Simons Adventure

On the road, there's adventure waiting every day.

Lovely time on Wyk on Föhr

Having only just been at the sea the week before, we arranged to have a short work-week and spend a few days with Stefan in his holiday home on the island Föhr at the north sea. It was a fair distance away and this time we decided to go by train rather than arrive exhausted from driving. Overall the trip would take us about 7 hours.

When we got on the train at Berlins main train station, it was already absolutely crowded. The first leg was spent on a fold-out seat next to the bicycles, but we entertained ourselves by playing a talk-box, which is basically a game with a whole bunch of creative questions to get to know each other a bit better.  We told some interesting stories from our past, but really had to admit that we already knew each other pretty well. Who’d have thunk it? Eventually we switched trains and got some more space, so we could comfortably sit, read and write blogs. Another couple of hours later and we were onto the ferry. It was a bit windy 🙂

On the other side Stefan picked us up and we walked over to his house, through the very pretty old streets of Wyk. After dropping off our bags he gave us a short tour of the town and the beach. On our way we had to drop by a classic place of Wyk: The 50c ice-cream place. This place is run by a guy who had been selling nothing but chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice-cream from his classic machines – next time we’re there I’ll have to take a photo of them. We wandered the promenade and beach a bit and Stefan also showed us the communal herb garden and the Stork sanctuary.

As today was a festival day, there was plenty of activity in the harbour, including a rubber-duck race, which was super cute. On our way back we went shopping for dinner and had some awesome home-made meatballs at Stefans, paired with a nice local beer he had organised. Now I’m not much of a beer drinker, but I enjoyed this one!

As darkness fell we headed out to the beach once more to watch the fireworks. This was the end of the festival day, “Föhr on fire” and this was the last year it would happen, so they made an effort. The fireworks were set-off on a barge which had been setup specifically for this. It was a spectacular sight, although it was getting a little cold. We followed the crowd and headed home and called it a night.

On Sunday we decided to take a bit of a bike tour. After an excellent breakfast made by Stefan, we pumped up the tyres of the old bikes and got on our way. It was a bit windy at times, but it was nice to be outside. Along the way we stopped to check out the milk station, where you could bring your bottles and re-fill your own milk anytime. If it wasn’t Sunday, you could also tour the factory and possibly buy cheese… And we all know how much I like cheese, right? Unfortunately it was Sunday, so we moved on after checking out the machinery and being impressed with the “pay at the pump” credit card option for the milk station. Our goal was to go to a “Watt Walk” which you can do with a guide during low tide, because the ocean totally recedes in this area. We were a bit early so we headed to a local township to grab some lunch before coming back, only to find out that the winds were so strong that the water did NOT receed today and there would be no way to do the walk. To be fair, it probably would have been too cold for me anyway 🙂 As the ride there took over an hour we decided to break up the ride home by stopping at a well-reviewed cafe. and OMG it was worth it. I had the best strawberry cake I can remember! We also saw a classic car with little “Don’t touch” notes in all the windows 🙂
Our next stop was on a place google maps found for us – an ancient grave site.  We walked the beach and the path near the beach, but could not find it. After walking past twice Stefan decided to go off-road, walking straight through some reeds, eventually finding a fenced-off area which had the grave-site in it. It wasn’t much to look at, but it was ancient, and we did have to work to find it 🙂

Stefan had one more stop planned for us – an old church which had the graves of sailors around it. These graves had stories about the people, not just names, which made them interesting. Unfortunately you had to know ye-olde-german and spend a long time deciphering the fading texts to understand it completely, but we got the gist of one or two of them. The church itself was massive and smelled a little damp… it also had a boat suspended in one corner. Sea-farer church I guess! As we were riding through the township of the church we came across this odd little store which made us stop… they sold a random collection of everything, across two old (sand-and cobble-stone floor old) buildings. It was eclectic, selling alcohol, perfumes, crystals, tea and coffee. They even sold Kopi Luwak – the coffee beans digested by cats. As tempting as it was, the average quality of the coffee did not entice me to try it here 😅
Another 20 minutes later we made it back home, in time for dinner.  We decided to head across the road to order some pizza and have a movie night in, watching a downright terrible horror movie, which made us laugh more than jump 😂.

