Category Archives: HAPPY

Sleepless In Denmark

“Remember having asked me about possible reasons for not doing this anymore?” he says suddenly, unexpectedly. “This would be one. But we can avoid that in the future.”

He is right, of course: while we have started our paddling tour in Denmark before the school holidays begin, we should still have expected larger campsites to attract youngsters of a certain kind at any time. Certain kind means being able to tow unbelievable quantities of beer crates to the campsite and at the same time unable to get very far by paddling on the river, which is where the cars come in, at some later point.

And did I mention the Soccer World Cup was to start soon?

Anyway, we did not get much sleep in our tent that night, but I chose not to grow the huge bags under my eyes without a fight. I shared my personal opinion about the partying youngsters with my restless husband and didn’t spare him any details: I was quite sure the Danes understood enough German to know what my problem was. They did. And were soon making fun of my “Scheiße!”. Which was when the i-word was used. But before things got any worse, the idiots stopped singing, yelling and talking and went to sleep, leaving us to try to do the same.

At that point, we had done quite some paddling and really needed some rest, and I would have preferred to end the day by going through the lovely pictures of the magnificent Gudenå in my head, but river fans cannot be choosers, so.

Our tour had started in Skanderborg, a day later than planned because the wind was trying so hard to blow away the gravity of the water, as it often does. What else to do but to go shopping instead: Aarhus offered its facilities and we said thank you, though we almost ended up buying nothing. That is: I bought 2 outdoor jackets for next to nothing and left them in the car for the rest of the paddling tour, because I wasn’t concentrating properly.

The next day we could finally cross the peaceful lake Mossø – it had apparently lost all the will to try to kill us that was on such a magnificent display the day before. I felt victorious, for no reason at all, and we entered the Gudenå system.

In this system of lakes, connected by the river Gudenå we spent another five days, which were even better than we had expected them to be, though our last long ride was full of rain, cold clouds, damp cows on moisty pastures and – singing, yelling and talking Danish youngsters at our destination. They had moved to our last campsite by cars and joined another group or two. That evening, Denmark won the soccer match against Peru. And we slept like two logs.

“We shall return,” he says a few days after the tour. “We will pack some ear plugs and avoid the high season and campsites in bigger places, but we will return. The river is magnificent.”

It is.

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Altmühtal … and living is easy

I don’t need much time to state the obvious this time either: “I really love the Altmühl Valley. It feels so great to be here again. Let’s return in two years or so.”

He agrees. It is not only that we are proud of our daily proven paddling prowess :-), it is also that the Nature in the Altmühl Valley is wonderful and there are many great sights to see and things to do as we splish-splash downriver with our paddles, everything we need safely contained in our boat. Yes, even an alarm clock and a diary (You know, a small notebook with a pencil to write things in. A log, so to say.)

I am sure “Hiking in Kipfenberg Woods” does not make your heart beat faster, why should it, but I assure you this is one of the most beautiful places to sort of get lost in and just walk on, for hours. The soft, lush May everywhere, the strawberries, the birds … Wonderful.

“But your hollandaise is much better, even though this one is probably state of the art,” I mumble, my mouth full of asparagus. The next day, I will try to find out at this same restaurant, Der blaue Hecht, whether Bavarians can do vegan food. Yes, they can: my falafel was delicious AND they managed that without a hint of garlic 🙂

So when not sitting peacefully somewhere in Franken/Bavaria, walking around in the forests or paddling downriver like there was no tomorrow and waving to excited onlookers on the shores, we devoted our time to Roman relicts in the area, of which there are many to see. I especially loved the Roman thermae in Weißenburg and could imagine all the comforts to be had there. Not to forget the cleanliness!

Anyway, I know you are here for the photos, so here we go:


Islandija in to.

Sredi vročega poletja se med sprehodom ob počasnem potoku spomnim reči: “Pa če petnajstko praznujeva v Islandiji?”

Edini razlog za to, da vsa drugačna, vsa neenakopravna na nespametno lakoničen način vztrajam na severni strani Črnega gozda, potrebuje samo nekaj sekund za strinjanje: “Ja, zakaj pa ne?”

Pa sva šla.

“Tukaj ni najbolj primerno mesto za delat samomor,” se pomirjujoče prodorno strinjata potnici na nabasanem vlaku, obstalem par metrov od najine vasi, “zid ob tirih je previsok, da bi ga lahko kdo preplezal.” Izkaže se, da je temu res tako, in vlak naju odpelje do mesta.

“Še dobro, da so ga našli,” me potolaži moj dragi, “predstavljaj si, če ga ne bi: tako vsaj veš, da svoje delo dobro opravljajo.” Vidno se strinjam, delno zato, ker se mi zdi, da me varnostnice na letališču še vedno malce opazujejo, medtem ko mi počasi izginja rdečica z lic. Ma če se ne bo kmalu nehal smehljati na meni tako znan način, ki naznanjuje, da ga že zdaj razmetava od bodočega smeha, jim bom kar povedala, da mi je zadevo oblike kreditne kartice, ki jo lahko zložiš v čisto ta pravi, oster nož, podaril kar moj dragi. Za vsak slučaj. Vsekakor sem ga čisto slučajno pozabila v denarnici.

