Maria’s Beer Balcony in Germany

This visit was actually for a good-bye beer. My fairly longtime English friend (we have been friends for about five years, which is long in expat circles) has since then moved to Munich, one of the cities claiming to be the Bierhauptstadt (beer capital).

Balcony with Jeannette

With Jeannette from Nottingham/UK

I hope to get to see Jeannette for a beer in Munich before she moves on again!

By the way, here is something I learned today:

*Take a nonalcoholic Weißbier, add Zitronenlimonade ( carbonated soft drink, especially sweet lemon-flavored drinks) and you have a Russ’n (coll. for Russen = Russian)

Wonder what a combination of an alcoholic Weißbier with Limonade would produce, a Tartar maybe?

Munich is famous for its Weizenbier (German), but in the southern regions of Germany and Austria, only ask for a Weissbier or you will get funny looks.

On the Road in Canada – Hopewell Rocks, NB

After our short break in St. Martins, we stopped at Hopewell Rocks in the afternoon.

These rocks, often referred to as flowerpot rocks, stand between 40 – 70 feet tall. These rock formations have been caused by tidal erosion.

We got a family pass for two adults and two children for C$ 20 to get into the park. This photo was taken from above, obviously, and later we climbed down the stairs. The park ward told us there are 96 steps (round trip), which did not impress us much. We have more steps to climb up and down in our apartment building in Germany.

Hopewell Rock, Canada

Hopewell Rock, Canada

The view below is just as interesting. There are even more mushroom look-alikes along the side of the cliffs.

Hopewell Rock

Hopewell Rock

The ebb and tide leave the sea in a constant murky brown. This coloration I had only seen in floods before.

brown sea

brown sea

Here is a bit of information what makes the Fundy tides so special.

Fundy Tides

Fundy Tides

And yes, we heard of some dangerous encounters with moose on the road. Fortunately, we only heard about them and got to see the warning signs along the road. We did not spot a single one.

Moose crossing

Moose crossing

Now we are heading back to Halifax, where we originally started our road trip. We will be spending one night there before heading to Lunenburg for our final place to visit.

5 Most Needed Documents for Car Rental in Canada if You are a U.S. American living in Germany

Traveling is a wonderful thing. I have come to the point to believe it would be easier to rent a car in Uzbekistan and drive it into Turkmenistan. At least, security could not be much tighter. Our rental procedure is so complicated as we are heading to an exotic country… such as Canada.

We have been having a challenging time trying to get a rental car for when we arrive in Halifax/Canada. We could not anticipate the difficulties we would encounter when a U.S. American, residing in Germany, wants to rent a car in Canada AND take it across the U.S. border.

The first stage included finding a car rental agency who would even rent a car to an U.S. American in Canada. Out of the about 30 car rental agencies on the Canadian market, only two were willing to let us rent a car. We settled on Alamo as they had the better offer of the two.

Then we gathered the four extra required documents.

* International driver’s license in English. Strange as it might seem, official German paperwork such as the International Driver’s License is issued in German, among various other languages. The very last page is in English. We are still awaiting their confirmation that one page in English is sufficient as we were told “When renting a car in Canada, you must provide an international drivers license that is issued in English.  All the documents that you have to provide must be in English and must be original.”

We have run into so many unexpected challenges along the way, we need to make very sure that one page in English is sufficient.

* German registration

* Certified English translation of the German registration

* Proof of our return tickets

* We also decided to bring my husband’s confirmation of employment in Germany.

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Now, if you are foolish like us, you might think “Why not combine our trip to Canada (where we attend a wedding) with a short visit down to Maine?” This is part two of the fun:

* For taking the car into the U.S., we have to get a written addendum in our rental contract that specifically permits us to drive the rental car into the US.

 or we will get into trouble at the Canadian/U.S. border.

Not to mention my German nationality, being the spouse of a U.S. citizen without a green card puts me in the second highest risk group for illegal immigration. If we get through with the car – and myself included – we get to visit a friend, spend some U.S. Dollars, then turn back to Saint John/Canada to visit another friend.

As a German citizen, I have never flown into Canada trying to rent a car with my American husband and his driver’s license. And I don’t think I will ever do this again.

My Experimental Kitchen – Ramen Omelet

Traveling is a wonderful thing. Sometimes it only takes an arm chair traveler to discover more fusion cuisine on the net. When our son returned from Nottingham for spring break in Germany, he asked me to assist him in the kitchen with a new Korean recipe.

He had read about this ramen omelet and we gave it a try. My cooking skills had lost any inhibitions I might have had throughout my traveling years. And I remember exactly when it happened – looking through the bakery shop window at lines of French bread rolls, filled with Spaghetti Napoli – in Japan. And that was just the beginning.

Anyway, we prepared cup shin ramen the usual way, but without adding the prepackaged chili powder. Then we drained the water.

At the same time, we beat three small eggs, and added a bit of soy sauce and sugar (the Japanese way) and then most of the chili powder (the Korean way). All this got thoroughly mixed, which took a bit longer because of dissolving the clumps of chili powder. In the meantime, the noodles cooled off, which is recommendable.

ramen omelet

When the egg was ready, we just placed the cooked noodles in the middle and folded it over like an Italian calzone.

cup ramen served the Italian way

Last, but not least, I asked our son to leave me a bite. He didn’t. He said it was very good, you have to take his word for it.

Optional: layer it with thin lines of ketchup

Some college students also claim this to be the best hangover food ever.

Review for Hotel&Spa S’Entrador Playa in Cap Ratjada, Mallorca

Through the German tour operator Neckermann, we booked our short trip to Mallorca, which included round-trip airfare with Air Berlin, 2 overnights with half board, single room, and airport – hotel transfers.

We did not expect much as it was only euro 277,– per person, but we were in for a real nice surprise.

This little arrangement welcomed us to the room.

Breakfast and dinner were buffet style. The breakfast selection was even more impressive than dinner. Even in late November, we were able to have breakfast outside and chose to have dinner inside.

breakfast area

The rooms were small and ours faced the tennis court, but even though it had a balcony, we did not have plans to spend much time in the room. We only had 48 hours to amuse ourselves on Mallorca.

Single room at the S’Entrador Playa in Cap Ratjada

By the afternoon, we could see some pale Germans sunbathing around the pool in about 20°C weather.

S’Entrador Playa pool

The hotel service (reception desk, restaurant staff, cleaning personal, etc.) was superb. The last thing I remember, is the maid wishing me a Tschüs und gute Reise! when I passed her with my suitcase. Guess I had been accustomed to maids usually looking the other way when passing them.

The hotel caters to mostly German patrons, therefore most of the staff speak German.

For more photos and information (in German), visit Hotel&Spa S’Entrador Playa on holidaycheck.de

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