wanderlust: 03.

This week’s wanderlust of seasons brought to you by my Pinterest.

summer.

coney island, ny, united states.

autumn.

central park, ny, united states.

winter.

venice, italy.

spring.

heerstraße, bonn, germany.

Wouldn’t mind trading this Aussie summer heat for some wintery Venice canals!

misselty.

27 december 2012: auf wiedersehen frankfurt.

Last snapshots of Frankfurt, passing through before flying on to London. I have lunch at Bagel Brothers. I know that the Christmas markets have ended…

packing up.

packing up.

and Römerberg is clear…

römerberg.

römerberg.

I capture the Christmas tree while it still stands…

can't get enough of the christmas tree.

can’t get enough of the christmas tree.

And traipse through the rain…

rainy rainy.

rainy rainy.

Back to Colour Hotel

colour hotel.

colour hotel.

And see this awesome awesome vending machine!

dr oetker!

dr oetker!

Farewell Frankfurt!

misselty.

wanderlust: 02.

The New York Times has put together this list of “52 Places to Go in 2014“.

My picks, based on the prettiness of the photos, ha!

Cape Town, South Africa.

Scotland.

Seychelles.

Iceland.

Belize.

I’m definitely not a beach person, yet they look so beautiful. Clear waters, white sands, blue skies. All in all, I’m not a very natural destination kind of traveller. I mostly stick to cities, wandering pavements and old buildings and churches and churches and churches (if you’re in Europe). But yet, there is something about this world around us that is… unmistakable, no accident.

God’s creation is good.

misselty.

23-26 december 2012: bad mergentheim.

I depart Frankfurt early in the morning. One thing I notice as I travel around Europe, is that their main stations are beautiful places. I could sit all day and enjoy the comings and goings of people, as they commute, as they return home, as they visit family… There is just this lovely feeling being amongst it.

_DSF3934

frankfurt hauptbahnhof.

I arrive in Würzburg, and I am immediately taken around by my friend C and her sister. We go by the Christmas market, we walk the streets. We hit the main attraction, the Residenz, and we get a chance to explore the building and walk in the footsteps of other tourists.

würzburg

würzburg.

streets of würzburg.

streets of würzburg.

the residenz at würzburg.

the residenz at würzburg.

I conk out early once we get to their house in Bad Mergentheim.

When I wake the next morning, they’ve laid out hams, meats, cheese, a selection of rolls, so many things bought fresh. I’m not quite sure if they’re spoiling me as their guest, or if this is a daily thing. I find out that they eat big in the morning, and it gets smaller as the days go on.

It is their family tradition to decorate the tree on Christmas Eve. So we do that. The tree is real and it smells amazing. Together with the fire warming the house… I am beginning to understand a winter Christmas. There is little sign of snow though.

setting up the christmas tree, featuring my dear friend.

setting up the christmas tree, featuring my dear friend.

christmas decorations.

christmas decorations.

C takes me on a tour of the Bad Mergentheim town centre. It’s a lovely stroll for Christmas Eve, breathing in small town life. There is still a bit of a hustle and bustle around, as people get their things together for the Christmas festivities.

the deutschordenschloss (castle).

the deutschordenschloss (castle).

paths and tracks.

paths and tracks.

We arrive back from town, then walk up the road from their house to the church. The whole town comes for the Christmas Eve service. The kids put on a play and songs are sung. It’s especially lovely hearing Stille Nacht sung as it should be, in German. It is beautiful.

the church at althausen.

the church at althausen.

Christmas Day brings on a drive to the town of Attenhofen, home of C’s grandparents. It’s lovely being able to spend time seeing how they spend Christmas, together, three generations. Lunch and dinner are amazing. They eat simply, but wholesomely. I get a chance to wander and adventure around with C. The sun has come out and it’s

the beautiful attenhofen.

the beautiful attenhofen.

Boxing Day comes and the rain has come with it. But we brave it anyway to head to the Wildpark. We manage to join a tour to see the animals fed, the sun comes out, and it’s an awesome day. I am a little childish in my feeding of the goats, but it’s good fun.

_DSF4204

the wildpark.

_DSF4024

animal feed.

feeding the goats.

feeding the goats.

animals at the wildpark.

animals at the wildpark.

On the way back, we stop to munch on specially baked for Christmas cookies and for this view.

view of bad mergentheim. (click for larger view!)

view of bad mergentheim. (click for larger view!)

It is my last day, and I am rather sad to say goodbye to C and her family. I cannot be more grateful for their hospitality, and for a lovely German Christmas.

farewell my lovely friend! <3

tschüss mein Freund! ♥

wanderlust: 01.

Inevitably interrupting my attempt at recapping 2012/2013, and after some pottering around on The Huff Post at work, this might just well become a regular feature.

Colmar, France.

Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, Turkey.

Vine Bridges in West Iya Valley, Japan.

Antelope Canyon, USA.

misselty.

P.S. If you’re interested, my thoughts on travel in 2014.

22 december 2012: frankfurt.

I wake at a reasonable time in the morning, jet lag apparently not hitting me so hard. Hotel Lloyed gives me complimentary breakfast, and cold cuts and cheeses and multiple choices of bread get me ready for another day’s wandering around in the cold.

In big cities, you have to notice the little things: toy vending machines on the sidewalk, knitted tree cosys, a moustached man, and a dyslexic renegade.

the little details.

the little details.

