Brockwell Park in London on a Fine April Day

Traveling is almost back to normal, but some things have changed for me. For one, I’m happy to stay home, and have our adult children visit me instead. Also, my last experience trying to book a flight with decent arrival and departure times, left me cancelling it altogether. In the end, I did not mind spending money on a round-trip ticket which I would not use. 37 messages and phone calls between the travel platform and me really took the fun out of any future travel experience.

Again, I was happy for them to keep the money, and I could stay home.

Nowadays, I prefer being an arm chair traveler, in the comfort of my own home. Fortunately, my adult children still get around, and share their photos with me.

Our son just moved to a new flat within south London, and discovered this beautiful park across the street.

Brockwell Park, London

I have been to London several times, but it was always for some event (graduation ceremony, concert, wedding, etc.) My next visit, if at all, will be to any park in London, where I can enjoy a picnic, observe nature, load up on vitamin D, take photos, and visit myself.

This has to be a British thing – I have never seen a clock installed in a park.

Being happy, when alone, is the greatest blessing one can have in life. – Venkat Desireddy

Autumn in Dambach-la-Ville in Alsace, France

We spent three days in Dambach-la-Ville, and it made for a wonderful change of scenery.

There are some small villages with really impressive buildings. This one is asking people to donate blood (Offrez votre sang).

In that same village, an otherwise ordinary village well has a carved top.

Between villages, all you see is vineyards along the road.

Our courtyard patio with some essentials: a candle and a corkscrew

The walnuts we gathered on one of our walks.

Our last evening stroll through the village.

Our bags are packed and ready to go. Bye, bye Dambach-la-Ville.

On our next visit to Alsace, we hope to stay in the village of Barr. We came through Barr on one of our drives, and it looked just as inviting as this one.

Snowfall in Jiangsu Province, China

A friend of mine, Reiner Gehles, has been living near Taicang in the Jiangsu Province for almost seven years. He got to experience a rare snowfall (the climate is usually temperate in winter), and gave me permission to share his most wonderful photos here.

This well-known Grand Canal runs through the entire province from north to south.

 

 

What to Do in Tallinn, Estonia in November

Tallinn is known to experience its second-wettest month of the year in November (after June). Well, we were in luck. It was a bit rainy in the mornings, but it usually cleared up towards noon.

We had flown from Frankfurt via Stockholm to Tallinn. When we arrived at the Tallinn Airport, I learned my suitcase was still in Stockholm. Oh well. This was nothing a good local beer could not fix.

This was the first sight we saw entering Old Tallinn.

Old Tallinn entrance

We stayed at the Baltic Hotel Vana Wiru, where they have a very fine restaurant. More about that and Estonian food in a different post.

By midnight, we checked into our hotel, and then went to a pub. By the time we got back, my suitcase had arrived at the hotel too. It was a bit damp from having been out on the tarmac for a while, I’d suppose.

The next day, we hit the Christmas Market several times. Old Tallinn is not that big, so you are bound to cross the market again and again on your way around. We tried different sorts of Glögg (the Baltic version of mulled wine). Interestingly enough, it was often offered in three content levels: 0% alcohol, 11% alcohol, and 21% alcohol.

Glögg’s the word!

 

Christmas market tree in Tallinn

There are many tourist shops selling their knickknacks, shops featuring amber in any possible form, and there are many cafés, pubs, and restaurants.

Amber jewelry tree

This amber jewelry tree would set you back by € 4950 – in case you were wondering.

I had read somewhere Tallinn would not be so crowded in November. It seems they still have their fair share of tourists during that time of month, especially with the start of the Christmas market.

 

In my opinion, a full day in Old Tallinn is enough. We had one and a half days, which was plenty. Well, and then, there is always more Glögg.

Beer Balcony in Winter

Overnight, today being 4 January 2016, we got our first snow of the winter, but some drizzly rain had washed most of it away by the late afternoon.

But it did look beautiful this morning, when I stepped out on the balcony with some coffee in hand. Oberursel lies at the foot of the Taunus Mountains, and so we are more subjected to winter weather than Frankfurt.

I have my friends and family over in all kinds of seasons, and this is the view they get over mulled wine.

beer balcony in the snow

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