London Adventure – part one

Okay I should probably call that Harry Potter Adventures – part one, because lets face it the main reason my sister and I went to London was to visit the Harry Potter Studios. I’ve wanted to go there since they opened in 2012 and was so excited that we finally managed to go. In October my sister found out that we could use our Emirates miles for flights with EasyJet, so there was really no question where we would be going considering we didn’t have to pay for flights.

We went to London for three days and our first day was of course the trip to the Harry Potter Studios. (Just a warning know, if you do not care for Harry Potter you probably don’t want to read on, as there really isn’t gonna be a lot else in this post).

Now of course we went to the Studios on our first full day and though it took a bit of time and lots of googling/asking for the right trains to get there – it was soooo amazing. Just getting picked up from the train station with the shuttle was great as the bus is decorated with lots of Harry Potter stuff and since we were super on time the wait to get in wasn’t too long either. Now my sister and I of course both wore our HP t-shirts and thought we were well prepared but there were actually lots of people that were wearing cloaks from ‘their’ houses and had their wands and everything.

Once you are past the great hall (AMAZING already and made it already worth going) you get to go through the rest of it on your own. There is so much to see and hear and read that at some point my brain felt a bit overloaded because I didn’t know where to look next. But it’s so well done, there are so many props and sets from the movies and they really explain how they have done/built or animated a lot of scenes. There was the Gryffindor dormitory and common room, Dumbledors office, the Potions room, parts of the Ministry, Diagon Alley, Sirius/Hagrids Motocycle, part of the Hogwarts Bridge and so much more. And don’t even ask me how amazing that Hogwarts model is that they have build. Honestly I think this is like paradise for every Harry Potter fan. Plus in the cafe you can try Butterbeer as well. Of course we did that and while it was okay, as a drink it was a bit too sweet for me. I can totally imagine it as a great Ice cream flavour though. Oh and just because this fact somehow stayed in my mind as one of the most interesting ones, they had to train the owls 6 months on how to deliver a letter! So all those owls weren’t all computer animated but a lot of them were real (and not just Hedwig but the others too). It just seems crazy that someone actually spend 6 months training owls to deliver a letter!!! But of course made the movies even more special like so many other things they did. Such as building three Buckbeaks and inserting every feather one by one so that they were place correctly to look real!!! So cool!!!

Anyway I won’t write too much more but just leave you with a few fotos (although it’ll be hard to decide which of the hundreds to select for you…) 🙂

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Crochet Cardigan – finished

It’s done, I finally finished the Cardigan thing I started in October and mentioned a couple of times before. I am so happy with how it turned out and don’t even mid that it took just over 3 months to finish. Before Christmas I actually had to order more yarn which I didn’t expect but thankfully the place we ordered from is super fast. So anyway here you go (just ignore how awkward I look, for some reason there was no good photo that had me in it):

 

So for anyone who didn’t read the previous posts where I mentioned this, just again the link to the page I found it on. It’s actually called a Granny cocoon shrug and you can find in on the page mariavalles handmade. When you compare the pictures you can see that you’re choice of yarn and needle definitely makes a difference. I think for her the pattern turned out bigger, but I still like the way mine turned out. It’s super nice for those days where it is kind of cold but not cold enough to put on a big sweater.

Recent incomings

Just a quick update on the incoming mail I got in the last two weeks while I was on my various trips. The postcards are all from Postcrossing and I actually really like all of them. The ‘Keep calm and go to Platform 9 3/4’ card arrived the day I flew to London with my sister for our Harry Potter weekend and was the perfect beginning for it. The postcard with the two owls is the first Inga Paltser card I received. These postcards are just so cute and it made me super happy.

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I also received 3 letters, one from my penpal in Russia, one from my penpal in the UK and the last one just arrived a couple of days ago from Canada. It’s the first letter from a new penpal and I can’t wait to read it and start a reply. Hopefully I’ll be able to write some replies in the next few days.

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Winter in Kempten

So I’m back at home and there will be quite a few posts over the next few days about my adventures. For now I’ll tell you about my trip to Bavaria to visit my sisters. My oldest sister has lived in Kempten (a city in the ‘Allgäu’) for quite some time now but until the other week I’d never managed to visit her in winter. Although I wanted to for a while now. Kempten and the the Allgäu are in a region with beautiful landscapes and there’s lots of hiking and other things to do in Summer. In winter there is lots to do as well if you have the right clothes and know how to do any of the winter sports. Well I did manage to find some snow pants and warm clothes to take with me but I’ve only ever been skying once in my life and that was almost 9 or 10 years ago….

Taking the bus down takes about 7-8 hours and even longer if it starts snowing somewhere along the way and doesn’t stop. So it took a while to get there but at least it was safe to say that we have snow over the weekend. Since our winter so far had been rather warm and not much like winter at all this prospect made me very excited! It kept on snowing until Sunday evening which felt both amazing and a bit crazy.

