Four Places The Bee wanted to go on Holiday/ Vier Orte, an denen The Bee Urlaub machen wollte

May 2019

I have decided not to fly again to do my bit against climate change so most of these travel destinations are out of reach now…

August 2017

Last year we bought a house so going on holiday will be on the back burner for a while. However, you should never stop dreaming and so I’ll show you a couple of places where I wanted to go in July 2011. Well, nowadays I would refrain from India and Chile and rather add Finnland and New Zealand :-):

July 2011

If I had enough money and time I would love to go to those places:

India: Ever since I read about Amy Carmichael as a child I wanted to go and see the country.
Norway: I love Sweden, Denmark and A hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy. I need to see the Fjords.
Chile: I love Isabel Allende‘s Books and I want to see the beautiful landscape
Iceland: Well Volcanoes of course!

thanks for the links to: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/ Wikipedia

video credit: Walter Chang via YouTube

Mai 2019
Ich habe mich entschlossen,  nicht mehr zu fliegen, um meinen Teil gegen Klimaveraenderung zu tun, so sind die meisten dieser Reiseziele nicht mehr moeglich…
August 2017
Wir haben uns letztes Jahr ein Haus gekauft und so ist in den Urlaub gehen vermutlich eine Weile lang gestrichen. Man sollte aber nie zu traeumen aufhoeren und deshalb zeige ich Euch ein paar Laender, die ich im Juli 2011 besuchen wollte. Heutzutage wuerde ich allerdings Indien und Chile streichen und Finnland und Neuseeland besuchen.
Juli 2011
Wenn ich genuegend Geld und Zeit haette, wuerde ich diese Laender gerne besuchen:
Indien: Immer schon seit ich ueber Amy Carmichael als Kind gelesen habe wollte ich das Land sehen.
Norwegen: Ich liebe Schweden, Daenemark und Per Anhalter durch die Galaxis: Ich muss die Fjorde sehen.
Chile: Ich liebe Isabel Allende’s Buecher und ich will die wunderbare Landschaft sehen.
Island: Na Vulkane natuerlich!
Dank fuer die Links an, Wikipedia

Bee’s Travel Thursday ~ Borkum

April 2019

A visit on Borkum is always worth it 🙂

December 2016

Today I want to whisk you away to one of my most favourite places in Europe. I am speaking of a little island on the north-western coast of Germany called “Borkum”.

Borkum ~ a part of the East Frisian Islands and it’s Nazi past

It is part of the East Frisian Islands and used to be one big island together with Juist and a part of Norderney called Bant. It got destroyed by huge storms in the 18th century and I am not sure if that meant the end of its reputation for piracy and whaling.

My American readers who are interested in history might know the island for its massacre of seven American airmen in 1944. Their plane crashed on Borkum and they were taken prisoners. They were supposed to be brought to a camp in central Germany but the commanding officers decided to walk the prisoners through Borkum town where they were objected to abuse by the citizens before being shot.

I never knew anything about this before I researched Borkum for this post. It reminded me however of a pretty spooky experience in December 2000 or 2001. I stayed on Borkum for recovering from stress. At the beginning of December, a more or less ancient tradition takes place on the island which is called “Klasohm (this is a German link. There are no translations)“. “Klas” refers to Santa Claus and “Ohm” means uncle. It is a mixture of an ancient tradition of the men coming back from whaling taking back power from the women on the island and the benevolent Santa who brings presents.

Klasohm on Borkum ~ a strange ancient tradition

It is a tradition that is very sacred to the Borkumers and they don’t really like to have tourists around even though they can’t avoid that as tourists are their main income today. What happens is that seven young men from a men’s club run around dressed as “Klasohm’s” who hit women on the buttocks with horns. Local women do not mind so much. It seems to be an honour even though it can hurt quite badly. I was warned to keep away from the action as far as I could as they are not gentle. On the other hand, they also throw presents or sweets around for onlookers to catch.

I found the whole experience extremely spooky. Borkum was rather sparsely lit and suddenly I was reminded of Nazi hunts of people who were not liked. Then I thought it quite strange that I was reminded of Germany’s Nazi past.

Today though I read not only about the massacre of the American airmen but also that Borkum was one of the places who kept Jews away on purpose and were famous for it. And suddenly it made sense.

