Madeira

When friends invite you to their wedding party, you don’t say no. Especially not when it is on Madeira. What better reason is there to go than to finish a week of holidays with a splendid festival of two of your friends’ love. And it gets even better if you don’t go alone but bring 10 friends and live together in one house.

Sur la planche

Days are getting shorter, darker, colder – a perfect opportunity to revisit my summer holiday this year.

Ireland! Day Fourteen! It does not stop!

We had a great calm night in the new room that was only shared by us two and not by the snoring smelly rhino, although I missed him a bit.

The next day we thought about doing a tour of all the famous stuff in the city from when catholics and protestants were hitting each in the heads, but then we didn’t really feel like it. Instead we took a bus up to a hill that overlooks all of Belfast north of the town. Taking the bus is a bit scary, as only major stops are depicted on the maps, and you have to trust your driver when you ask him if he was going where you wanted to go. Our driver reassured us that he was indeed going towards the mountain and at some point he more or less yelled “NOW!” and we hurried to get off the bus.

We arrived at the Belfast Zoo which lies at the base of said hill, I will just now call Mount Doom for ease of writing, and our guide book told us, that there was a way to go from the Zoo to a little castle on Mount Doom. And indeed there was, but not quite as we expected. A muddy path crawls behind the Zoo upwards. And unlike Berlin, where you can see at least one animal that isn’t a pigeon from outside the Zoo when you pass by, in Belfast you only see concrete walls, barbed wire and reinforced fences. The path consisted mostly of large patches of mud and some slippery stones and slopes. At some point we had to make our way across 10 meters of heel deep mud by jumping from stone to stone. Doro was cursing like a sailor. I never heard her curse like that before or after. We just made it across the mud pit when a group of 4 joggers arrived and went “Hep Hep Hep Hep” while passing us, their legs muddy up to the knee.

The weather was grey and foggy and so the day looked pretty shitty. Crawling next to a fence through mud is not exactly what we intended to do.

Belfast_04_01

Belfast_04_02

We then slowly climbed to the peak area of Mount Doom. Doro said it would be nice if it would start to rain. It then started to rain.

Belfast_04_03

Belfast_04_04

Up on the side of Mount Doom was this cave you see below and we went to take a look at it. Looking down Mount Doom was just a vast area of greyness.

Belfast_04_05

 

When we arrived at the cave’s entrance, we turned around to see that in that exact minute the skies cleared up, the sun shined on our faces and all the clouds moved away to annoy someone else.

Belfast_04_06

Belfast_04_07

Belfast_04_08

The view then was most spectacular, we could watch the big boats arriving in the harbour of Belfast, look out to the see and all around us was sunshine and happiness. Yay!

Belfast_04_09

Belfast_04_10

Belfast_04_11

Belfast_04_12

Belfast_04_14

Belfast_04_15

While we stood there, admiring the scenery, me getting all sentimental and crying about the beauty of the day and God’s holy creation that we could witness, I was pulled out of my tranquillity by Doro fistpunching me in the kidneys. Twice. A young guy walked over the hill next to us. “Hello! How are you doing!”, was what I said. “Oh, ihr seid auch aus Deutschland.” was his answer. Great. So much for my English skills. He then presented himself to be a lone wanderer of the Belfast area, originating from the Bodensee in Germany. We had a chat and he pointed us in the direction he came from to get to the castle that was our original goal. We said farewell, he went on and we went where he came from.

Belfast_04_16

Belfast_04_17

Belfast_04_18

Belfast_04_19

Belfast_04_20

Belfast_04_21

The forest we entered looked suiting to Mount Doom, green and mossy and like it was bursting with witches and alike.

Belfast_04_22

But it wasn’t. The evil that lied within it was far beyond the evil of witchcraft. We took a turn at one point to get further down Mount Doom in direction of the castle I will now call Minas Tirit for no apparent reason. The slopes got more slippery and Doro had to do some impressive moves to avoid falling. So did I. But luckily I was the bearer of the camera and so it is not captured how I tumble down Mount Doom.

