K is for Kraków #AtoZChallenge

K is for Kraków

After a quite adventurous and long, longer than planned train ride, (which in itself is already a story), I finally arrived in Kraków. A friend of my great aunt picked me up at the main station, checked me in to the student housing where I was meant to live for the next two weeks and made sure that I had some proper food before going to bed. The bed was far from what you can call comfortable, I really had the feeling that I had arrived in the soviet era…

shop in Kraków, Poland Continue reading “K is for Kraków #AtoZChallenge”

Doors in Antwerp, Belgium

At the end of January and beginning of February, I spend a rather rainy and windy weekend in Antwerp, Belgium. Due my recent blogging break, I did not write anything special about this weekend trip, the truth be told it was not a very eventful trip, the rain did keep me from exploring most of the city.

With Thursday Doors in mind, a linkup in which I had never participated in, I snapped some pictures of doors which I walked past or through. As the linkup celebrates it’s one year anniversary this week, well I did have to join in, didn’t I?

Door in Antwerp

Continue reading “Doors in Antwerp, Belgium”

Learning from a Saint

In the early hours of Saturday the 17th of March 2001, my family and I drove to Staten Island in New York to then take the Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan. This is a great way of accessing New York City, especially if you do not want to take your car into the city. Greeted by a beautiful skyline (in this post you can find some beautiful pictures that I took of it in September 2001 a few days before 9/11), we were promised a beautiful day in the city.

Our habit was to walk up from where the ferries land, all the way to Central Park, which was quite a hike, especially for us kids, my sister was 7 and I was 12. Normally we’d go shopping, climb some sky scraper or even go ice skating (at the Rockefeller Center or in Central Park if the season permitted to do so of course), have breakfast, lunch or even dinner depending if the time of the day and length of our stay. Continue reading “Learning from a Saint”

Pollution in Paris

Cold, blue sky, sun, and fog smog! For a few days now the level of pollution inside of Paris has drastically risen. The beautiful winter weather is disrupted by a high amount of micro particles. In Paris this phenomenon has been happening a lot since 2014, I am not sure about the years prior to that.

When little one was a few weeks old I noticed for the first time that I could not see very far, my vision went blurry. I at first thought that this was due to my eyesight having changed during my pregnancy. But actually it was smog. Now I have an app on my phone that regularly gives me pollution alerts. Continue reading “Pollution in Paris”

My Colette Surprise 

If you have traveled to Paris, you might have come across the concept store Colette located in Rue Saint Honoré. If you are a fashionista, then it is rather probable that you know Colette even if you have never been to Paris. Since 1997, the store with the two blue dots had been a place for “it” products. Fashion, music, electronics, books, iPhone cases, gimmicks, really a bit of everything. And there are regular expositions of contemporary art.  Often it seems that products get introduced to the market via Colette. Remember my swimming penguin paper clips, they were from there. Continue reading “My Colette Surprise “

Poetic Images

seashells in waterEven though our trip to Normandy this September was very short in days, we arrived a Monday and left a Wednesday after all, we definitely managed to make the most of our trip.

In the morning before heading home, we purchased a lot of fish and headed for a walk along the seaside. It was low tide again, but the changes from one day to the next were remarkable. By the sea every day is unique. Of course every day is unique everywhere, just by the sea we realise this a lot easier. Continue reading “Poetic Images”

A walk on Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach, peace, rocksA week after Veteran’s Day, it is suitable to write about the D-Day landings. A few days after the Paris attacks it is too, because the soldiers who lost their lives in Normandy in June 1944 did so to bring safety, peace, freedom, and civil liberties back to continental Europe, something that we must not forget today.

When we travelled to Normandy this September, S. little one and I did not only hunt for beautiful Seashells, we also took a dive into the local history. We did not visit the Tapestry of Bayeux, that will happen next time… We made sure to visit Omaha Beach. Continue reading “A walk on Omaha Beach”

4 Seasons in Paris

Not the music, not the hotels, not the pizza topping, no…

Last week, while outside I came across a strange phenomenon, a tree that seemed a bit lost. A cherry tree celebrating all four seasons at once!

Some leaves were coloured by the advancing autumn, some were green as though in the middle of summer, then there were signs of winter with there being only bare branches. But the reason this cherry tree attracted my attention was that about half the tree was blossoming!

Cherry blossoms in November in the northern hemisphere??

It does happen! See for yourself.

Autumn Cherry Blossom, Parc Monceau, Paris
Autumn Cherry Blossoms, Paris 12th November 2015

© Solveig Werner 2015. All rights reserved.

Magic Library

When my grandfather turned 70 years old, he invited us (his guests) to visit a boarding school. Strange thing to visit isn’t it?
Well this was not any boarding school, and my grandfather is a historian, so visiting a place packed with history was a natural thing to do.

The Landesschule Pforta is located within the property of a cloister. I did not take a lot of pictures, even though there were many things to photograph on the winter day that we went there. I remember that inside the church there were some decorations that were unusual for the protestant monks that had put them there in the past.

What marked me a lot on this visit was the description of the school life in this boarding school. The students themselves have to ring a bell that marks the end and beginning of class. All students, even the local ones have to live within the school. Of an elitist heritage, it is a rather selective environment. One of the alumni is Friedrich Nitzsche.
In the past when the Abitur  (German final exams taken before University) was far less common the students were allowed to sit their exams in this school when their teachers deemed them to be ready to do so. When the teachers figured that their student was mature enough to move onto university. Taken into account the great presence of immature and very young students in Universities this might not actually be too bad. At that time (if I am not mistaken that was over 100 years ago) the pupils of the school would have to write a final paper in latin, yes in latin, that probably resembles a final dissertation for a current day bachelor’s degree.

All of these little details about the school life, past and present were presented within this library. Packed with old books it seemed magic. My cousin decided then and there she wanted to go there to study, she was very much reminded of Harry Potter. Who can blame her?

magic library, landschule pforta

Does this library inspire you?


© Solveig Werner 2015. All rights reserved.