The 1st Advent Weekend 2016!

we1A cozy fire-place! All Pics by Franzi.

I am just back from good-old Osnabrück, where I spent the first Advent weekend with friends, a little guy who calls me ‘Bundy’ and a party to celebrate a new installed fire-place. It was a very nice start into the X-Mas season!

I wish you a wonderful start into the fresh week – have a cozy one :)!

we2Play time!

we3We went through some boxes in the cellar and look what we found :)!

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The Third Advent Weekend!

WE1 A X-Mas tree stall in Hamburg. All pics by Franzi.

Wow, the third Advent weekend is already over. Only one and a half weeks until X-Mas. I spent the weekend in Hamburg and Osnabrück. Unfortunately, I got sick (again) on Saturday and I had to cancel my other plans. Now, I am back in Hamburg and try to be fit again :).

I wish you a wonderful start into the fresh week. Stay healthy!

WE3A Yoga advertisement in Hamburg. Made me laugh!

WE4Breakfast in Osnabrück … with a delicious Osnabrück classic, the “Springbrötchen”!

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The First Advent Weekend in Osnabrück!

OS3Osnabrück’s Krahnstraße. All pics by Franzi.

Friday I took the train from Berlin to Osnabrück. There we celebrated Inka with a belated birthday breakfast, together with a lot of kids. It was a big (play time/) fun but in the end we were all pretty exhausted ;). Sunday (my little bro turned 30!!…) was a lot quieter – I met my pal Birte in a cosy coffee bar and took the train back home to Hamburg …and the first Advent weekend this year was over already.

I wish you a wonderful start into the fresh week. Have a fun one!

OS1Sunday was all about the kids!

OS2Sunday afternoon we made a quick walk to get some fresh air (and to calm down).

OS4Saturday I met my pal Birte in the comfy coffee bar Barösta.

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Spooky Fun Days!

WE1An early morning in Münster! All pics by Franzi.

I just spent a few days in Münster and Osnabrück. The weekend schedule included: The Zoo in Münster, a film night watching THIS (don’t ask…), playing with a toddler, Halloween with friends and crafting advent stars (I am not very talented, but it was fun). A perfect one!

I wish you a wonderful start into the fresh week. Be creative and enjoy the first week of NOVEMBER (!!!) :)!

WE2An autumnal visit in the zoo!

we3Halloween!

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A Weekend with Friends!

we5All pics by Franzi.

Whoosh! And another weekend is gone. This one I spent with wonderful people in Hamburg, Osnabrück and Münster (and a lot of time in busses and trains). On Friday I went with Eva and her sweet daughter to the autumnal Isemarkt. Later I drove to Inka and Frank in good-old Osnabrück, where I enjoyed playing with their one-year old toddler. Saturday night and Sunday I was in Münster, visiting the new flat of my pal Claudi. All in all, it was a wonderful sociably time!

I wish you a wonderful new week – in great company of your friends and family :)!

we6Fall colors at the Isemarkt.

we4Tomato wonderland at the Isemarkt.

we8Love this quote in Inka’s bathroom!

we1Playing with little J.

we7Two delicious treasures I carried home from Inka’s garden.

we3A chocmoc in Münster. Perfection.

we2Nightlife in Münster.

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Goodbye Osna!

OSPic by Franzi.

The longest move of all times will end this week. On Friday I will leave my flat in Osnabrück FOR GOOD! I thought about a long goodbye letter to this city that I call myself my comfort zone. But I am sure that I will come back on a regular basis. So, no goodbye letter needed.

I wish you a wonderful week! …I will clean my balcony now.

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I’m Moving!!

Wohnung1Pic by Franzi.

Waaaaaah!! Currently I am sitting in a sea of boxes – without any idea how all my stuff will ever fit into a van and make it to Hamburg… But this is what will happening this weekend. So, wish me luck that the new flat pictured above will be furnished until Monday.

Have a lovely weekend!

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Have a wonderful May 1!

MayPic by Franzi. (Osnabrück is in full bloom right now)

I wish you all a wonderful May 1! It’s one of my favorite holidays – and the start of the most beautiful month! So, take a lazy picnic, make a BBQ or a bike trip. Enjoy spring, sunshine, and the blossoms all around you!

…and then have a nice weekend, too. XO!

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Biking… in Hamburg, Berlin or Osnabrück!

BikingPic by Franzi.

Since I moved to Hamburg I am thinking every day how different it feels to bike through the city in comparison to the last decade in Osnabrück. In the past, I sometimes rented a bike in Hamburg, but on those occasions I mostly followed my friends, not caring about directions and bike ways at all. Now that I lived in three totally different cities – Hamburg, Berlin & Osnabrück – I thought it would be time to compare them with each other …bike-wise :).

