New Year’s Resolution I: Relax More!

Pic by Franzi. Instagram @luckmysocalled.

It’s this week again… X-Mas is (nearly) over, the new year is already knocking on our doors and it’s time for my New Year’s resolutions 2017! Today the first one: Relax more. I know, I know: This one comes every year. And I am really bad in fulfilling it.

A good friend of mine wrote me yesterday that the series “Franzi on tour through Germany” must have more episodes than the famous German soap opera Lindenstraße. Maybe he exaggerated a bit and the reason I am traveling this much is simply because I am still flexible (<- no kids) and most of my closest friends are living elsewhere. So, I promise that I will not stop traveling, but I will give myself more pauses – for my hobbies, yoga and just some me time.

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

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Little Oasis near Berlin: Kleiner Spreewaldpark in Schöneiche.

Schoeneiche6The lake with its gigantic mosaic dragon in the center of the park. All Pics by Franzi.

Last weekend I was in Berlin to visit friends and family. Saturday we strolled through Schöneiche (a village near Berlin where my mum lives) to get some ice-cream and crossed the beautiful Kleiner Spreewaldpark (Little Spreewald Park). It’s a wonderful and mystic oasis. One can actually take a boat to experience it! And there are fantasy figures all around made with a mosaic of tiles that are illustrated with cute pictures of animals and other patterns!

I wish you a wonderful start into the fresh week – have a relaxed one!

Schoeneiche3The lake.

Schoeneiche2The entrance portal.

Schoeneiche1Close-up of the tiles of the entrance portal.

Schoeneiche4Ice-cream time!

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A Wedding in a Blacksmith’s Store!

we6The view from our hotel room. All pics by Franzi.

I spent the weekend in the Ruhr district – an area in Germany that’s characterized by its industrial atmosphere. The reason we went there was a wedding! The fun thing was that the ceremony was performed in a blacksmith’s store. The dark store was illuminated with 300 candles and the newly wed had to hammer a chain as a symbol for their connection! It was a wonderful idea and a great party afterwards!

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

we4The wedding was performed in a blacksmith’s shop!

we7The 50s look of our hotel room :)!

we2Another look onto the Ruhr district!

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Back in Berlin for the re:publica #rpTEN!

we3My daily way of transportation until Wednesday: The S-Bahn. All pics by Franzi.

Yesterday I was back on the road. After a relaxed weekend in Hamburg I am now in Berlin. The reason is easy to guess: It’s re:publica time! I am looking forward to lots of inspiring talks and people and hope that all those ‘cool kids’ won’t make me too shy ;).

I wish you a wonderful start into the fresh week. Stay relaxed and be inspired!

we1A sunny Saturday morning in Hamburg!

we2On the bus station.

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me for details.

Iceland – the land of ice and fire

Happy Monday everyone. I’m lucky to present you another guest post by my pal Marie! She visited Iceland and shares this beautiful experience with you. Have fun!

What do you associate with Iceland? Björk? An island in the middle of nowhere? …That’s what I thought about when my friend told me he moved there. So I went to Iceland to pay him a visit and get a good deal more impressions on this country. Here’s what I experienced…

The people

The Icelanders are very welcoming people. They are open and relaxed and have a somewhat particular belief. Although officially, they are protestant, there somehow is a common belief on the existence of fairies, gnomes and elves. Or at least, they agree not to be sure of their non-existence. To be honest, having spent the few days I have spent on that island, at some point I think it wouldn’t have shocked me to see a fairy fly by or a gnome standing close. The landscapes are just so magical, it makes it almost real. No wonder Iceland is a scenery that is often chosen for movies such as Lord of the Rings or series like a Game of Thrones. In fact, we have seen quite some filming crews on our trips around the island.

The Community

The population of Iceland is small (around 300.000) – almost like a medium-sized city in Germany. It is in fact so small, that everyone is much more closely related to each other than anywhere else. No kidding, there is an app with which you can look up if you’re related to the guy you just flirted with. Most likely, you are to some degree. Then, when you’ve decided you like that person, you don’t go on dates – everyone would notice since it is such a small community. You rather go out partying with everyone and then leave together to spend the night. After that, you can decide on further steps. Quite pragmatic, don’t you think? And by the way, the general approach is not to move in, marry and have kids. In Iceland, it is more common to move in, have kids and then decide if you want to get married. It doesn’t even affect your name, since your family name is your father’s name with an “-son” or a “-dottir” at the end, according to whether you’re a boy or a girl. According to this, my name is Marie Marcsdottir.

The Customs

Amongst others, there is one custom that really impressed me – the hot-pot ritual at the end of the day. When the Icelanders have had a long rough and maybe cold day, they go into hot pots. These are – sometimes natural, sometimes not – really hot baths where you can relax, heat up and have a nice talk with your co-worker, your neighbor or whoever is enjoying themselves. How come we don’t have such a ritual? To me, it was the most stress-relieving thing ever after a hard day of tourism.

The Weather

Of course, Iceland is way up north, so it must be cold there, one would think. But it is actually ok! It’s just that the variation in temperature is very small, so it rarely gets really warm, but also rarely gets very cold. In July, it was mostly something between 9°C and 13°C. You need to be dressed for all kinds of weather at all times since a slight drizzle to a strong rain is always possible. More fascinating and at the same time more annoying is the amount of daylight you get: In summer, it is daytime all day and all night long, which is nice since you don’t have any time restriction for your activities. It is just the opposite for the winter, which is so depressing that people try to simply pursue their hobbies in order to have something to do to keep you up.

The Nature

Iceland offers way more nature variety than one would expect. It has glaciers, since it is way up to the north. But it also still has volcanic activity, which can cause trouble when erupting. It has large geysers and huge waterfalls. And there’s a lake under which the two tectonic plates of Europe and America are slowly drifting apart. From the animal side, there’s puffins (so cute!), arctic foxes, reindeers, seals, all kinds of birds and whales. And there’s one characteristic flower which has spread all over the island, painting it violet, although it is originally not from there: the nootka lupins.

Now that I’ve delivered some information on Iceland, how about I give you some impressions to see what I was talking about? Within this spirit of experiencing new and exciting nature adventures I want to say:

hafa mikil viku! | have a great week!

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Gullfoss (all fotos by marie)
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Laugevegur
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Hot springs walk at Hveragerdi
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Thingvellir
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Thingvellir
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Close to the geyser Strokkur
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the geyser
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Svartifoss
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Glaciers on the way to Jökulsarlon
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Jökulsarlon
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The blue lagoon
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A natural hot-pot on the hot spring route
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Skogar
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Skogar from the top of the waterfall

All pics by Marie. Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me for details.