Weilburg.

May. 18th, 2016 09:18 pm
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Weilburg, the city of my father's childhood, is a place we visit about once a year, usually in spring.

This year we made it up to the town centre with a famous castle/palace ensemble which does not have an English wikipedia article - I am genuinely shocked at this oversight.

Here are some pictures )

Zons.

May. 5th, 2016 08:57 pm
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Last Sunday the weather was stunning - blue skies, sunshine - a much needed improvement after lots of proverbial April weather with rain and even hail.

Ignoring the desk and the clutter we decided to do some local sight-seeing, visiting a place that the kid had not seen yet. Zons is an old fortified town by the Rhine.

Last weekend they had a medieval market and fair which also included the re-enactment of a famous battle.
We did not witness the battle, but still had a very good time in the sun.

Picspam )
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The television news programmes are too depressing.

Here are some flowers:

Spring )
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It seems like ages ago that we went on a mini-break in the L√ľneburger Heide and then on the last day made the trip up to Hamburg, where much to my shame I had never been. We didn't see that much of the city, but managed to visit a couple of landmarks as well as the Miniatur-Wunderland.

You've already seen the Elbphilharmonie.

Now it's time for the Speicherstadt, the warehouse district of the port of Hamburg built in the late 19th century on timber-pile foundations.

Pictures )
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One of those prestigious building projects that horrendously ran over cost and time but a fascinating building nonetheless. Still not finished.

Lots of pictures )
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We did a holiday park break over the long Carnival weekend again, but I've got to say I can't spend the entire time within the confines of the park, I need to see more than playgrounds, petting zoo and swimming pool (and shops and restaurants).

With the L√ľneburg Heath around us, there was plenty of landscape around us.

I'd been there once before, as a child, with my father and my grandparents. The names on the road signs were familiar and when we drove towards the town I knew I had stayed in, I spotted the words Pietzmoor on a sign and that rang a bell. We parked close to the holiday home village where we had rented a cottage and went for a walk around the Piet's bog.

Efforts are under way to restore this rain-fed bog - it was drained and there was a lot of peat extraction even as late as the 1980s there and you can still see where the peat was cut - the rectangular holes have filled with water.

Pictures )
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When you cross the border, much is different.

The first thing you notice is that the signage is in another language: sometimes the words are off just by a few letters, sometimes they are nearly incomprehensible.

Even the motorway signs, although they have the globally accepted white colour on blue background, are just a tiny bit wrong. The familiar names of cities seem changed when written in a font that is ever so slightly rounder with the individual letters ever so slightly further apart. Or are they closer? You cannot tell, but the name of the city you were born in suddenly looks foreign.

There are much larger cues though than the writings on the walls.

Houses )

Writing this down, I've come to realize that my expertise in architectural styles is a little vague at best, so all mistakes are clearly my own.

And: While these houses in the Netherlands seem very different to what I'm used to, there are also striking differences between different German regions: slate shingles in the Bergische Land, red brick in the North, wooden balconies in the South.

Snowday.

Jan. 23rd, 2016 07:19 pm
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We'd had a sprinkling of snow on Saturday, but nowhere near enough to go sledding. My parents, living a good 300m higher, had more snow and had been promised more, so that we decided to drive up on Sunday. Which we did.

(I still don't like how I have to keep telling myself that it was absolutely justified to take the day off and postpone some of my very important marking.)

Pictures )

The grown-ups had fun, too, and did their fair share of sledding, too.
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Under the cut, some of the pictures of our New Year's Day Walk.

Read more... )

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