 

Borkum Island war crimes trial A008309a

(Defendents at Borkum Island War Trial in Ludwigsburg, by Seventh Signal Corps Photo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

It makes me sad that a place that is very dear to me as it is a beautiful spot especially healing for people with breathing and lung conditions as the island is low in pollen and other allergens has such a nasty history. Borkum has the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen (well maybe Norfolk can compete 🙂 ) and the people are very friendly and open.

You can’t avoid Germany’s Nazi past when visiting

I suspect you cannot go to any place in Germany without the possibility of discovering some atrocity that happened in Nazi Germany. The country I come from has a gruesome past however it is a beautiful place and even though there are still those around who believe Hitler to be a hero most Germans are open minded and fight for civil rights, for equality and most of all are welcoming to strangers no matter if they are refugees, immigrants or tourists.

Even though I have a rather split relationship with the country I come from and its politicians  I am proud of how it welcomed so many refugees in the past year. I am aware though that such an immense influx of people from such a different culture creates problems and many who are afraid for their own well-being are easily lead backwards to racism and xenophobia.

Well, I did not plan to make this post such a history lesson and political opinion piece. When I write this it is the end of November and we hear an awful lot about Brexit and what US president-elect Donald Trump wants or doesn’t want to do. I am rather disillusioned about the future and fear for the young people all over the world. Where on earth can all this “we do not want immigrants” lead to?

Life is a cycle ~ the bad will end

To me, it seems it can only go in one direction and that is pure racism and atrocities never heard of. I am scared. I am shocked. I do not know how to deal with this. However, I am a survivor of abuse and if there is one thing I have learned in life and learned from looking into history then it is this: Life is a cycle. There have been times of freedom and civility and times of becoming cavemen and -women and atrocities. But none stay forever. History changes time and time again and some of us learn and some don’t.

We won’t stop the wheel of time or the wheel of change. I suspect the only thing we can do is cling to our values and do as much good as we can in the immediate area of our lives. And we can be grateful for the beautiful places given to us no matter how their past looks like.

Attention: this video is in German, however, Tobi mainly describes what he is seeing. I chose this video because it gives you a good impression of Borkum even if you do not understand what he is saying.

Video Credit: Tobi Lang via YouTube

Borkum is long walks on sandy beaches

When I think of Borkum I think of long walks at sunny sand beaches. Even though I mainly stayed on the island in Winter the weather can be stunningly nice and still warm. Even at the beginning of December one day, I sat at the beach in a protected spot and I could take my jacket off. That was brilliant.

Borkum is also known for a sort of beach seats made of Wicker. It is like a wooden bench with wicker protection around and some lovely colourful cloth protection from the sun. You can rent them at the beach and have the time of your life ;-).

On that particular stay, I spoke of earlier I had the chance to breathe freely and to let go of many of my self-set limitations. Borkum is one place where I discovered and re-discovered my love for poetry and where I started to believe that I could make my dreams reality. And look at me 16 or 17 years later: I have made many of my dreams reality and that makes me proud and happy.

Borkum’s sometimes quirky restaurants and cafes

But Borkum isn’t only about going to the beach. There are many lovely restaurants and cafe where you can for example experience a genuine northern German tea ritual. The northern Germans brew their tea very strong. You get it served in a previously warmed cup and add a huge piece of sugar called Kluntje. When it hits the hot tea it makes a crackling noise which made children giggle. And you let cream run into the cup from the side which makes the cream “cloud” up in the tea. No stirring. You drink the rather bitter top first and then enjoy the very sweet bottom with all the sugar at the end. A great experience for tea lovers!

Speaking of cafes: there is one little cafe that is quite quirky. It has attached a model train to its walls which go from room to room. Yes, you are right there are holes in the walls where the train comes through. You can imagine how children love that place :-).

Borkum ~ a lovely place for a family holiday

Borkum is lovely for a holiday stay for families anyway as driving your car is very restricted in Borkum town. You are only allowed to got to your B&B, holiday apartment or hotel and then have to leave it and do all on foot or with the little island train that takes you practically everywhere. But the Island is so small you can reach everything easily on foot or by bike anyway.

