Travel Destination: Balkonien

This summer, we did not go anywhere for various good reasons. I enjoy Balkonien right now, especially in the evenings.

For some, Balkonien is a so-called euphemism for staying at home during the summer. Yes, I’m fortunate to have the chance to stay here (see photo). I do not want the frenzy of crowded airports, delayed flights, days of preparation, and much more. I do enjoy traveling, but not when everyone else does. At least, not now.

*Welcome to Word of the Week: Balkonien

Balcony August 2016


*Welcome to Word of the Week: Balkonien

Decorating Ideas for any German Fest

German fests traditionally use little lights, flowers, and local flags for decoration.

But this Ebbelwoi Fest in downtown Oberursel added a special touch by stringing dish towels and old-fashioned apron dresses across the ceiling. It was definitely an eye-catcher.


Ebbelwoi-Strausswirtschaft & Kelterei, Oberursel

We enjoyed our Friday evening there. Food, drinks, and service was very good (I had beer, though). The only downside was – no ventilation on such a hot summer day.

More at Ebbelwoi Straußwirtschaft & Kelterei in Oberursel.

Zigzag Summer in Germany

The photo, taken at 6:40 this morning, came with a bust of crisp autumn air.

Flaming sky over Germany 2 Sep 2011

This summer has been a real Zickzack Sommer (zigzag summer) in regards to temperatures.

Earlier this week, we traded our patchwork quilts for the goose-down feather bedding  due to very cool nights. Then I read this morning that temps will rise to 30°C (86°F) again by tomorrow.

We are going from having steamy hot food at the dining table back to Tomaten & Mozzarella on the balcony, once more.

I have also switched continuously between hanging up the laundry outside and using the dryer.

Germans are habitual, but our summer routine surely wasn’t. The annual rainfall was up by 22% for the months of Mai, June, and July.

… and no worries, despite Dave Barry’s claim:

One key lesson of history is that virtually anything, including afternoon or evening thundershowers, causes Germany to invade Belgium.

 – Dave Barry (Dave Barry Slept Here) –

Green Rice Fields and Red Flowers in Japan

One of my favorite images of Japan is the one of the flower Higambana (彼岸花), separating rice fields. The colors are so stunning – the contrast of the green rice plants, the deep red flowers, and the blue mountains in the background are a haven for artists, Zen followers, nature lovers, and dozens more.

Higambana means Autumnal Equinox flower and its blooming  lasts for about 10 days only.

With the current news about Japan and so many negative images of destruction, angst, and death, I tried to remember the Japan I used to know, and the image of the Higambana came to mind.

Higambana flowers and rice fields around Kitakyushu/Japan

The only time I saw these flowers, was when we participated on a bus tour, sponsored by the International Center of Kitakyushu. Otherwise I might have never spotted this plant, which only blooms for a short time.

This sight in late summer, combined with summer’s humidity and a slight evening breeze, is the real Japan.

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