Tag Archives: travel

Trip to Deutchland (Germany)

My first trip to Germany and the second time to Europe. It’s always very exciting to see other cultures and travel around. So many things to see and experience. This post gives a summary of my trip which was in May 2013.

The smoking rules aren’t strict like here in Vancouver, so those that are sensitive may have issues, and I have heard from friends that that was their complaint. Although I hear that the water system is pristine in Germany – as with many things in Germany, I didn’t drink any tap water as I have heard bad experiences with drinking tap water in Europe. Although it was probably safe in Germany, I didn’t want to take any risk on my vacation. I know myself that I have an extremely weak stomach and immune system, so I stuck to bottled water or my new favourite drink Apfelschorle also Apfelsaftschorle. (apple juice with soda).


The first drink at Frankfurt train station. Latte Machiatto~ became my favourite coffee drink!! :D So creamy! idearabbit-deutschland2 idearabbit-deutschland3

Yup, they do have Starbucks, our free Wi-Fi supplier :) idearabbit-deutschland4 idearabbit-deutschland5McDonald’s. Yes, I was able to order Gartensalat bitte (Garden Salad please) in German (though it’s missing the infinite article lol)

In Bavaria, there were hardly any kids and lots of seniors around, and was interesting to see disappearing or empty towns. The oddest thing is that they were well kept and looked tidy, as if there was a caretaker for the almost abandoned towns.

It rained many of the days we were there, and a bit chilly compared to friends that went the year before. I don’t have experience pollen allergy here in Canada, but I do seem to have a bit in Germany (I know I have it in Japan). It was hard to find free Wi-Fi sometimes – Starbucks became your friend at these times :) Paying to go to the toilet was a bit of nuisance… some were more secure than getting aboard a plane… Cakes were really sweet, and I kept having sugar crashes.

I enjoyed Numberg the most. The most memorable. Historical and what you expected European cities to look like. Beautiful place yo visit on sunny weekend with Small markets. Good souvenirs shops and cafe. But you can always count on McDonald or Starbucks if ever in doubt. very tourist location.

East Berlin had grafitti everywhere. The buildings looked old and uncared for. Seems like some were falling apart, or weren’t even inhabited though that wasn’t the case. I noticed there were quite a number of mothers with infants, otherwise it was quiet and deserted for the most part. Berlin overall was significantly cheaper,  especially in the east. A plate of Asian noodles was 2.50 Euros. For most travelers or those packaged tours, you rarely get to see the East side. I was fortunate to see the ‘real’ side but even Sheepie was reluctant to go as it’s not really the safest part of the city to go to. I did see quite a number of skin heads or gang looking people. I don’t recommend going unless you know your way around.

West Berlin on the other hand seemed like a modern city. Lively with your typical malls, restaurants, stores and lots of people – foreign travelers in the main attraction areas. All day pass for Berlin transit is 6.50 Euro – a great way of going around to places without having to buy a ticket every time, or worrying about expired tickets.

Spent the least time here, but we did visit the famous The Glockenspiel (clock tower). We didn’t do a whole lot of sightseeing as we were in town to meet Sheepie’s relatives and friends. So instead, I did get to see how Germans lived. All homes that I went to in Germany had the powder room at the entrance of the house. All houses are made of stone, though the inside could be a mixture of stone or wood. All of them were kept well and clean.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see much of Frankfurt except for the airport x_x

We experienced some heavy rainfalls, and even some floods on the roads. We saw later on in the news when we got home to Vancouver that the situation had gotten much worse, so good timing! I wished I had know a little bit more German than the simple ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ as we spent a great deal with Sheepie’s relatives, friends and co-workers. I have been trying to learn more, more but quite difficult when you don’t live in Germany.

Pike Place Market – Seattle

I’ve been to the Pike Market in Seattle several times. The place is like Vancouver’s Granville Island. Local foods, crafts, vegetables are sold, and a great place to get your hands on fresh seafood.

It’s lively with lots of people, especially during the summer time. One can not miss the opportunity to go to the very first Starbucks (read blog post here) that still keeps its original logo. It’s always packed with customers. Be prepared to line up for a while. I got the brown cup with the original logo with saucer. Unfortunately, it got slightly chipped recently and am contemplating on whether to get another one…lol.

There are neat little shops that can keep you entertaining for those who like to window shop or are shopaholics. Great place to buy souvenirs for yourself and those back home. (read about getting our new friend here)idearabbit-pikeplace idearabbit-pikeplace2 idearabbit-pikeplace3

Lots of fresh seafoodidearabbit-pikeplace4

Colourful fresh veggiesidearabbit-pikeplace6 idearabbit-pikeplace7 idearabbit-pikeplace9idearabbit-pikeplace10

Canadian Rockies

From Vancouver, you can drive out to Calgary in about 13 hours. Even with meal and washroom stops along the way, you can get there in a day. Of course, if you’re wanting to sightsee and you haven’t gone before, then taking several days may be a better course for you.

You can also take the Greyhound Bus which does stop at various pickup/drop off points which does delay the time, resulting in 16 hours. But the stops are short, so this is NOT for a sightseeing option other than seeing the scenery through the window.

Best time of year to go is between June and August. I remember still in May, the lakes can be still frozen (like at Morraine Lake) and weather can be pretty unpredictable outside of those summer months. Depending on the season, you’re bound to see some wildlife such as Elk, Big Horn Sheep, Mountain goats, eagles, porcupine, coyotes and if you’re lucky, some bears. I have yet to see a cougar, fox or a wolf. (see my post on a guidebook on the animals and birds of the Canadian Rockies that I illustrated and my dad published)


Wild Bighorn Sheep! :D idearabbit-banff2 idearabbit-banff3 idearabbit-banff4

Greyhound Busidearabbit-banff5

Vermillion Lakes with Mount Rundle in the backgroundidearabbit-banff6 idearabbit-banff7

Streets of Banff in summeridearabbit-banff8 idearabbit-banff9 idearabbit-banff10 idearabbit-banff11One of my favourite mountain – Castle Mountain

For me, I grew up in Calgary (1 hour and 30 minutes from Banff) and my dad ran a tourism company, so I went to the Banff National Park often. I also lived in Banff over a summer when I was a student, so the Rockies are like my backyard. I’m not the nature-camper-hiker-snowboarder type, but I do enjoy the serenity and peacefulness. It’s especially nice after living in congested, loud downtown of Vancouver to go somewhere that is the complete opposite.