The doors

On Monday was the last day of a special training I had to attend to. To make matters worse, I ran a fever on Friday and spent all weekend in bed, so I really didn't feel that great. But actually as we spent the whole day in front of the computer surfing the www, it wasn't that bad. I even found one of the best sites ever! Woohoo! (The Internet was invented just for me - the little girl inside me has never shut up asking its questions day after day. And the Internet provides (almost) all answers! For every other question that might arise try 42 as answer.)
The picture above is from a newly opened Chinese garden in Thuringia. Very authentic work - the Chinese ambassador to Germany attended the opening ceremony.

Books are the doors to all kind of worlds: Fantastic, Exotic, Alien! I was the happiest girl out there, when I was finally old enough to learn to read and write and was allowed to get a library pass for our little town library (It is really small.) I remember reading a lot of Enid Blyton (mainly the St. Claire's series which is called "Hanni und Nanni" in Germany). To my horror I don't remember much of those first reading years, they were spent with the usual girly novels (mostly about boarding school and horseback riding). I guess, this is just as well. My love to Erich Kästner didn't awake before my late teens and Astrid Lindgren I just recently started to read (even though I saw the television adaptions of most of her works in my younger years).
Interestingly, when I went back to my little library last year to donate some of my old science books the librarian remembered me vividly. (Even before I started to read I would love to look trough all books about nature and geography I could  explain a volcano to Grandfather Walter. Subsequently, I got a lot of science books for my birthday throughout my childhood days.) She told me somewhat sheepishly that some books were only ever lend to me as no one else ever showed interest in them. In those times, I believed that every book was worth my attention. Sadly, I was wrong.

The Doors open to light and shadow in front of you. You might never know what lies behind it if you never dare to enter. But on the other hand - which doors are out there exactly? As I was asked today what I really plan to do with my future I answered that there are many possibilities, but couldn't actually think about much. Well, I have a plan B, a plan C and even a D. But what about plan A?

Yes, there certainly are doors that will never open up for me.

But sometimes we look for great and polished doors like these...

...when we should rather search for little, inconspicuous doors like this one. Maybe there is something worthwhile behind it?



It's November - REALLY?

Uh oh - I just realized that the year is coming to close. Very fast. Like in super fast and unstoppable. Where is Kronos - God of Time - if you need him? Maybe he could stop the fast spinning trough time and space just for a tiny second? Which wouldn't work. Obviously.

But Christmas time will be upon us in a short while. My American Family will celebrate Thanksgiving, soon. And in Germany we will think of the dead on the "Sunday of the Dead" (Totensonntag) before entering the festive mood. Or at least that is what my family still does. The rest of Germany - especially supermarkets - seem to be fully prepared for Christmas season already. Chocolate Santas and advent calendars are on full display everywhere. Since late August. It's just getting more crazy every year.

So, the time has come to do some Christmas DIY as I don't have money. And my statistics tell me, that you guys love my DIY origami coaster post. So, I'll prepare something like that in the very near future!

Other than that, here are some pictures of November so far:

Last October weekend: It already looks very November-like in the middle of the colorful Thuringian forest. And I found a whole bunch of wool (still in it's natural form, though) for new knitting projects. See - there is even a black sheep! (This is in an English style park in Bad Liebenstein. So they use sheep to maintain its form. Otherwise the forest would claim the space in no time.)

Yes, that's the little castle that goes with this hidden jewel of a landscape park. Doesn't it look quite English to you? It's called Altenstein and was originally built in 1736 and was meant as a summer residence to the Herzog of Meiningen in South Thuringia. It was rebuilt between 1888 and 1889 to look like an old-renaissance style English country residence. For more information click here.

Some wanderers enjoy the view from Altenstein (and are drinking sparkling wine). Even though the day was quite foggy (which is our usual November weather in Thuringia), you can anticipate the great view one normally has from this point. The Thuringian forest and its little forest villages never cease to astonish me. I hope to visit the place where glitter balls (aka Weihnachtsbaumkugeln) have been invented during my next trip to my home area. It's a little sleepy town right in the middle of this vast Thuringian forest.

Back in Heidelberg I visited the graveyard. Behold! Halloween was already over, though. (It was my first time that I gave out candy to scary children at the door! Well, only two children, who deserved it, and two teenager who were rather pathetic for going out the get free candy. And that was it! Halloween is just a recent development here in Germany and I'm just a little bit jealous for having missed all the fun as I'm way too old for this ... festival.) No, the Bergfriedhof (Mountain graveyard) of Heidelberg is very famous in its own right as many famous people are buried here.

Memento Mori! Graveyards really aren't my favorite place of the world as I have quite too many loved ones there already. (Isn't that a contradiction? Well, I don't really believe that my loved ones are waiting for me at their graves. They are always with me, guarding me and maybe sometimes guiding me. That's what I want to believe anyway. Even though it would actually feel weird to not have a place to go to...) Time is ticking away and death is waiting. Unbelievable that one can make such a lovely mosaic out of that...

The graveyard is still in use. And the new graves are mixed in between the old ones. Sometimes only stone plates remain. Other times there are whole closed up family crypts. I even found one by some dukes of Thuringia, which I found odd and interesting. (Thuringia is 3 hours away by modern standards.) But I guess the dukes went to university here and maybe liked Heidelberg so much. Maybe.

You can find all kind of statues and tombs here. I really liked hiking there. And let me tell you - the place was packed with people who went for their sunday stroll. And quite a few of them also sported impressive camera equipment to take some pics. So I didn't feel too odd about taking pictures myself. Even though the day was beautiful and sunny, I left the place with a rather gloom feeling. I only found one famous deceased: Robert Bunsen. For more information on the Bergfriedhof go here (German only - sorry).

See you around!


The Ghost of Japan

It's Halloween Night and I have nothing better to do than torturing you with my English. (It's no good at night, let me tell you.) During my spontaneous Japan trip this year I didn't take as many pictures as I used to. May it be that Japan is no longer an alien place to me - it feels like an old friend who welcomes me back with open arms - or may it be that I was occupied with other important stuff this time. Furthermore, my camera's age is 5 now and it's not even a good one, too. (If I'll ever find a job, I'll totally spent my first salary on a good but compact camera.)

Japanese school girls enjoying after school shopping at the Takeshita doori in Harajuku. Yes, THE Harajuku - a place I dearly love. (Sorry, it is cliché for a foreigner to like this place. But I still like it...)

The Yamanote line train bound for Shinagawa/ Tokyo stopping at Harajuku train station.

My Quest: As soon as I'll have my feet on Japanese soil I need to find Fanta grape. I'm fairly sure it is outlawed in Germany as there is absolutely no juice of actual grapes inside (as says the printing on the bottle) and the color is very illegal, too. But hell, do I love this stuff.

Downtown Tokyo (called Marunouchi) near Tokyo Main station. The castle of the Tenno is in this area, too.

Shinjuku, near Takashimaya Times Square and the big Kinokuniya bookstore. Shinjuku station is around here, too.

Dusk in Shinjuku.

Little cutiepies.

Totally adorable milk bottle.

People working.

The "Monster" on the day of departure in Narita.

This outside camera perspective was totally worth the money. And the earth sure is round. (Somewhere above Siberia.)

Just looking at these pics makes me wanna go back to Japan ASAP. Well, the time will come.

Meanwhile, Good Night and sweet dreams from Germany.