You brighten my day..

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday's in my City

We are back from holidaying in the Czech Republic!! The highlight of our trip was a 15 km hike at the Bohemian Switzerland National Park at Hrensko, close to the Czech German border. This park is the youngest National Park in the Czech Republic.

Deep in the park is PRAVCICKA BRANA, the largest natural stone bridge in the continent and a natural monument of the Czech Republic. Inseperable from Pravcicika Brana is the holiday chateau(pictured below) known as the Falcon's Nest. It was built in 1881 and served as a tavern. Today, it contains a preserved period restaurant.

This is the Grand Canyon of Europe. We climbed way upto the top and I must say, my heart was in my mouth. Husband and the children enjoyed every bit of it, just like an adventure.
Wouldn't you be petrified too at such a height??????

We continue our hike admiring the flora and fauna, taking in sights and songs of birds. This was an amazing experience for us. The last leg of it takes us through the Gorges at Hrensko alongside Kamenice river, a landscape which had started to develop many millions of years ago at the bottom of the sea.We walked beneath rock ledges, several tunnels and narrow footbridges, surrounded on both sides by a wall of high rocks.

I felt I was in paradise, lost to the world!!! We completed the hike in 7 hours, and at the end we were a very proud family!!! I hope you enjoyed hiking along with me!! Do not forget to have a look at Sunday's in my city of fellow bloggers too!!! Visit Unknown Mami to see more!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The celebrations have begun!!

A nice early surprise in the form of a package from Amazon!!!! And how would you react??? I laughed louder than when I watch Ray in his show. I couldn't believe what my Raymond had got me, more than that the note took me by surprise. It means that my laughter is priceless to him!!
               My date with Ray Romano began 12 years ago. Every Monday I would meet him faithfully. This guy could crack me up and have me rolling with laughter. Eventually, I got married and I introduced Ray to Vinay. Now, there were three of us on a date (Ray, Vinay and May...sounds good) every Monday, laughing our butts out. Slowly the kids came along, Vinay had to work longer, I had to slowly bid goodbye to Ray. I could not meet him anymore. Also, I had made new F.R.I.E.N.D.S. who I could meet after the kids fell asleep.
Years rolled by and I never forgot Ray. I would try to steal a show here and there, every now and then mentioning him to my family. Having moved to Germany, I had forgotten how to laugh. I then remembered this guy who used to crack me up. Also I had all the time in the world, but alas, German television does not bring Raymond to your homes. Tried looking for him in various stores, yet no luck.
             Vinay managed to download his shows, but it never felt the same, sitting in front of a PC and having a laugh. So, it looks like my Raymond got into action and got me this early present. This is our first Amazon purchase and it looks like we will be having many more in the months to come. For now, I am glad that my date with the man who can crack me up and the man I love are back on!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Welcome to Lohr!!!

Today, I learned more about my village Lohr am Main. I realised that I had never shared information about the place I call home. 
As you can see from the map, Lohr sits on the banks of the river Main, surrounded by green meadows, fields and softly rising wooded hills. It is a peaceful little village amidst unspoilt nature.
Lohr am Main has been settled since the 8th century, and was first mentioned in documents in 1295. To this day, Lohr has retained its medieval charm. If you wander through the streets and lanes, you can sense how alive history is...
Some of the important sights in Lohr am Main are the Old Town Hall, the 14th/15th century castle, the "Bayersturm" watchtower and the parish church.
The Town Hall
The Castle which is also the Spessart Museum.

Once upon a time in the castle in Lohr, there lived a widowed Count, whose beautiful daughter was not popular with the step mother, because the "mirror, mirror, on the wall" refused to recognise this lady "as the fairest of them all". This "speaking mirror" continues to hang in the Spessart Museum today.
               We are also surrounded by the Spessart(forest) with unique flora and fauna. If you go walking in the Spessart, you can hear the woodpecker and so many other birds.
Whether on foot or by bike, a journey through the Spessart is always a unique experience. This was quite some learning we did today!!! I hope you enjoyed the tour of my little village!! For more on what the ladies learned today, head over to Communal Global.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday's in my City!

Today was International Museum Day!! All over Germany, museums participated by having special tours and activities for visitors. Today we visited the Spessart Museum at Lohr. The museum has exhibits on the wood processing industry, glass manufacture, forestry, hunting and so on. It tells us the life of the Spessart inhabitants...

We had a terrific Sunday and I hope you all did too..For more Sundays head over to Unknown Mami who host Sundays in my city!! Have a great week everybody!!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wilhelma Zoological and Botanical Garden, Stuttgart

It's been more than a month since we went to Stuttgart on a short holiday. Stuttgart is the capital of the state Baden Wuerttemberg in Southern Germany. It is spread across a variety of hills, vineyards, parks and valleys.  We did see a lot of places. One of them included a visit to the Wilhelma Zoological and Botanical Garden. It is the only zoological botanical garden in Europe(or so the website claims). Whatever be it, this is one place that should definitely be in your itenary if you are holidaying in Stuttgart. And if kids are involved, they will love the place. You need an entire day to see the sights the zoo has to offer. With two cafeteria's available, you need not worry about food and drink.
            What amazed us was to see animals which we would never be able to see back home in India. Penguins, kangaroos, Polar bears, flamingos, sea lions.........

 If you are tired any time in between, do not despair. There are benches right outside the animal enclosures. You can choose your favourite animal and sit outside the enclosure viewing its antics. We chose to sit outside the polar bear enclosure and watch it pace up and down.

The butterfly garden also was amazing with all the colourful butterflies of different shapes and sizes!!!