Other things you notice, changing conventions. Who needs a borrowing card when you can just take as you wish?

a public library.

a public library.

The aim of my stroll is the Flohmarkt (Flea Market) at Schaumainkai. (For a list of other markets, check this out.)

flohmarkt schaumainkai,

flohmarkt schaumainkai.

It has a rather nice clientele, and it’s nice just to browse amongst it all. I have to give it to the vendors, hanging out in the cold all day long. I spy a number of coats that would be great, but those luggage space warning lights flash and so I move along. I do pick up a book though, so that’s kind of nice.

flea finds.

flea finds.

Midway through, the cold is numbing, so I get some hot chips with mayo. Best.

pommes frites.

pommes frites.

I continue along, winding through to the Sachsenhausen area, known for its old cider houses, some of which still produce their own Apfelwein.

sachsenhausen and its apples (featuring new boots that don't look quite so new anymore...!)

sachsenhausen and its apples (featuring new boots that don’t look quite so new anymore…!)

old ciderhouses.

old ciderhouses.

I duck inside the Deutschordenskirche for a brief respite from the cold, but enjoy the quietness and the Christmas trees and nativity scene.

church solace.

church solace.

I continue my meandering, heading back towards the river, and cross the Ignatz Bubis Brücke (bridge), as suggested by Mini-Cards, for this view of Frankfurt’s financial district.

view from alte brücke (the old bridge).

view from ignatz bubis brücke.

Walking continues, to find this cathedral towering above me.

frankfurt cathedral.

frankfurt cathedral.

The crowds push me a long and I find myself back at Hauptwache, and the markets. After all my traipsing through the Apfelwein district, I feel like I might as well get in on it.

apfelwein (apple wine).

apfelwein (apple wine).

But I am a bit too optimistic. I start off with this…

prost!

prost!

But I struggle… fails.

leftover...

leftover…

It starts to rain, but I can’t help myself. These Christmas markets can’t keep me away!

can't keep me away.

can’t keep me away.

Another cold and cloudy day in Frankfurt. Just the way I like it. Back to the hotel, knowing that I’ll need to be up early in the morning to train off south-east to Würzburg, and to see my lovely German friend. :)

misselty.

21 december 2012: frankfurt.

flying by etihad.

flying by etihad.

Flew by Etihad, via Abu Dhabi. I slept, watched movies. Food wasn’t that great, but that’s ok.

First thing I did when I arrived at a ridiculous time in the morning? Maccas, obviously. It’s the same everywhere.

I take the train from Frankfurt Flughafen to Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, and trek through snowy muck to get to Hotel Lloyed.

first footsteps.

first footsteps.

I am lucky enough to be able to check in early to a small single, with ensuite. I quickly take over and settle in for a quick nap, before heading out to explore.

I head out to walk along the Main. It’s cool, but just nice, like how December in Europe should be. Coat and scarf kind of weather. Fingers crossed for a bit of snow. The sun doesn’t shine all that often, it’s generally a bit gloomy. But that can’t take away from the general beauty of winter in Europe.

along the main.

along the main.

nizza, along the main.

nizza, along the main.

People don’t always seem satisfied with the way that things are going. I spot this chalked on to a wall.

Fair enough.

♥ > €

♥ > €

And then in stark contrast, I round the corner and this looms out above me.

the european central bank.

the european central bank.

To be fair, I have a beat of a geeky moment.

Then I move on and find that the aim of my stroll.

Frankfurt is known for its Christmas markets. They’re based in Römerberg and Paulsplatz and winds its way through the Old Town area.

christmas for sale.

christmas for sale.

frankfurt christmas markets.

frankfurt christmas markets.

There are also noms to be had, currywurst, and sugar coated almonds, and plenty of other things. It really just smells so lovely, warm and cosy.

noms for sale.

noms for sale.

And of course, hot chocolate, complete with whipped cream and hundreds sprinkles. You pay a  €2 deposit, which you get back on return of the cup. In retrospect, probably not too high a price to pay if I had taken the cup home.

annual cups.

annual cups.

I noticed Eiserner Steg (“the Iron Bridge”), a bridge just nearby the Christmas markets. It’s old, has rebuilding history from WWII, and also has these plaques showing water levels, or more appropriately, floods that have happened over the years. More than that, it’s where lovers lock their locks, a common practice around Europe.

eiserner steg.

eiserner steg.

I head back through the Christmas markets and walk their course, and find myself at Zeil, the main shopping street. There are familiar signs for shops that we don’t have at home, and everything is dressed up for Christmas and Christmas sales. People are out despite the cold, because that’s just normal for them.

zeil and fre­ßgass.

zeil and fre­ßgass.

There is more Christmas fun to be had at the Hauptwache (“Main Guard”), but not this evening. Too much walking already, and I’m feeling tired and jet-lagged.

hauptwache.

hauptwache.

I walk on back to the hotel, first day gone, and I spy the Alte Oper (Old Opera), looking particularly splendid with its lights and Christmas trees.

alte oper.

alte oper.

I realise I should probably eat dinner, and so I get a shawarma from a corner store that’s just around the, oh, corner from the hotel. I get a shawarma (kind of like a kebab) but it’s far too much and I am far too tired so I think I only end up eating half.

On first impressions, it’s not much, but it’s a little bit magical with all the Christmas charm. And I am enjoying the cold. I’m a little strange like that.

misselty.