Category Archives: Daily Photos

Month in Photos: June 2016

01_IMG_6437b01 June 2016
Neighbourhood, Alsace, France

You reap what you sow.

02_plums
02 June 2016
Forest Park near home, Alsace, France

In March, I’ve mistaken those pink flowers  as cherry blossoms.

03_horsefoal03 June 2016
Horse Farm near home, Alsace, France

So lucky to see the beauty of nature just outside our doorstep.  Top photo: foal probably just 2 days old, bottom photo: about 5 days old

10_football10 June 2016
Bischwiller, France

As I wait for our TGIF pizza from this takeaway shop…..

12_turtle12 June 2016
Gengenbach, Germany

We’ve visited this park before and thought that these houses belong to the ducks.  Well, today, I actually saw the tenants.

14_magbox14 June 2016
Children’s playground near home, Alsace, France

Old telephone boxes converted into magazine racks for mothers while watching over their kids at play.

16_IMG_7390b16 June 2016
Home, Alsace, France
17_football17 June 2016
Alsace, France

The football season is also a season of flags and nationalism.

19_PaDay19 June 2016
Neighbourhood, Alsace, France

 

20_IMG_7695b20 June 2016
Home, Alsace, France

21_IMG_7759b21 June 2016
Neighbourhood, Alsace, France

Emoticon
It was 2 days before the EU Referendum in the UK and this photo I posted on Twitter under #DogsAgainstBrexit

22_IMG_776622 June 2016
Neighbourhood, Alsace, France

Three best friends

24_MG_785624 June 2016
Home Garden, Alsace, France

Charlie has a new friend
25_IMG_788125 June 2016
Mundolsheim, France

(Seen in the shopping complex in the next town).
One can learn the tango while shopping.

26_IMG_8295summer26 June 2016
Black Forest, along the German highway

Stopping for farm-grown strawberries and raspberries.

 

27_IMG_7689b27 June 2016
Neighbourhood, Alsace, France

On a rainy day, this man would hold an umbrella alongside  four dog leashes.

30_30 June 2016
Home, Alsace, France

Charlie:  “I’m going to miss this place but my heart doesn’t belong here.”

 

Month in Photos: May 2016

I create this monthly photojournal for myself so I get reminded of the places we’ve been to, a monthly summary of what we’ve done as well as the beautiful, the fascinating, the insolite, the weird and the strange things we’ve seen which I will always enjoy browsing years later.  And for my loyal readers, it’s also a way of discovering some traditions, art, culture, food and habits of the Europeans we meet from day-to-day.

Thanks for browsing.

01_IMG_4101b
01 May 2016
Offendorf, France

Driving into the neighbouring town of Offendorf, we noticed this handsome barge moored next to the bridge where all motorists entering the town would not fail to notice.  A sign next to it says “Musée de la Batellerie”.  This 85-year old boat was already condemned to the scrapyard when a group of veteran bargemen decided to save it and convert it into a museum.  A must-visit for those who want to discover the joys and stresses of life in the water, the everyday life on board, the evolution of techniques, the heartbreaking experience of bargemen of the past three centuries.

03_petals
03 May 2016
Walking Charlie

Humans can learn lessons from flowers, that even in their wilting moment they continue to be awesome in the form of these falling petals.

04_20160504_190057
04 May 2016
At home, Alsace, France

Charlie has to have his own dedicated settee, placed in a highly esteemed spot in the house.

05_maibaume
05 May 2016
Seebach, Germany

One of the wonderful traditions in Germany approaching 1st of May is the erection of the May Tree (Maibaum).  This tree or pole is decorated with colourful streamers, flowers and in some places with scenes showing local crafts or activities.

 

mummelsee
05 May 2016
Mummelsee, Germany

Incredible but we did it! We have just climbed the highest mountain in the Black Forest. We started in Seebach (700m) and scaled the 600 meter altitude in 2 1/2 hours. Slow, because the forest walk itself is an experience to behold despite the hairpin bends so steep that we had to stop every now and then to catch our breath.