Hamburg

Distances & Surroundings:

Before I moved to Hamburg I always thought it would be comparable in its size to Berlin. After I spent the first week in the city on a bike, I realized that it’s actually much smaller. In 90 % of my daily activities I can easily reach my destinations by bike and it won’t take more than 30 minutes (max). In regard to the surroundings it is 50-50: Either one chooses big highways with a lot of traffic but considerable good bike ways and easy directions … or the beautiful paths that pass all the canals and the river or the harbour or the Alster. I always vote for the last option… but I am also never reaching my destination at time because I am getting confused and lose my way.

Bike Ways:

Bike ways are always (!) located at the sidewalks. If there is no bike way on the sidewalk you should still cycle there because otherwise the car drivers will blow you away with their horns. Moreover, the bike ways are very often in catastrophic conditions: Too narrow and with lots of cracks. If possible – I try to avoid them: Resulting in me constantly cycling on the pedestrian paths. The city promised to improve its bike ways, but at the moment they are still death traps. Not joking.

Co-Bikers:

The people in Hamburg love to bike. Everyone here uses the StadtRAD system (a public bike rent system) or has a bike on his/her own. Unfortunately many bikers are cycling pretty aggressively – there is never a day without me getting yelled at by a co-biker that I am either too lame or too rude or too fast. Hamburg’s bikers don’t care about red traffic lights or cycling in the wrong direction or “too narrow to overtake” bike lanes.

Bike Friendliness:

*** (of five stars possible)

Berlin

Distances & Surroundings:

Berlin has fantastic lakes (the Müggelsee!!) and nature. But also lots of big, big highways and enormous distances to pass. …One example: From my mother’s home to my pal Suse in Frohnau it’s a distance of about 40 km. Google Maps says it would take 2,5 hours to go there by bike. So, it would take ME 5 hours (due to my comfy cycling style).

Bike Ways:

Berlin has either perfect bike ways – wide and new and even – or none. When I still lived there, I had to buy special bike maps to plan my bike trips arround the city. This may be more than a decade ago, but I still know streets lacking bike ways (B1 I am thinking about you!). …And here is one more thing: Berlin has many trams. Be aware of those rails – your wheels will fit perfectly into them and it causes terribly, terribly accidents!

Co-Bikers:

Mostly friendly – Berlin style. Cool and laid-back, but also focused on their destinations (At least in the inner city. There are beautiful nature paths for wonderful bike trips in the outer area – filled with happy bike-riding families).

Bike Friendliness:

*** (of five stars possible)

Osnabrück

Distances & Surroundings:

When I came to Osnabrück 14 long years ago, the very first thing I recognized on the streets were lots of bikes. They were everywhere. Younger people will always take their bike to travel from A to B in the city. It simply has the perfect size. Moreover, it’s surrounded by forests and fields and allotment gardens, pretty small towns worth a weekend bike trip and even some old castles.

Bike Ways:

Perfection. Nearly every street (!) has an even, wide bike way. The second thing I realized all those years ago were actually Osnabrück’s bike way system. On the first glance it’s wild, because the red lanes marking the bike ways sometimes cross big traffic streets in a chaotic way, but I got used to the system fast and then it really made sense. On the down-side but like in many other cities as well, Osnabrück’s car drivers sometimes forget that they have to share the streets with the bikes. Unfortunately, this resulted in some tragic accidents in the past. Nevertheless, the city has a strong bike lobby and is working on the problem with campaigns to raise the awareness (like installing Ghost Bikes).

Co-Bikers:

I never had a real problem with my co-bikers in Osnabrück. They all behave relaxed and are conscious about the traffic around them. There may be exceptions, but I am always happily riding my bike instead of being afraid of the shouting of someone who thinks that I am deliberately trying to irritate him or she with my slow cycling style ;).

Bike Friendliness:

***** (of five stars possible)

Have a fresh start into a wonderful (short) biking week!

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The Sound of Osnabrück: Taiga!

Last week my pal Isa called me from Berlin: “A band from Osnabrück is playing a concert here. Do you know about them?” Well, yes I do. I planned to write about Taiga this week anyhow. They are three guys from Osnabrück making German indie pop-rock music. I’m always surprised by the musical potential of Osnabrück. Here are so many bands and musicians that I honestly lose sight of them all from time to time. Taiga is a good example – I heard about their new EP Der Sommer ist vorbei already a little while ago and I never found the time to actually listen to it. Now I may be a little late, but the three guys make a nice relaxed German indie sound that somehow fits perfectly to my current “Fall” mood :).

Have fun while listening!

“Der Sommer ist vorbei”… Summer is done – unfortunately they are right:

Live in the Kleine Freiheit:

This video plays in my favorite pub, the Grandhotel (the one, where I’m always watching Tatort):

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