Posts Tagged ‘Koblenz’

Location Update

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Greetings to all.

I am currently sitting in a sunny upstairs bedroom at Tom’s Oma’s house in Koblenz. I have already spent one week in Medemblik, Holland, with my parents and have a few more days in Germany before we head to Crete. Much fun has been had, bikes have been ridden, trampolines have been bounced and mud has been walked. One of the highlights that I will have to write about later is when my mum’s cousin and his family took us to the most northern point in Holland and made us (yes, FORCED us) to walk out into the North Sea. Thankfully, the tide had gone out, but it left behind a very muddy seabed which completely ruined my shoes. It’s a long (and good) story that needs to be told at a later stage when I’m not hungry and thinking about breakfast. In the mean time, I invite you to visit my Flickr site to see my photos. I’m putting them up slowly when I have free moments and access to internet.

Ooh breakfast calls!

Time to Recap

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Once again I have to write a catch up report on what we have been up to. It has been a very busy week and a half involving visits to two cities, lots of train trips, visitors, funerals, family, food, fun and frantic searches for short sleeved tops. Paris is experiencing some sort of heat wave. By that, I mean it has been above 23 degrees most days and for some reason that feels more like 30 degrees. I have made a few exasperated visits into clothing stores in search of short sleeves and summer skirts but it has been quite disappointing. Plus, lots of the shops aren’t airconditioned and so I enter and leave in a “I’m hot and grumpy” mood. Those of you who know me well will know that I’m not the most approachable person when I am hot and bothered. Anyway, I have managed to find a few tops in Monoprix (a supermarket that also sells cheap basic clothes) so I felt somewhat cooler yesterday. Today my parents are arriving and bringing me shorts! IMAGINE THAT! Shorts… so cooling.

So! Travel adventures. After returning home from Lyon, we unpacked and repacked our bag and the next morning headed off to Koblenz on two separate trains. This was due to pricing and getting the best possible bargains. The train ride to Koblenz is particularly beautiful – first you catch a train to Saarbrucken which is just over the French/German border and then you change trains and follow the Moselle river all the way to Koblenz. The views are spectacular and what you could describe as “typical German countryside”. Green rolling hills, cute little villages with wooden houses and the picturesque tranquility of the winding river. No matter how hard I tried to read my book, I couldn’t helping looking out the window every second line.

Rhein

The Rhein in Koblenz

It was great seeing Tom’s Dad (he had flown over from Perth early in order to attend his father’s funeral) and Oma. Pity it was for such a sad occasion but it was nice to have family around. Tom’s Opa’s funeral was a nice simple service at a beautiful local church on an island floating in the middle of the Rhein. Tom’s Opa is now surrounded by asparagus mounds and other vegetable gardens that produce some of the best known vegetables in Koblenz. The service was entirely in German, for obvious reasons, which made it somewhat difficult to understand. However, as a lover of languages I found it particularly interesting to listen to hymns being sung in German and I could pick up the odd phrase such as, “In the name of the father, the son…” Now I have been to a German funeral and a Dutch church service. I appear to be converting in foreign countries.

Church

A lovely church

My friend Marina is in town with her parents and it has been great catching up with her. It is nice to have a friend around who I have known for a long time. Conversations are easy and we already know so much about each other. Mazz is in a wheelchair and so we have been discovering the pros and cons of Parisian disabled access (or lack of.) The footpaths aren’t bad but most restaurants put their toilets at the bottom of steep staircases and there are generally steps everywhere. She has been able to get into museums for free AND skip queues, which, in my opinion, is some sort of wonderful. I told her she can’t leave because she needs to be my “Get into Museums for Free” pass. I’m such a nice friend.

In other news, I apparently had my hair cut this weekend. By that I mean I went to a hairdresser, sat in the chair and there were scissors around. However, usually post-hair-chop my head feels as light as a feather and I worry that it is too short. This time I left feeling like my hair hadn’t changed at all. Basically the girl decided that I shouldn’t cut my hair too much and therefore just made a few adjustments. I managed to talk her into thinning it a little bit at the top as my hair gets very thick as it grows, but really I’m not sure what I spent 40 Euros on. At least she chopped my fringe, although she just cut it in a straight line and decided I should have a front fringe, rather than one to the side. Maybe this is a sign that I should grow my hair. I’ve never had long hair – maybe Paris is the place to give it a go.

Hair cut

Waiting for nothing.

As previously mentioned, my parentals are arriving today. They are on a ten week trip through Europe and will be in Paris for the next week. I am very excited. I am a very family-oriented person so I can’t wait to have them around and show them my new life. However, the restaurant I had booked for this evening has just cancelled on me so I have to find somewhere else for us to eat. So I shall be off.

Last Minute Lyon

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

We had been looking at organising a weekend away with Rom and Coup and with everyone’s up-coming travel plans we only had two weekends available. Last night on SNCF (French train company) website, they released some last minute cheap tickets where if you travelled in groups then the cost of the ticket reduced. We are a group! So tomorrow lunchtime we’re getting on a train to Lyon and spending the weekend exploring the city. I have been to Lyon once but I was alone, depressed and wanted to go home the entire time so I am looking forward to seeing it in a much more positive light.

We return to Paris on Sunday evening and then first thing Monday morning Tom and I are catching separate trains to Koblenz in Germany to attend Tom’s grandfather’s funeral. He sadly passed away recently and as we’re not far away we are going to join the family for the ceremony. So it is travel travel travel for us. This is more like it – I haven’t felt this nervous about catching so many trains since I was last living in France so clearly we’re finally doing the right thing and are being frivolous and crazy young people living in Europe. HOORAY!