But in our hearts, reaching our end destination is an achievement that we will treasure forever because Mummelsee is not only a picture postcard beauty but also the most famous lake in the Black Forest. Now we understand why climbers are incessantly and passionately aiming for the highest peaks because the reward is always sweetest after the hardest struggle!

07_MG_4742b
07 May 2016
Ottenhofen, Germany

For the second time, we went searching for the Edelfrauengrab Waterfalls but we got lost again and ended up walking a steep route that caught us unprepared.  In short, the taxing uphill climb, the heat and the fact that we forgot to bring water  was making us dehydrated.  Oh well, if worse comes to worst, there’s always the fast flowing stream alongside us to jump on.  Luckily, we didn’t need to do that as we saw a sign to the Scnappsbrunen, hurray!

08_bbq
08 May 2016
At home, Alsance, France

Our first barbecue for the year,  but since there’s no barbecue equipment provided in our rented house, we had to buy our Nth roaster.  If we had to make an inventory, I believe the number would be more than half a dozen.  This is the bane of living a nomadic life.12_IMG_4940b
12 May 2016
At home, Alsace, France

Nothing much to photoreport today except this fascinating snail who found its way to our doorstep.

14_20160514_110732
14 May 2016
Freistatt, Germany

Saw these colourful eggs at Lidl, our favorite lowcost supermarket just at the German border.  The colours indicate that they have been boiled, ready to eat, perfect snack for people on the go.  Of course, if you are still pro-raw,  there’s always the classic whites on display.

14_AchernParkb
14 May 2016
Achern, Germany

We go to Achern for many reasons- to shop, to wander around, to have our traditional Saturday lunch at our favorite Chinese buffet restaurant, but today, we discovered another item to add on the list – this beautiful park.   The Germans are experts in creating nature parks!

15_waterfalls

15 May 2016
Oppenau, Germany

“If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.”

Yes, and we already did two attempts and each time we got lost. Well, today, we tried a third and final attempt and voila, we finally arrived at the waterfalls of our dreams!  So well worth the effort as this must be the most beautiful waterfalls we have seen since we started waterfall-hopping in the Black Forest.

 

16_washmc
16 May 2016
Haguenau, France

With so many ways to get rid of tired appliances in France, some people are either “without conscience” polluting the planet or  too lazy so as to go to the junkyard.  I remember the perfectly working upright freezer we found in Switzerland which we found “waiting at us” at a corner street with a sign saying “in perfect working condition”.   We’ve been using it for the last several months and intend to take it home with us to Hungary when our stay in Alsace is over.  In the meantime, I wonder what’s the future of this machine abandoned somewhere along the Haguenau river.

19_IMG_5722
19 May 2016
At home, Alsace, France

As a passionate digital scrapbook designer, I’m always open to artistic ideas, so when I saw this shower gel product in the supermarket, I instantly bought it for its artwork which I can get inspiration from.  The beauty of it is, it also smells terrific!

20_IMG_5778bX
20 May 2016
Home garden, Alsace, France

We always look forward to TGIFs.  Who doesn’t?

21_IMG_5814
21 May 2016
In the neighbourhood, Alsace, France

One of the symbols of Alsace is the white stork which is seen nesting atop electric poles like this.

22_IMG_5925
22 May 2016
Waldum, Germany

Another lovely hike at the staggeringly beautiful village of Waldum.

23_party
23 May 2016
In the neighbourhood, Alsace, France

The morning after a  neighbour’s night party.  With bits of sand scattered around, they must have had a beach party as a theme.
24_IMG_5720b
24 May 2016
At home, Alsace, France

Finally finished reading two books as of May this year.  I know it’s not a number worth bragging about but for someone who is busy multi-tasking and attending to several projects, I’m still proud of my achievement, ahaha!!

27_tick
27 May 2016
Forest walk, Germany

This might be too gross to your liking but let’s delve on Science for a moment.  I present to you a tick who has overimbibed itself on Charlie’s blood.  If I didn’t catch it in time, he might have exploded in situ.