One thing that would either excite or scare children are the two lighthouses on the island. The younger one in the middle of Borkum town is a real feature and you can walk up and look over the Northsea and Borkum itself. A real treat.

Borkum lies within the Wadden Sea

And last but not least I have to mention that Borkum lies within the Wadden Sea an area of shallow sea, tidal flats and wetlands. You can find it on the UNESCO’s World Heritage list and any bird watcher and nature lover will find a diversity of flora and fauna that will excite. There is also a colony of seals living close to the beach and in good weather and with binoculars you can watch them all day long. Or you take one of the tourist boats and get real close.

(it says in the text: Island faces, you’ve forgotten everyday life, the air smells of salt, there is sand stuck to your body, the new borkum film, 2011, part four, watching seals, video credit Borkum Fan via YouTube)

Did I make you curious?

There is, of course, much more to say about Borkum but I’ll leave that for you to discover on your own :-). So if this post has made you curious then take the time to visit Germany and go to Borkum and find out for yourself what the charm and spell is that it puts on you :-).

Resources and further reading:

Borkum on Wikipedia

Borkum Island War Crimes Trial on Wikipedia

WikiVoyage East Frisian Islands

Borkum on Germany Travel

Borkum on Borkum.com

Borkum on LanceWadPlan

Borkum on DW Made for Minds

 

Eine Tour durch die Chalice Well Gaerten in Glastonbury, Grossbritannien

Maerz 2019

Heute mal was schoenes 🙂

Leider habe ich alle meine Bilder vom Chalice Well Garden verloren. Deshalb nur meine Tour und Ihr koennt Bilder auf der Chalice Well Garden Seite finden.

February 2018

Heute gebe ich Euch mal eine kleine Tour durch einen meiner liebsten Plaetze in Grossbritannien: die Chalice Well Gaerten in Glastonbury. Jedem, der die Arthur Sage und/oder “Die Nebel von Avalon” von Marion Zimmer-Bradely kennt, ist Glastonbury und der Tor bekannt.

Immer schon seit ich das Buch gelesen hatte, wollte ich den Ort, der das Buch inspirierte besuchen. Glastonbury an sich macht das meiste aus seinem spirituellen Ruf, der New Ageler aber auch Nachfolger aller anderen Religionen anzieht. Glastonbury war lange ein Christliches Zentrum, dem nachgesagt wird, dass Josef von Arimathaea, der den Heiligen Gral nach Grossbritannien gebracht haben soll, dort seinen Spazierstock in die Erde steckte und er wurzeln schlug. Der “Holy Thorn” (Heiliger Dorn) war lange Zeit ein Platz fuer Christliche Gebete aber leider haben ihn Vandalen vor ein paar Jahren zerstoert. Findet hier mehr heraus.

Ein bisschen ausserhalb des Zentrums von Glastonbury auf dem Weg hoch zum Glastonbury Tor liegen die Chalice Well Gardens. Es wird ihnen nachgesagt, dass Josef von Arimathaea den heiligen Gral dort entweder gewaschen hat oder ihn begraben hat und deshalb das Blut Jesu aus der Erde fliesst. Die Idee muss wohl durch das eisenhaltige Wasser der Quelle entstanden sein, das die Steine und Erde drum herum rot erscheinen laesst.

Die Chalice Well Gaerten sind ein Zentrum fuer spirituelle Zusammenarbeit aller Religionen und spirtuellen Richtungen, das fuer Weltfrieden arbeitet. Dort werden die Feste des Jahresrades, Voll- und Neumond Zeremonien und Meditationen abgehalten.

Egal wie man zu den Mythen und heiligen Energien in den Chalice Well Gaerten steht, sie sind es auf alle Faelle wert zu besuchen, da sie eine willkommene Ruhepause nach der Geschaeftigkeit von Glastonbury’s Markstrassen bietet. Die Gaerten sind bezaubernd gestaltet mit Flora und unterschiedlichen Plaetzen, wie der Gartenschaukel, die an einer Wiese oberhalb der Gaerten steht und einen wunderbaren Blick auf den Glastonbury Tor bietet.