Belfast_04_23

It soon appeared to us that we took a turn for a mountain bike downhill course. This paths are not made for walking. Although I can’t imagine how to survive riding a bike on a muddy slippery slope down Mount Doom, some people must have done that regularly. We found bike tracks and later on some ramps for jumps.

Belfast_04_24

Then it happened. Although I descended Mount Doom lightfooted like a woodelf and fell and buried the camera in mud. Fun times. Luckily we soon found a way off this God forsaken bicycle track back to a normal route and we soon approached Minas Tirit. A lovely castle, often booked by wedding people to wed people together somehow. We walked over nicely kept lawns, me covered in mud, exhausted and not in the best mood. We headed straight into the washing rooms where we removed what we could of all the mud we brought.

Belfast_04_25

I cleaned the camera and as we (or rather Doro) spent a lot of money on the camera it was actually water and dust sealed and could basically just be rinsed with water until it was clean. My leg still looked muddy for the rest of the day.

So finally, this is the castle of Minas Tirit.

Belfast_04_26

The garden tells some kind of story of how the earl of the castle set himself on fire and jumped of a very high thing and fell into the town like a human torch, but unlike the friend of Mr Spandex, Invisible Girl and Dwayne Johnson he wasn’t able to fly like a bird. To tell the story a number of cats was hidden in the garden. Hidden as in there was a mosaic or a statue or picture. See if you can find them all on the pictures that follow up.

Belfast_04_27

Belfast_04_28

Belfast_04_29

Belfast_04_30

These stairs are mainly used by newly marriaged people to stumble and fall down while the guests are laughing at them. Very nice thing to see.

Belfast_04_31

These are for friendzoned men and their crushes. Quite close but with an uncrossable gap.

Belfast_04_32

Belfast_04_33

Belfast_04_34

Belfast_04_35

Belfast_04_36

This sign tells the story of how the castle’s inhabitants (servants for weddings) are lucky as long as a cat lives on the premises. As cats are known to chew on headphone cables the servants thought to be clever by hiding cat shaped objects in the garden. Kind of similar to the way they wanted to tell the story of the Earl of Minas Tirit and his torch experience.

Belfast_04_37

Belfast_04_38

This is me ignoring the fact that the cat is dead, because she messed with Goldfinger.

Belfast_04_39

I then lost a part of my backpack somewhere and despite looking for it we couldn’t find it. Mmh. We then descended from Mount Doom back into the civilisation. When we turned around we were stunned by the giant’s face that was visible against the sky. WE WERE WALKING ON A GIANT’S HEAD ALL THE TIME!?! We were so lucky not to have woken him. The locals say that the giant’s face looks like Napoleon. But I don’t see the afro anywhere. Or the moonboots.

Belfast_04_40

Nearly done now! Only a few dozen posts about Ireland left before I can talk to you again about my food and the stuff I don’t like!

Huzza!

 

Ireland! Day Twelve! Flower Power in Belfast!

After ten days in Derry we kind of had the feeling that we did everything that was accessible to us without a bike or car. We did some stuff even several times already (Castlerock!). And when we first went to Belfast, the weather was shitty and the city was just too big to be conquered in just one day. So we packed our stuff, said farewell to our host and took the morning train to Belfast, which is nearly as fast as the bus and way more comfortable.

Ireland! Day Eleven! Not much!

This is a short one.

The night before we had our farewell dinner with our host at nice grill box restaurant that served really good Irish steak.

The next day we went to see Coleraine together with Valentina, as it is easy to get there by bus or train from Derry. We strolled around and had a relaxed day looking at the city. And we went to a small forest.

Coleraine_01

Coleraine_02

In this forest were the remains of a pre-medieval fort. Basically just a funny shaped hill. We strolled around and went back to the city.