28_Greffern
28 May 2016
French-German border

Today is just one of those Saturday mornings where we initially planned to take Charlie for a walk along the Rhine promenade and then we saw this ferry sailing to and fro between France and Germany.  “Come, let’s try it!” we heard ourselves saying and off we went.  We just love living in this area!

29_IMG_6291b
29 May 2016
Forest hike, Germany

Saw this poor chap dead on the forest floor.  Wonder how it happened.

30_IMG_6401b
30 May 2016
In the fiels near home, Alsace, France

Judge each day not by the Harvest you reap
But by the Seeds you plant.
(Robert Lewis Stevenson)

Month in Photos: April 2016

I create this monthly photojournal for myself so I get reminded of the places we’ve been to, a monthly summary of what we’ve done as well as the beautiful, the fascinating, the insolite, the weird and the strange things we’ve seen which I will always enjoy browsing years later.  And for my loyal readers, it’s also a way of discovering some traditions, art, culture, food and habits of the Europeans we meet from day-to-day.

Thanks for browsing.

01_bowls01 April 2016
Restaurant near home, Alsace, France

You’d think that those stack of bowls are meant for the sink.  No, they are part of the decor of this restaurant where we went for dinner.  Good idea, actually!
02_IMG_209402 April 2016
Baden-Baden, Germany

Driving along Baden-Baden road, we noticed the ad of this van ahead of us.   As if the silly image of the doctor checking the loo with his stethoscope is not enough, they have to highlight the word CHRIST, which could be the surname of the company owner.  And read this:  I tried looking at their website for more information and guess what?  I was welcomed by the sound of a flushing loo.   Gross, hahaha!

03_IMG_219603 April 2016
Rastatt, Germany

So impressed by this attempt of the local government of Rastatt to disguise ugly street structures (such as this telephone box) by covering them with Art.  They could have been drawn by kids which makes it even more splendid!

04_IMG_221904 April 2016
Neighbourhood,  Alsace, France

Among the emblems of Alsace which I see widely displayed are the images of stork,  grapes,  heart and cake mold (used for baking their favorite kougelhopf).  But to see cake molds, and I mean half a dozen of them, adorning the fence of a neighbour’s house, I thought it is just over the top!

05_IMG_160205 April 2016
Neighbourhood cemetery, Alsace, France

A glass-encrusted gravestone.  He/she must have been a diamond collector or simply, once a lover of the good things in life.06_horse06 April 2016
Neighbourhood, Alsace, France

Very Alsatian  and very German (parts of Alsace used to be part of Germany), metal signs deck many facades of  shops and establishments, even houses such as in the photo above.  They often display images relating to the business,  e.g.  stork if the hotel’s name is Stork Hotel.   It started in medieval times when most people didn’t know how to read so the image helps them to identify a place or its purpose, e.g. pair of scissors for a hairdresser.

The house above is neither a shop nor an establishment so the horse sign is probably just a decoration.

07_waiting
07 April 2016
At home,  Alsace, France

At the strike of 7pm every  working day, Charlie would look out of the window waiting for Papa to arrive.   As soon as he sees the car and Papa opens the gate, he would go berserk jumping towards the door, demanding that I open it for him, and when I do,  he would go galloping like a horse, licking Papa from head to foot, including his bag as if asking, “Where’s my pasalubong (goodies)?”

08_IMG_2221
08 April 2016
Home garden, Alsace, France

My favorite Spring flower is coming out – the tulips, yey!

09_IMG_2474
09 April 2016
Baiersbronn, Black Forest Germany

Easter Sunday is over but Easter eggs are still left hanging on trees which is great as it brings colour to an otherwise grey and leafless Winter.

10_IMG_2581
10 April 2016
Freistatt, Germany (near the French border)

There’s no stopping Spring!  The signs are there!