Saturday we went on a walk through the snow up a hill called ‘Mariaberg’. It ended up being a 4 hours walk and I was super exhausted at the end. Walking through snow can be quite hard if you are not used to it. My sister also told us that the snow wouldn’t be deep enough yet and we didn’t need our snowpants. Well it might have been too warm but at one point we sank in to the point where the snow reached above our knees. My one sister and I have shorter legs than our oldest sister. That was also the point I realised that my wintershoes might be waterproof but not if snow is coming in from the top and you are stepping in a waterhole underneath the snow :D. But anyway it was still a lot of fun to experience this much snow again and who doesn’t love to make snowangels!!! Around Cologne we don’t tend to get so much snow.

 

The Sunday involved quite a lot of walking/hiking in the snow again as we went up to a hut in the mountains to go sledding down later. Well I don’t know about you guys but where I live we don’t have a lot of mountains and hills to hike up to all the time and this 1 1/2 hour hike was quite hard. It was snowing the whole time and everything looked quite beautiful but I was ready to just sit when we finally arrived at the end. So after a break we attempted to build a snowmen. Everyone told us the snow was too soft and it wouldn’t work but we proofed them wrong. You might not call him perfect but he had three body parts and stood on its own ;). When it came to sledding down unfortunately we weren’t very successful as there was so much new snow that you got stuck quite often.

Finally on the last day my sister had time to do something with me (the had work again after that), we went for another walk to the ‘Bachtelweiher’ in Kempten. That day the sun was shining and everything looked like a magical winter wonderland. The ‘Bachtelweiher’ is a big pond and there are lots of nice walks around. Plus it was completely frozen over (though I don’t know how thick the ice was so we didn’t try to walk on it).

As much fun as it was coming home afterwards I realised that now I had enough snow for this winter and am ready for spring to get here. I’m definitely not a winter girl 🙂

 

Travel themed table sets

Since the friend I visited over the weekend loves travelling as well and I have some great travel themes fabrics I decided to make something for her. But I only had a day to make something so I decided that I would make her some table sets. We use those quite a bit at home, well actually every time that we have a meal at the table. It really makes cleaning up afterwards so much easier. So I hoped that she would like them and find them useful as well. She loves New York so I decided to make two with this grey/brown/black NYC fabric that I had never used before as well as two with the colourful fabric depicting a lot of sights around the world. This fabric is honestly one of my favourite fabrics. I have a tote bag that I made for myself quite a while ago and still have quite a bit left. Hopefully I can come up with a good idea for what to make with it 🙂

Herborn, Hessen

Over the weekend I visited a friend in Herborn. We hadn’t seen each other for the last three years since we finished our Bachelor’s degree in Australia. Considering she lives only about 2 hours away you’d think we had seen each other quite often but we always happened to be in different countries. But it finally worked out and we had a lot of fun. She showed me all around Herborn, which is the place selected for the 56. Hessentag this year. So there were quite a few construction zones around the city but on Friday we had great weather and went for some long walks. There are a lot of studwork houses (I really hope that is the right word for these houses but I had to look up the translation) in this area which makes it a lot of fun wandering around the city. You can see the houses I mean in some of the photos below. The old postbox was outside the town hall and my friend told me that is was still possible to use it and gets emptied regularly. They also have a wildlife park that is open and free to walk through all the time. Thats were we found that cute llama as well as some dear, swans and goats. Most of these were too far away though. Afterwards we took another walk along the Aartalsee. This walk it about 5km and it is really nice to walk all around the lake. The rest of the weekend the weather wasn’t too good and we had to find some fun stuff to do indoors. We went to the Mathematikum in Giessen, which is a fun mathematical museum where you can do all kinds of fun things.

Coming and Going of Letters

These two letters are the first letters I wrote this year and they are on their way to the USA and the UK. Although the one to the UK might have already arrived as they have been send last week. Letters outside of Germany now are 0,90 € in postage so while I still have some other stamps from last year I’m combining them to make up the right postage. Letters inside of Germany are now 0,70 €, so the increase for both have been quite a bit but it’s still okay and I love some of the new stamp designs they have come up with. There are some with images of microscopic algae and gem stones that I can’t wait to use.

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These three letters were the first ones reaching me in the new year. The one in the back from Australia is a late Christmas card. The other letters are from a pen pal in Poland and my new pen pal Keeley in the States (if you don’t know her blog you should check it out as it is fantastic). I am very excited to start writing and exchanging thoughts with her. The plan is to write a reply to both of them before I go to visit my sisters in a few days. Oh and that postcard is one my sister send to me in december. It’s one of many postcards where they have translated german phrases to english and they are quite funny.

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