Monday we decided to take it easy and spend some time at the beach. The weather was friendly enough to let us be at the beach, though not friendly enough for extensive swimming: The water was cold and the wind did not help in warming up once you left the water. We all waded in a bit, but only Stefan was tough enough to actually go for a swim. One cool thing at this beach is the disappearing jetty, which basically gets covered by water at high tide. This usually creates a moment when it looks like you are walking on water as the tide comes in or recedes, but due to the wind gave us more of a feeling of a sinking ship as the water exploded through the planks 😂

Around noon there was a lot of clouds and eventually the sky opened up – it was bucketing down. We very quickly grabbed our stuff and got off the beach, under the covers of the local shops. Somehow we managed to get separated, with Stefan and I waiting it out in the foyer of a chemist while Manja somehow made it into a tourist shop a few doors down. As the rain slowed we headed over to pick her up and head back home to dry off. Did I mention that Manja somehow convinced me to move around without shoes? Turns out my feet are NOT hardy enough for this – I felt like I was walking on needles the whole day, especially when we returned after the downpour and had to navigate fallen twigs. I was very happy to get back to solid, smooth, concrete when we left the asphalt and cobble-stone roads 😁

When we were dry again we headed back to walk along the shore for a bit, with Stefan showing us some of the local sights, including the lighthouse of Wyk: Which Stefan decreed as “embarrassingly tiny”, being just over a single story building in height. We were also shown the house in which Theodor Fontane stayed for a bit. Toward the afternoon we headed back via some shops, and Stefan made pasta with two sauces – a white-wine and beef creamy sauce and a tomato vegetable sauce with chilly.  Both were delicious and we all ate way too much!

Tuesday morning was spent relaxing and waiting out the rain, before we eventually decided to explore the township on foot a bit. We headed to a well reviewed and  nice-looking cafe. Unfortunately they did not have seats for us inside, so we sat outside for 2 minutes before deciding that this was way too cold. Given there were no inside seats, we continued on our way to the next cafe. Unfortunately that place wasn’t a cafe, but rather a shop selling locally made sweets, so we turned around to go back to town. We came by the first cafe again along the way, deciding to just brave the weather. We got lucky: As we arrived someone just left, so we got a table inside. Score!
We had some coffee and cake, all of which was okay. I had a chocolate salted caramel cake which literally made me feel ill about 3/4 of the way through – it was just too massive. Think chocolate mud cake with serious icing, in a large slice. Walking off our food babies, we headed to the port just outside, walking along the storm breaks and collecting some of the massive amount of plastic litter which was in those rocks. At one point we spotted a crab, and Manja and I were unsure on what to do. Stefan on the other hand just picked the little guy up and threw him back into the sea. When we asked him if this crab actually lived underwater and would survive he said matter-of-factly “No idea”. 😀

We continued along the pier and saw the source of much of the plastic, which we had initially assumed to be fishing line: The boat ropes were made of tiny strands of long plastic. I mean, I get it: It doesn’t absorb as much water, is resistant to mould…  But can’t we just use good old hemp ropes? It’s worked for hundreds of years without destroying the ocean and everything around us!

On the way back we stopped past a games store too, where we picked up an escape room in a box as tonights entertainment. When we got back it was about time for dinner, so we jumped onto the bikes once more and rode to a beachside burger place across the island. The burgers were really delicious and made for a fantastic last meal of this trip.

When we got back the tensions rose as we worked our way through the haunted mansion themed escape room. It was great fun, and we managed to solve it just in time 🙂

Wednesday was our final morning with just enough time to casually get ready and have breakfast before jumping back on the ferry and taking the long train-ride home.