Coleraine_03

We soon went home, as we had to pack and be excited about our upcoming plans: going to Belfast and being there! Woo!

 

Ireland! Day One! Amsterdam!

We went to Ireland.

We just felt like getting too much sun in Berlin. We needed to act fast. So we booked flights to visit our acquaintance Valentina in Derry/Londonderry. But as most of you, unknown readers of this site, know, every trip you’ll ever do has to begin in Amsterdam.

Cops and wooden shoes. Amsterdam!

image

image

We left happily in the morning at about fuck-this-is-too-early o’clock. After a nice fligt in the luxury class airliner provided by easyjet, we only felt like enclosed cattle in a transporter for about the time of the flight. But luckily we had a very (very!) funny person giving us the safety instructions.

Die Zeit vergeht ja wie im Flug! – The funny steward.

and

Oh schade, schon gelandet! – The funny steward.

image

Schiphol is made from estimated 8922376 km of under- and overground tunnels. It takes 1:30 hrs from Berlin to Amsterdam. It takes 2 hrs from the arrival gate to the train station.

We hid our luggage in the luggage hiding cabinets and took the train to the inner city.

image

The trains were huge. Not this one, though.

image

More like this one. It’s about the size of an Airbus A380 if it would be the size of an Amsterdam train.

image

Hah! Signs! My german genes instantly triggered rewarding hormones in my brain-thing. This sign might say:

“Please pick nose!”

“Please sniff your finger two times upstairs!”

“Let’s duel with finger guns upstairs!”

“Airgun suicide cabinet for two on the diagonal to the left.”

As I was unsure, I followed all of these instructions. At once. Just to be sure.

image

Again, a very clear indication of what to do. Point at the hand sticking to the post with your arm stump.

image

I know this one. Don’t grope females from the front. Always sneak up from behind.

image

This grass was impressing. But in hindsight we’ve seen better grass elsewhere.

image

Young rowdy (sitting).

image

A coffee shop. I heard they don’t sell coffee but you can inject the Marijohanna inside.

image

Yum.

image

Doro pointing at things.

image

The red light district.

image

I heard that somewhere someone is planning to put THC synthesis pathways into ordinary veggies. I like that idea. Until then you can buy what you need on a street market in Amsterdam. We didn’t because I am naturally high, as I already introduced the THC synthesis pathway into my pancreas.

image

English breakfast in Amsterdam on the way to Northern Ireland. How ironic.

image

image

These are postcards. They’re like emails on paper. But slower. And you pay money for sending them. Not like in a flatrate. You pay like every single one separately.

image

Proof that there was weather.

image

Artsy graffity.

image

Finally. The giant’s causeway.

image

Posers.

image

Not posers.

image

This is pretty much all you need to know about traffic in Amsterdam. There is just too much of traffic. Helmetless people (and women) on scooters and bikes and in cars all running into each other. On high heels. With dogs.

image

image

This is a place. We got really good sandwiches at that specific place.

image

For my friends from down under.

image

Look how sunny it was! And we even didn’t have an Apple product to shield our eyes from the blinding light!

image

A lonely violinist in a street playing violin music on his violin.

image

This is really deep.

image

Street gymnast.

image

Street photographer.

image

THIS IS THE LUNCH WE BOUGHT! It’s a sandwich (good for eating), lemonade (good for drinking) and cups (good for lemonade)!

image

image

Mating sandwiches making baby sandwiches.

image

Best lemonade that we had at this precise moment (but also afterwards).

image

Someone told me to go there. I did go there. I did not go in there, because time.

This was our day in Amsterdam. We enjoyed the rest of the day by waiting at the bag drop counter, waiting for security, waiting for security again, waiting for boarding, waiting for taking off, waiting for landing, waiting for unboarding, waiting for the luggage, waiting for the bus and then waiting for Valentina to pick us up from the very cold and rainy Derry/Londonderry.

