Tuesday, 19 May 2015

How is it suddenly the middle of May?

Since we found that our time as expats would be coming to a rather unexpected end way
back in March, life has been busy with preparations, so much to do.
We have been deciding what gets shipped home, what gets left behind. 
The dog has had his rabies shots and is on his way to becoming an Aussie.
School places have been secured and we have been busy squeezing as 
much of Europe as we possibly can before the return down under in January 2016.

Here is a little of what we have been up to over the last month...

We popped over to Metz in France to have a crepe for lunch and checked out the 
beautiful Saint-Stephen of Metz Cathedral. Great way to spend a gorgeous Spring day.

Metz Cathedral, Metz, France

Metz Cathedral, Metz, France

After our little ANZAC Day service we drove through the Black Forest. 
It was wet and cold but still spectacular.

The Black Forest, Germany

The Black Forest, Germany

We spent the night in the gorgeous Spa town of Baden Baden, Germany.

Baden Baden

Of course we ate some Black Forest cake on the drive home.

Black Forest Cake  The Black Forest, Germany

We have picked tulips in fields, for 45c a stem why wouldn't you???

Tulip picking, Germany

I have wandered around the lovely Wiesbaden, just down the road, soaked up the history.

Wiesbaden, Germany

Of course we have eaten nearly our body weight in the delicious White Asparagus 
which is currently in season.

White Asparagus, Germany

We stumbled across a classic car rally in Wiesbaden on another visit.

Car Show, Wiesbaden

We just returned from a weekend trip to Berlin for our youngest daughter's 15th birthday. 
We joined a gazillion teenage girls for a 5 Seconds of Summer concert (Aussie band)
and we soaked up some history too.

Reichstag Building, Berlin, Germany

Soviet War Memorial, Berlin, Germany

More on our adventures to come...a little bit stir crazy here at the moment!

Monday, 27 April 2015

ANZAC Day 2015, The Centenary of the landing at ANZAC Cove.

 25 April 2015

One Hundred years since the ANZACS landed on the peninsula at Gallipoli, 
where so many lives were lost.
ANZAC Day is the most moving day for both Australians and New Zealanders.
All over the world Aussies and Kiwis, attend dawn services, gather together
to honour and remember. To recognize the service and sacrifice our forces
made and continue to make so that we may all have better lives.

My little family held our own small service in the small town of Mussig, France
just over the border from Germany. 
We went to honour an Australian RAAF Flight Sergeant who had been laid to rest
along with six British airmen in a Commonwealth War Grave in the local cemetery.
I thought about J. C. Smith, my Grand Father who landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915
and the conditions he endured before he returned home to Australia.
I reflected on the effect World War One had on so many countries and their people.

Mussig, France

We reflected on the life of  Australian C. G. Arthur, 
of the life cut short, the family left behind. 
The sacrifice for his country.

Commonwealth War Grave, Mussig, France

We stood in the corner of the small, French cemetery 
and recognised the lives of the men that were buried far from home.


Commonwealth War Grave, Mussig, France

Commonwealth War Grave, Mussig, France

Commonwealth War Grave, Mussig, France

Commonwealth War Grave, Mussig, France

Commonwealth War Grave, Mussig, France

Commonwealth War Grave, Mussig, France

C. G. Arthur, Royal Australian Air Force 
V.J. Pickford, Royal Air Force
L. R. Melbourne, Royal Air Force 
R Liderth, Royal Air Force 
E. A. Cunningham, Royal Air Force 
J. Clegg, Royal Air Force 
J.B. Bull, Royal Air Force

At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Spring is Springing in my forest!

As a West Australian, the land of the evergreen, I haven't had much experience 
with the change of seasons. A burst of colour in the Spring time is about as good as it gets. 
A neighbour may have a deciduous tree in their backyard for a splash of autumn or spring colour.

I have discovered a true love of the distinct seasons and am really enjoying watching
my forest literally explode into green before my eyes. 

These four photos were taken at the same place over the last month....amazing transformation!

