fly the seven seas

Observations of a Sydney girl rocking Germany


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Honouring the summer of summers

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted – more than 9 months in fact. And sadly – the grey days where I left off are just around the corner. It’s been a busy 9 months and i’ve had flythesevenseas too often on my mind that its embarrassing that I haven’t simply just pushed myself a little. But here I am.

So before the grey days return, I have to say thank you. Thank you for being graced by the summer of summers this year. My third summer in Munich (and Germany) has come to a close, followed by dreamy, golden Autumn (more to come).

Summer in Munich was very sweaty. Sydney sweaty. A stinker as we would say back home. And I loved it.

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The golden days

It’s been a little bit quiet around here lately on the blog front. My apologies. On the life-front however, it’s been quite the opposite. After a bit of a slump I’ve embraced a change of mindset and have immersed myself in positive changes and experiences:

I explored London with good friends from Sydney, escaped to the idyllic island of Limnos in Greece, spent afternoons along the Isar in Munich, started an amazing new job with perhaps the coolest team ever(!!), spent a weekend in Düsseldorf, watched a couple exchange sacred vows at the Wasserschloss (palace surrounded by water) of Nordkirchen, and enjoyed a last taste of summer for the year as I soaked in the Spanish sun in Fuerteventura (with abovementioned cool team).

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Fanaraki Beach, Limnos – Greece

 

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Mornings at Jandia Playa, Fuerteventura

 

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Hinterbrühler See

 

While it may just sound like a lot of travelling – and indeed it was enough – I allowed myself the time to recalibrate, refocus and re-embrace my mojo. Amen to that.

After the warm days, the rainy days and the upside-down days of summer, the Oktoberfest sunshine and the confusion that is early autumn, we now find ourselves in the zone of golden days – a pocket of time between the last (sticky) Bierbank from the Oktoberfest is packed away and friends begin to huddle around the Christmas stands clutching mugs of Glühwein with fingerless gloves. These golden days parade the beauty of warmer days passed and at the same time serve as a warning for the grey winter skies ahead.

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The Rhein

 

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The pigeons of Düsseldorf

 

 

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Mornings are crisp but warm enough to enjoy the empty streets without frostbite.

The brigade of quilted-jacket-clad commuters catch glimpses of golden rays before making their way to their desks.

Greedy squirrels, scurry, scavenge and spring from tree branches with cheeks full of nuts.

Clear blue skies end with firey-skied evenings.

And this is what hits me the most about this time of year – the unbelievable beauty of these pre-winter skies. In the brief moment following day break you’ll see the grey skies open to reveal psychedelic streams of purple, orange, red – signaling a cloudless, turquoise day to come.

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I’ve always, and most probably always will be, fascinated by the many personalities of the sky. For me it is a realm of endless possibilities, it is at the same time simple and complex, spiritual, influential, and with all its pleasantness has the potential to cause inconceivable disaster.

And although the clocks tell us how close winter really is, take a second to look around. This moment is enchanting and breathtaking – but if you stay in bed too long, can be too easily missed.

Inspired by the gorgeous weather last weekend we took a drive to Andechs, just south of Munich. After admiring the impressive Cathedral grounds which sits perched upon the Andechs “Berg” (where they even brew their own beer), we headed along the pilgrim trail towards Ammersee in Hersching.

Despite the foot traffic the route was calming, with streams of sun weaving itself through gaps in the forest around us and of course the sound of running streams in the background. We arrived at the promenade along Lake Ammersee at the perfect moment – just as the autumn sun reared itself towards the horizon, drenching the icre-cream eating crowds in a deep golden light. I was in peace – the light creating a feeling of serenity – a perfect way to feel on Sundays.

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And without a doubt the Biergarten crowd and I were on the same page…

I’m still searching for an explanation for this golden phenomenon but for the moment I’m happy to just accept it and appreciate every beautiful day (especially when it falls on the weekend) as it comes.

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You know it’s summer when…

you are bombarded in the face with an army of 1000 fruit flies when throwing your rubbish into the communal garbage bin. Fruchtfliegen are definitely on everyones hit-list during the summer. Only after reading that the female fruit fly can lay up to 400 eggs in a few days and the entire next generation of flies within 10 days, did I realise how disgusting a swarm of flies to the face really was.

Once the temperature and humidity rises, you are bound to find a mini convoy of flies hovering over any fruit or vegetables left on the kitchen bench, around the bin or around the vinegar jars. But this isn’t a German phenomenon – these little beasts are everywhere.