Seaside Gemstones

We started August in style by heading to the east coast of Germany for a weekend. We picked up a car and used the opportunity to return a few bits and pieces which we ended up deciding against. It really is awesome how easily they exchange and refund parts! Our Kitchen and garden were both really taking shape 🙂

We drove to Dierhagen for a long weekend and to catch up with Manjas Family for a bit as several were holidaying in the same area. After a drive of a couple of hours we arrived in a cute little apartment, which was walking distance from the beach. The weather was nice, so we walked the beach for a while and chatted about life. The weather was a little windy, so not pleasant enough to tempt us into the water with more than our feet 🙂
Toward evening we returned to the main touristy part of town to find ourselves some dinner. I decided on trying the local delicacy – a Plaice  – which is a type of flat fish. We also stumbled across a brochure for the local gemstone museum, which had a special exhibition of Australian Opal, so we decided we would have to go there tomorrow!

 

We decided to get up super early to watch the sunrise. Well, Manja decided and I came along 😉
We managed to get ourselves outside and to the beach as the sun was rising, which really was super pretty. One of the reasons for doing this, besides the quiet and relaxing atmosphere, was to look for “Donnerkeile” or “Belemnoidea” which wash up on the shore when the conditions are just right. This morning they were not so perfect, so we didn’t find anything of note, other than plastic which we collected of course. On the way back we stopped at a cafe and grabbed a breakfast roll each which we then ate on the balcony while watching the world wake up around us.

Alex, Angi and Kids were also holidaying in the area, so we agreed to meet them at the Chrystal cave in the morning. Given that they had already explored the museum the day before, we arrived a bit earlier to have a look through it. It’s a private collection, large enough to cover a 3 Story house, mostly of precious gemstones but also of some stuffed animals, with a fairy garden to boot. It’s extremely impressive, especially given that it remains completely private! One of the highlights for me was a rams skull which had been completely covered in Gypsum crystals, from, you guessed it, Australia 🙂

As the family arrived we looked through the store a bit more, and decided to purchase a nice gemstone necklace for Manja. We headed to a local beach as a group and spent a good couple of hours looking for Amber or more Belemnoidea, while playing in the water with the kids. Eventually Manja and I headed off to explore the town a bit, finding ourselves at a little cafe which had the best iced-coffee and ice-cream-cake I have had. When we headed to the beach we drove past a little nature path, and agreed that we wanted to check it out, so we stopped by and walked through the forest for a while on an educational path meant for children but managing to fascinate us.
From there we went to another small township where we would meet the family for dinner again. We had one small problem: Very bad internet connectivity, very little cash and no ATM anywhere nearby.  As we were traveling with kids we decided on Döner and Pizza for dinner 😅
Before leaving we decided to walk the Graal-Müritz jetti, which just happened to be surrounded by extremely large jellyfish that day.

Full of food we headed back to the family accommodation where we played a card game for a few hours before heading back ourselves, totally tired from a long but fun day 🙂

Sunday Morning we headed back to the beach, still early but not quite early enough for sunrise. We decided to take a longer walk, walking along the beach for a couple of kilometers and back via some breakfast restaurants…. or at least that was the plan.  When we tried to get back to the road we had to get through a hotel, where we expected a locked gate any moment. As luck would have it though, every gate was open and we managed to pass 😊
We checked out a few places and eventually settled on a pancake-kitchen style breakfast restaurant. I had my savoury bacon and egg while manja had blueberries – both delicious and both shared 😋

We walked back to the hotel and checked out, and then went back to the beach to go for another walk. One of the cool sights was that someone was making sand sculptures along the beach, which were pretty damn good! At one point in our walk Manja suddenly jumped. There was a kid nearby playing with her dad, who also thought something might have happened based on his face. What actually occurred, though, was that Manja found a perfect little piece of Amber just lying there and grabbed it before the waves did. When we got back we still had some spare time, so we settled down to do some reading for a bit before we had to leave for the long drive back, where we were joined by the worlds most tame Seagull. It didn’t want anything, it just settled in about a meter away from us.

