06/08/18 At the end of the day… it was a nice day at the “Hexenwasser Söll”

Today is another day in Tyrol and another nice location with kids.
We had a long and rather late breakfast. The weather was supposed to be hot again as the past few weeks so we decided to go to a water playground, which is called “Hexenwasser”. It sounded like fun and the thought of a cool mountain creek sounded good.

Further along the barefoot path

To get there we had to go again by cable car first up to the “Hohe Salve” a mountain just behind the hotel an
d then go back on the other side. At the middle station there was the “Hexenwasser”.

After we reached the location we decided to do the tour along the barefoot path. We leftour shoes at the starting location and walked up the hill along the path.

Barefoot path up the mountain

On the first few meters there was a wooden hut were you could see into a hive and watch the busy animals.

We continued up the mountain and at the top location of the path there was an old farm house were you could drink fresh milk from the cows that are up there. We even met the first witches there that walk around the path as contact people for information.
The path then continued through the wood, which was nice, as the temperatures got hot up there, too.

Cow next to the “Hexenwasser”

At the end of the way there was a big water playground, which our kids really enjoyed. It was a bit boring for us just waiting for them and there was hardly enough shade for all the parents taking a rest.

All in all it was a cool event

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05/08/18 At the end oft he day… it was a nice walk in Alpinolino

After a good night sleep we went for our first trip. It can be recommended, if you stay longer in the region, you buy yourself the “Bergbahn Erlebnis-Card” of the region “Wilder Kaiser – Bixental”. That gives you access to several nice locations and obviously the transportation by cable cars.

We went up the “Talkaser“ which is the mounten where the “Alpinolino” area is.

We went for one of the two routs in the area – the sky trail. Our kids had to follow the trail and explore several things along the way. Mostly these were things about the wild life of the mountain region. The story is that a marmot child is lost and we had to find it by following the tracks of the marmot.

Our kids were so motivated that therewas no stopping them even for something to eat. The trail is only 3 km long, but as a first rout with the kids at the beginning of the holidays it was a good start. Most of the time it is an easy walk, only to get to the very top of the mountain, where the eagle’s net is was a bit steeper. Our four year old had not problems doing it.

On the way back there is also a cool marble run. You have to buy a big marble made from wood and then you can let it run in the marble run next to the trail. If your kids want to do the marble run again you simple have to walk up the mountain again and start again. Once back to the mountain station you can let the kids play on the playground and enjoy the deckchairs and a cool drink.

Our kids loved it and as they were still a bit tired form the trip it was the best start for them.

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04/08/18 At the end oft he day… we reached Hopfgarten

1:30 am in the morning and we started driving to Hopfgarten in Tyrol Austria. Because oft he usual traffic jams on the way (Würzburg, Nürnberg, Munich and just after the Austrian border) we took the decision to drive earlier. We were really lucky and made it in six and a half hours from Bad Honnef to Hopfgarten.

We went to the  Hotel, which specializes in family Holidays and checked in. Our rooms were not ready as we came too early. We went into the village to have breakfast in a small bakery. The staff was very friendly and our kids enjoyed the holiday feeling that came with having breakfast away from home.

Hotel in Hopfgarten

We met a nice couple with kids from Berlin that did the same thing only that they rented a flat in the village. As usual the normal small talk with always the same topics like for example “kids”, “extremely high housing prices in Germany” or “other nice holidays”. Still it is nice to get to know new people.

After breakfast we went to the swimming pool of the hotel and I went swimming with the kids for tree hours. Yes you heard correctly. Three hours of swimming throwing kids into the pool and doing all sorts of exhausting things to keep the kids entertained. But it was also fun forme. When you have kids you realize that you are not young anymore, but you start doing stuff that you only did as a child and that keeps you a bit younger 🙂

In the afternoon we finally put our stuff into the rooms and went to play some board games with the kids.

Just before we wanted to go to dinner we went to the hotel playground and the kids made friends with some children… again from Berlin… .
It is interesting how kids usually directly find new playmates. My kids are definitively very contact friendly.

After a nice dinner we went to bed as we were all totally exhausted. I think we’ll have a very nice holiday here in Austria.

