out doors and into nature

IMG_6576
Möja, Sweden

I woke up shortly before eight. The sun was already high in the sky and warming up our little room. I put on my beloved Uppsala hoodie, went out onto the patio, found a few cushions and lay on the wooden bench, continuing my rest.

I adjusted the patio umbrella to mediate between my eyes and the bright ball of fire way up high. The air was cool and fresh, the bees were buzzing in the flower bush next to my head, no other humans were in sight or sound, I was on holiday. All was good.

And as I lay there, enjoying the moment so very much, I vowed to myself that I would spend as much of the rest of my life as possible outdoors.

Nature is beautiful. Nature sustains. Nature nurtures. It’s where I feel most at ease, most – for want of a better word – natural. So imma leave the doors behind!

mother gaia

Clipboard01This comic strip gave a me a jolt and really spelled out why exactly environmental degradation is such a bad thing. Up till now, my understanding of nature was that it had intrinsic value and intrinsic beauty and deserved humans’ respect – just ‘cuz. There was always a majesty and gravitas to the nature I grew up with: west coast wilderness of soaring, jagged, snow-peaked mountain ranges, unending swathes of towering forest, and thunderclaps where Pacific waves met the American landmass. I was taught to steward the land, to protect it and preserve it, because it was the right thing to do. Ethically. Morally.Read More »

the beauty of eating outdoors

Picnics rock!
Picnics rock!

Food tastes better outdoors because we simplify. We take down all the walls that our everyday routines require us to put up, and we enjoy food for food’s sake.

So true. Read the rest of that awesome blog here!

Today I went cycling with a friend in Altes Land. She’s organising a cycletour this summer and wanted to test out all the routes beforehand, and I happily tagged along. It’s the 1st of June and continues to be a very cold spring here in northern Germany. Cycling toward the sea and thus against the wind didn’t help!

It was a really nice 40km ride though. We had a wicked lunch of potatoes, meatballs, beetroot-tomato-rucola-feta salad, cheese sandwiches and strawberries. Yes, it was as delicious and grown-up as it sounds, haha.

immensely beautiful timelapse video of wolf lake

This is one of the big reasons I do my best to help protect the environment. Because it’s so beautiful, and I sincerely wish for everyone (including future generations) to have the opportunities I’ve been privileged to have in experiencing and understanding and enjoying nature and the great outdoors and our shared planet.

potluck and other things

Six friends came over tonight for a potluck dinner. It was a good evening! Now there’s enough Maultaschen, Spätzle, mini pizzas, hummus and white bean dip to last me till the second coming of Christ. And for dessert? Chocolate and raspberry torte. Mmmm. I’d like to do that again, even though I’m not that good at hosting events (too laid back, essentially).

There are a couple of things I’d like to quickly share before bed:

A retired sea captain talks about Kitimat, the BC coastline and the Northern Gateway Pipeline >>

The Beauty of Eating Outdoors >>

We love good coffee and we really like to ride bicycles, so we decided to combine the two >>

Toronto may pursue bid for 2024 Olympic Games >>

Altes Land

The 1st of May is Labour Day and a public holiday in Germany as in many countries, and it’s tradition for Hamburgers to go cycling in Altes Land on this day to see the apple and cherry blossoms. Altes Land is just southwest of Hamburg and is the largest fruit-growing region in northern Europe, with 3.5 million fruit trees (95% of which are apple trees).

There are designated bike paths everywhere so it’s very easy to cycle. The weather was perfect and we had a picnic. Carola brought potato salad and wiener sausages (very German!), Logan brought gummy bears and biscuits he bought at the train station minutes before we met up (very Logan), and I brought a smorgasbord of a salad and homemade brownies.

Main ways to get to Altes Land from Hamburg:
1) Take the regional train R50 or S-bahn S3 for 30 min, alight Buxtehude. Cycle north about 2km.
2) Catch ferry #62 from Landungsbrücken, alight Finkenwerder. Cycle east about 6km.
3) Take S-bahn S1 or S11, alight Blankenese. Catch ferry #48 to Altes Fährhaus.

Jork
Buxtehude

it’s my birthday! – updated

It’s not, but it might as well be, because the next two weeks are going to be awwwwwwwwesome! Bear with me while I list the reasons!!!!
12 days later, let’s see how reality matched up to expectations.

  1. First work trip ever! to Bonn! And I only have two real responsibilities: take photos and take care of the Gambian minister of forests and environment during our event.
    That was fun. Learned a lot about events, which will serve me well. That night post-event was crazy: dude from one of our sponsors went to have a drink (read: 4) with me, the other intern and our 69-year-old colleague. In a word, madness. Then the other intern and I wandered Bad Godesberg until the hotel’s breakfast buffet opened = worst idea ever, but somehow so much fun, and I have to laugh every time I think back to it. Had really good convos with him. The 2 hours we had in Bonn proper the next day was loads of fun too.
  2. Going to Amsterdam! Uppsala reunion – 9 of us in total!!! Including some friends I haven’t seen since June ’09!
    No explanation needed beyond the fact that these people are awesome. Lots of food involved. Plus: Speculoos spread (which is actually Belgian, but I can’t get it in Germany) is amazing.
  3. Will be on a train for 8 hours next week. I love trains! I think it’s because I hardly ever take it (buses/planes are cheaper). Picked out my reading material already – can finally start The Brothers Karamazov!
    I LOVE DOSTOEVSKY!
  4. My paper(s) will be done in 24 hours! They’ve been making me miserable for 3 months now!
    Thank god that’s done.
  5. MY INTERNSHIP GOT EXTENDED YO. The new media intern starts next week. My semester starts in two weeks (it’s no coincidence, we planned it this way). From then on I do 1 day/week, mainly translation and proofreading work. With a 250% pay raise. This goes until end of January. Then starting in March my supervisor wants to bring me back for a project/event that culminates in October in India. Also paid. God I love my life right now…
    Sooo… the new intern is really nice and really cool. We had a media dept pow-wow today and it was odd to have to share my responsibilities. Bah, anyway.
  6. New semester starts in two weeks, as I mentioned. Will be good to see my lovely classmates and friends again :)
  7. Looking forward to having more free time to take up a German language course!
    Trying to decide between 4 hours on Wed retaking the course I did last semester, or paying 280 eur for 72 hours over 8 weeks. The attraction of the latter option is that it’s 2.5 hours per session, 3 sessions per week.
  8. FilmFest Hamburg looks great. I’m normally not a big film person but these really look good and I have the time this weekend and also the money (I save so much money when I guilt myself into not socialising because of school work) so I’m def seeing at *least* one.
    Was too lazy to go.
  9. Long weekend! Monday is the 3rd of October – German Reunification Day. Mad baking of cakes!
    No baking. But I did just whip up a pumpkin pie.
  10. The Saturday Adventure is back! (because of #4) I think we’re doing another outdoorsy semi-rural walk.
    Good walk in the woods with two of my fav fellow foreign classmates: Logan and Kate.
  11. The weather has been un-freakin-believably gorgeous the past week. Summer, finally!
    Spent the weekend outdoors. Now the weather is ganz scheiß…

I’m such a lucky person. For the things listed above, but also for being this happy.