Starting our kitchen and Scenic weekends in July

July started with Manja and I celebrating our anniversary…  As those who have been reading these blogs for a while may remember, we kinda got together over a really long time, and so don’t really have an anniversary. So a while ago we decided that it would be in June, but we had been so busy that we kept pushing our date night to a more relaxed moment. That Moment finally came on a Wednesday night. I left work a little early, grabbed some flowers and got changed into a nice fresh shirt to meet Manja at a restaurant. I had chosen a local Lebanese restaurant which is a bit more upmarket and lent itself to conversation. We had a really nice night, chatting about everything that had happened that year, and our amazing journey so far while sharing a plate of Mixed Mezze. As the evening was really pretty, we decided to walk back through our local park in the sunset. We were so engrossed in our conversation, that we both failed to take pictures 😅

Anniversary flower being pretty

One of the responsibilities of my team at work is company events. We had decided to arrange a summer party for the whole company, which included a boat tour in the afternoon over lunch and a party with a buffet and cocktails in the evening. Being the first time I arranged anything like this in Germany, I was very happy that it went so well – I think everyone had a blast, and I even tried a cocktail or two for a change! Manja came too, and was stuck with me and Vincent cleaning up until about 1am – luckily we were only 15 minutes away from home by bike 🙂

Expecting the Party to take a toll, we had both taken the following day, a Friday, off. After a slow start we packed our gear once more, and at around noon Tina and Stefan picked us up. Manjas birthday gift to Tina was a weekend away at the East coast of Germany, on a small island called Usedom. Tina had the choice of being “with or without partners” and she had chosen to have Stefan and I come along. They picked us, and our Guitar, up in the afternoon and we snacked on some pre-made fruit salad on the 2 hour drive while we chatted. After we arrived and moved into our accommodation for the next few days, we decided to go off and have a timely dinner around 5:30, heading to a quaint place which had a typical “German Kitchen”. When we got in we were greeted by an eclectic collection of random stuff, including dolls in prams and stuffed animals on the walls. It wasn’t quite as spooky as the Airbnb in London, but definitely an odd place! Dinner itself was delicious though!
Even though it was getting a bit cooler, we decided to head to the beach, as daylight would still be around for a few hours. You really can tell why this place is absolutely over-run in Summer!  On our way back home we got supplies for the next few days, including some fire wood as we had a small wood-fired fireplace in the lounge room and the temperature was definitely getting into the territory where it was useful to turn it on. With the fire going we settled down to play some music for a few hours before we all dropped into bed exhausted.

 

We started the next day with my typical avocado, salmon and poached egg breakfast, before heading over to the most famous beach area of the island, which also has plenty of small shops all over, including places which provided traditional versions of fish. We found out that today would be a parade day, so we walked over to the final destination of the parade and waited for a bit…. But it got pretty darn cold and the only entertainment in advance of the procession was a children’s entertainer who wasn’t that great….  So rather than freeze to death we decided to head back to the car. Manja and I made a short detour, only to walk right into the oncoming fair, so we spent a few minutes watching before racing back to the car where Tina and Stefan waited for us.  For the evening we had decided on making some pasta at home, so Tina created a wonderful bolognaise! With bellies full we sat down to play some code-names and then guitar in front of the fireplace.

Today would be our final day, so after another breakfast a-la Simon, we packed our gear and loaded it into the car.  Rather than racing back, we decided to check out one of the largest piers of the area to check it out. As it turns out it’s large enough to have a small shopping strip built into it. When we got back we were a touch cold, so we headed back into the township proper in search of some food. The food was elusive, but we did find this cool little statue which I posed with by hugging a dog… We eventually found a place we could all agree on and had Pirogges with view of the beach, but in a sheltered area. With the food all done we walked along the beach once more before jumping into the car and driving all the way home.

The next week we went to Ikea to get the final confirmation on our kitchen configuration – it was all approved, so we can order when we are ready! Yay!

On Friday it was time to head to Katrin and Kilians place to have a Birthday dinner for Jana, including delicious gin-and-tonic icy poles to get our tongues stuck on 😅

Saturday it was time to head off to Neuruppin, to meet Steffis parents as they had invited us when they were visiting Oz for Stefs wedding. We arrived by train, and Daniel, Stefs brother, was kind enough to pick us up. The parents  have this awesome little sea-side property, which includes a Sauna, mini boat and nice little home. Of course we got taken for a spin in the boat, which was a LOT of fun. We chatted about life, the beauty of cultural differences and their horror flight home. Daniel had to leave in the afternoon as he had a longer trip back, and  eventually it was time for us to head home too. Stefs Dad was kind enough to drop us off at the trainstation, even though it required him to take two trips in his little two-seater pickup truck 🙂 A couple of hours later we arrived back home toward midnight.