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15/07/18 Gardening II

At the end of the day …. Its great to have a garden

To be honest my first intention was to do the gardening together with my two small girls, but the enthusiasm for gardening was not mutual. In the end I was the one to care for the plants and they did not care too much. Also, the vegetables were not so much what

Garden earlier this year

they expected. Apart from the strawberries they haven’t eaten a thing yet….

Garden today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My first yields

I already harvested chard and today I took some kohlrabies. I’ll eat them tomorrow as a snack…

From my old blog posts you can really the difference between my old pic and this one here. It all grew like mad. And now I have soo many tomatoes. I hope they turn red soon as I do not want them to turn red when we are on holidays in Austria.

My first tomatoes

I tell you gardening is really fun and you know how the veggies are produced. I have to optimize though. I planted too much. Next time I really must not be that ambition for my plants as some of the veggies did not have enough space like the carrots. They are very small and do not taste good.

Escallonia in my garden

I have also a nice plant that seems to really attract bees. I have now two „Escallonia” plants in the garden. A new one form Cornwall and one I had already in the garden. Beautiful shrub with lots of flowers. Apparently, the plant is form Peru in Mai it was the main source of nectar for some of the bees and the whole bush was full of them.

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29/04/18 3rd day in Paris

At the end of the third day….

Mona Lisa

Today we went to the Louvre, but first we had to collect the tickets that we bought over the internet. We had to wait 20 minutes to get them, because there were only two staff members at the tourist information on a day where Paris is flooded with tourists. Well in the end we got there and had to queue again for the security check. Still it was rather quick to get in. Without Ticket you wait ages.. just as a recommendation… buy them before and … even better, get them sent to you by post. It really saves time.

Like probably ninety percent of the people we directly went to see the Mona Lisa and I was shocked how crowded it was. You basically have to fight your way through to see the painting properly. Look at a copy in a book and you will have more time

Crowd infront of the Mona Lisa

and quiet to enjoy it. The masses of people are really stressful and nothing for old or disabled people, as the crowd is really pushing forward.

Women with scorpion

There are so many fantastic pieces of art, and most people rush through the rooms and do not take the time to really appreciate the exhibits. I really liked the angle like victory statue in the staircase to the Greek execution.

After the louvre we went shopping in the area around the Hôtel de Ville. It rained a lot and therefore it was the best alternative if you did not have the time to go to another museum.

We went to a small gallery “59rivoli” though that had new artists in there. It was their workplace and you could either just look at the pieces or even buy them directly from them. Most of the time there were two artists per floor and the whole house had five floors. It was all modern art, and some nice and interesting pieces. I especially liked an artist who did pictures with rust.

In the evening our legs were hurting, also because of our trip yesterday and we had diner in a small Turkish grill. The second full day really made us tired. So, if you do the trip… take it at a slower pace unless you are really fit…

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28/04/18 2nd day in Paris

At the end of the second day…

Sacré-Cœur

First some statistics and if you stay longer than we do I don not recommend this… We walked 23,5km and were totally exhausted at the end of the day. Because of the bad weather forecast we tried to do the outdoor activities first and then the indoor sights like the Louvre.

Starting from our hotel we went for a French breakfast, which is, by the way, and unusual for Germans who love big breakfasts, not more than a coffee and a croissant. Up the hill we reached Sacré-Cœur which is already nice from the outside but really nice from the inside. All the impressive mosaics make this church worth the while. Many people, especially in Summer, have breakfast on the steps down to the city, where you have a nice view over the town.

Moulin Rouge

We then went down, through the quartier, to the moulin rouge. The area is a bit like the Reeperbahn in Hamburg and then again no. A lot of sex shops and bars, shows… The Reeperbahn is more intense and concentrated than the area along the moulin rouge.

We walked down to the opera and passed the “Galleries Lafayette”. Like many old big shops like Harrods and the KDW in Berlin Lafayette has a nice architecture. The belle epoch style in the middle of the building is worth having a look.

We passed by the opera which is a really nice and impressive building. I would have loved to have seen an opera there, but I’m not a fan of Wagner and therefore I skipped that. If you walk straight on, then you reach the Louvre, and that is what we did. We Walked through the Tuileries to the place de la concord. There you have a nice view to the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower

As midday was approaching we walked across the bridge and walked to the area next to the chaps de mars and bought a baguette, by the way, the best baguette we had in Paris, and some wine. We walked to the Eiffel Tower and ate and drank on a bench in the sun. Watching the people was interesting and better than any TV show. Yes, there are some street merchants that want to sell copies of the Eiffel Tower, but it is not as bad as if you came from the side of the seine. It was really nice. We had not bought tickets for the Tower in advance and therefore did not go up. The queue was really long and only moving very slowly. After the view from Sacré-Cœur we thought it cannot be that much better.

