bavaria

If you go to Bavaria you have to do it right. What does that mean?

For one, you have to adopt a grandma and enjoy a traditionally made lunch by her. In Bavaria the most substantial meal of the day is at lunch time, so usually you will be served warm heavy foods. Major tip – bring your appetite. A very authentic Bavarian lunch will consist of Weißwurst with sweet Dijon-like mustard and the famous Brezn. Basically the Weißwurst needs to be bought fresh that day and then it’s boiled for about 5 mins. Reminder: peel the skin counter-clockwise (kidding – you can peel it however you want). You then take the naked Weißwurst freshly dipped in the sweet mustard and enjoy! I found that freshness and quality are the key to enjoying all these savoury lunch items. I walked away loving it!

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Secondly, beer!! If you find yourself in this part of the world, take it all in by trying an array of different Bavarian beers and then you will conclude just like I have concluded that these cats only have about one ok beer, while the rest are super! I also tried a “Maßkrug” (a.k.a. one liter mug) of organic dark beer. I would not do that again but it must be tried once by all.  The best is to go to a local restaurant that brews their own beer, sit back and take in the culture. See below some of the tasty beers I tried and loved.

beers

Lastly, visiting Munich, Fraueninsel (an island in lake Chiemsee), and the beautiful Renaissance town of Wasserburg. I will be writing three separate posts to describe these three places in great detail, stay tuned…

Christmas in Bavaria – oh, how I wish I could share it with all of you!

fast rails

fast train

Italian Frecciarossa high speed trains have quite the charm. Whether you ride first or second class, the experience is quite special. You know the saying, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” well in this case, please do because it will make your experience that much more grandiose. I remember riding the train from Rome to Florence and from Florence to Salerno, which allowed for enough leg room and a cute little table on which to write my thoughts. Looking out the window was a really treat but I only did that for about half an hour and then…

German speed trains, the ICEs, are precise. Let’s just say they are not forgiving to late comers from my experience. I have found them to arrive on the minute and depart at the exact time without any delays. I am not quite sure why the Germans have such hatred towards their very own trains (although I am told I may have been uncannily lucky so far re train punctuality). Ah to be German! The trains are super clean and the people are super quiet, which is why I am quickly fast …

Then there is the Thalys, oh this train, I had to save the best for last. From Cologne to Paris, on the fast train it takes only about 3 hours – reaching speeds of about 300km/h. It’s incredible. In first class, there is even catering. Depending on the time you travel you get breakfast or a meal and snacks. My breakfast was delicious – no comparison to airline food. And as always, anything to do with Germans, means incredible neatness. It’s simply an awesome experience even though, sad to report I was quickly …

What do all these fast trains have in common? Me being fast asleep, something I am quite known for. From high speed trains in Rome, Florence, Salerno, Paris and Cologne there is nothing quite like the luxurious experience of sleeping on fast European trains. Evidence below, and I am quite proud of the gallery 🙂

 

’tis the season

For all those seasoned enthusiasts who enjoy long conversations by a fireplace here is a recipe that I would like to share with my dear Deutschländers.

Tis’ the season to make Eggnog.

It is a super delicious North American Xmas cocktail giving people one more reason to drink lovely concocted cocktails.

Items you will need (per serving, i.e. a large mug):

75

ml Cognac
5 ml Sugar syrup (1 water : 2 sugar)
1 fresh Egg (white & yolk)
15 ml Double (heavy) cream
60 ml Milk

What to do:

Mix all ingredients in a pan at super low heat and serve! Anyone can make it!

Sehr lecker…

This drink can also be enjoyed while watching a classic and an all time tradition in our family for many years – Christmas Vacation! Yes, the picture below is a scene from Christmas Vacation where they are sharing a few laughs while drinking the good old American favourite drink.

images

friday findings iii

I am not a huge fan of listing open hyperlinks in a post but this German cat deserves it! Introducing DJ Koze – enjoy the tunes… This guy is a music genius and a producer!

http://www.xlr8r.com/podcast/2013/12/dj-koze

and lastly

If you haven’t already done so make sure you subscribe to my blog located at the bottom of the page and you can be entered to win a date with Ed Sheeran.

Schönes Wochenende!

TB-303

Image © ミシャー (GFDL)

news

A couple of posts back I wrote about the High Line. Well, apparently I failed to mention that it’s also home to a newly discovered/never seen before in the States species of cockroach that can withstand the harsh wintery cold climates.

9263920How wild is that?

According to this article, New Yorkers shouldn’t be concerned of these creatures being invaders due to their competitive nature for food and space, which will leave them little time to reproduce. Or so the Periplaneta japonica would like us to believe…

You can read the whole article here.

twinkling little lights

What do Glühwein, Reibekuchen and Feuerzangenbowle all have in common? I think anyone can guess what this post will be about; all the Christmas markets here in Köln (for those of you who can’t make it to a Christmas market in Germany this year, follow the links above to recipes of my top three market delights).