Sunday Morning I finally got to chat to Amy for a bit! It was great to catchup and find out how life was progressing in Oz.  In the afternoon Kai, Manjas youngest brother, dropped by.  We were giving him some support preparing a resume in the afternoon before heading over to do an escape room in the evening – We made it without too much hassle again, and it was great fun. To round off the day we headed out to grab some burgers before Kai headed home and we dropped into bed.

 

The following weekend we were off to Wiesbaden again, this time by car. Doris had been sorting some of her belonging to give or throw away, and we had agreed that we’d take some off her hands – like great glassware, silverware and crockery. Much to her disappointment, we had arranged to stay in an Airbnb nearby because we didn’t want to be a bother. We were told in no uncertain terms: Next time we stay with her.
We spent the day sorting out all sorts of things, including old documents which she needed support with to be able to read them at a reasonable pace.  We agreed that we would take along the rubbish and destroy it securely, lest anything sensitive falls into the wrong hands. We also worked through various cupboards and Wardrobes with her, selecting things to keep, things we would take, and things to get rid off. In the evening we headed over to a winery to enjoy the scenery and chat about life, the universe and everything.  Doris has a wealth of information on the area, and it was great to hear some of the stories of her past too.

On Sunday we had a nice relaxed breakfast with Doris. As we had the car there we decided to spend the morning checking out Wiesbaden a bit again.  We headed into town and had some ice-cream on the promenade and a short stroll before we already had to make our way home. We dropped Doris off and loaded up the car – we ended up with a whole car-load of stuff which she did not need and we liked a lot 😅

Given that we still had a car, we also made use of this trip to borrow some tools from Ilka in preparation for our upcoming kitchen replacement!

On the 25th of July it was finally time to pick up our new kitchen! To make space for it though the first task was to remove the old kitchen throughout the week before, slowly taking everything apart and getting it ready for disposal, while moving all cupboards out. It looked a touch barren and we would have to wash our dishes in the Bathroom, but it was manageable. It also involved a few trips to the hardware store to get any and all tools we might be missing.
On the day itself, I headed straight to the car rental place after work, ready to grab the car only to get a “Sorry, you can’t hire a van with us, you haven’t had your license for 2 years….” Okay, says I. How about my Australian one? That one has been valid for around 10 x as long as you require. “Sorry” says the attendant “I can’t accept international licenses.” Well.. F*C*. So I called Manja, who jumped onto her bike to come and pick up the Van, arriving minutes before the place shut. After throwing our bikes into the van, we may or may not have switched drivers seats after the first intersection, as we headed home to “park” our bikes. We couldn’t just go to our “local” Ikea, because they did not have all the parts in store, so the drive took us around 30 minutes.  It was starting to get tight, but we managed to get there and pick up the pallets of stuff we needed. It turns out that it’s quite a bit of work to just lift it all into the car…  and we still had to take it out on the other side! We knew there was no way we would be making dinner tonight, so we stopped at a famous Veggie Döner place. Unfortunately they had a line down the street, and we did NOT have that kind of time, so we found the next-best place, who did not server a veggie Döner which was anything comparable, though did have a delicious chilly oil to spice things up a bit. While the food wasn’t perfect, we did have food which energised us for the next task: Carrying some 150 boxes and bits into our flat. Luckily we didn’t have many stairs to conquer, so we managed to have everything inside with a lot of effort but little trouble – though the kitchen counters were DAMN HEAVY!  We were both exhausted, but still had one more thing to do: Put all the parts of the old broken kitchen into the Van for disposal the next morning. With that done, and laughing at the idea of someone stealing the van now, we put together the first cupboard so that we would have a feeling of starting the kitchen build on the day 😅