11_rapeseed
11 April 2016
Alsace, France

In the middle of the vast agricultural fields near home is a track road where joggers, cyclists, dog-walkers and trickle of cars go through each day.  We’ve walked Charlie along that road few times but  could only go as far as it gives the impression of unending emptiness.    Today, H is determined to find out what lies at the end of the road so we hopped into the van  and drove farther and farther.

There was nothing there except fields that seems to go on forever, and then this spectacular sight of yellow rapeseed field appeared before us.  That made our day!

12_mustik
12 April 2016
Neighbourhood park,  Alsace, France

Finally, the signs are up in the forest park where we walk Charlie everyday.  Of all the many descriptions written in them such as why a dead tree is left to rot in the forest, or the type of deers roaming around, or the name of a tree and how old it is, that sign above is what I dread the most.  Who needs mosquitoes anyway?  (I know you will say it’s what frogs and lizards feed from, but surely, there are other insects they could eat…)

13_weathervane
13 April 2016
Road to Achern, Black Forest, Germany

This tiny hut along the motorway to Achern is so cute but what is that written on its roof?  Curious,  I looked it up on the net and found that it’s a German weathervane manufacturing company.  Here are samples of its products taken from their website.

weathervane

 

14_stickywillyvelcro
14 April  2016
Neighbourhood park, Alsace, France

Could this be the weed that paved the way for the invention of the  Velcro?  Find the whole story  here: http://www.livescience.com/34572-velcro.html

15_Pedunculateoak
15 April  2016
Neighbourhood park, Alsace, France

The base of this oak tree looks like the foot of an ostrich.

16_AsianBuffet
16 April  2016
Achern, Black Forest, Germany

This Asian Buffet restaurant next to  where we park the car is a lucky find.  For 7,80 euros, one can have an unlimited trip to the buffet table until he drops.  The food is delicious that we made it  the place for our Saturday lunch dates.17_Rheinau
17 April 2016
Freistett, Germany (near the French border)

Looks like there’s a tournament going on in the lake.  Half a dozen men with their  fishing hooks but no audience, which is great so they can fish in peace and I could take shots without any one blocking the view.

18_lettuce
18 April 2016
Home  garden, Alsace, France

Last week, I bought some lettuce for our week’s supply of salad and when I was about to clean them, lo and behold,  I found the roots still intact and each bunch composed of three individual plants.  Instead of putting  them on the fridge, I searched for the trowel, split them apart and came out with six heads of lettuce plants.   Above is the photo taken one week after my planting spree!

20_IMG_3761
20 April 2016
In the fields near home, Alsace, France

Photographing horses is fast becoming a passion, what with the horse farm just a stone’s throw from the house.

21_forestclass
21 April 2016
Neighbourhood park, Alsace, France

The forest park where we take Charlie for walks is also an outdoor school for these pupils.  We see them here very often, trailing their teacher who patiently explains all creatures great and small in the forest floor.

22_watercolour
22 April 2016
Home garden, Alsace, France

I always wanted to do watercolour painting but I have two left hands, glad there’s Photoshop to do the job.   Cool!

 

23_lowmirror
23 April 2016
At  home, Alsace, France

Let it be told, that the house we are renting now is pure bliss: wide open spaces, warm, bright, unlimited hot water, immense garden for Charlie to run around, ultra-nice landlords, quiet neighbours.  The only problem is:  the bathroom mirror is designed for towering tenants only!

24_IMG_3497b
24 April 2016
Kappelrodeck, Black Forest, Germany

Saw these children’s boots turned into plant pots in a school garden. although cute, they probably bought these boots new as they all look similar!

25_fertilizer
25 April 2016
In the fields, Alsace, France

On our way back home today, we saw this enormous farm equipment driving on the road.   It’s a pneumatic seeding planter, a 21st century version of the simple seed  drill  invented by Jethro Tull in 1701.  This machine will sow tens of thousands of seeds on vast expanses of fields in few hours!

 

26_IMG_3795
26 April 2016
In the fields, Alsace, France

Using my zoom lens, I managed to get this “close” shot of the family of deers which frequent the fields around us.  So cute, hope they don’t run out of habitat and will forever stay around.

