You brighten my day..

Saturday, April 30, 2011

der, die, das.....

  Beginning Monday, I begin my full time course in the Deutsch language. Monday to Friday, the next seven months, for five hours everyday, I will be attending classes in the Volkhocschule or the adult school. Languages have never been my cup of tea, but who knows, learning German should be different. I will never know unless I try. The feeling of wanting to do something with my time gave rise to the thought of learning a new language.
     I am apprehensive about the whole thing. As a family, we will have to do major adjustments. As I won't be home the former part of the day,  all the household chores will have to wait till I get back home. And not to forget the additional hours of study that I will have to put in.
Since it will take me some time to get adjusted to a routine, posts will be few in this blog, till I get my groove back. If you miss me, you will know where to find me. In the school at Lohr am Main...:)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Oh, where is this country drive?

By now, you must be aware of my contribution of pictures to Communal Global. If you have not checked it out, head on over to this amazing blog right now. You will be amazed by the collection of beauty from women all over the world. We have never met each other in person, yet, share a common passion of capturing inner beauty and portray it to the world.
Last week, I shared the above picture. In a while I noticed two comments and one of them was "Where, oh, where is that country drive?" 
This question got me thinking and the outcome is this post....:) Country side driving is one of the best things you can experience in Deutschland. You never know what to expect. With every bend or curve of the road, you are greeted with a spectacular sight, different from what you just passed. 

It can be a meadow, an orchard of apple or cherry blossoms, rapeseed or corn fields, vineyards,  rows of pine trees, forests. If you are lucky you can even spot deer grazing in the lush meadows, though jersey cows with bells dangling from their necks, horses or sheep are a familiar sight. 

Clear blue skies with fleeting clouds add to the magic of a drive. But it ain't that way always. A cloudy sky with fog hanging low can give you some drama. On such drives, I try to carry the camera along. Though at times, I prefer to take in all the sights without having to worry of taking a shot of this and that. All this beauty around me makes for an excited passenger in the front seat, ME!!!! :D 

Unlike India, Germany has all the four seasons. A drive is the best way to experience the change of seasons. The new life of spring, flowers of summer, orange of autumn and snow of get it all on a countryside drive.

The one thing I miss during such drives is not being able to just stop, get out of the car and click away ...:( Laws are tough in Germany and we cannot stop at random where we please. There are specific parking spots where you can rest from a drive and too often, such parking lots provide nothing good to capture. But then, the first shot which raised the question about country drives was taken from a parking lot.....:D

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Frohe Ostern!!!

Happy Easter everybody!!!!! I know my header screams Easter, Easter!!!! Never the less I wanted to upload a snap of the easter eggs along with our Easter candle. But the Mac has been working on upgrading the thumbnails of our photos and it has been taking quite a few hours, thanks to the thousands of photographs stored in it.
   So for now, no new pictures, will have to make do with an older one.

I hope you all had a joyous Easter with visits from the Easter bunny and treasure hunting for eggs! We have had quite a day beginning with the longest church service we have ever attended! It was different and at the same time amusing too. Rushing back home, we had a scrumptious Indian meal, followed by the long distance calls to our loved ones back home in India. In all, it was an eventful Easter.

Unknown Mami

Friday, April 22, 2011

Karfreitag in Lohr am Main.

Karfreitag or Good Friday in Lohr am Main commemorates the death of Christ with a solemn procession which dates back 300 years. Catholic believers flock the road and thousands of believers take part in this procession.

13 life sized figures marking the way of the cross are carried during the procession along with muffled drumbeats and brass bands playing. The figures have been crafted by the local craftsmen.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesdays around the world

Germany's half timbered houses come in a wealth of different styles, shapes and colors. As you walk down the cobbled streets of german villages, it's amazing to see Germany's heritage of half timbered buildings. As summer approaches, you will have pretty sights of geraniums flowing down from the windows. For now, spring gives it's own magical touch to these buildings.
Do not forget to link your today at Communal Global. We would like to know what does your world look like?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday's in my City

Hello everybody!! It's Sunday's in my city again along with Unknown Mami. All this while I had been waiting for spring like crazy. Spring did arrive, also along with it, it brought not so good weather. This got me disappointed as I had been wanting to visit beautiful places close to Lohr am Main. Not allowing the weather to be a dampener, we nevertheless proceeded to see what is known as the Wasser Schloss(Castle in water) of Mespelbrunn, a short drive from our village.

This medieval castle is surrounded by a moat filled with water, which makes it look very beautiful. It also has remained in its original state(dating back to the thirteenth century), thanks to not being destroyed during World War II, the reason being it nestled in the woods.

(The inner courtyard of the schloss)

The castle is now privately owned by the family Ingelheim. As a result only a portion of the castle is open for public viewing. I could feel the castle being lived in thanks to the enormous amount of fresh flowers placed in every room.

If you would like to take in the sights of the castle at a slow pace sipping on some coffee, then this quaint little restaurant helps you do that.
Here's hoping the coming week brings in lots of sunshine and blue skies. 