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A spring guide to Paris

I was lucky enough to reign in May with a weekend in Paris. Following on from my previous post, I thought I would continue the theme of springtime in the city with some tips for enjoying Paris in the spring.

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It goes without saying however that Paris is a beautiful city any  time of year. Inspired by my own weekend getaway, here are my suggestions:

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Incomparable

As you’ve probably figured out by now, I’m a weather girl. When the sun sneaks its way on to my cheek of a morning through the small opening of my bedroom shutters I can’t help but get out of bed and get outside. The dark days of winter, those days where the drizzle just didn’t stop, only made me feel like battling with the kitchen knife and a 2 kilogram pumpkin to indulge in a creamy soup.

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As I’ve mentioned, we’ve been blessed with some unbelievably beautiful weather as of late. Germany’s not known for its sunshine – in fact when summer brings a solid two weeks of heat and sun, the crowds are more than pleased.

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Taking a moment.

I recently celebrated my birthday – something we are all lucky to have each year.

Over the last two years I have noticed a change in my feelings towards my birthday and getting older in general. The lead-up now plays out a little differently.

With 20 I was more than excited to say that I’d be turning 21 – this was a time for the constant parade of the ‘new’ – new people, experiences, travels, concepts, ways of thinking, excuses for missing out on class, hairstyles, wisdom – and all the while having no idea about what would be around the corner.

A few years later and I still don’t know what will be around the corner (really, who ever does?), but I’m a little more certain it will be filled with a little less nonsense, carefree/rash decisions or Saturday nights spent in unknown locations.

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The Hopeless Wanderers 3.0 – the last leg

And the road trip re-cap continues. I hope you’re not over it yet, we’ve still got a little left! I promise I will go back to discussing all things German very soon – pork-knuckles, snow flakes and fairytale castles, it’s all coming.

I last left off in Esperance, where, after a day of absolute bliss, the weather had again turned. This didn’t stop us from trekking on.

Cape Le Grand National Park

Located approximately 45km east of Esperance, Cape le Grand set up some high expectations for us with its marketing campaigns containing the below:

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Up until this point we had not made a single kangaroo spotting, a live one that is. For tourists and homesick natives, you can imagine how disappointing this would be. As we drove in to the Lucky Bay campsite, where we had planned to set up base for the night, we were pleasantly greeted by two roos, foraging for scraps left from campers (not the healthiest of options). We squealed, Alex jumped out of the van with the camera – nothing could wipe the smiles off our faces.

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Hopeless wanderers 2.0

News of heat waves across Australia and seeing photos of friends enjoying the summer swelter has meant I am still dreaming of our big adventure. We’ve had the case of the grey blanket in Munich over the last few days – not too cold but still enough to make you want to be huddled under the blankets all day.

Over the last week I’ve found myself flicking through the photos we took – mouth still agape at the vibrant blue skies and endless horizon. In my previous post I mentioned how varied the landscapes were across the trip – every new section revealed something new. And while it is hard to believe when you are driving in the same state, it is no wonder that when covering hundreds and thousands of kilometers that both the structure of the landscape, the weather, as well as the flora and fauna can dramatically change. Driving 4,500km from Munich – lets say we’re heading south east, and I would be somewhere close to Tehran, Iran. How many countries, landscapes and political disputes would we cross along that journey? Hmmm…Australia is big.

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The hopeless wanderers 1.0

Being an Aussie in a foreign country is hard. When introducing myself to any non-Aussies I meet along my adventures, 9 times out of 10 and the (naturally) well-travelled German will ask what I think of Australia’s list of natural wonders. Alongside the other 9 out of 10 Australians – my standard reply is, “I haven’t had a chance to go (insert famous landmark here) yet”. To a foreigner this doesn’t make us look too good – especially given the way Australia is marketed – the unknown outback, boxing kangaroos, endless dessert, snakes, spiders and crocodiles.

Being an Aussie in Australia is on the other hand, is easy – most of us haven’t seen much past our back fence, except for the mandatory school trips to Canberra and perhaps a trip or two to Melbourne/Sydney, the Gold Coast and Byron Bay. Not having travelled across Australia is more ‘Aussie’ than we think.

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Its been a while since my last post – summer, holidays, old friends and road trips means I tend to steer away from technology. Alex and I also just finished a 4,500km road trip across the south coast of Australia – there will be more about this in my next posts. But here I am, finding it hard to realise that the 31st of December has rolled around once again – but nevertheless excited for the days ahead.

Being the last day of 2013, I think a recap is duly in order. I always enjoy looking back on the year that was – what I achieved, the milestones, the many places I was able to see, the people I met…

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