27_IMG_3737
27 April 2016
In the fields, Alsace, France

A sheep and a dog (Charlie) getting too close and personal.

28_IMG_3753
28 April 2016
In the field near home, Alsace, France

This region of Alsace and nearby Black Forest in Germany are home to the white stork and you see them everywhere – above lamp posts (where gigantic nests are built for them) or  pecking for worms on the fields or flying overhead.  For centuries, these birds have been a common sight that they became an emblem to Alsace.  In the Black Forest, images of stork are displayed infront of houses to announce the birth of a baby in the household.

The stork above is just one among many we see everytime we walk Charlie out of the house.  Shot was blurred so I (digitally) converted the image into watercolour.

29_bird
29 April 2016
At home, Alsace, France

Charlie found a  baby nightingale today.  It was limping beneath the garden steps and we wondered if he bit the poor bird.  We took him out in the open so he can fly  but realized we’re dealing with a fledgling,  which means he probably just left the nest but still struggling to fly.   His left claw is twisted, poor bird.  All we could do was to put him out of harm’s way, outside the fence and away from Charlie, and hope his mother comes and take him away.30_IMG_4040b
30 April 2016
Offenhofen, Black Forest, Germany

For our Saturday out, we went exploring the town of Offenhofen in search of their famous waterfalls, the Edelfrauengrab-Wasserfälle, but we got lost, couldn’t find it, and ended up ambling in the forest.  We love trekking in the forest so no big deal, so much to discover beneath the towering pine trees like this white sap oozing out from some of them.   This is the resin used in making glue and not only that, if you find yourself lost in the forest, this sap comes very handy  as survival aids.

 

The month in Photos: March 2016

I create this monthly photojournal for myself so I get reminded of the places we’ve been to, a monthly summary of what we’ve done as well as the beautiful, the fascinating, the insolite, the weird,  the strange and many more,  that which I always enjoy browsing years afterwards. And for my loyal readers, it is also a way of discovering some traditions, art, culture, food and habits of the Europeans (and other nationalities) we meet from day-to-day.

Thanks for browsing.

03_paris03 March 2016
Paris

I am in Paris for 48 hours for an appointment at the embassy. It’s sad to see that this city, post-13 November 2015, has changed tremendously by the scant number of tourists I see around me.   It is definitely quieter, the streets looking more haunted,  restaurants nearly empty and even the important sites which used to be heaving with visitors are more subdued, but I suppose, for lovers,  the city’s romantic charm is at its peak when it is nearly  deserted.  I feel sorry for the business owners who rely so much on tourist trade.  I hope this is just momentary and life will go back to normal.04_paris
04 March 2016
On the metro, Paris

This is a very common sight in 21st century planet Earth.  I fear the day when all of us would be acting like zombies, cut off from the rest of the world because our common focus would be at our smartphones,  all bowing our heads, eyes fixed and ears wired  into these flat glowing devices.  But I, myself, is as guilty as I also prefer reading the news and browsing on self-improvement articles on the internet via, what else, but my Samsung Galaxy.

05_ilenau
05 March 2016
Achern, Germany

My first attempt in incorporating  “journalling” into my digiscrap page.

06_
06 March 2016
Vendenheim, Alsace

From the train going to and from Strasbourg, I always see these barges moored along the canal of this town  so I envisaged that one day I shall take H here to do our Charlie walks (walks made with our pet dog named Charlie).  H is a skipper by heart and always fascinated with boats and the water so I’m sure he will exalt at the idea.  That day came today and we were quite thrilled to walk past several bridges (a swing bridge being one of them), a few canal locks and many boats and barges.  The shorter boats are moored like they are just stopping for the day  but the longer barges seem to be fixed on the spot for an indefinite period, probably floating second homes to families wanting to experience a piece of Alsace.   07_horse07 March 2016

The good thing about digital scrapbooking is, even if your photo is blurred and more fitting to move into your computer’s trash bin,  there’s still a chance for a re-looking.  Yes, it can be done through Photoshop!