Spring in the forest, Frankfurt, Germany
 23 March 2015

Spring in the forest, Frankfurt, Germany
 3 April 2015

Spring in the forest, Frankfurt, Germany
 19 April 2015

Spring in the forest, Frankfurt, Germany
23 April 2015

Spring in the forest, Frankfurt, Germany

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Keukenhof Gardens in the Spring, more than tulips!

We visited Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands to see the tulips
but there is much more to this beautiful garden.

Keukenhof Gardens, The Netherlands
There are walkways covered in blossoms.

Cherry Blossom, Keukenhof Gardens, The Netherlands
Wafting scents of springtime through the air.

Orchid, Keukenhof Gardens, The Netherlands
A pavilion filled with glorious orchids.

Snakeshead Fritillaries, Keukenhof Gardens, The Netherlands
The delightful Snakeshead Fritillaries with their chequerboard design
are easy to spot.

Gerberas, Keukenhof Gardens, The Netherlands
Happy gerberas to brighten your smile.

Art work, Keukenhof Gardens, The Netherlands
Lots of lovely sculptures are dotted around giving extra dimension to the garden.

Hyacinths,  Keukenhof Gardens, The Netherlands
Hyacinths are all over adding colour and the most delicious scent.

Keukenhof Gardens, The Netherlands
I have no idea what these are but they added a great contrast in the garden.

Lily, Keukenhof Gardens, The Netherlands
Beautiful Lily

Daffodil, Keukenhof Gardens, The Netherlands
You cannot have a Spring garden without a cheerful Daffodil...

Daffodil, Keukenhof Gardens, The Netherlands
...of a few different varieties.

Robin, Keukenhof Gardens, The Netherlands
There are Robin's to say hello!

Keukenhof Garden information 

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Tip Toe through the Tulips, Keukenhof Gardens, The Netherlands

 Where in the world do you go if you want to tip toe through the tulips in the Springtime?
Well you would head to Keukenhof Gardens in The Netherlands.

The second largest flower garden in the world, with seven million bulbs of 800
varieties of tulips blooming there is not better place.

Meander through the 32 hectares of gardens and discover colours and shapes of tulips 
you could never dream of, planted in the most beautiful and artistic ways.
There are many different themed gardens to immerse yourself in, 
hide away from the crowds, breathe in some beautiful spring scents.

I gathered four friends last week, we booked a hotel for the night
and we hit the road for a fun and laughter filled girls' trip to visit the tulips!

Come on...tip toe through the tulips with me.....

Keukenhof Tulip Garden, The Netherlands

Keukenhof Tulip Garden, The Netherlands

Keukenhof Tulip Garden, The Netherlands

Keukenhof Tulip Garden, The Netherlands

Keukenhof Tulip Garden, The Netherlands

Keukenhof Tulip Garden, The Netherlands

Keukenhof Tulip Garden, The Netherlands

Keukenhof Tulip Garden, The Netherlands

Keukenhof Tulip Garden, The Netherlands

Keukenhof Tulip Garden, The Netherlands

Keukenhof Tulip Garden, The Netherlands

Keukenhof Tulip Garden, The Netherlands

Keukenhof Tulip Garden, The Netherlands

Keukenhof Tulip Garden, The Netherlands


Keukenhof Garden is located in Lisse, The Netherlands and is easy to get to by car or public transport from Amsterdam. If you use public transport, buy a combi ticket and pay for transport and ticket in to park to save queuing at the gate. We bought our tickets online including parking for the car, very easy! Get there early, we arrived as it opened at 8am, which wasn't easy as none of us are morning people but we had an hour or two before the crowds arrived on coach buses and it was well worth the early start. The garden was jam packed by the time we left at 4pm! There are lots restaurants selling decent food and little shops selling souvenirs throughout the park. If one of your party has recently had a hip replacement, grab yourself a wheelchair at the gate, it will be well worth it. Check out their practical information for more helpful info and if you can....get to Keukenhof in the Spring Time, it really is spectacular!