Vom Eingang kann man entweder nach rechts runter zum Shop and zum Vesica Pond gehen, wo auch Toiletten sind. Oder man geht gerade aus entlang bezaubernder Blumenbeete, um zum Arthurs Court zu gelangen. Der liegt in einer Vertiefung und das Wasser der Quelle vom Well Head und Lions Head fliesst durch einen Wasserfall und kleinen Bach zu einem Becken, in dem man Wassertreten kann.

Wer Heilung sucht geht von hier ein paar Treppen hoch und erreicht den Lions Head, wo man das eisenhaltige Wasser trinken kann. Geht man zurueck zum Pfad findet man sich bald am Ende der Gaerten beim Well Head von dem man aus auf kleinen Pfaden nach links hoch zu den Blumenwiesen und der Schaukel und von dort wieder zurueck zum Eingang gehen kann.

Ich habe die Chalice Well Gardens zweimal besucht und beide Male habe ich dort grossen Frieden empfunden, der mir geholfen hat, meinen weiteren Lebensweg zu gestalten. Aber auch wenn man keine besondere spirituelle Verbindung zu Glastonbury empfindet sind die Gaerten einen besuch wert, da sie wundervoll gestaltet sind und man sich prima dort erholen kann. Ich habe Euch nur einen kleinen Einblick in einen wunderschoenen Platz in Grossbritannien gegeben aber es gibt dort noch viel mehr zu entdecken. Nutzt die Chance solange das Pfund so tief steht und besucht Grossbritannien aber geht nicht nur nach London, denn das Vereinigte Koenigreich bietet so viel  mehr als “nur” die Hauptstadt!

Findet mehr ueber Glastonbury und die Chalice Well Gardens hier heraus:

ChaliceWell.org.uk (englisch)

Chalice Well Wikipedia (deutsch)

Chalice Well Wikipedia (englisch)

Glastonbury online (englisch)

Glastonbury Wikipedia (deutsch)

Glastonbury Tor (deutsch)


 

Mitblogger schreiben ueber Glastonbury (leider habe ich keinen deutschen Beitrag gefunden):

Places I’ve been and Things I’ve seen: Going to Glastonbury

 

 

to travel or not to travel that is the question…

January 2019

That’s even truer for me today…

March 2016

I used to love travelling. I felt that I needed to get out of my daily routine and the places I used to live to get some new ideas. Since few years, that has changed. Yes, there are still a few locations that I really want to see ~ Norway, Iceland, Finland, Canada, Alaska and New Zealand ~ however I feel a slight reluctance actually to do it.

It is not only that it seems so much more dangerous to travel nowadays even if you do not go into any country that is connected with a political or terrorist crisis. It feels like I lost my inner traveller and want to settle down. Only travelling in my mind with books and the telly.

Description for visually impaired readers: sand beach in shadow on bottom of picture. To the left a wooden goyn going into the sea. Calm sea with little waves at beach. Light blue sky with greyish clouds on horizon and white clouds above.

Bee’s Travel Thursday ~ Easter Island

January 2019

I have decided not to fly anymore as environmental issues have become much more important to me. It’s not that much of a sacrifice really because I am rather scared of flying and haven’t done it much anyway. However, I would get over myself to see some places. The Easter Islands are one of those places and I wrote about it in March 2016

March 2016

Maybe I would have become an explorer if I would have been born 200 years earlier. As a child, I loved to read my parents encyclopedia and learned about other countries. My grandparents had a globe made out some sort of plastic, and I loved it.

I am a huge fan of Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” and one of her exercises to be more in tune with our artist’s nature is to write a list of imaginary jobs or professions we would like to do and guess what? One of mine was “Explorer”!

Of course, I was lucky that my parents and grandparents loved travelling, so I had the chance to go to half of Europe before I was 20 years of age. I’ve never made it outside of Europe though.

There are a few destinations outside Europe that I would love to go to as I told you last week. And to be honest: The more I write about travelling, the more I want to get out and about again and at the same time I am happy to be soon able to settle down and get a beautiful home.

“Funny creatures humans are” as Yoda would say.

The last destination I have on my travel bucket list is “Easter Island” and it somehow fits perfectly to write about it in Easter Week.