“Islandija je šit!” po angleško v mikrofon simpatične mladenke prijavi čisto ta pravi, bradati islandski hipster v pristanišču v Reykjaviku. “Vso to čakanje na naslednji izbruh vulkana, gledanje kitov, dež-” Neham ga poslušati. Ne verjamem, da ima najbolj pametno predstavo o ceni bolj urbanega lajfa drugod. Islandija je v resnici prekrasna, vsaj če imaš tako veliko srečo kot midva in tam pristaneš v za september neobičajno sončnem obdobju. Islandci so tudi zelo izurjeni, prijetni ponudniki in izvajalci turističnih storitev in so naju pripravili do tega, da sva na koncu potovanja razmerje med ceno in kakovostjo opisala kot izvrstno. Prav res.

“Naše stranke igrajo zelo pomembno vlogo!” Zaradi vetra med vožnjo in ne preveč dobre kakovosti ozvočenja mi zvok njegovega govora gre na živce, ma to, kar pripoveduje privlačen španski mladec na ladji, s katero gremo iskat kite in delfine, je zanimivo. “Dokler obstaja dovolj zanimanja za gledanje kitov, je še mogoče vplivati na njihove lovce, ki jih prodajajo kot meso. Podpišite peticijo proti lovu na kite in ne hodite v restavracije, ki prodajajo kitovo meso, tako jih boste tudi vi pomagali ohraniti pri življenju. Islandci v veliki večini ne jemo kitovega mesa, samo en odstotek ga je in nikoli ni bilo priljubljeno. Se pa na veliko prodaja in ker je zakonodaja bolj ohlapna, je naš trud toliko bolj pomemben.”

Nič ne štekam. Reykjavik je eno od tistih čisto ta pravih nebes za hranoljubce. Tukaj že vegani pogosto dobijo hrano brez česna, da o drugih specialitetah niti ne molčim. Zakaj bi si kdo želel jesti kite? Ne verjamem, da so bolj poceni kot vrtoglavi zneski za prvovrstne gurmanske užitke na vsakem koraku, in tudi hrane za hvaljenje doma je več kot na pretek.

Na večer petnajste obletnice poroke sva tako romantična, da zamudiva polarni sij, ki osrečuje druge obiskovalce Reykjavika. Še zdaj mi je vseeno. Naslednjo noč se podava proti svetilniku, saj je napoved glede polarnega sija izvrstna, vendar se nama ta tokrat, skupaj z vsemi drugimi ponočnimi obiskovalci neosvetljenega rta ob robu mesta, izneveri. Noč je jasna, mrzla in divje romantična in briga me, ali se bo na nebu pojavila značilna zelenkasta svetloba ali ne. Samo, da sva.

Naj torej za trenutek odložim nakladanje in povzamem:

Čas: od ponedeljka do petka. Let iz FRA ob 13.30 (uradno ob 12.35, vendar po prejšnjem letu nekdo ni prevzel prtljage …) in iz RE ob 6.00 (vstajanje ob 2 h …). WOW air – krasen občutek. Lila letalo.

Kraj: Reykjavik, njegov zaliv in Zlati krog.

Prebivališče: hotel Oddson. Je tudi hostel, menda bivša industrijska zgradba. Zgleda krasno, ima vse, kar sva potrebovala, celo mašinco za kavo. Na strehi pod oknom se šopirijo škorci. Na vhodu je nekdo pripopal reklamo za Štajerce.

Živali: en kit (ščukasti kit – Balaenoptera acutorostrata), en delfin (?), kar nekaj ptic (strmoglavec, lumna, ledni viharnik, atlantski viharnik, gaga, mormoni samo kot plišaste živalce za knjižno polico).

Rastline: nekaj grmičevja, ki mu Islandci rečejo gozd. Mah in podobne čudovite zadeve. Slasten paradižnik iz rastlinjaka.

Hrana: krasna.

Pijača: … pivo od dragega zdaj še bolj prija. Krasen brezov liker po imenu Björk. Res!

Jezik: angleščina 🙂 Aja, pa “hvalagummi” pomeni gumijasti kiti (neke vrste gumijasti medvedki za Islandce. Torej ne to, kar bi si človek predstavljal pod imenom hvalagumi 😀 )

Muska: Honeymoon od Lane.

Fotke: na Instagramu in takoj zdej.

                                    


Maji v Speyerju

Tako gledano sva se tudi malce žrtvovala: pustna nedelja, toplo sonce, midva pa v muzej namesto v naravo.