A few hours sleep later we really wanted to start putting it all together, but we had to pull the break a bit and make use of the Van rental to get rid of the parts of the previous kitchen we would be getting rid of. This meant getting up at around 6:30am, as we only had the van until 9am when the rental place opened up. We got to the tip around 7:30, and cleared out the Van, which contained not only the old kitchen but also all other larger pieces of rubbish we still had around.  In Germany this service is free, and being so early we had almost the whole yard to ourselves 🙂
A bit later I was just about to pull into the driveway of the car-renal, but remembers that I wasn’t the driver. Whoops. We drove around the block one more time and may or may not have switched seats again. The Van was returned in perfectly good condition, and we jumped onto our bikes and rode home ready to start building.
We spent the weekend drilling, cutting and putting it all together. It all worked well until we got to the bench tops, where I would have to do three things:
1.) Cut the right size
2.) Cut out the hole for the sink
3.) Drill the hole for the tap.

How hard could it be? We even had some spare space, so I decided to start with the hardest part first: Cutting out the hole for the sink.  I marked it exactly, and carried it outside, drilled a hole and started cutting it out, using Ilkas little old jigsaw. By the first quarter my arm started to go numb from the vibration, but I persevered, using 4 new blades in the end, burning my fingers on a hot blade once.  It was done! I tested and the sink fit, almost perfectly.  I had taken off a tiny bit too much in the corners, (The sink has round corners) but it could easily be siliconed up and put into the back, where no one would ever see it. Phew! First part done.  The rest was easy: Cut a straight line and drill a hole with a hole-saw.  I marked up the cut and cut a nice straight Lin… a damn. The blade in the elderly circular saw had shifted and the cut was not at a 90 degree angle. I took the saw apart, re-tightened everything, re-aligned and took off another slither.  The bench would not be about 50mm too short. We took it upstairs and tried it out. It fit, but there was something I hadn’t considered: The wall was not 90 degrees. this increased the gap bit, and meant that we ended up with an angled gap of 30 to 50 mm visible next to the oven. We could do preciously little about it and I was about to have a tantrum when Manja asked how large the cornices were, which seal the counter to the wall and stove. Turns out they were 50cm, so we could hide the problem! Yay! We held everything in place and I quickly screwed the counter top in place.  The second counter top was simple, just a single straight cut, with a now working circular saw. I lined everything up and cut, until the resistance suddenly increased. Knowing that was unusual, I stopped and pulled out the saw. This time I had managed to cut into the kitchen chair which we used as a workbench. Luckily no structural damage, only a nice reminder of this day for years to come 😂

The remainder continued without too much trouble, until I realised that I had forgotten point 3 on the bench top agenda. A few curses later I very gently drilled a hole with the hole saw right next to the sink which was already glued in place. Of course, as fate would have it, the hole saw was not deep enough and I had to drill it from both sides, which was a challenge to get straight. I spent the next 30 minutes with a file slowly making it large enough for the tap to just fit! But eventually it did! Yay! Success! It was a struggle to get it all connected in the little space behind the sink, but it worked. I used the opportunity to also connect the dishwasher and washing machine to the siphon…  which only had one inlet. DAMN IT. I connected the dishwasher for now, deciding that the washing machine can wait until we solve that problem next week.

Manja and I worked well together – I would take lead on building things while she would take lead in organising everything around me – including making me food the whole time even though I made it almost impossible to use the kitchen. Just before dinner on Saturday, for example, I suddenly noticed that the light in the oven was on, and upon further inspection I found a nearly ready home-made Flammkuchen in there.  Score!

By Sunday most of the kitchen was functional but incomplete. We headed over to Ilka who had invited us for dinner and spend a nice and relaxing evening with the garden gang in the garden. By the time we returned I dropped into bed feeling more sore than I had in a looong time but also happy with how much we accomplished. While the finishing touches would take weeks of “just an hours” after work, most of the kitchen was ready within the constraints of the weekend.

Unexpectedly German

The following day we slept in a bit and had brunch, after which we were off to Cottbus to celebrate Hagen and Corinnas Birthday.

