First day of school

Starting first grade is a big deal around here. 

We missed the event at the school, because places were limited per child, but we are having a family party now. The “Schultüten” (school cones) are traditionally filled with sweets and candy, and other presents for the children starting first grade. The cake is a newer part of the festivities…image Einschulung Deko image image image image


Charming inn – part two

The festivities made us forget the shortcomings of our accommodation…

The bride and groom provided us with a welcome / care package for the evening and morning after:

Wedding package

We made them a fish bowl as a gift:

Wedding bowl


The bride’s cousin made the cake and drove it to the venue all the way from England (through the tunnel):

Wedding cake

And I learned that there is such a thing as the perfect wedding cake cutter:

Wedding cutter

All the best for the happy couple!

Welcome to a charming country inn

Room with ducks

We are spending the weekend in a little small town, somewhere between Hamburg and Bremen, for a friend’s wedding. After a four hour drive in the rain we arrived looking forward to a cozy country place, but we got ducks on the wall and cracks in the tiles.

Room with cracks

We were also denied the possibility to drown our slight disappointment in beer or schnapps by the bar being a smokers’ bar – even checking in at the counter left a lasting impression on our clothes. Oh, and guess what: out of the three rooms on the one booking, they only wrote down two into their book. But we were lucky, they had a spare room they were willing to give us – it’s in a different building, but hey, it’s a room.

But I am not complaining, the wifi works.

Hang in there, folks…

Room with style

Essen / Ruhrgebiet

The Ruhrgebiet, Germany’s former hotspot for coal mining and heavy steel industry, is not primarily known for its lovely green landscape. Nevertheless, we had a weekend planned here with friends to go hiking.
The whole area has changed a lot in recent years. Most of the mines have been closed down, many sites today have been converted into museums, event locations, restaurants, cultural centers etc. and there’s a surprising amount of green around.
We trekked along the old “Leinpfad”, the pathway where once the boats loaded with coal were pulled down the Ruhr river, from the town of Hattingen to the city of Essen.

Starting out from the train station in Hattingen.


Following the river we were surrounded by green fields.



First rest.


All along the way old buildings, bridges, chimneys, and locks bore witness to the areas past.




Second rest.


Beautiful vistas and the old mile stones counting our progress, while the wildlife kept their distance or defended their territory.




Third and final rest.


And finally the tram to take us all the way back into the town center of Essen ca 14km later.