Unknown Mami

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Easter Tree

In Deutschland we have Easter trees. You can make your own by hanging easter eggs on dried twigs, fresh flowers or a potted plant. The eggs can be either plastic, wood or porcelain, the latter being expensive. You get painted ones or better still, paint them yourself. If you happen to drive around villages in Germany at this time of the year, you will see that every house has an easter tree in the yard too. I love this concept very much. I bought my own painted wooden eggs, some dried twigs and made our own tiny tree.
     What does your day look like? Do you have any Easter tradition in your part of the world? Do link up your today. We would love to visit you.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday's in my City

Can you see, can you see??? The lush beautiful green popping out here and there. Spring is here to stay!! So long, farewell winter!!!

Did you know that some trees flower before sprouting the leaves?? Well, I didn't and now I do. These are all spring flowers. Given a choice, I would prefer the flowers whole year through....

And what does a village do to herald a new gorgeous season?? It welcomes it with a festival!!! :D We had a frühlings fest( Spring festival) today at Lohr am Main.
Shops were open( yeah, on a Sunday!!!), bakers selling fresh baked bread, people selling their wares aka a flea market at the Spielplatz...

Eis cafes open, everybody enjoying their dose of warm sunshine along with ice cream...

Plenty of bratwurst and lots and lots of beer......

and above all, oh so many people. We just loved it!!! For a moment, I felt I was back in India with the crowd, the hustle bustle and the noise. I hope every Sunday is like this.....

warm, gorgeous with clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine.

Unknown Mami

Friday, April 8, 2011

Shall we go to school??

(The entrance to the school)
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit the children's school with my camera. I had always wanted to take shots for memories for the kids, but never was able to. The primary school called the "Grundschule" in Lohr has completed 100 years of existence. So, in order to commemorate this event old students were invited to have a look at how the school has progressed over the years. It was a pleasant experience to see the old hunting for their classes and seats. It must have been pretty nostalgic to them, reviving old memories.
      On entering any school in Deutschland, the first thing that strikes you is the work of art, the creativity displayed everywhere. It mesmerizes me always and I can stand for hours together just admiring and wondering how these little hands have produced such fine art. While schools in India do lack this colorful display, you cannot help it cause the curriculum calls for more study. Walls everywhere, corners of the building are adorned with paintings, sculptures, paper work, all made by the students of every class in the school.

(The autumn tree above is made from dried autumn leaves. I just loved the idea!!)

These are how the classes look like. Every class has anywhere between 20 to 30 students. Each one of them have their own space with a desk and chair. Outside every class room are hooks for the students to hang their coats, sport bags or whatever. Classrooms too are colorful with lot of chart work on walls relating to the topics being learnt.

(A calendar in one of the classrooms mentioning the day, date, month and season!)

I love this concept of the teacher having tea with her students. During winter, during the short breaks, the class teacher along with her students have a cup of tea. 

(The water spout which I must say has a charm of its own)

I am glad, I am not a teacher here. Such beautiful scenery would be too distracting for me to teach a class!! I thought I would save the best for last..

Stunning, isn't it?? I hope you all enjoyed this tour.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Easter eggs the German way..

I love the spirit of Easter in Deutschland. The easter bunnies, colored eggs, easter tree(will show you mine in the next post). Feels a bit like Christmas. While you do get painted easter eggs in the markets, it is more fun to paint them at home. With the fun, there is a whole lot of mess to clear up, not to forget the broken eggs in the process!!!!

Over the weekend, I picked up paints which come as a ready kit exclusively for painting eggs. Available at any supermarket or hobby store, they come with colors, plastic gloves and foil for the shine. Instructions were in English too, so it wasn't a problem at all to get going. The children in their eagerness to paint, kept breaking the shells. Luckily the eggs need to be boiled, hence the damage was less. 

Doesn't it make for a pretty centre piece for the coffee table? Spring and Easter, I like the combination of both. Pretty flowers and easter eggs!!! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesdays around the world

How do you Welcome Spring?? You got it right!! With an outdoor barbecue. When we were invited to one over the weekend, we did not refuse. This was a first time for us and we loved it immensely. It was a unique experience.
       In Deutschland, people who have no yards in their houses, rent a portion of land in the outskirts of the village to have gardens of their own. Better still, some of them buy such land called meadows. A friend of ours has one such meadow, where they have planted their apple trees. Here is where they organized their weekend barbecue. Families cycled over to the meadow where beer benches and tables were already laid out. We ate, drank, played, walked through the forest, ate some more. In all, we had a great time. 

Do not forget to share your world with us today. We would love to visit you!!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Little Bakers

As part of the first holy communion preparation course, the kids had to visit a bakery and learn how bread is made. Due to other commitments, I could not accompany them. And DH refused to take the cam along, hence we have pics from the iphone. On return, all I waited was to see the shots of the entire process.
Before beginning, they had to wash their hands, don an apron and a bakers hat. Here, they are all gathered with the head baker, who is explaining the process of baking bread.

Hmmm....interested kids with interesting questions....

Now, let's see how the flour is made? Take a look everyone....

So, lets get the dough rolling......Little baker's in action.......

All set, it needs to be kept aside for a while, to rise....

The patterns are made and the bread is laid neatly on the trays.

Into the oven it goes, to get all brown and golden.

They were given a bread each to take home(not the one they baked). I am hoping that they will get the ones their little hands made next week.

Unknown Mami