Friday, 12 December 2014

Forty Winks Friday. All you need is an overpass

On a sunny Shanghai day, if you need to take a break from the hustle and bustle,
get away from the crowds and the traffic, find yourself a
nice shady free way overpass, balance yourself and nap!

Robyn's Shanghai Nappers

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Frankfurt Christmas Market


One of the real joys of living in Germany is having the incredible
Christmas Markets on our doorstep. The is nothing as magical as 
wandering around the stalls, fairy lights twinkling, the smell of roasting chestnuts
and the spices of gluhwein filling the air. 
The atmosphere festive with laugher, people chatting and children playing.

The Frankfurt Weihnachtmarkt, one of Germany's oldest Christmas Markets,
opened on 26 November and runs until 22 December 2014.
There is evidence that Christmas markets were held in Frankfurt as far back as 1393, 
though in those days it was a simple affair for locals to stock up on essentials
 before the harsh winter set in.

Today the market is nestled in the heart of Frankfurt's historic centre,
half timbered buildings, the scenic surroundings together with the 
cute stalls, lights glistening with a huge, beautifully decorated Christmas Tree
dominating the spectacular marketplace.

With over 200 Stalls stretching from the Zeil shopping street down to the river, 
 selling anything from decorations, gingerbread, bratwurst,
roasted nuts and chocolate covered fruit.
You can find beautiful wooden Christmas scenes, woollen scarves and gloves. 
There is something for everyone, plenty of places to stop for a gluhwein or 
hot chocolate to warm up before going off to discover more.


Frankfurt Christmas Market 2014

The setting is spectacular!

Frankfurt Christmas Market 2014

Nothing like a twinkling carousel ride to
brighten the day of any child or child at heart.

Frankfurt Christmas Market 2014

The lights and decorations add to the atmosphere.

Frankfurt Christmas Market 2014

Stalls on cobblestoned streets, nestled alongside beautiful buildings.

Frankfurt Christmas Market 2014

Bare tree silhouettes add to the atmosphere. 

Frankfurt Christmas Market 2014

Beautiful decorations abound.

Frankfurt Christmas Market 2014

Frankfurt Christmas Market 2014

The gingerbread is colourful and tempting.

Frankfurt Christmas Market 2014

Was actually quite delicious!

Frankfurt Christmas Market 2014

The variety of foods on offer diverse. This salmon...divine!

Frankfurt Christmas Market 2014

You cannot go to a German Christmas market without having a mug of gluhwein or hot chocolate. 
You pay a deposit/Pfand for the mug. When you have finished your drink you can return the
mug and get your deposit back ...or you can keep it as a souvenir.

I 'may' have been to the Frankfurt Christmas Market three times since
it opened, every visit I discover more...and I look forward to exploring a few
more German Christmas Markets in the next few weeks.


Sunday, 30 November 2014

My Photo a Day November 2014

I have joined a challenge where participants take a photo a day using a list of prompts for inspiration.
The challenge has encouraged me to discover more skills as a photographer 
and look at things in a different way. 

Please enjoy my take on November 2014, most photos were taken on the day,
with three from my archives.

The prompt given is listed in red, the photo is my take on the prompt
and the caption is my description.

1

Lapad Bay, Croatia

 Something Blue - Blue Sky, Blue Sea and Blue in the boat, from the archives, August 2014 in Croatia as we had fog all day and barely any natural light! 

2

Forest, Hofheim, Frankfurt

 I saw this - Autumn Colours in my German Forest on our daily dog walk! Every day the colours change.

3

Ginko Tree, Frankfurt

 Weather - Raining, grey and gloomy! My neighbour's tree brightens my day when I look out of my dining room window! 

4

Coffee Grinder, Bosnia

 Can't live without...can't live without my girls, my husband, my dog...also can't live without my coffee! 

5

Go Karting, Frankfurt

 8 o'clock - 8pm, 16 year old daughter at the go kart track. So hard to get a clear shot...she was fast...2nd fastest of eight and the only girl! 

6

Ralph the Border Collie x

 Made me smile today - Love that this ball is Ralph's favourite. Makes me smile every time he picks it up with the teeth showing! 

7

Ralph the Border Collie x, in forest, Frankfurt

 On the floor - Lots of autumn leaves...and of course one of Ralph's balls!

8

Autumn forest, Frankfurt, Germany

 A place - A place I walk the dog every day, a place I enjoy watching explode with Autumn colour. In a place I call home for now. Germany!

9

Frankfurt, Germany

 Heck Yes....lets have a wine with friends, watching the world go by on a gorgeous afternoon in Frankfurt! 

10

Rose and candle

 I do this every day...light a candle for lost loved ones, friends at home, to send light and love around the world to those who need it.

11

Chinese Fortune Sticks

 A Set - My set of Chinese Fortune Sticks...my Fortune today #32- No journey take by rail or sea or calamity may happen thee...which is quite incredible...I was going to catch the train to the next town and pay some bills but after walking the dog for too long decided on tomorrow instead ...before I read my 'fortune'

12

Hofheim, Frankfurt, Germany

 Normal - What is normal for one person, may not be normal for another. 
It is normal for this German town to have a British red phone box in the main street! It is normal for me to take my camera everywhere...which I did today...minus my memory card! Today's photo comes from my phone!

13

Sign, Bavaria

 Letters - When you live in a place where you don't know the language, signs are just a jumble of letters. I could pick out school, but not much else on this sign in Bavaria. Google translate helped unjumble the letters and came up with "urban school champions for Stonemasons and sculptors times Urstein technic" Still not 100% sure but thank goodness for Google Translate...helps me do the shopping!