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Razstava o Majih v Speyerju bo sicer na voljo vse do aprila, vendar februarja vsaj teoretično obstaja možnost čedalje lepšega vremena, da čedalje daljših dni niti ne omenjam, zato je bilo vsekakor najbolje v Zgodovinski pfalški muzej iti čim prej. Če ne drugega, bom izvedela, kako drugi ljudje živijo z naravo – vedno zanimiva tema.

Izkazalo se je, da so si Maji omislili boga koruze. Ni slaba ideja. S koruznimi listi naglavno okiteni moški so tako za malo denarja pridobili status zemeljskega kraljevskega božanstva.

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Še boljša ideja je bila boginja čokolade – človek jih čisto razume!

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Da so božje lastnosti pripisovali tudi mačkam, je ravno tako razumljivo. Nekako pa jim ni uspelo v vsakem primeru izdelati strah vzbujajočih podob jaguarja oziroma z jaguarjem okitenega moškega. Polboga. Kar koli. Buci buci, lepotec!

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Maji so zelo inteligentno ljudstvo, ki je poleg koruze stavilo na astronomijo, matematiko, astrologijo in druge duhovne vsebine. Zadevali so se s čokolado, z gobami, drugimi naravnimi strupi, dimom, krvjo, menda tudi z alkoholom, v skrajni sili pa so si duha razširjajoče substance za vso večnost dokazano privoščili s klistirjem.

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Tudi njihova pisava je izredno zanimiva in povsem ljubka.

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Ravno tako zanimiv je stripovski slog slikanja, ki se ga nisem mogla nagledati. Živahen, ne da?!?

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Tudi glede dragih okrasnih kamnov niso imeli slabega okusa: žad je resnično dobra izbira.

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Čeprav: v zobe si ga sama ne bi dala vdelati.

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Maji so bili tudi športniki: igre z žogo in ples sta bila velikega pomena, očitno pa tudi boksanje, kot dokazuje ta figurica škrata z boksarsko rokavico.

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Krasna razstava. Ena najboljših sploh. Človek na vsakem koraku najde zanimive informacije in slike, knjige o Majih, ki jih zdaj želim prebrati, so se kar same dale na seznam.

Toplo priporočam!


Happy Moose: Week 52/2016

One thing I happen to be really good at is leisure. Free time. Holidays.

Sigh. And then some.

Last week, we played Anno 1404 till dawn a few times and slept very late, we visited the last Xmas market on 28th and bought quite a few sweets (nougat from Provence! Italian style cookies!) and we still managed to clean our home sufficiently before the new year arrived.  I really adore such simple pleasures and so much leisure.

Now, this is the last post in my Happy Moose 2016 series and a summary would be OK.

As we all know, 2016 wasn’t a good year. I actually wrote this post on December 30, just in case something happens before 2017 arrives to save us all. Which it probably won’t manage on its own, but still: some simple private claims shouldn’t be our world’s biggest, biggest problem.

And while I was often astounded at the quantity of bad news bestowed upon us this year, it wasn’t for the first time in my life I got to live in such an energy draining, scary period of time. I am actually a real pro at counting my blessings and being thankful for just about everything that won’t kill me. No sarcasm intended.

It was also a happy year, in many important ways: I read some good books, I found some time to study, we had a most beautiful summer paddling tour on Altmühl and a great time in Normandy (where I was forced to speak French and suprised myself at how much I could actually explain in a language that means so much to me)… I had a few deep discussions with my better half, which I always love but seldom find enough time and energy for, we laughed a lot because we roll this way …  and we spent many hours enjoying our workout, always a good topic to talk about.

Next year, I won’t be telling you about the ways I am happy. You will have found out by now my life’s not really that adventurous and maybe you even assumed I wrote about those happy moments for myself, more or less, so no need to continue telling you similar things next year (meaning I hope we survive next year). Nope, next year is back to Square One: I’ll just write what I want at the moment, in a language of my choice.

I wish you the best 2017 possible!


Happy Moose: Week 51/2016

I guess it is always a good idea to start your December holiday right before the cold sets in. Luckily, it is not too strong so I have been enjoying myself nevertheless … reading, studying, cooking, doing nuffin 🙂


Happy Moose: Week 50/2016

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One does not get any younger these days, but it is inner values that count. 😀


Happy Moose: Week 49/2016

Saturdays are reserved for cleaning, in our home. Meaning we stuff our ears with audio materials of our choice and do the work, each their own. I tend to listen to French translations of good books and I absolutely adore these moments. In the afternoon, we stop laboriously ignoring each other and prepare some food instead.


Happy Moose: Week 48/2016

weihnachten

erhardt


Happy Moose: Week 47/2016

  • So, should I make a chocolate cake, a fruit cake or a nut cake?
  • Yes. 
  • Yes what?
  • All of them.

*sigh*

(In the end it turned out sometimes more is definitely more. Like: a dates-butter-cocoa-cranberries-tahini with pekmez-coconut-wholemeal cake. With perfect taste. *sigh indeed*)

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