But more on that later.

Copenhavn finalen

image

Where we left off: Katja was a kind host and unfortunately for us left for personal holidays. Who can blame her after all the exams and the tourist guiding through the city. So she left on sunday morning which I hardly remember as I already developed a nice and cozy fever. My memories of that day are kinda blurry. I will just make up stuff on the go while looking at the pictures. 

So I popped my last remaining paracetamol I luckily had in my backpack and off we went.

image

Doro dragged through some danish design stores that had designed stuff. Lamps, and pots and cushions and glasses and forks. All of the stuff that exists was in some store designed by some designer. We looked at all of it.

image

doro!

image

Building! I think this is the old high school of copenhagen, where all the kings and queens went until they constructed a new one further down the road.

image

image

I hardly remember how, but we got to

image

Christiania! The place were pot and dope flow like honey. In this lawless community tolerated by the danish government photography was strictly prohibited. So I was a good non citizen and did not take any photos. It was strange to see all the banned stuff lying around in the open, with price tags. Everything smelled of weed and everyone was relaxed. Maybe a joint would have reduced my fever. I didn’t try. The downside to Christiania are the tourists. Tourists are the downside to everything. It looks kind of like Amsterdam with dozens of pubescent girls and boys looking at all the joints and marihuana while giggling hysterically. We soon had enough and continued our way.

image

We got the munchies. Probably from all the passive smoking. So we got pizza while having a view on this tower that you can climb up to look down.

image

Then there is a another gap in my memory. We somehow managed to get to this nice lake with fountains where I fell asleep on doro. That was nice. I like sleeping.

We then got back home where I fell asleep like a stone. Poor doro had to take care of an ill joram instead of enjoying the city.

image

As shitty as I felt on sunday, the next day I woke up feeling great. Apart from the runny nose and the permanent urge to sneeze and cough. But no more fever! YAAAAAAAAAAY! waving arms

image

We went to an area southwest of the central station close to Istedgade. Very nice living area with lots of green stripes and amazing little cafés.

image

and street art, sort of.

image

Behind this wall lies the former meat packing district that is now also a residential area filled with playgrounds and children.

image

Hipster-Heaven! Coffee and Vinyl! But as I do not have a vinyl player we skipped that place and instead went into an ice cream shop in the area that had amazing ice cream.

image

Real street art.

image

image

image

This place was in the french district which consists only of a few streets. Apparently french style is considered to be kitschy and christian. There were tons of baby jesuses in the arms of mother gary or whatever.

image

my favorite place. ever. I want to live there. I would go gay for any of the waiters. They were just so proper manly. Beards, healthy looks and sandals.

image

This place has the best egg benedikt I ever ate. Beautiful roasted dark malt bread with fresh ham, baby spinach, two poached eggs and homemade sauce hollandaise. Heaven. Since the day we had the ambrosia like dish I crave for egg benedikt and try my best to repeat that at home. My poached eggs are quite good already, but the home made sauce hollandaise needs some practice. But I will get there.

image

The place from the outside.

image

image

We slowly ended our tour through copenhagen in preparation for our departure back home. Somewhere we got some more danish pastries, some dinner and then we packed again.

I really enjoyed copenhagen, the people, the food, the sea. The prices not so much, but in Berlin you really get spoiled with food for about 5 eur and beer for under 3 eur. We will definitely go back there.

image

Copenhavn dag ét og to

2 weeks ago Dorothée and I went to visit my friend Katja in Copenhagen for the weekend. It was the first really warm weekend in Berlin and we left for the city we got to know as icy cold two years ago, when we went there in february.

image

This is a rather hairless me and below you see Doro looking quite happy reagarding the temperatures close to absolute zero. We even bought a hat for me. I hate buying clothing in my free time. (also I was too lazy to shop out the hairs and dirt from the scanning. Deal with it)image

So we kind of expected to arrive in an arctic country.

