorite summer perennials?

If you are looking for ideas on how to spend your time nature tripping and wondering about the fragile summer flower beauties in Germany, these posts below might interests you. If you have time to kill then go check them out. This is going to be exciting because I’ll be posting and writing more for the upcoming “Landesgartenshau 2020 ” will will be held here in Ingolstadt and it’s all about plants, landscape, flowers, music, arts and everything exciting and last but not the least, I want to share with you 10 cool reasons why people over here go crazy about the Audi Sommerkonzert !

Until next time and thank you for reading !

Showoff Scarlet Forsythia

Fields of Gold, Rapeseeds in Bavaria

Bavarian Summer Flowers

Sunflower fields in Germany

Tschüss!