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Dartmoor get-away

31 Aug

I spent a few days in the South West of England, in Devonshire. Just me, my bike and my rain jacket 😉

Very recommended in this area: The book ’50 Hikes across Devon’, a lunch at the Warren House Inn, the Youth Hostel in Bellever (great fireplace and no mobile phone coverage!).

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Stockholm

15 Jul

In July I attended the wedding of my friends near Stockholm and took the opportunity to see the city and meet old friends. Here are the pictures of my trip through the city and its surroundings.

My first impression was that there’s a lot of water. The city itself is built across a dozen islands, which gives it a unique flair. An island for museums, one for swimming, one for the old town, one with a natural park, you name it. Approaching the airport, you fly across the archipelago with thousands of them! Very beautiful 😀

I heard a lot about high equality between women and men in Scandinavia, but seeings the uncomplicated way of dealing with femininity with my own eyes was just liberating: Women are cycling with flying mini skirts and no one gives a second look. Male toilets with nappy changing unit. Ladies toilets have simple plastic bags as bins and not those “automatically disinfecting, push the pedal, then put your pad on the flap bins” you see else often. Adults simply change into swim gear on the cities beaches and again: no stares.

The most remarkable thing about Stockholm to me was that they have instituted a sort-of human right of access to a bicycle. You simply pay 32 Euros and you get access to rental bikes for 6 months! And not those annoying 30-minute slots common across the big cities in the West – no, you get the bike for 3 hours straight!

What do do in Stockholm?

Visit the parliament for a free tour in English! Very recommended for its beautiful view from the 6th floor and the architecture. It was also very interesting to hear a few facts about democracy. For example only in Sweden and Norway the parliamentarians are sitting organized by region not by party! There’s a ladies room in the parliament showing pictures of famous “first women” in Swedish politics. The room also features a mirror, where female visitors can see the reflection of the potential future prime minister of the country. A fantastic conversation to have with school classes and other groups of visitors!

Don’t miss out on a drink on a boat bar near the old town, watching the sun set slowly between 9pm and midnight. You’ll walk home in the twilight, it just doesn’t get dark in summer in Sweden!

I also did the early morning boat tour, getting a nearly undisturbed insight into smaller islands. Below are some pictures of the defense equipment still installed on the island to protect Stockholm city (but unused).

Another highlight for me was the museum of photography with a great video installation about Chinese migratory workers.

On the day of the world cup final we were lazying around with the German friends and family of the couple. We ended up playing football. As i was in a dress and flip flops, I started carefully at first to test the shoes. Later I even scored with the left foot. We had a couple of trees on the pitch, which made it even more exciting and surreal.
Another exciting physical challenge came in form of “a slackline”. We tried to walk across a rope spread between two trees.
This weekend I really found new joy about physical mastery which I hope to continue in London 🙂

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4 relaxing days on Menorca

12 May

Together with my friend Caroline I went on a long weekend trip to Menorca. As the spring season had just started, we were nearly alone in the hotel, the beaches, the car parks… Instant relaxation! We enjoyed the history, amazing food and landscape.

Colour code = blue, green and white!

When it’s raining flowers

22 Apr

A garden museum near Waterloo station? In an old church next to a palace?
How random, but triggering our interest to enter.

And suddenly it was raining flowers on us!

Let’s treat ourselves and enjoy small joys like world wonders!

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A day with mum and the Seven Sisters

21 Apr

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My mum visited for Easter and with another friend we visited England’s south coast. Three German ladies out in the wild.

A lovely day on the cliffs imagining life on the south downs with lots of sheep before electricity and piped water.

Skewed memories

11 Apr

Isn’t it strange what happens when you go back to a place you visited in your childhood?

Everything seems bigger in memory than to your mature eye today.

It’s much less of a movie scenery but much more of a processed reality.

Walking on a pebble beach was more fun, now it feels more of a muscle workout.

Reminder to self: Memories are just where you laid them. Don’t stop creating new ones!

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Spring

16 Mar

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Spring time when the birds sing louder than the planes
A million small buds blossoming over night
One for every person happy to leave the coat at home
The sky is blue with small white clouds
The first bicycle ride and hair dancing with the wind

You own the road, the park and the bench
Eyeing trees, traffic lights and the grass
Like checking your estates after the long winter
Courteous bus drivers are paid with a smile
After all spring is in the air
It’s for all to see!