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Life in Germany, Lifestyle, Travel

Trip Planning

We’re going to Berlin! I’m so excited! I’ve only been there once in 2009, and that was only for a few hours as I was just there to see a musical. For whatever reason, the husband and I haven’t found the time or opportunity to plan a proper trip, until now! We decided to visit over Easter this year (not a lot happens here for Easter, so we opt to go away). So, I’ve been hard at work planning everything I want to see and do!

I started my planning with my copy of The New York Times 36 Hours in Europe by Barbara Ireland. It has two chapters on Berlin, separated by east/west attractions. Definitely a must have if you want to see lots of things in a short amount of time (hence 36 hours … ).  Luckily, we have more time (going from Thursday to Monday), so we can spread our activities out.

I’ve also discovered a couple of cool trip planning sites.

Inspirock is a neat site for planning everything down tot he second. It also offers suggestions and ratings, prices and booking offers. I found the site itself a little user unfriendly, but I think that is only because I haven’t spent time on it yet. The features are very cool though, and it showed me some new things I hadn’t heard of before.

One of my favourite trip planning websites is Travellerspoint. It is very easy to use and has an added map function which allows you to see where yo have to go and how far it is (along with many other features).

I’m not so super meticulous that I have to stick to a map or plan to the death, but I like to have a rough plan of what I want to do and when. I’m so excited and will update on how Berlin was when we get back!

 

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Life in Germany, Travel

Zeche Zollverein

IMG_4496The Ruhr Valley, where I live was/is known as the industrial heart of Germany. The area is famous for, and full of coal mines which are now all closed. Instead of tearing them all down, the government here preserved most of them, and have turned them into monuments and parks.

One of the most famous ones in the area is Zeche Zollverein, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Zeche Zollverein has been a running joke between the husband and I ever since I mistakingly read the name aloud in English, completly slaughtering the German pronounciation. We always said that we wanted to visit the site, and we finally did, spontaneously, yesterday evening.IMG_4524

The site is actually huge, with different buildings and exhibitions on display. Unfortunately, we arrived too late in the evening to check out any of the exhibitions or museums, but that just means we will have to go again.

I was so impressed by the massivness of the place, you can imagine how full it must have been when it was inuse. There were some beautiful spots for photos aswell, that being part of the reason we went as the husband cannot find enough things to take pictures of with his new lense. The mixture of old arcitecture and nature is also so interesting to see; many people use the site to walk dogs and as a jogging area. I’m looking forward to going again and exploring everything in more detail.

 

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Lifestyle, Travel

Pen Pals

I love to write letters, it is something which has been a part of my life since I was about 10 years old. It is amazing what you can learn through writing letters, about people, cultures and different places. I’ve had many pen pals over the years, I’ve also unfortunately lost contact with many pen pals over the years because of constantly moving and a lack of time. Now that I have a little more free time for myself, I decided I wanted to find some new pen pals and really get into writing again.

There are different websites where you can find pen pals, one of my favourites which I have recently discovered is Maarten’s Snail Mail Pen Pals. I like this website because it’s so easy to use. There are just enough members that you are able to to find some nice friends. I’ll add links to more pen pal sites as I come across them.