Not to forget this sea lion who seemed to be very happy and barking away to glory.
And before we left, ooohhhhhh flamingos!
Of course, there was so much more!! Wish I could put up all of them. I chose the best to be published!
Participating in Outdoor Wednesdays!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What's Your Scent?

Today is Tuesday's around the world and the Girls at Communal Global want to know "What's your scent?". Interesting, right? For a moment it was not for me. I sat there pondering what to do cause I am a no perfume girl. Yeah, I prefer having a shower with my fruity liquid soap than spray on perfume. Also I totally agree with Sonya, that for most part of the day I too, do smell of bakes and cakes or whatever's been cooking in the kitchen. I sat on my thinking couch, wondering what do I post. In 30 minutes with a smile on my face, I dashed to the cupboard and pulled out my favourite scent!! This is what my husband uses and I just love its scent. 

Head over to Communal Global to see but not smell the scents of women around the world...:-)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!!

A Mother's Prayer!

I pray you'll be my eyes

And watch them where they go

And help them to be wise

Help me to let go

Every mother's prayer

Every child knows

Lead them to a place

Guide them with your grace

To a place where they'll be safe........

I pray they find your light

And hold it in their heart

As darkness falls each night

Remind them where you are

Every mother's prayer

Every child knows

Need to find a place

Guide them to a place

Give them faith so they'll be safe.....
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Participating in Sunday's in my City with Unknown Mami

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A milestone we have reached

It's our six month anniversary!!!! Yes, since we moved to Lohr!!!!! A rollercoaster ride it has been, and now I am laughing cause I no longer feel dizzy.... We have settled, and how can I say that??? For one, tears no longer come to my eyes thinking of my home country and second, in the past one month my fights with hubby have reduced considerably !! lol!!!!!!!!! see, we are a happy couple again...:-) This move has been the most challenging phase of my life, bigger than going to University, marriage, having kids, making a home.....
What has this move taught me????

  1. That I am capable of anything !! It is no joke moving to a foreign land and above all hearing a strange language being spoken. After six months, and no proper language classes(for me), my vocabulary is good and  I have found a way of communicating to people!! Deutsch is a strange language. Every noun is masculine, feminine or neutral. For now I do not care to remember if the tree is masculine, the bench feminine or the cloud neutral. I am least concerned if the verb comes before or after the subject.I put the words I know together with a little bit of english and voila.....there, I have my sentence! For example..I met this sweet old lady at the grocery store who wanted to know what we were doing during Easter holidays. I told her we would be going to Rothenburg ob der tauber.  She immediately asked whether we would use the train!! I told her, Nein, Auto(No, the car). She was getting pretty excited about me speaking a few words and most of all understanding her... Next question was whether I was driving??? I dramatically told her...Mein Mann(My Man)...By now she was hugging me with excitement and I could feel the blood rush to my face at this achievement!!! :D
  2. A deeper appreciation of seasons especially spring and summer!!! Back home we have the sun shining, the green grass and flowers blooming the whole year through. Never, ever have I seen a tree sans leaves maybe for a dead tree. Winter can be depressing. Not that I don't like the snow, but sheets of white for prolonged periods without any colour...hmmm... My cousin Conrad was so right about me liking winter wonderland for a short time,you are so right dear...The kids and I appreciate and wonder at every new leaf and bud shooting out. I don't think we would have developed this appreciation if we were back home.
  3. Thankfulness to all the people in my home country who had made life easier for me. I am talking about the drivers, maids, gardeners, the milkman and all the grocery/medicine guys who deliver goods home. Now when I scrub windows or brush the floor,I remember the times back home when I would be sitting with a book in hand and teacup in another, sipping hot tea while Pallavi would do all the above chores..Yes Sheryl, I love housework, but will never say no to a helping hand so that I can have some extra free time. As I carry the groceries home, day in and day out, I remember the delivery guys who would either carry our goods to the car or better still, deliver them home too. Such is the luxury I enjoyed back home and now when I think of it, we did live life Queen size....This move has made me say THANK YOU to all.
  4. I have developed a liking for baking! Back home we were regular customers of Sweet Chariot( a bakery which sells awesome cakes). Birthdays, Anniversaries, unexpected guests....always saw us bringing in cakes from Sweet Chariot. Germans bake a lot at home, and I have been inspired to bake. Over these months, I have improved well and by the time I return, I can say one thing..Sweet Chariot, you are gonna have competition :D
I still do miss my family, friends, home, my job, the familiar surroundings, Indian food, An English mass....... If somebody were to ask me, do you want to return, the answer would be "Yes"...I do not know why, but yes it is...Hopefully six months down the line, I will be able to give a different answer. For now, I am in the mood for celebration, to celebrate this milestone that we have achieved as a family!!!!!
Made the families favourite cake, Black Forest. We do deserve a treat!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuesdays around the World!!!

Tommorow I am celebrating something big!!!! So, in preparation I am gonna make something TODAY. Am just back from the supermarket and here are some of the ingredients....Any guesses what am I gonna make??? No prizes for guessing!!!! lol!!!! And yes, all of the above is writing in Deutsch!! So if you ever come to Lohr, don't be surprised to see a lady in a supermarket with iphone in hand and ingredient in other, typing vigourously to find out, what is she holding!! Head over to Communal Global to see how Tuesdays are around the world!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sundays in my city!!!

This weekend saw us in Leinach, a village which is a half hour drive from Lohr am Main. There was a KircschBlueten fest(Cherry Blossom Fest) being held. I thought Cherry Blossom festivals were supposed to be typical Japanese, so it was with curiosity that we went to witness this fest. It turned out to be typical German with lots of food and beer, seated by these beautiful cherry trees....
A great time we had indeed. For more Sundays head over to Unknown Mami and see lovely Sundays in beautiful cities.