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My favourite Weihnachtsmarkt is on the Rhine River next to the chocolate museum. This particular market is the only one that allows enough room for you to actually walk around holding your mulled wine without somebody bumping into you. Basically it’s much less crowded — If you want a lot of excitement then I would suggest going to the Weihnachtsmarkt at Heumarkt, which can entertain all ages alike and they even have a skating rink! Super cool! While I walked through the German crowd I started to understand just how seriously the Germans take the Xmas markets. They put an incredible amount effort and it shows. I found people from all around the world in the crowds being wowed and simply having a lot of fun!

xmas4

At the Heumarkt market, I stood at the bar talking to the enthusiastic pourers of copious amounts of booze for people and they all had one thing in common. They loved this job. Super cheerful, fluent in English, and with great smile – who wouldn’t want to come here every year, I ask. As a loud bell was rung they all shouted “ahoy”. There is simply no other way to put this but to say one has to experience it by being personally amidst the wonders of these German humans putting on quite the show each year.

There are thousands of little wooden houses that display a wide range of Christmas merchandise all unique and ranging to satisfy all sorts of individual taste. I bought a red angel tree ornament for our tree – see picture below.

I walked away delighted and warm on the inside from the Feuerzangenbowle!

xmas1sm

 

friday findings ii

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In the corner of findings, I am sharing:

I have been looking to integrate myself more into the German society so looking at the job market is important – here are some helpful starting points I checked out.

Here is a wonderful organization here in Koln that I shall become a member of quite soon – American International Women’s Club of Cologne. I know I am not “American” per se but they welcome Canadians and women from other countries as well.

I was reading a newspaper article the other day on Michael Arrington and so I google him to see what all the fuss was about and it turns out I found this cool link. Don’t ask me how it relates to Michael Arrington… 🙂

the art of learning german

here are a few questions for my fellow Deutschländers:

why throw me off with all the irregular verbs/difficult conjugations? why make memorizing numbers so hard? lastly, why can’t you simply refer to everyone in the formal ‘You’?

For my fellow North Americans here are the reasons for my rant above:

1. I love the conjugation of regular German verbs; however irregular verbs are simply a pain in the butt. Example, here is the conjugation for a irregular verb such as sein = to be

ich
du
er/sie/es
wir
ihr
sie/Sie
bin
bist
ist
sind
seid
sind
Now I ask you, why? I invented my very own conjugation → ich
du
er/sie/es
wir
ihr
sie/Sie
bin
bist
ist
ist
ist
ist

2. Numbers from 1-20 are super easy, not a problem. From 20-100 the madness starts. The Germans would say a number such as 23 like so, three twenty. In case you need the German version of how to say it, here it is. Again, as if the language is not complex enough why add that extra torturing layer?

3. Germans have serious rules about when and how to refer to people in the formal You. Any exception to the rule requires the permission of the addressee to the addressor. Here is what I found though: Conjugating verbs when you are using the formal You is way easier, so why not refer to everyone in the formal You. Ok, I know here I am pushing it a bit. I am just wondering if and when I will be able to speak this language, that’s all.

On a surreal note, I love the language and I can’t wait to be able to use it properly in everyday events. Insula is providing a lot of in-class talking practice, which I haven’t been used to much. I am loving my intense course and tomorrow will mark day 3 of my captivity with learning German. J I shall report more as my vocab builds up…

german

spring on the high line / damn, we’re in new york again!

A couple of weeks ago I posted a picture in the post entitled ‘art?’ asking where it was taken.

The answer is the High Line in New York City!

One of the best, most artistically profound, suspended above the city, incredibly landscaped outdoor walks I have ever taken.

The High Line starts at Gansevoort Street and ends at about 34th (Manhattan’s West Side), which is about 1.6km. The whole time you are walking above the city, as its name would indicate, and you are walking amidst some of the most beautiful landscaping. If you want a break from your walk there are cafés along the way to stop in. The best part about this walk is the art scattered in the most lonesome places, making it stand out beautifully. An example is the picture I posted which is an old deserted factory building that now features a rusted apocalyptic art piece. I also remember sitting on a bench and as soon as I sat down loud opera music started to play. The music shielded me from my surroundings creating a bubble-like atmosphere in which I could let my mind run wild.

Last spring, Felix and I were off to NYC to meet two friends: Andrea, a great interior designer, and Taylor, who has a landscaping company. We all wanted inspiration so we decided the High Line would be ideal. Let’s just say the day of – all super hung-over – the Line provided us with levity and great ideas!  Even on a rainy day you can still enjoy the High Line’s wonders. Go and do it!

PS: Thank you Susan for bringing the High Line to the table!

highline1_sm highline2 highline3