We were disappointed. In a good way.

We both started the journey from university/work, I carried the luggage from golm and Doro came from the lovely Oberschöneweide. We had a quick dinner with vietnamese take away at the lovely train station at Schönefeld airport and then did quite relaxed all the check in stuff. A short intermezzo involving a sprint out of the boarding area to the mailbox and back inside through the security check while the boarding was in progress flawed the experience a bit. Doro had to deal with a pissed off me. But I calmed down at some point.

The plane barely reached the flight altitude when it started descending again for landing. The overall flight time was about 35 minutes. It takes longer to get to work than to get to copenhagen.

In Copenhagen Katja was already awaiting for us and together we took the fully automatic train and a bus through the city to her student flat, where we had dinner and met some of her student accommodation flatmates.

image

I really liked their kitchen. Compared to Doro’s accommodation experience in London this was like heaven. They had tools, plates and basic ingredients for everyone, basically all paid by the university. They had several fridges and not just one for 6 people.

image

They had quotes from the flatmates on the walls as well. The numbers are the room numbers, not the age or date of birth.

We ate some pasta I prepared with Katja’s ingredients and then went to bed.

The next day was started quite early as the sun transformed the little room into a sauna and we just couldn’t sleep.

image

image

We enjoyed a quick small breakfast to leave space for the amazing cinnamon rolls the Danish people are so good at baking. One of the biggest chains is “La Cagethusset”, the cake house, but unlike our german chains this bakery bakes everything freshly in every shop. There is no delivery of frozen bread rolls that just get heated up. And it tasted so great. Especially the cinnamon stuff had just the right amount of spicy cinnamon and sweet glazing. Amazing.

We then started into our first day of city touring, enjoying the warm weather and the constant mild breeze that made the warmth feel less pressing. Again no comparison to the heat in Berlin, that just hits you and let’s you lie down flat hoping for cooling.

image

image

image

image

image

yeah boats and seagulls and stuff.

image

image

On the right side is Katja, our lovely host. The two had some difficulties with the concept of posing for tourist holiday pictures. How the hell should I present THAT on facebook?

image

Only thing that is missing on the sign are lances like in a medieval tournament. In Copenhagen they have several bikes. At least more than three. I then stopped counting. They have all kinds of bikes, they specialize in a sort of cargo bike with a lot of space in front to transport beer, children, women, men, general goods and plants. The whole city is adapted to bikes with special bike lanes, sometimes even with two lanes for slow and fast bikers. Even during winter those crazy Copenhagen people use their bikes in the cold wind. The hipster in me was happy.

this is like a boat or something.

art. this is it.

a dragon holding a light bulb. can it get any cooler? I think not.

Yeah. The little mermaid. We did that. As I had to struggle with the posing capabilities of my fellow girls I just took a picture of random tourists posing. still counts.

I think this fresco tells a story. Possibly about seamen.

Like a boss. Or two of them.

This what at some barracks for the royal guards. Really nice park.

This picture basically shows everything the inner city has to offer. Shops, guys holding up signs and hipsters. Most danish men look like hipsters. I think they invented it. Is it still hipsterism if it is mainstream? And how did they do it before it was cool when it is cold most of the year? so many questions…

Sad no entry sign is sad.

We had some food at a nice Café-Restaurant-Study-Bar place. They had books. I had tomato soup.

A danish woman with a thing she rides on.

All subway stations look exactly identical. Great for orientation.

Is this post-hipsterism?

A klippekard. The machine eats away some of the paper every time it is validated.

Watch the geese!

I told you so.

There were like a million geese. Jeez.

We then arrived at Katja’s place. She made some great palak panir (indian spinach cheese dish). We then fell in our beds and slept. Or at least I did while the girls were talking girl talk. About work and studying and such. I dreamed of romantic relationships with danish men.

Copenhagen Part 0

This is just a teaser. I am tired now. I did a work today.

you’re welcome.