A centuries old tradition in Germany, Austria and ex-German territories (such Alsace, France) is decorating the branches of trees and bushes with eggs for Easter. They call them the “Easter Egg Tree”. We’ve seen many of these in Hungary, too, and of course, we will be missing the plate of sliced cakes which Maria, our Hungarian neighbour, traditionally offers us every Easter Sunday morning. Oh well, it’s great to experience how Easter is celebrated in different places in Europe.
Happy Easter everyone!
04 February 2016
(from the front garden)
The sign of Spring is here, finally, and one of the first few flowers to come out is the crocus. Not only that they give a wonderful patch of colours in the garden (they come in white, orange, purple, yellow, dark blue…), their filaments are the saffron used in cooking paella.
05 February 2016
It’s TGIF and we are here, at 7:30pm, in search of a takeaway meal for dinner. Am bingeing on beef gyros but couldn’t find where they sell it. After much searching – and photographing ancient buildings on the way – we later found a fastfood shop selling Lebanese finger foods. So mouth-watering!
06 February 2016
We went back to Gengenbach today to buy the pair of flip-flops I saw last time we were here. Thought the Jester Festival was all finished last January but to our surprise, the town was still heaving with costumed characters like these four “witches” we met infront of the shoe shop. After exchanging hellos in four languages (yes, the one infront talks French, English, German and a fourth one I couldn’t remember), they graced us with a family photo. Their masks is in wood, by the way.
07 February 2016
Forest walk along the Rhine
A clear, bright day for Sunday walking so we pushed ourselves to keep advancing till the very end of the peninsula and voila, this is what we found. A bee farm with several dozen honey bee boxes painted in delicious colours. Nobody was there and it’s not even fenced around so I had the chance to get closer to take photos.
12 February 2016
Two days to Valentine, I took the 25-minute train ride to Strasbourg to go on a valentine window shopping. I love taking photos of Valentine window displays and the city has so much to offer for my wandering eyes (and camera lens). To wrap up my (photoscouting) day, I bought a pair of Villeroy & Boch coffee mugs as Valentine offering for both H and myself. Some items are on sale and I’ve always dreamed of owning a V & B so this is my chance! A dream come true which is not too hard on the wallet. Happy Valentine!
13 February 2016
This pergola stands on a mound discovered as a prehistoric grave in the late 19th century. The spot now called Goethehügel is named after Goethe who, in the 18th century, used to hang around here with his lady love, Frederique Brion, a daughter of Sessenheim. It is not far from Goethe’s Memorial also built in memory of the German writer.
21 February 2016
Today we discovered another French town along the Rhine which is great for walking Charlie. We noticed a car ferry terminal on the area which could take us to the German side. The crossing takes probably a mere two-minute as you can see the width of the river is quite narrow. Unfortunately, the ferry is closed for the winter and will start operating only in April. We are stuck. We were looking forward to getting into the Fatherland to spend the rest of our Sunday but, to our dismay, had no choice but to drive several kilometers back to Roppenheim or Gambshein in search for a proper bridge.
We didn’t go to Germany in the end. Too late to go on. Shame.
22 February 2016
Cherry Blossoms Park, our town
This is a postcard beauty of our town church as seen from the park where we take Charlie for walks.
24 February 2016
The beauty of walking Charlie 2-3 times a day in our sleepy town in the country is this vast opportunity to commune with the natural world. We have the forest, the park, flowers, birds, squirrels, deers, horses and many more. Each time we come face to face with these living creatures, it seems to spark our creativity making us more productive, and happier, each day.
25 February 2016
A bouquet of flowers. This corner of our front garden is so divine to look at each time. As Debasish Mridha quoted: “Flowers are the smile of nature and the mirror of our soul.”
26 February 2016
TGIF. hurray! Friday evenings, when H arrives from work, are getting to be our most awaited moment. It’s even more exciting than Saturday and Sunday combined. It’s the mind telling us, “Hey, you have two days off ahead of you so go celebrate!”. Because when Saturday comes, you have only one day left. Sunday, few hours left. See what I mean? And one last thing, it’s always an opportunity to go on a take away gastronomic experience. Each TGIF is a different food trip. Lebanese last time. Turkish gyros tonight. Next is Italian (Pizza), then Chinese (Peking duck). I could go on and on….
27 February 2016
Sasbachwalden, Black Forest
Nice antique bric a brac shop in Sasbachwalden but it’s closed Sundays. I can see a nutcracker on display, a gadget we’ve been desperately wanting to buy as we have a sack of walnuts brought all the way from Hungary and can’t wait cracking some.
28 February 2016
This squirrel lives up a tree in the cherry blossoms park and everytime I see it leaping about, I can’t seem to get my hands steady enough to take a sharper image of it, hence I made this watercolour layering in Photoshop hoping to come up with a more squirrelly image. Not bad.
A Holy Thursday reflection featuring a photo of a 17th century painting of the Last Supper I took from Saint Nicholas Church in Brussels, Belgium.
Not only that it is the capital of Europe for being the seat of the European Union , it also prides itself as the capital of Comics. Not that there is a correlation between European policymakers and comic characters, but if you have been a fan of Tintin when you were a little boy (or girl), did you know that Belgium is the birthplace of your heroic reporter who was always trying to save the world?
Aside from Tintin, we can also count many generations of comic strip heroes that originated in Belgium and that’s why the country, particularly its capital, Brussels, is very proud of them that they made them visible to every passing locals and tourists.
Come, join me on a trip to the Comic Strip route of Brussels.
Adventures of Tintin
Adventures of Nero
L’Ange De Engel
Broussaile and Catherine
Victor Sackville and a friend
Blondin and Cirage’s Life Scene
And of course, our hero – Tintin and his dog, Spirou
Even the locals have developed a comical-mind attitude.