Continue reading

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27/04/18 Trip to paris

At the end of the day…. the trip was bearable.
We went from our home town to Cologne to finally enter the Thalys to Paris. Before that we had something to eat at “Dean & David” which was ok but not the best food to my opinion. I had far better curries in the past. We also went to get a car too expensive coffee at Starbucks… which was a mistake. We really lost time though that. On the train platform we had the usual Cologne train station chaos. At one time I had the feeling three trains were on the same platform and I was kind of annoyed with the uncertainty whether the train would really leave from that platform. In the end it all worked and we were finally in the train.
The TGV or Thalys is kind of old fashioned but it was still comfortable and fast.
We reached Paris and walked to the hotel. If you reach Gard de Nord like we did, then Montmartre is a good choice to stay. Unfortunately, it was too late to go out for the evening.

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14/04/18 ART

At the end of the day… it was ART

Some years ago I often went to the Bundeskunsthalle to see special exibilitions, but so for I was under the impresion that ART with kids was kind of difficoult, but yes… today the whole family went together with friends to the
Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn and we participated in “Playing Up”. Basically, it was a set of tasks that were related to performance art projects that were already done by real artist and we go to do them as well.

My girls demonstrating

Guerrilla Girls

The first performance we did was called
“Guerrilla Girls”
and we wore gorilla masks and had to think about messages that we wanted to spread. We ended up with “6 months of school holidays” or “Sweets in Kindergarden”. We had a good audience and got a lot of supporters… especially with the younger ones…

To be honest I never heard of the “Guerrilla Girls” before, but though this event I looked at their work and I can only say I strongly support them. Women empowerment is something that everyone should care about. I hope my girls will one day have the same chances as boys.

Two Stage drawing

We also did “2- Stage Transfer Drawing” of Dennis Oppenheim. We did a a T-shirts version of it. We had to draw what we thought our kids drew on our backs. My four-year-old daughter and I did by far the most modern art type of drawing, but I was far off from what she drew….

I think at the end the kids understood a bit about modern art and they had fun. And a bit I think we also really did a big piece of ART our selves…

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12/04/2018 Gardening

At the end of the day… it is great to have a garden.

Every day from spring to autumn I enjoy the fact that we have a big garden. Yes…, you might say that having a garden is a lot of work.  You are right. But if you like nature and love to work with your hands than it is really nice. Sometimes it is the best work out that you can get and it is more productive than going to the gym..

You see stuff growing. We in a few months’ time, will be able to even eat the fruits of the garden. I just planted some carrots, strawberries and over vegetables with my kids. It’s to understand what it takes to grow the food that we daily eat and to appreciate it. The seedlings just stared to grow and hat fascinates me.

Even though you might not like to have food growing in your garden I also love to see the beautiful plants that now start to bloom and lighten up the new cycle of the year. I’m glad that the cold weather and the grey days are over.

At the moment the best part of the day is to sit on the terrace or walk in the garden with a beer and enjoy the end of the day.

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07/04/18 First nice day outside this year

Flowers at the terrace

At the end of the day it was the first nice day outside this year.

Today we had a nice day out in our garden. A lot of flowers are out and I tried to clean our small pond in the garden.

We nearly booked our summer vacation. Possibly it will be Kärnten … Austria as all southern countries in Europe are nuts when it comes to prices. Nearly 5.000€ for 14 days in Italy….and up to 6.000€ – 7.000€ for Greece or Spain… All because the Maghreb countries seem to be unsafe…

Later in the day we opened the BBQ season with boar sausages that were delicious and burgers. In addition to that we had some excellent boar stakes and ribs. I never had boar in our BBQs, but at least the sausages will become standard when ever we can get hold of them.

Our neighbor is a hunter and though him we get these nice things… but mostly boar meat.

The kids played outside and we could have a nice talk on the terrace.

What can you ask for in addition? I really have a privileged life, to live in peace and can enjoy these days… do I even need holidays away from home?

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