Easter Island map-en
Eric Gaba (Sting), translated by Bamse [CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

I have wondered a lot why Easter Island is called that. It belongs to Chile but is West of South America, so it can’t be the direction that gave it its name. Reading up on Easter Island Wikipedia told me that Mr Roggeveen from the Netherlands “discovered” it on Easter Sunday in 1722.

That’s somehow fitting because they must have felt like finding an Easter Egg in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. According to National Geographic the “next door neighbours” to Rapa Nui as it’s original inhabitants called Easter Island are at least 1000 miles (!!!) away. Most of them rather more than 2000!. Incredible!

How incredible must those first settlers have been who managed to travel that distance with canoes between 700 and 1100 BC. Yes, I know opinions are divided about that. Some say it was a lot earlier but never mind.

I have heard about Easter Island and its monstrous statues which are a sign that their inhabitants were great builders. Not so great environmentalists though unless some rodents were the reason. The reason for the decline of almost all trees on Rapa Nui. There is the theory that the first settlers had some stowaways in their canoes (maybe those boats were rather ships and not just canoes????!) and brought in rats which might have eaten all seeds of the Easter Islands trees. Therefore no chance or growing their forests.

Moais, Isla de Pascua. - panoramio
Horacio_Fernandez [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D

No matter how it came to be: In the end, the trees were gone and soon arable soil too. You can imagine how the storms might be in the middle of the Pacific ocean. There is no chance anything stays put on a volcanic island.

I am sure there is a lot more to tell about Easter Island but in the good tradition of searching for Easter eggs, I let you explore this on your own. But are there any exotic destinations you would like to go to?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Go explore Easter Island with

Easter Island Travel

Wikipedia

National Geographic

 

The Bee is looking back…

December 2018

A look back to a post from 2016 but also into my life…

May 2016

Today I can’t decide what to write about. It is still April when I write this post and I just read one of the blogs from the A to Z Challenge. It’s “A to Z Challenge” theme is “Unusual Occupations in India”. However, I want to give her my blog love on Friday so I can hardly write about it today.

Also, I do not want to go to India anymore. Yes, it does still fascinate me but I doubt I could bear the contradictions this country has to offer. It seems to me it is a country of extremes: extreme poverty and extreme wealth. Extreme beauty and extreme roughness.

My fascination with India started with a book by Amy Carmichael. She was an Irish Missionary to India, who founded an orphanage and helped a lot of girls find hope. But for the life of me, I can’t remember the name of the book.

My spirituality has changed enormously throughout my life, my roots though are in the conservative Protestantism of southern Germany called Pietism. My maternal grandparents were deeply religious but combined this with an active common sense. They are known for having helped almost every German refugee from the Eastern parts of the German Reich after WWII in the village I grew up in. Even though my parents were not deeply religious it was important to them for my brother and me to have a  sound religious education so I went to church children’s and teenager groups and soon became a volunteer too.

As my life after my mother got ill was in such a chaos these groups and the very strict teachings of this part of the Protestant Church gave me a security that helped me through. At about 11 or 12 I became a born-again Christian and that was about the time I wanted to become a missionary in India. That was also when I read about Amy Carmichael and it impressed me deeply that she managed to get to India even though her health seemed to be against her. She suffered from Neuralgia and was often bed bound.

As a child and teenager, I read a lot of people who overcame obstacles: Hudson Taylor, Gladys Aylward, Helen Keller, Mahatma Gandhi,  Martin Luther King and Amy Carmichael all of which achieved things in their lives even though either their upbringing, their wealth,society in general or their health were against them. And I suspect their example made me survive my challenges and instilled a belief in me that no matter how bad things look like you can make something of it. I know, that belief is so often in contradiction to my mental health but I think in the end this believe always wins.

So back to India. I have never been there. I always wanted to go even after I gave up the idea to be a “called upon” missionary. Interestingly my now husband always wanted to go too. At the beginning of our relationship, we planned to save up holidays and money to make our dream reality. He even has a tourist guide book about India. However, we have watched a lot of documentaries about the country as well as watched the news and both of us came to the conclusion that we would not be able to cope with the massive contradictions this country offers.

I believe if you go to an exotic country and want to experience it properly and not only stay at the most popular beach resort then you need to know your limits. And we clearly realised India is out of ours no matter how beautiful it is.

