Monday, 1 February 2016

Freiburg Nightlife

Saturday night we were going to a rock concert in Freiburg. This city is an hour drive away from home, and we don't go there very often for some reason we don't quite understand ourselves. Because this city has everything we miss in the heart of the Black Forest: Bars, good food and entertainment.

First things first: Food! When we entered the Mexican-Californian fusion restaurant Sausalito's, it was already packed with young folks. Freiburg is a university town. Weirdly enough by German standards the waiter welcomed us with a familiar "Du" instead of the formal "Sie" and on a first name basis, as if we were regular visitors. It almost sounded as if we had entered the American sector  ;-) Nice touch.

We were treated to a happy hour special (half priced long drinks), and how could we say no to things called Indian Mojito and Summer Cooler. Bonus, they had vegan and gluten free options on their menu. While Roland went with a traditional burger, Sonja opted for the vegan version sans bun.

With culinary senses satisfied and bellies full we walked over to the event location, the Jazzhaus Freiburg. The age group was a bit different there... more mature folks (like ourselves). The performer was Laith Al Deen, a German-Iraqi singer and song writer.

The venue was underground, in a vaulted cellar, and the proximity to the singer was almost intimate. We had a good time, and it looked like everybody else had, too.

It wasn't allowed to take photos with a camera, but the cell phone pictures didn't turn out too bad either.

Song: What if everything went well

Saturday, 30 January 2016

A Journey to the Center of the Earth

... well maybe not to the center per say but for sure a visit to the country where the famous journey began. To Iceland. A country that became a priority item on Sonja's bucket list, long before she even considered having one.


It all started back in the Seventies with a pile of Jule Verne science fiction novels as a birthday present, one of them being A Journey to the Center of the Earth, in which a German professor, his nephew and a local travel guide climb into a volcanic crater on Iceland in order to find a way to the Earth's center, only to be spat out by another volcano in Italy, and with many adventures in between.

A piece of literature that Sonja has held dear ever since, and loving it for fuelling her interest in traveling, geology, palaeontology, and said Northern island of course, where the protagonists' adventure started.

 "Descend, bold traveller, into the crater of the jokul of Sneffels, which the shadow of Scartaris touches before the kalends of July, and you will attain the centre of the earth; which I have done, 
Arne Saknussemm." 

Saknussemm's message: I got there and so can you!

So now, after four decades in the make, we are planning on crossing out said bucket list item some time this summer. Trip preparations are underway, fares and cost are being compared and various travel literature, the online and the printed stuff, currently being foraged. If only our vacation schedules can be matched up this year... let's keep our fingers crossed.

Friday, 22 January 2016

The best Countries in the world!

A new study (source: Washington Post) ranks Germany as the best country in the world, and Canada as a very close runner up. In our opinion this clearly should be the other way round but still... calling the two best countries in the world our home, well, if that isn't something!

So, where could Germany and Canada still improve? Of course, Germany right now is facing the giant task of managing the refugee crisis, and while Canada was picking out the raisins, Germany has been dealing with the broad mass of migrants. However, it is impressive to see that many Germans welcoming, helping and supporting the newcomers, which makes us proud. At the same time the right wing radicalisation of the so called "Besorgte B├╝rger" (worried citizens) must not be underestimated.

Canada on the other hand urgently needs to move away from the extreme dependency of it's natural resources, and find a way to a better educated population and a stronger industrial sector. Huge tasks!