08_snow
08 March 2016
At home

It’s March and it’s snowing, hurray!  And who is the happiest to frolic around but our little boy Charlie!

09_gate
09 March 2016
Charlie walks

We stumbled upon this most grandiose wooden gate in our village.  The house  is not even a mansion, so it’s quite possible that the owner has a peculiar fascination for glorious entrances!

10_charlie
10 March 2016
Charlie walks 

Day 1 – not high enough

In this house with a green gate lives a vicious dog that barks at Charlie incessantly while he strides past, that which irks the heck out of our little boy so he tries jumping at the “vicious” (how we call him) to exact revenge but couldn’t quite reach him despite the high flying attempt. Quite a funny sight, actually.

11_charlie
11 March 2016
Charlie walks

Day 2 – not high enough

12_medieval
12 March 2016
Ferrette, France

Our Saturday destination is a medieval village in the Haut-Rhin located just at the border of Switzerland.  Here is a park that tries to recreate the gardens of the medieval era:  boxes arranged in a harmonious manner, each box sowed with plants according to their use: herbs, medicinal, aromatherapy,  leafy greens, etc

13_stursanne
13 March 2016
St Ursanne, Switzerland

Today, our wish to own a freezer came to reality  and even exceeded our expectations.   Made in Denmark, 80 liter capacity, functioning perfectly – and it’s free!  Find out the whole story here.

14_horse
14 March 2016
In the village

Surrounded by vast agricultural and open fields that are home to several horse farms, it is quite normal to meet a horse and its rider while doing our Charlie walks.  While I love photographing them as I think they exude elegance and majesty, little Charlie barks at them for reasons I can’t comprehend.  Well, he barks at everyone and anything that moves anyway.

17_goats
17 March 2016
In the village

From deers, to horses, to squirrels to singing nightingales, we also have sheeps.  How I love the countryside which is just at our doorstep and yet, just  20-minute drive  to the International city of Strasbourg.

18_school
18 March 2016
In the village

Unmindful of passing school children behind him, Charlie is obsessed finding moles and field rats.   We thought he could be the ideal finder of truffles, that hundred euros per kilo mushroom most sought after by Michelin-starred restaurants.  Hmmm…a chance to reap some euros!

19_birdssmall
19 March 2016
At home

Been busy, busy these past few days and my way of cutting off is to go artsy.  How? Do a scrap!

20_car
20 March 2016
Drussenheim, France

We went for our Sunday promenade in Drussenheim along the Rhine where we had the luck to  park the van next to this American classic.  How it attracts everyone’s attention particularly the boys!

24_fleurs
24 March 2016
In the village

I’m on Springwatch so am always scouting for flowers growing from trees, bushes, grass and even from weeds, then I saw these blooms  lurking out amongst the green vegetation.  I just took a photo and left them there hoping that a flower-loving walker like me could enjoy seeing them there, too.

26_marienthal
26 March 2016
Basilique de Notre Dame de Marienthal, Marienthal, Alsace

Its grandeur from the outside gives the impression that it was once a monastery but it was in fact built as a convent and chapel in the 13th century  in honour of the Virgin Mary who is said to have performed miracles for the sick and wounded.  It became a pilgrimage site and in the 19th century  was rebuilt as a Basilica.  In 1811,  to ensure that the celebration of the daily mass  and the welcoming of pilgrims continue, a home for retired priests and another for Benedictine nuns were created in the Basilica grounds.

27_honestbox
27 March 2016
Gengenbach, Black Forest

We see a lot of self-service open shops like this one in the Black Forest.  They mostly comprised of fruits and vegetables grown from the seller’s garden like these apples.  Honesty boxes are placed alongside the produce .  The turnover of this particular “shop”   was quick as it is just at the edge of  the carpark where tourist buses load and unload hoards of  visitors.   These apples are selling like hotdogs, one moment we saw the table almost empty,   but after a short while, we saw it replenished.   Business must be good here.28_cross
28 March 2016
Sasbachwalden, Germany

So fascinating to discover that the Christian faith is strong in the Black Forest.  In many hotels and restaurants we have been to, we see displays of religious images such as the cross above.