We arrived around coffee and cake time and, sweet as they are, they got me a “Being German” starter kit, including flip-flops and tennis socks amongst other things 😂

Both of their extended families and some friends arrived not long after, and we had a range of cakes, all delicious and many home-made. We chatted the afternoon away and Hagen began making a really fantastic charcoal BBQ, testing out a “Quick lighting” contraption he recently acquired to get the coals glowing hot more quickly.  It’s basically a wind-funnel for coals, where the hot air is used to create a draught, which brings in more oxygen to continue the cycle.  It worked amazingly well, and Hagen was off-and-cooking within a few minutes.  Hagen made many things, including a roast which was one of the best pieces of meat I remember eating.  We all ate way too much, so we decided to crack open a “Timm’s Saurer” which basically translates to “Timms’ sour” a Vodka and Lemon mix popular in DDR days.  It’s supposed to help settle the stomach, though as Manja points out, this is more myth than reality. Amongst the discussion were things like “What’s a real German classic movie?” where “Manitus shoe” was unanimously voted as THE one to see.
Eventually, as night fell, we headed back to the trainstation and got home around Midnight, leaving us some time to recover on Sunday, and watch Manitus shoe as recommended by the party guests the night before.  It’s a good movie, though I don’t think the humour would translate too well in an English version.

 

The following week was a fairly normal work-week, but on Thursday night we were once more heading out for dinner at a Bavarian restaurant before cashing in a birthday present and see the infamous Blue Man Group which is… well it’s hard to describe really. A little like circus. A little like comedy. A little like really awesome pipe-drums being played. And best of all? You can play their pipe-drums in the intervals, which I definitely took full advantage of to give it a try.

That Saturday we started to sort out some of our Domestic to-dos before I chatted to Amy on Sunday for a few hours.  It was really great to catch up 🙂
After our chat we headed over to some old collegues of Manjas for Brunch for a few hours, after which we went to Ilkas for coffee can cake…  and for picking a whoooole lot of super delicious cherries! We had so many that we decided that we would need to invest in a cherry stoning tool to de-stone them all 😁

One of the things in the “German starter pack” was a nice Kassler, which I prepared for dinner the next night – Turns out I managed to cook it quite well, delicious and with a nice crust 😋.  I also managed to do a first sketch of our new Ikea kitchen, using the kitchen visualiser.  A pretty amazing tool!

On Monday I had a bit of an adventure: My drivers license was ready! I rode over in the later afternoon to pick it up, and actually had to hand in my Aussie license to get the German one 😭. Ah well, at least I’m able to drive again!

That Thursday we headed over to Ikea to get another Kitchen Consultation, where the first few “bugs” in our kitchen idea were ironed out.

On Saturday we headed back over to Cottbus for Manjas Grandmothers birthday…  Which was the event exactly a year after I first met the family. For some reason they still seem to like having me around 😅.  We drove down in a little smart which we rented from a car sharing service for the weekend, which felt like driving a toy car down the highway! But we got there safe and sound in time for coffee and cake! Yum! Carmen had on this cute little T-Shirt which was very punny: Apparently she was Koalified to travel, hang-around and party.

Manjas grandparents really have a well-qualified and experienced green thumb, growing all sorts of things in their garden. We explored what had changed and what was growing, including checking out the Bananas they have! A little later Manja, Kai and Carmen showed me the local park, where we headed over to the weir and spent some time chatting by the waterside. We returned in time for dinner, which Hagen prepared: A nice BBQ! Much like most grandparents they over-catered, and much like an Australian summer, it was sweltering by the charcoal bbq.  We clocked the temperature on the verandah at around 45 degrees. Summer Indeed!
Hagen worked up a sweat cooking everything as I carried various cuts of meat back and forth. Over-full of excellent cuts of meat, we all chatted the afternoon away. As the evening set, the mood turned into a real party-like atmosphere, including music and dancing.  By the time we headed back to Manjas mums place it was well past midnight, and we all dropped into bed.

Sunday we had to head off again already, but we caught up with Jana, Carmen and Hubert at a local lake for a couple of hours first, taking a dip in the wonderfully cool water. Unfortunately it wasn’t long before we had to drive home, park the car and call it a day 🙂