Still, I am interested in the country. I love to find out about its development; I read blogs from Indian bloggers and whatever documentary there is I will watch it. There is a connection somehow :-). But I believe sometimes it is ok just to travel in your mind and imagination.

Is there a travel destination you always wanted to visit just to realise that you are not up for it?

 

Vacation in a Cave ~ #whatif prompt 27.9.18

Today’s prompt over at Karen’s “What if we all cared?” is “Vacation in a Cave

I directly thought about an area in the South of Italy of which I have heard about on a TV program some months or even years back. It was about architecture and told about a couple who had restored a house in a cave. It was hard work but they made such a beautiful home of it that I thought I might get over my dislike of Italien politics and give it another visit.

Sassi di Matera from the Belvedere Piazzetta Pascoli

I’ve been to the north of Italy many moons ago with school. My main subject for my Abitur which are A-levels to my British readers for all others I do not know. Sorry. We were supposed to go to the south to Naples I think but we did not have enough money so we ended up in San Remo at the French border close to Nice and Monaco. There is a music festival that takes place since 1951 which gave the idea to the Eurovision Song Contest but I did not know that then. All I knew was that I did not like coffee but loved to bath in the sea. We went to Monaco. Yes, I have been there but I can only remember the Aquarium and the Nautilus I’ve seen there. No casino or car race.

Oh dear, I think I got a little distracted. What I really wanted to write about is the Sassi. An ancient Italian area in Puglia I think that is inhabited since about 9000 years ago. They built in caves. and they lived there until the 1960’s when the then government decided the poor people needed some electricity and running water. That was probably too expensive to build in the caves so they just resettled the whole lot closer to their fields. That happened in an Italian city on a hilltop called Matera di Sassi.

I find it fascinating how the opinion of these dwellings changed. Up until the 1800’s no one was particularly bothered. People lived there since ancient times and in fact it is the only place that can pride itself to have been inhabited since 7000 BC. That’s something. But I got the information from Wikipedia so I am not sure if it is true.

Around 1850 suddenly the good people of Italy or more the government of Italy seemed to think it was not worthy of a modern Italy to have people living in caves. They got a rather bad rep which was understandable thinking of the bad sanitation and rampant malaria. As far as I gather no one did much about it though besides writing travel guides which told you not to go there. Mussolini’s fascists seemed to make an effort but it led nowhere.

"sassi di matera"

Until the 1960’s but I covered the resettlement already. I need to research if the resettled people were happy or not about having new cottages and the farm animals in barns which they could see from their bedrooms. The good people from the government wanted to make sure it all felt like their previous cave homes where animals and people lived under one roof. They also offered communal ovens like in the caves and communal areas to meet up. However, it looks like they did not manage to create them in a way that people could flow in naturally so they were not a proper hit. In the end, everybody got disillusioned and they started building apartment blocks which probably was cheaper.

Moving forward to the 1980’s and suddenly artisans moved in who created whistles. Maybe they did not move in then. Maybe they were squatters who needed an income and someone invented the whistles. Have I mentioned they look like cockerels? Well, all ended up with expensive restaurants and tourism which means you can now have a vacation in a cave.

I have seen some of those houses and my goodness did they renovate them! It must have been quite difficult to do so but it certainly is worth going there. I might one day. Who knows….

Find out more about Sassi di Matera here:

Sassi di Matera on Wikipedia

Sassi di Matera at the UNESCO

Sassi di Matera on The New Yorker

San Remo Festival on Wikipedia

 

Why Poets and Writers travel/ Warum Dichter und Autoren reisen

A thought after we travelled to Germany in 2013:

I always wondered why authors & poets often love to travel!
Last week on our way back I had a sudden rush of ideas what to write about. Then I knew!


Please check out my writers/bloggers mugs & stickers here (It supports the World Literacy Foundation) and my husband’s eBay shop here. Shoutouts are much appreciated. May you be blessed!

Ein Gedanke, den ich 2013 hatte, nachdem wir nach Deutschland gereist waren:

Ich hatte mich immer darueber gewundert, warum Autoren und Poeten gerne reisen!
Auf dem Heimweg letzte Woche hatte ich ploetzlich einen Anfall von Ideenreichtum. Da wusste ich dann warum!