29_staircase
29 March 2016
Musée de l’Œuvre Notre-Dame, Strasbourg

This jaw-dropping 16th century gothic staircase at the museum was the best part of our two-hour tour.  While I can’t seem to get enough of it, I envy the staff who climbs up and down these historic steps many times a day, five days a week.  I should have been a museum employee!

31_oldhome
31 March 2016
In the Village

With my visiting belle-soeur in tow, we went exploring the area where we  have been living for the last four months.  This is the oldest house in the village says in the engraving on the stone in the foreground.  It is called “La Maison Archaique”  (sort of Primitive House) because the style of the timber frame is reminiscent  of 15th century architectural style.  personally, it reminds me of Hansel and Gretel’s house in the forest, small half-timbered house with tiny windows decorated with flowers.

The month in photos: January 2016

01_bischwiller
01 January 2016
Bischwiller, Alsace, France
We are always scouting  for  open fields so Charlie could run around  and that’s how we found  Bischwiller, a town of half-timbered houses, a castle,  huge park and open fields.

02_theRhine
02 January 2016
Rhine river, France & Germany
We discovered yet more interesting spots along the Rhine.   How we always look forward to our weekend walks!

04_charlie
04 January 2016
Rhine river, Germany
We found a small beach along the Rhine on the German side and just in time, a barge came sailing by creating big waves that put Charlie on ecstatic frolicking mode!
07_misty

07 January 2016
At home, Alsace, France
The funny thing is, he never get to catch anything!

09_Gengenbach

09 January 2016
Gengenbach, Germany
A lovely town in the Black Forest down the Kinzig valley where hills and hills of vineyards make it look like a scene in Tuscany.  Yes, the Black Forest is referred to as the Tuscany of Germany by the locals.

11_pomelo

11 January 2016
At home, Alsace, France
A friend from Rome excitedly told me about the heavenly scent of her pomelo encrusted with cloves. Luckily, grapefruits are in season and I have a large stock of cloves in the pantry.  Now my kitchen smells like spicy heaven…

15_charliesnowsmall

15 January 2016
At home, Alsace, France
It’s pouring snow today and who else is the happiest of them all?

16_saturdaywalksmall

16 January 2016
Forest by the Rhine, Germany
There’s a magical feeling everytime we go walking in the woods, hear the sound of leaves  we trample on, inhale the fresh crispy air.

17_ACHERN

17 January 2016
Achern, Germany
After that fairytale visit and lunch in  Buhlertal we stopped in Achern, curious about this town whose name we always see on motorway signs.  Shame that it started to rain just as soon as we found a place to park but we managed to buy some Black Forest cake from a bäckerei  for our traditional BF cake tasting.   20_charliesnow

20 January 2016
At home, Alsace, France
It’s pouring powdery snow today creating a real Winter Wonderland scenery, the sight of which overwhelmed Charlie making it difficult to haul him back home.
23_iphone

23 January 2016
At home, Alsace, France
The end of H’s iPhone.
Probably because it’s 6 years old, too old to be kept alive, whatever, we’re so glad it didn’t start a fire or it didn’t explode powerful enough so as to burn H who was sitting next to it where it was being charged. Oh well, this is iPhone 3, had he listened to me and kept upgrading his iPhone everytime a new version comes out…
24_dogs

24 January 2016
Haslach, Germany
We were just entering the town of Haslach when we saw these two pals peeking out of the window together.  Wonder what they were chatting about..
30_dogsweeping

30 January 2016
Osthouse, Alsace, France
“Thank you for saving me from picking up those canine droppings.  Follow his example!”
Saw this poster just outside the restaurant where we had lunch.  Am sure this was not photoshopped.

31_JESTERFEST

31 January 2016
Oberkirch, Germany
We thought it would be an exciting day for Charlie to watch the Jester Carnival in Oberkirch but holy cow! He won’t budge!  He is scared of fireworks!