14

Lillies

 For Me - Flowers from my husband...for me...wonder what colour they will be! 
(They were pink)

15

Hot and Cold

 Hot + Cold 

16

Bare branch

 After - After the Autumn leaves have all fallen.

17

Zeil, Frankfurt

 Cooking - This guy is always cooking Wurst in a bun on his little portable BBQ, for people on the main shopping 
street of Frankfurt.

18

Shanghai Skyline

 I love this - I love the city of Shanghai, the mix of ancient and new, the colour, the culture, the vibrancy, the food. A photographers dream city. From my archives.

I ♥ Shanghai 

19


Ralph the border Collie x and half a tennis ball

 Whole - This tennis ball started our walk, brand new and whole. Was not whole when we returned. At least we had the whole forest to ourselves

20

Rose, Hofheim, Frankfurt

 Bright - Bright flower, brightening a cobblestoned street with half timbered houses near Frankfurt on a dark, cold, grey day.

21

Shoes

 Shoes - My girls just chilling in their colourful shoes, soaking up some sun by the river! 

22

Shanghai Skyline photo mosaic

 Favourite - So many favourites, my girls, the dog, souvenirs, travel, my childhood teddy. This picture of the Shanghai skyline encompasses many of my favourites. It is a mosaic of 1000's of my photos of our life in China, many memories and adventures, friends and family. One of my families most treasured and looked at possessions.

23

Christmas Craft

made this - I love Christmas and creating...I made the advent calender when our girls were small...the elves come every night to deliver treats. Made the table runner and the mosaic bowl too...Christmas is coming :)

24

Autumn Leaves

 I need to do this - rake up a few thousand beautiful Autumn leaves!

25

Autumn Leaves

 Time - 10:26am, 25 November 2014 Place - Frankfurt, Germany Temperature 6C. 
Time to soak up what is left of Autumn.

26

Street Art, Dale Grimshaw, Camden, London

 Wall - I found this street art on a wall while wandering around Camden in London recently. So vibrant and those eyes reach into your soul!!! Archive October 2014.

27

Perth, Shanghai, London, Weisbaden

 I'm thankful for this...Thankful for the opportunity to live in these amazing places with my husband and girls by my side. Soaking up different cultures and countries, lifestyles and languages. The memories and friends we have gathered along the way. Perth, Western Australia: China: England: Germany :) Archive shots.

28

Cast Iron Chinese Tea Pot

 Black - My black cast iron teapot 

29

Christmas Market, Frankfurt

 So this happened - It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas....the Christmas Markets in Frankfurt have opened. Colourful, festive, fun!

30

Gingerbread Santa, Christmas Market, Frankfurt

 I bought this - A gingerbread Santa for my daughter at a local Christmas Market last night. Then I helped her eat it when our train home was over an hour late and we were cold and hungry. It was delish! 

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Forty Winks Friday. Suzhou Slumbers

The streets of Suzhou are bustling and crowded. 
It takes energy and wits to get tourists from one place of beauty to another.
In the quiet times between customers it is nice to put your feet up and nap!

Robyn's Shanghai Nappers


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

German Gems #4

Free Beer

My husband is a bit of a beer connoisseur, quite partial to a well kept
British Ale, also a Little Creatures Pale Ale from my home town of Fremantle.
 He likes his beer but it has to be decent.

On one of our first forays into Aldi in Frankfurt, we grabbed a 6 pack of
Karlskrone Premium Pilsener for the paltry sum of €1,69, thinking that if it was bad
we wouldn't be wasting that much money. Well it turned out to be pretty good!
Even better when our neighbour saw the empty bottles in with our recycling and told
us to take them back to the shop where we would get 25 cents Pfand/deposit for each bottle.
Really...that would make the 6 pack just 19 cents...basically FREE!

Karlskrone Beer Frankfurt Pfand

Well not quite... as it turns out...you pay the €1,69 plus the €1,50 Pfand/deposit as well.
Not the €1,69 including beer and Pfand as we thought at first.

Karlskrone Beer Frankfurt Pfand

Our recent Aussie visitor to Frankfurt could not believe how cheap the beer was...or how good!
Great pic Col ;)

Karlskrone Beer Frankfurt Pfand

It is so easy to get your Pfand/deposit back. Take your bottles back to the shop, 
put into the hole in the wall where they will be scanned.
That is my husband's hand...he is shy!

Karlskrone Beer Frankfurt Pfand

When you have finished....this time we had...ahem.... 13 bottles...
press the green button and you will get a voucher.

Karlskrone Beer Frankfurt Pfand

When you have finished doing your food shopping...
grabbed some more 'free beer'....and maybe some wine.
Give the cashier your voucher at the till and the Pfand from your empty bottles will be taken off,
which will negate the Pfand for your fresh bottles of 'free beer'! 

Karlskrone Beer Frankfurt Pfand

The Pfand in Germany also applies to drinks other than beer,
 bottles of water, soft drinks and juices, just look for the word 'pfand'.
Intriguingly there is no Pfand on wine bottles...shame!

So, even though the beer is not technically 'Free' it is still only
29 cents a bottle...it may as well be Free and we will always call it 'Free Beer'!

German Gem...absolutely!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Forty Winks Friday. Cosy Couch.

The cosy couch in our apartment building foyer was far more comfortable
than balancing on a scooter!

Robyn's Shanghai Nappers